Financial Services Authority chairman Howard Davies was accused this week of compromising the independence of the regulator's audits by allowing auditor Ernst & Young to become its main consultancy adviser, writes Lucinda Kemeny. Conservative MP Michael Fallon condemned the authority's use of E&Y for both audit and consultancy at a Treasury select committee hearing. E&Y said: 'We have policies to make sure that our independence is not compromised.' But Fallon insisted that the arrangements were 'verging on the improper' when the firm was allowed to charge £18,000 for its audit work for the FSA in 1998 but E&Y and 'its associates' earned £343,000 in connection with non-audit work. The firm charged £70,000 for its 1999 audit and £380,000 for non-audit work. Fallon said: 'Is the firm likely to produce a hostile or particularly searching audit report when it depends on the FSA for five times the amount of the 1999 fee for consulting work?' Davies said although he had sympathy for Fallon's views, certain circumstances dictated that the auditor could be allowed to do the work, stressing that in the case of the FSA, the consultancy contracts were put for competitive tender. 'Ernst & Young was involved in the process of establishing the FSA. We needed new financial control systems and for some parts of that it was more cost effective to use the existing auditors,' he said.
Freshly launched 11nm Qualcomm silicon will come with Adreno 612 GPU
Are pinning down the exact rate of expansion of the Hubble constant
RISC OS 5 to form the basis of RISC OS Open after Castle Technology sells to RISC OS Developments
A smartphone maker fiddling its benchmarking scores? That's unusual, isn't it?