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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 November, 2003, 12:53 GMT
New corporate abuse laws pledged
The government has pledged to introduce tough new laws aimed at preventing Enron-style corporate abuses in the UK.

The measures, to be introduced next year, will include tighter auditing rules and stronger powers to investigate companies.

Company bosses will be required to state that they have not withheld information from auditors.

Firms will also have to publish full details of any extra services they have bought from their auditors.

Not for profit boost

Corporate governance campaigners argue that auditors' independence can be compromised if they also supply lucrative consulting services to their clients.

Enron's auditor, Arthur Andersen, was said to have earned hefty consultancy fees from the disgraced energy company.

The new measures are designed to complement the Financial Reporting Council's overhaul of existing corporate governance guidelines for stock market-listed companies.

Separately, the government has committed itself to strengthening the not-for-profit sector by introducing a new type of firm, the Community Interest Company (CIC).

CICs would be allowed to raise cash by issuing shares, but any dividend payments to shareholders would be capped so as to ensure that most of their profits would be re-invested.



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