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

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This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Bodies concerned with accounting standards etc.

Grants to bodies concerned with accounting standards etc.

16.—(1) The Department may make grants to any body carrying on activities concerned with any of the matters set out in paragraph (2).

(2) The matters are—

(a)issuing accounting standards;

(b)issuing standards in respect of matters to be contained in reports required to be produced by auditors or company directors;

(c)investigating departures from standards within sub-paragraph (a) or (b) or from the accounting requirements of the 1986 Order or any requirements of directly applicable Community legislation relating to company accounts;

(d)taking steps to secure compliance with such standards or requirements;

(e)keeping under review periodic accounts and reports that are produced by issuers of listed securities and are required to comply with any accounting requirements imposed by listing rules;

(f)establishing, maintaining or carrying out arrangements within paragraph 17, 18, 19(1) or 20(1) of Schedule 11 to the 1990 Order;

(g)exercising functions of the Department under Part III of that Order;

(h)carrying out investigations into public interest cases arising in connection with the performance of accountancy functions by members of professional accountancy bodies;

(i)holding disciplinary hearings relating to members of such bodies following the conclusion of such investigations;

(j)deciding whether (and, if so, what) disciplinary action should be taken against members of such bodies to whom such hearings related;

(k)supervising the exercise by such bodies of regulatory functions in relation to their members;

(l)overseeing or directing any of the matters mentioned above.

(3) A grant may be made to a body within paragraph (1) in respect of any of its activities.

(4) For the purposes of this Article—

(a)a body is to be regarded as carrying on any subsidiary activities of the body; and

(b)a body’s “subsidiary activities” are activities carried on by any of its subsidiaries or by any body established under its constitution or under the constitution of such a subsidiary.

(5) In this Article—

“accountancy functions” means functions performed as an accountant, whether in the capacity of auditor or otherwise;

“company” means a company within the meaning of the 1986 Order;

“issuer”, “listing rules” and “security” have the meaning given by section 103(1) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (c. 8) (interpretation of Part 6);

“professional accountancy body” means—

(a)

a supervisory body which is recognised for the purposes of Part III of the 1990 Order, or

(b)

a qualifying body, as defined by Article 35 of that Order, which enforces rules as to the performance of accountancy functions by its members,

and references to the members of professional accountancy bodies include persons who, although not members of such bodies, are subject to their rules in performing accountancy functions;

“public interest cases” means matters which raise or appear to raise important issues affecting the public interest;

“regulatory functions”, in relation to professional accountancy bodies, means any of the following functions—

(a)

investigatory or disciplinary functions exercised by such bodies in relation to the performance by their members of accountancy functions,

(b)

the setting by such bodies of standards in relation to the performance by their members of accountancy functions, and

(c)

the determining by such bodies of requirements in relation to the education and training of their members;

“subsidiary” has the meaning given by Article 4 of the 1986 Order.

(6) Omit Article 264(3) of the 1986 Order (grants to bodies concerned with issuing accounting standards etc.) which is superseded by this Article.

Exemption from liability

17.—(1) Where a grant has been paid by the Department to a body under Article 16, this Article prevents any liability in damages arising in respect of certain acts or omissions occurring during the period of 12 months beginning with the date on which the grant was paid.

(2) In this Article—

“Article 16(2) activities” means activities concerned with any of the matters set out in Article 16(2);

“the exemption period” means the period of 12 months mentioned in paragraph (1);

“a relevant body” means the body mentioned in that paragraph or a body carrying on any subsidiary activities of that body (within the meaning of Article 16).

(3) Neither a relevant body, nor any person who is (or is acting as) a member, officer or member of staff of a relevant body, is to be liable in damages for anything done, or omitted to be done, during the exemption period for the purposes of or in connection with—

(a)the carrying on of any Article 16(2) activities of the body, or

(b)the purported carrying on of any such activities.

(4) Paragraph (3) does not apply—

(a)if the act or omission is shown to have been in bad faith; or

(b)so as to prevent an award of damages in respect of the act or omission on the grounds that it was unlawful as a result of section 6(1) of the Human Rights Act 1998 (c. 42) (acts of public authorities incompatible with Convention rights).

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