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Editorial

Companies (Auditing and Accounting) Act, 2003 (the "Act")

February 2005 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Dillon Eustace.

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The Office of Director of Corporate of Enforcement ("ODCE") recently published both a Consultation Paper and Draft Guidance on the obligation of Company Directors to prepare a Compliance Policy and Annual Compliance Statement under Section 45 of the Act. The draft guidance explains the implications of the new provisions and will assist directors in preparing for, and complying with, their new obligation to prepare Compliance Statements.

The commencement of Section 45 was proposed for the financial year beginning on 1st January 2005 however this date now looks unlikely. Mr Paul Appleby, the Director of Corporate Enforcement, recently said that 36 bodies and individuals submitted comments in response to the consultation process. He also said that while many of the respondents clearly appreciated the ODCE consultation process and the quality of the Draft Guidance, a number of concerns were raised regarding the commencement date of the Compliance Statement Obligation.

Mr Appleby said he is therefore currently assessing the commencement date, along with other interested parties, and plans to shortly make a specific recommendation to the Minister for Trade and Commerce which is likely to be that the provision be brought into effect no earlier than 1 July 2005. In the meantime, it is important for Directors of Irish companies to begin considering their obligations under this statutory requirement. Both the Consultation Paper and Draft Guidance can be accessed from the publications section (Consultation Papers) of the ODCE website (www.odce.ie).

For further information on the above, please contact Paula Kelleher or any other member of our Regulatory and Compliance Department.

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