In our last edition of Accountability we reported on the Financial Reporting Council's (FRC's) consultation on changes to its disciplinary schemes. In its response, the ICAEW's principal comments relate to the proposed removal of the requirement that the FRC either obtains the consent of professional bodies or consults with them prior to taking certain steps under the Scheme.

In its consultation, the FRC had proposed that it be able to launch investigations, conduct preliminary enquiries and extend the scope of investigations under the schemes without consulting with registered supervisory bodies, as it is currently required to do.

ICAEW has voiced concerns that implementing this proposal would lead to a risk of the FRC deciding cases in isolation without reference to the professional bodies. It also points out that the FRC has not provided any evidence to support the assertion that such consultation delays the resolution of cases.

ICAEW says that it fully supports the FRC's desire to progress cases as quickly as possible, and has no wish to hamper the FRC in the speedy and effective operation of the Scheme. However, it remains concerned about the FRC's level of accountability should matters be determined without the supervising bodies being consulted.