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TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Securities investors association emphasises independence as PwC audits SingPost

All safeguards are to be applied where necessary.

Concerns have risen about the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers as the special auditor by SingPost to review the circumstances surrounding the acquisitions of the three entities of the Famous Group by the firm.

According to David Gerald, chief executive officer of the Securities Investors Association of Singapore (SIAS), questions have been raised about PwC’s independence as they are current and long time external auditors. Gerald adds that SIAS isn’t taking the concerns lightly.

“While an external auditor is not precluded from providing non-audit services to an audit client, the external auditor has to comply with the requirements of the Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics for Public Accountants and Accounting Entities (“ACRA Code”) to ensure that it remains independent,” Gerald said.

Among the requirements of the ACRA Code include an assessment of threats to independence and to apply safeguards where necessary.

Meanwhile, Gerard said ACRA has already talked to PwC that the requirements must be met, as well as any necessary safeguards be implemented.

“In view of the above, SIAS calls on all parties concerned to allow PwC to conduct the special audit, knowing that PwC will maintain its independence in strict compliance with the ACRA Code. Given the high reputation and the credibility of PwC, SIAS expects that PwC will be able to remain independent in undertaking the special audit and hence address all serious concerns of the stakeholders surrounding PwC’s appointment,” Gerald added.

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