Search Legislation

The Companies (Audit, Investigations and Community Enterprise) (Northern Ireland) Order 2005

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Auditing of accounts

Auditors' rights to information

10.  For Article 397A of the 1986 Order (rights to information) substitute—

Rights to information

397A.(1) An auditor of a company—

(a)has a right of access at all times to the company’s books, accounts and vouchers (in whatever form they are held), and

(b)may require any of the persons mentioned in paragraph (2) to provide him with such information or explanations as he thinks necessary for the performance of his duties as auditor.

(2) Those persons are—

(a)any officer or employee of the company;

(b)any person holding or accountable for any of the company’s books, accounts or vouchers;

(c)any subsidiary undertaking of the company which is a body corporate incorporated in Northern Ireland;

(d)any officer, employee or auditor of any such subsidiary undertaking or any person holding or accountable for any books, accounts or vouchers of any such subsidiary undertaking;

(e)any person who fell within any of sub-paragraphs (a) to (d) at a time to which the information or explanations required by the auditor relates or relate.

(3) Where a parent company has a subsidiary undertaking which is not a body corporate incorporated in Northern Ireland, the auditor of the parent company may require it to obtain from any of the persons mentioned in paragraph (4) such information or explanations as he may reasonably require for the purposes of his duties as auditor.

(4) Those persons are—

(a)the undertaking;

(b)any officer, employee or auditor of the undertaking;

(c)any person holding or accountable for any of the undertaking’s books, accounts or vouchers;

(d)any person who fell within sub-paragraph (b) or (c) at a time to which the information or explanations relates or relate.

(5) If so required, the parent company must take all such steps as are reasonably open to it to obtain the information or explanations from the person within paragraph (4) from whom the auditor has required the company to obtain the information or explanations.

(6) A statement made by a person in response to a requirement under paragraph (1)(b) or (3) may not be used in evidence against him in any criminal proceedings except proceedings for an offence under Article 397B.

(7) Nothing in this Article or Article 397B compels any person to disclose information in respect of which in an action in the High Court a claim to legal professional privilege could be maintained.

Offences relating to the provision of information to auditors

397B.(1) If a person knowingly or recklessly makes to an auditor of a company a statement (oral or written) that—

(a)conveys or purports to convey any information or explanations which the auditor requires, or is entitled to require, under Article 397A(1)(b), and

(b)is misleading, false or deceptive in a material particular,

the person is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment or a fine, or both.

(2) A person who fails to comply with a requirement under Article 397A(1)(b) without delay is guilty of an offence and is liable to a fine.

(3) However, it is a defence for a person charged with an offence under paragraph (2) to prove that it was not reasonably practicable for him to provide the required information or explanations.

(4) If a company fails to comply with Article 397A(5), the company and every officer of it who is in default is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine.

(5) Nothing in this Article affects any right of an auditor to apply for an injunction to enforce any of his rights under Article 397A..

Statement in directors' report as to disclosure of information to auditors

11.—(1) Part VIII of the 1986 Order (accounts and audit) is amended as follows.

(2) In Article 242 (duty to prepare directors' report), after paragraph (2) insert—

(2A) If Article 242ZA applies to the report, it shall contain the statement required by paragraph (2) of that Article..

(3) After Article 242 insert—

Statement as to disclosure of information to auditors

242ZA.(1) This Article applies to a directors' report unless the directors have taken advantage of the exemption conferred by Article 257A(1) or 257AA(1).

(2) The report must contain a statement to the effect that, in the case of each of the persons who are directors at the time when the report is approved under Article 242A, the following applies—

(a)so far as the director is aware, there is no relevant audit information of which the company’s auditors are unaware, and

(b)he has taken all the steps that he ought to have taken as a director in order to make himself aware of any relevant audit information and to establish that the company’s auditors are aware of that information.

(3) In paragraph (2) “relevant audit information” means information needed by the company’s auditors in connection with preparing their report.

(4) For the purposes of paragraph (2) a director has taken all the steps that he ought to have taken as a director in order to do the things mentioned in sub-paragraph (b) of that paragraph if he has—

(a)made such enquiries of his fellow directors and of the company’s auditors for that purpose, and

(b)taken such other steps (if any) for that purpose,

as were required by his duty as a director of the company to exercise due care, skill and diligence.

(5) In determining for the purposes of paragraph (2) the extent of that duty in the case of a particular director, the following considerations (in particular) are relevant—

(a)the knowledge, skill and experience that may reasonably be expected of a person carrying out the same functions as are carried out by the director in relation to the company, and

(b)(so far as they exceed what may reasonably be so expected) the knowledge, skill and experience that the director in fact has.

(6) Where a directors' report containing the statement required by paragraph (2) is approved under Article 242A but the statement is false, every director of the company who—

(a)knew that the statement was false, or was reckless as to whether it was false, and

(b)failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the report from being approved,

is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment or a fine, or both..

Back to top

Options/Help

Print Options

You have chosen to open The Whole Order

The Whole Order you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open The Whole Order as a PDF

The Whole Order you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open the Whole Order

The Whole Order you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

Close

Legislation is available in different versions:

Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.

Original (As Enacted or Made):The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.

Close

See additional information alongside the content

Show Explanatory Notes for Sections: Displays relevant parts of the explanatory notes interweaved within the legislation content.

Close

Opening Options

Different options to open legislation in order to view more content on screen at once

Close

Explanatory Memorandum

Explanatory Memorandum sets out a brief statement of the purpose of a Northern Ireland Order in Council and provides information about its policy objective and policy implications. They aim to make the Order accessible to readers who are not legally qualified and accompany any Northern Ireland Order in Council made since 2002.

Close

More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources
Close

More Resources

Use this menu to access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as made version that was used for the print copy
  • correction slips

Click 'View More' or select 'More Resources' tab for additional information including:

  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • links to related legislation and further information resources