Scrapping of OFR 'a kick in the face'

Chancellor Gordon Brown’s shock move to scrap the mandatory Operating and Financial Review will set corporate transparency back years and alienate businesses, CSR experts have told PRWeek.

The OFR required companies to publish non-financial information, including details of their social and environmental impact.

Former Boots director of corporate affairs Alastair Eperon – who has since run an OFR agency – described the decision as 'a kick in the face' for former DTI Secretary Patricia Hewitt, who brought in the legislation in April.

Friends of the Earth corporate accountability campaigner Sarah-Jayne Clifton argued that abandoning even the 'weak' OFR would 'undermine the competitiveness of progressive companies'.

She said the Company Law Reform Bill, which will enable shareholders to better hold CEOs accountable for the social and environmental impact of their policies, would be unworkable. 'How can you have enlightened shareholder value if shareholders are not enlightened,' she said.

But the DTI said a business review required by EU legislation contained similar elements to the OFR and was 'more flexible'.

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