Welcome Address by Dr Ernest Kan, President of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore at Press Briefing for the launch of the Study on the Profile of Audit Committees of Listed Companies in Singapore on 24 April 2012
A very good afternoon to you and welcome to the unveiling of the 2011 Study on the Profile of Audit Committees of Listed Companies in Singapore. As the national accountancy body, ICPAS first initiated this study back in 2009 with the aim of providing an understanding of the state of affairs of Audit Committees of Singapore listed companies in relation to various regulations such as the Singapore Companies Act and the Code of Corporate Governance. The 2011 survey is a follow up from the 2009 research and was done in collaboration with Associate Professor Ho Yew Kee of NUS Business School.
This study is pertinent for a number of reasons. First of all, stakeholders are demanding for greater corporate governance and accountability from the Board. Over the years we have witnessed an increasing number of high profile incidents ranging from Enron to MF Global and more recently China Sky, which has cast a spotlight on businesses as they face higher scrutiny from governments, regulators, investors and the public. As boards face tougher scrutiny, so do Audit Committees.
Besides higher stakeholder expectations, evolving global and local regulatory developments are also at play. Revisions to SGX’s listing rules with regard to board composition and internal controls last September, a proposed new Code of Corporate Governance and a shift towards more stringent reporting and disclosure requirements have placed additional compliance demands on Audit Committees.
The confluence of all these factors have created a need to look at how Singapore listed companies are doing in terms of meeting market and regulatory requirements. I will now hand over the floor to ICPAS Council Member and Chairman of the ICPAS Corporate Governance Committee Mr R. Dhinakaran to say a few words.