Business

Inquiry chair finalising terms of reference for KPMG probe

2017-10-13 11:54

The chairperson of an independent inquiry investigating alleged misconduct by KPMG employees will clarify the terms of reference next week.

That was revealed by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) on Friday, which is funding the investigation into members of the institute who are employed at KPMG.

A probe by KPMG International found that its audit teams failed to apply sufficient professional scepticism and comply fully with auditing standards with regards to work done for the Guptas, who featured prominently in state capture allegations, and the South African Revenue Service.

It requested an independent investigation to “determine if there is any evidence to suggest KPMG South Africa partners or staff were complicit in illegal activities by the Gupta family and their businesses, and whether there were any failings or collusion in the work performed and conduct of KPMG South Africa in relation to the SARS report”.

Today, SAICA chief executive Terence Nombembe said that the independent inquiry would not be conducted by SAICA, but by an independent judge or senior counsel who would act as its chairperson.

“At the time of this announcement it was expected that more elaborate details pertaining to the independent inquiry would be announced on October 12 by the chairperson of the independent inquiry,” said Nombembe.

“I am reliably assured that the independent inquiry chairperson is finalising the terms of reference including timelines, the methodology and the regulations that will guide the panel’s processes. The chairperson is finalising the composition of the independent inquiry panel. The chairperson will announce the details of the inquiry in a week’s time.

“The outcomes of the independent inquiry will inter alia feed into SAICA’s disciplinary processes to restore the public trust in the CA(SA) profession as a vital ingredient in re-establishing investor confidence in the capital markets as well as service delivery within the public sector in South Africa,” said Nombembe.

SAICA said its board decided that the funding of the inquiry would be provided by SAICA even though the institute would have no involvement in the work of the panel. This was to ensure the independence of the investigation.

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December 10 2017