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The government wants to obtain sensitive data of companies

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Statutory auditors analyze large companies and non-governmental organizations. According to “Rzeczpospolita”, the government wants the reports and documentation to be submitted to the Polish Audit Oversight Agency (PANA). Then it would contain all confidential information from the activities of private enterprises – about prices, margins or investment plans.

According to “Rzeczpospolita”, after the introduction of the new regulations, auditors would provide the state with all carefully guarded secrets of private companies and foundations. Currently, around 42,000 entities are subject to the audit obligation, but many more are subject to it voluntarily. The auditors would provide not only current data, but also data from the last eight years.

Surveillance introduced silently

“The authorities want to introduce a new obligation without publicity, on the occasion of introducing regulations on the electronicization of offices” – writes “Rzeczpospolita” and states that already today PANA has the ability to verify the work of a statutory auditor using a control procedure. Such an additional extension seems redundant.

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Auditors don’t like the idea either. – We were not consulted on these proposals – reserves Kamil Jesionowski, president of the National Council of Statutory Auditors in an interview with the newspaper. He points out that if there were cases where audit firms did not provide the agency with files at its request, they were marginal. – The obligation to provide files after each examination is therefore unjustified – claims Jesionowski.

“The work should stop”

The auditors point out that providing the state institution with all the data referred to in the project will increase the risk of their use for various purposes. Also those that will not be related to the audit itself.

– If the knowledge about the surveyed companies and social organizations gathered in one place will be exposed to access by many state institutions without the consent of the court, and the purposes of collecting this knowledge have not been clearly justified, our clients may stop providing us with some information. And this will harm the quality of the audit – says Jesionowski in an interview with “Rzeczpospolita”.

In the opinion of Adrian Zwoliński, director of the financial market department at Konfederacja Lewiatan, there is no rational justification for collecting such an amount of sensitive data in one place. “Further work on these regulations should be stopped,” he says.

– The draft provisions on the provision of audit data appeared suddenly, without social consultations, and is devoid of proper economic analysis and reliable justification. The effects of this act would affect both entrepreneurs and non-governmental organizations. We are talking here about collecting tens of thousands of order files annually, just in case, containing key and sensitive information that may be covered by attorney’s secret – he comments.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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