Proposed amendments to the Auditing Profession Act to enhance the powers of the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (Irba) will not be dealt with by the current parliament. The authorities of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces have decided not to allow the amendments to the act — which are contained in the Financial Matters Amendment Bill — to proceed due to a lack of time before parliament closes down at the end of the month. This means these amendments will lapse and will have to be resubmitted by the Treasury to the next parliament, which takes office after the elections in May. The amendments to the Auditing Profession Act include controversial provisions allowing for search, seizure and subpoena by Irba. Auditing firms have described these measures as “extreme”, “unconstitutional” and an illegitimate invasion of privacy. The amendments would allow Irba’s investigating committee to enter premises with prior consent, but without any consent if there...

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