A Timetric briefing service

Consultation to examine the effectiveness of corporate governance frameworks

12 March 2014 by Carlos Martin Tornero

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has launched a consultation aimed at addressing the relevance of current corporate governance frameworks and its interaction with value creation in companies.

According to ACCA, the motivation behind the consultation asking for the views of global stakeholders came from the important role corporate governance plays in business and society.

The consultation paper emphasises that corporate governance codes should be challenged and study whether or not they create value through a robust system of accountability.

ACCA head of corporate governance and risk Paul Moxey said the paper maintains that corporate governance is precisely about creating long term sustainable value.

In the spirit of the Cadbury Report from 1992, named after corporate governance champion Sir Adrian Cadbury, Moxey said a conceptual framework based on informing and holding to account could help to create value.

After 21 years, the Cadbury Report "should have thrown off its growing pains of babyhood and ceased to be the awkward teenager. What sort of adult has it become? Has it helped companies to create value sustainably?" the consultation paper stated.

The paper, co-authored by Moxey and ACCA global forum for governance chairman Adrian Berendt, poses other questions. For instance, whether or not governance systems have made it harder to hold managers accountable for company failures.

In particular, the consultation seeks feedback on whether corporate governance has become "too focussed on form and compliance at the expense of the quality and integrity of decision-making".

Moxey and Berendt pointed out in the consultation paper that by the mid 2000's the US, the UK and the European Union had adopted governance reforms, in a bid to prevent previous corporate failures, such as that of Enron and WorldCom.

However the global financial crisis emerged soon after and "several once-great banks failed and others became 'zombie' banks, on life-support from taxpayers," the co-authors stated.

According to Moxey and Berendt, although these governance failures are now clear, banks were considered at the time to be well governed and to have good risk management.

"The problems continue to surface: weak internal controls; risky trading; money laundering; interest-rate rigging; miss-selling; cover-ups; and rogue trading," Moxey and Berendt argued.

The deadline to comment on the consultation is 31 August and ACCA said it will publish an updated paper reflecting the responses received and discussions held.

Related link

Consultation: Creating value through governance -towards a new accountability