Magazine article Public Finance

Letters

Magazine article Public Finance

Letters

Article excerpt

Time to face the music on poverty

As the last notes of the Live 8 concerts fade away, the arguments continue on how such events can reduce world poverty. The concerts have certainly done a magnificent job in raising world awareness, and the Group of Eight summit at Gleneagles earlier this month announced a considerable package of aid in terms of debt relief and increased support to the world's poorest countries.

However, as these measures are announced, I can't help thinking of the massive role that CIPFA has to play in the fight against poverty. For 120 years, the institute has had an influential role in the promotion of corporate governance, stewardship and accountability in public life.

Many of its members have worked and are still working for the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. The institute has set up many links with other countries to promote its qualification, good governance and accountability.

With this track record, CIPFA cannot help but get involved with the massive challenges that lie ahead. Good corporate governance and the war against corruption are major elements in the fight against world poverty. The institute has the necessary expertise to provide training and support to these countries.

Until recently I was against any merger with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, primarily because we have been there before and been rejected. I now support the merger, because the bigger the institute, the bigger the attack on world poverty. The fight is massive and there is no one line of attack. However, if we all work together and forget our egos, perhaps we will go some way to preventing a child dying in Africa every three seconds.

DAVID WORTHINGTON

Mold, Flintshire

Gain or pain?

Having recently finished compiling the 2004/05 Statement of Accounts, I could not help but notice it now extends to 92 pages. Five years ago, the same document ran to 45 pages. At this rate, I will be able to claim a Gershon efficiency gain (pity it is noncashable). But I cannot help wondering where this is leading to.

The auditors will be happy - more stuff to consult their textbooks about. But will the public care, even if we do manage to condense it to two sides of A4 to score more Comprehensive Performance Assessment points? …

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