Red tape spotlight shines on company and commercial law
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on 26 January 2012 - BIS
Companies of all shapes and
sizes have today been asked for their views on how to tackle
unnecessary bureaucracy in company and commercial law.
For the next three weeks, the latest phase of the Red Tape
Challenge will focus on more than 120 company law regulations, guidance
and enforcement processes that businesses deal with on a daily basis.
The campaign asks for a variety of suggestions about how
regulations can be improved, simplified or abolished, whilst
maintaining a company law framework that gives companies the
flexibility to compete and develop effectively.
Examples of areas open for comment include:
workings of companies and partnerships: Rules on shares and
share capital, requirement to hold information at business premises and
rules on meetings and resolutions.
- Accounts and
returns: The content, form and auditing requirements of
financial accounts and other reports.
- Business names:
The rules covering company names.
- Disclosure of
company information: The regulations covering the information
companies must supply to the official register.
Business Minister, Edward Davey said:
“We want to have a flexible regulatory framework within
company law to allow firms to compete and grow successfully. The Red
Tape Challenge is a great way for the public and firms to tell us what
is a nuisance or gets in the way of doing business effectively.
“The feedback we receive will allow us to build on the
Companies Act 2006 to look at areas such as the audit regime to assist
small and medium sized companies as well as the approach to filing
documents at Companies House. I am open to new ideas to simplify, merge
or discard additional rules that will enable firms to do business with
Head of Corporate Governance at the Institute of Directors,
and company law sector champion, Roger Barker said:
“The Red Tape Challenge is an excellent opportunity for
companies to get their voice heard and help inform government thinking
and policies. Companies need to spend time on doing business, creating
jobs and growing, not spending time filling in forms for no good
“We must be sure that regulation is proportionate and that the
company law framework protects companies and their creditors whilst
minimising red tape and making the running of a company as simple as
possible. I look forward to seeing some new and exciting proposals from
business to help inform this important work.”
Chartered Accountant at Baker Tilly Tax and Accounting Ltd,
and company law sector champion, Danielle Stewart said:
“I am very excited by the opportunity to be an official Red
Tape Challenge Champion, because I have been deeply involved in the
development of better, more appropriate regulation since the early
90’s. As a practicing Chartered Accountant, I have often seen smaller
businesses in particular struggle with the weight and complexity of
bureaucracy applicable to them.
“Here in the UK, we have led the world in the development of
differential accounting standards; we already have a ‘think small
first’ approach to Company Law embodied in the 2006 Companies Act.
Against this backdrop, The Red Tape Challenge represents an opportunity
to go the final mile towards ensuring that every aspect of regulation
applicable to UK companies is necessary, appropriate and is as
efficient as it can be.“
The Government has today published a discussion paper to
coincide with the start of the spotlight period, seeking views on
proposals and calling for further suggestions for improvements.
The results of the Red Tape Challenge for company and
commercial law will be published later this year.
1. The Red Tape Challenge was launched by the Prime Minister
on 7 April 2011. It gives business and the public the chance to have
their say on some of the more than 10,000 regulations that affect their
everyday lives. The website is available at www.redtapechallenge.cabinetoffice.gov.uk
2. The campaign has six cross cutting themes that affect all
businesses and are open throughout the whole of the campaign. The
company law theme will run from 26th January to 16th February 2012.
3. Overall, of over 1,200 regulations considered so far, the
Government has agreed to scrap or improve well over 50% - decisions
that will bring real benefit to businesses, Civil Society organisations
4. The Challenge process does not include legislation or
regulations falling within the responsibilities of the devolved
5. Biography of Dr. Roger Barker
Dr. Roger Barker has been Head of Corporate Governance at the
Institute of Directors (UK) since 2008.
Dr. Barker sits on advisory boards at a number of
organisations, including the European Confederation of Directors’
Associations (ecoDa) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in
England and Wales (ICAEW). He is a visiting lecturer at the Said
Business School (University of Oxford), ESSEC (Paris), UCL (London) and
the Ministry of Defence (UK), and a former adviser to the EU Economic
and Social Committee in Brussels.
Dr. Barker’s recent book - Corporate Governance,
Competition, and Political Parties: Explaining Corporate Governance
Change in Europe – was published by Oxford University Press
in January 2010. He is also the author (with Dr. Neville Bain) of the
IoD’s main guide to the role of the board, The Effective
Board: Building Individual and Board Success, which was
published by Kogan Page in September 2010.
Dr. Barker spent the first part of his career in various
senior roles in investment banking in London and Switzerland. He is the
holder of a doctorate on corporate governance from Oxford University,
where he was a Lecturer at Merton College, and has degrees in
economics, finance and political science from the universities of
Cambridge, Southampton and Cardiff.
6. Biography of Danielle Stewart
Danielle Stewart is a partner at Baker Tilly, a top ten firm
of Chartered Accountants, and she has been at the forefront of small
company deregulation for many years.
She was a founding member of the CCAB project, which in 1995
led to the issue of the first differential reporting standard for
smaller companies, the FRSSE (Financial Reporting Standard for Smaller
Entities). She then became a founding member of the ASB committee which
updates the FRSSE, the Committee for Accounting for Smaller Entities
(CASE), on which she served for six years.
Over the intervening years, Danielle has been involved in many
SME/deregulatory projects within the accountancy profession, including;
Vice Chair of the UK Auditing Practices Board Small Company Committee,
Member of the “Think Small First’ team during the UK’s Company Law
Review and Chair of the London Society of Chartered Accountants
Technical Committee for many years, amongst several other projects.
Danielle was a member of the ICAEW working party which
commented on the 2007 consultation from the European Commission's
company law simplifications project. This led to her chairing an ad-hoc
group set up the by the ICAEW to respond to the EC on any measures
designed to simplify company law and financial reporting for SMEs. This
resultedin the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG)
appointing Danielle to their newly formed SME Committee, which advises
the European Commission on changes to company law, in so far as they
affect financial reporting for private companies.
In addition to SME oriented work, Danielle is a very active
member of the ICAEW’s Financial Reporting Committee (FRC), which issues
responses on all financial reporting based consultations from both the
UK and the Global regulators and standard setters.
About the Author
© Crown Copyright. Material taken from the BIS Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Reproduced under the terms and conditions of the Click-Use Licence.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2012-02-14 06:55:42 in Legal Articles