Canadian Underwriter

OSC releases corporate governance guidelines for comment

January 23, 2004   by Canadian Underwriter

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The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) has released for discussion new guidelines for accounting and disclosure for publicly-traded companies. The guidelines follow a Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) announcement last fall that provincial securities regulators would now set the standards for corporate governance.
The proposals released to industry groups are guidelines for best practices for corporate governance and disclosure of these practices by companies. This includes guidelines on a corporate board’s composition, mandate, committees, and director education and assessment. It also contains a code of conduct and ethics. While the guidelines are voluntary, full disclosure of corporate governance practices is required.
The proposals were also handed over to other provincial regulators for their consideration.
“Our proposals provide greater transparency for the marketplace regarding the nature and adequacy of issuers’ corporate governance practices,” says OSC chair David Brown.
However, smaller venture issuers will be subject to less stringent disclosure, Brown notes, in keeping with their less formal procedures for corporate governance.
Response to the proposals is being accepted until April 15. When firm guidelines are issued by the OSC or other provincial regulators, these will replace the TSX rules.

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