Smith report on audit committees - a summary

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In September 2002 the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) established a committee headed by Sir Robert Smith to develop the existing guidance for audit committees. The report of the Smith committee was submitted to the FRC in December 2002 and published in January 2003. The FRC intends to issue a revised version of the Combined Code following a short period during which commentators are invited to identify any "fatal flaws" in the proposals. It is expected that the revised Combined Code will come into effect on 1 July 2003.

The following is a summary of the main proposals contained in the report. In common with the Higgs report, there is no differentiation for companies of differing sizes. Smith indicates that where a company does not follow the guidance it should explain and justify thi...

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