IFRS Foundation proposals to formalise the separation of the roles of Chair and Executive Director

accapr —  26 October 2012 — Leave a comment

By Paul Cooper, Corporate Reporting Manager, ACCA

The IFRS Foundation’s review of its governance gives insight into how the IASB (International Accounting Standards Board) structures itself as an organisation.

The Foundation’s ‘Drafting Review’ proposes to formalise within its constitution a change which it has already made. The roles of the IASB Chair (principally responsible for standard-setting) and oversight (executive) functions are now held by different people. This is because the latter role might be seen to conflict with the functions of the Chair, such as with fund-raising.

Comments for the ‘Drafting Review’ were requested by 23 October 2012.

An executive director has already been appointed, so the Foundation wishes to change its constitution accordingly as soon as possible. The executive director has a staff role in the Foundation, and is not a member of the IASB.

The change was in fact a recommendation of an earlier review of the Foundation’s governance. ACCA’s response to the review in March 2011, supported the recommendation, but questioned the appropriateness of the title of the role, which at the time was to be chief executive officer.  The executive role reports to the IASB chair, so arguably the term ‘CEO’ is not entirely suitable.

ACCA’s response to the current consultation reiterates our support for the separation of the chair and executive functions, and support the title of executive director (rather than CEO) for the latter role.

The IASB also has a vice-chair now, part of whose role under the constitution is to represent the chair externally. The earlier governance review identified the matter of travel demands on the time of the IASB chair. As a solution, ACCA supported the appointment of a vice-chair.

The IASB positions referred to in this blogpost are currently held by the following people:

Chair – Hans Hoogervorst

Vice-Chair – Ian Mackintosh

Executive Director – Yael Almog

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