Minister of Finance: -Transparancy Act may demand connection to consolidated accounts

image Norway’s Minister of Finance, Sigbjørn Johnsen, is open towards connecting extended country-by-country reporting to the consolidated financial accounts of companies, making it the best and cheapest policy measure. It is now up to the National Assembly to make the decision.

Minister Johnsen writes this in his response (NB, translation by PWYP Norway) to parlamenterian and member of the The Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, Hans Olav Syversen, who recently posed a written question to the minister. Syversen asked Johnsen to make sure that the new transparency law will link the country-by-country reporting to the consolidated financial accounts of companies, so as to ensure a strong standard for the benefit of the general public.

Johnsen replies that the Ministry of Finance appointed committee, which has made recommendations for the Transparancy Act on extended country-by-country reporting (CBCR), has recommended that the reporting is done separately from the consolidated financial accounts of companies. However, the minister is open for the possibility that the reporting is linked to the accounts.

-It is not an explicit prohibition in the accounting directive against including CBCR in the consolidated financial accounts, he writes.

PWYP Norway has repeatedly underlined that the general public should get access to the real accounting figures requested, and not to an alternative set of figures of unknown provenance. The latter will make it difficult to have confidence in the information and the implementation of disclosure will be more expensive than necessary.

-It is very good news that the Minister of Finance is open for connecting extended country-by-country reporting to the consolidated financial accounts of companies. If the minister proposes this for the parliament, Norway may get the best legislation in the world against corruption and capital flight. Yet for this to happen, the reporting must be linked to the financial accounts, says gen. secr. in PWYP Norway, Mona Thowsen.

The draft proposal will be put forward in the national assembly in October.

Photo: Labour Party