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Ireland’s efforts to improve its regulatory environment continue with accountants coming under the spotlight with the Companies (Auditing and Accounting) Bill, 2003 (IAASA Bill). Published in February of this year. The Bill was expected to have become law by now. But although it passed its first stage before the summer holidays, progress has since been slow. This month it was referred to the Select Committee on Enterprise and Small Business. To some extent this delay is a good thing because there are several aspects of the IAASA Bill that are unnecessarily burdensome, aspects that could benefit from amendments.

This represents the second pillar in the Irish legislature’s attempt to improve the standards of corporate governance in Ireland. In 2001, the Company Law Enforcement Act was introduced. It established the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement and also made certain fundamental changes to the duties and responsibilities of directors.

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