UK audit chief in the running for HS2 top job
The head of the UK’s accounting watchdog is reportedly in the running to lead the High Speed 2 rail construction project, raising further questions about the future of the country’s audit regime.
Sir John Thompson, chief executive of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), is in the frame for becoming the new chair of the project, according to the Financial Times.
Prior to joining the FRC in October 2019, Thompson was the chief executive HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for over three years.
HS2 has now been without a chair since Allan Cook left the post in July last year.
The Department for Transport, HS2 and the FRC didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment on the report.
Questions about Thompson’s future at the regulator come after it was reported that a draft bill looking to overhaul the country’s audit regime, which included plans for a new regulator, has been dropped from the Queen’s Speech, which is scheduled for May 10.
The reforms were put forward after a series of corporate scandals over the last few years, such as the collapse of construction giant Carillion in 2018, where auditors failed to spot companies’ financial troubles ahead of time.