The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) is an independent regulatory body established under the Financial Reporting Act 2004 (FRA) to strengthen the quality and integrity of financial reporting, corporate governance and accounting and audit in Mauritius. The FRC is charged with undertaking activities that will enforce the truth and fairness of financial reporting by public interest entities and that will oversee auditing practices in Mauritius, consistent with accepted international benchmarks. Its mission is to contribute to public confidence in the integrity of financial reporting by promoting publicly and proactively, high quality financial reports and external audits. The FRC is committed to conducting business with integrity, in accordance with the highest ethical standards and in compliance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations.
The Financial Reporting Act 2004, Section 25 states:
‘The Council shall adopt a Code of Ethics to establish the rules and standards of conduct to be observed by every member of the Council, Panel, Committee, or an employee or consultant of the Council, in the discharge of their respective functions and duties’.
The purpose of this Code of Ethics (Code) is to maintain the highest standards of ethical conduct among the FRC, members of Council, Panels and Committees and FRC staff (employees and consultants), and to provide the public with confidence in the objectivity of FRC’s decisions by seeking to avoid both actual and perceived conflicts of interest among members of Council, Panels, Committees and staff. The FRC and FRC staff should be aware at all times that public confidence depends heavily upon the observance of both the letter and spirit of this Code. This Code may from time to time be amended as circumstances require.
All FRC – members of Council, Panels, Committees and FRC staff are expected to read and comply with this Code. Each individual is responsible to the public as a representative of FRC, and to represent the public interest with integrity.
2. The Code
The FRC, members of the Council, Panels, Committees and FRC staff shall observe high standards of honesty and integrity in conducting their business. The FRC and FRC staff should at all times be mindful of their responsibilities to the FRC, the sensitivity of their positions, and the need for public confidence in the objectivity and deliberative due process of the FRC.
Such standards or general principles will include:
All FRC and FRC staff shall disclose any limitation on their ability to provide objective judgments in their decisions and work. At all times, they must maintain professional independence and not allow prejudice, conflict of interest or influence of others to override their actions and judgements.
The FRC and FRC staff should recognize their duty to perform their work with skill and competence. FRC and FRC staff shall provide competent services to the FRC and its sub-bodies and maintain the necessary knowledge and skill to continue to do so. FRC and FRC staff who are members of professional accounting organizations should maintain themselves as members in good standing throughout their term of appointment or employment with FRC.
The FRC and FRC staff shall work with all FRC constituents and stakeholders in a manner that is fair and reasonable.
The FRC and FRC staff shall act with due skill, care and diligence in the course of their work. They must carry out their work with proper regard for technical standards.
The FRC and FRC staff shall ensure their conduct does not bring discredit to the FRC and they are professional in their approach to their work. They should conduct themselves with courtesy, consideration and in a positive and constructive manner to all with whom they come into contact in the course of performing work. In particular, FRC and FRC staff should at all times be mindful of the FRC’s role to promote high quality financial reporting, corporate governance and audit practices.
2.6 Confidentiality and Certification
The FRC and FRC staff shall not disclose any confidential information without the specific consent of the provider of that information unless compelled to by law or as required to fulfil their legal obligations. All FRC and FRC staff members shall take the oath of confidentiality as set out in the Third Schedule of the Financial Reporting Act 2004.
The FRC and FRC staff shall ensure their conduct complies with the Financial Reporting Act 2004, the FRC Charter and Code of Ethics, the FRC’s regulations and standards and other applicable laws and regulations.
2.8 Specific Matters
The foregoing general principles shall apply at all times. However the following information relates to specific issues arising under this Code.
Unless authorised by the FRC, no FRC or FRC staff member shall disseminate or disclose any information obtained in the course of the relationship with the FRC, both during the time of relationship with the FRC and after that time.
Speaking for FRC
Only authorised persons may speak on behalf of the FRC. All other FRC and FRC staff members shall include a disclaimer that any private or public statement expressed are the views of the author or speaker and do not necessarily represent the views of the FRC.
Use of FRC assets
The FRC and FRC staff should make every effort to protect FRC assets and use them solely for conducting FRC business.
Impairment of independence
If any member of the FRC or a FRC staff member becomes aware of any circumstance that would impair their independence and capacity for objective judgement, or circumstances that may lead a reasonable member of the public to perceive the impairment of independence and objectivity with respect to FRC business, then the following actions shall be taken.
- Disclose the matter to the FRC Chairman or to the FRC CEO and
- Take steps to remove himself or herself from matters of conflict.
3.0 Application of the Code
The provisions of this Code of Ethics apply, according to their terms, to (a) present and former Council members, Panel members, Committee members and employees, including professional staff; (b) spouses (or equivalents) and dependents of Council members, Panel members, Committee members and employees; and (c) contractors and consultants to FRC, Panel members and FRC staff and with whom the FRC enters into contracts for goods or services.