IRBA needs highest standards to restore public faith in auditing oversight

Jenitha John's long-awaited resignation was the right thing to do

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17/02/2021 12:41:00

IRBA needs highest standards to restore public faith in auditing oversight

OUTA is satisfied with the resignation of Jenitha John as CEO of the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA). This follows repeated calls from OUTA to IRBA for her to step down as an executive member of the board in the light of her past questionable involvement at Tongaat Hulett, and the recent dissolution of the current IRBA board by the Minister of Finance.

OUTA believes that the board of an institution like IRBA should be held to the highest values and should not be entangled in any historic debacles that could question result in the integrity of the organisation being questioned.

John has been IRBA CEO for more than eight months, despite ongoing concerns over her role at Tongaat Hulett, where she headed the audit and compliance committee during the group’s financial reporting irregularities. She was appointed by the outgoing IRBA board. OUTA has since last year lobbied against her appointment as IRBA CEO, even before she took up the position (see here and here, and asked the new board to address this here).

“We applaud Minister Tito Mboweni’s decision to dissolve the board at IRBA. In light of Jenitha John’s resignation, OUTA is optimistic that a new board appointed by the Minister will in fact carry out IRBA’s mandate without any doubt regarding the appointment of executives,” says Faizel Davids, OUTA’s Legal Project Manager.

“We remain optimistic that auditors in South Africa will have high regard for the professional well-being of their regulatory board and will always adhere to the highest ethical standards.”

A soundbite with comment by Faizel Davids is here.