Feeds

Companies Act timetable published

Steady as she goes

The essential guide to IT transformation

The Government is acting more slowly than expected in implementing the Companies Act, the piece of legislation that is completely overhauling the way companies are governed.

Only a few parts of the Act are currently in force, and the remaining elements have been scheduled to become law in three stages between now and October 2008.

"I think there was an expectation that they were going to rush things through, all the good news deregulatory stuff so that they could say 'look how much we are doing for you guys'," said Martin Webster, a corporate partner at Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind OUT-LAW. "It is clear that that's not what has happened, though. A lot has been held back."

"I think they came up against a number of difficulties with the transitional processes in the change between old and new systems and they are so nervous about getting things wrong because they've got a couple of things wrong in the past and the finger has been pointed, that they are doing a lot of consulting."

This October will see the implementation of clauses relating to directors' rights and duties and clauses increasing the rights of indirect investors. More complicated laws governing conflict of interest and company constitutions will be left to October 2008.

"Throughout its passage the Government consulted and listened carefully to a range of views. We have maintained this approach for the commencement timetable," Industry and Regions Minister Margaret Hodge said. "We have been guided by a desire to see the benefits for business introduced as quickly as possible and observing common commencement dates.

"We have had further extensive discussions with a wide range of interested parties to make sure we have a timetable that gives business certainty, time to prepare and, wherever possible, early savings and administrative benefits," she said.

There are practical difficulties which have meant that some elements of the Act are delayed by longer than would be expected. "There are changes like the change that means directors' home addresses will not go on to accounts that you would think could be done tomorrow but they aren't," said Webster. "That is because some of them require a big change in the systems at Companies House."

Hodge said the Government had tried to create as little disturbance as possible for companies. "One of the most important aspects to implementing the Act is providing the least burdensome and most efficient transition to the new regime for existing companies. We have already consulted stakeholders, but today's document provides the basis for further consultation. We also set out how we propose to deal with secondary legislation under the Act," she said.

The DTI yesterday published a consultative document on the policy issues related to secondary legislation which will need to be made under the new Act, and on transitional and savings provisions. It invites comments by 31 May 2007 (except for those issues relating to political donations and expenditure, for which the DTI requests comments by 1st May).

The DTI provided an implementation timetable (on next page).

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus
Italian boffins agree with popette's theory that haters are the real wrecking balls
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.