UK and France signed up to voluntary extractive industries agreement

The UK and France have joined the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) which requires countries to fully disclose taxes, royalties and other fees they receive from oil and mining income. Approximately 40 countries have now implemented this voluntary scheme. The EITI aims to tackle corruption and help improve the transparency of revenues from oil, gas and minerals.

EU sanctions on Syria extended to June 2014

The European Union's sanctions against the Syrian regime has been extended until 1 June 2014. The Sanctions impose EU wide asset freezes and travel bans on 179 persons and 54 entities. Measures supplement existing export and import bans, an oil embargo and restrictions on investments, financial activity and the transport sector. At the same time, the EU has relaxed rules to allow EU governments to authorise the provision of banking services to opposition groups in Syria, provided such services do not breach the Council’s measures.

Security fears over pass 'sold to lobbyist'

British MP Patrick Mercer offered a journalist, who was posing as a lobbyist, a parliamentary pass for £2,000. It has been reported that Mercer also appeared to agree to take money in order to produce a parliamentary report. In total Mercer received over £4000, half of which he failed to declare according to the parliamentary rules. Patrick Mercer has resigned from the Conservative Party and indicated that he would stand down at the next election. He has referred himself to the Parliamentary Standards Committee and is said to be receiving legal advice.

ICSA guidance note on cyber risk

The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) has published guidance, commissioned by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), on cyber attacks. The guidance urges UK boardrooms to change their attitude if they are to protect themselves against cyber attacks, as security breaches within involving the UK corporate sector continues to rise.