The South African Integrated Reporting
Committee (IRC) has issued a discussion paper on the world’s first
integrated reporting guidelines.

The proposed integrated reporting guidelines
offer direction to the 400 companies listed on the Johannesburg
Stock Exchange who have to produce an integrated report for their
current financial years from March 2011.

IRC chairman Mervyn King said the committee
put together the guide because no specific guideline or standard
defining the content of an integrated report for listed companies
exists in South Africa or elsewhere in the world.

“An integrated report is not simply bolting
the sustainability report to the financial report. It incorporates,
in clear language, material information from these and other
sources to enable stakeholders to evaluate an organisation’s
performance and to make an informed assessment about its ability to
create and sustain value,” King said.

King added the guidance offered in the
discussion paper could be used by any organisation, not only listed

The deadline for comment on the proposed
guidelines is 25 April.

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The International Integrated Reporting
Committee also aims to issue an international integrated reporting
discussion paper later this year.