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Failing directors to face training, not fines

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First time company directors who are struggling to fulfil their duties can now attend training courses rather than face heavy fines.

That was the message delivered by Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam at the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority’s (Acra) 10th anniversary dinner on Monday.

The Directors’ Compliance Programme aims to train 10,000 first-time offending directors who have failed to file financial returns.

“The training will focus on general director duties and common statutory requirements under the Companies Act, and is offered in lieu of prosecution,” Shanmugaratnam said.

Acra will also be partnering with the Singapore Institute of Directors to provide directors of both listed and large non-listed companies training in financial reporting.

Shanmugaratnam added this will help “fulfil their duty of ensuring the accuracy of financial statements by strengthening their financial reporting competencies”.

It was not announced how much the courses would cost, and that information is expected to be released at a later date.

“Regulation is most effective when it is understood,” Shanmugaratnam said. “Therefore, we have to actively complement enforcement actions with regular outreach efforts – aimed at helping businesses understand the regulations and what they need to do to comply with them.”

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