Two months ago I started a discussion on the CEE Professionals Group on Linked-In.
“Help to find a phrase for PL-CZ-SK or coin one if there isn’t one…
Everyone knows what Benelux is, who the PIGS or BRIC countries are, or even what is meant if we say “German Speaking World”, but how would you find an easy way to describe the triangle of countries Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia? Please remind me or educate me of an existing term I may have overlooked, or failing that let’s put our heads together and coin one.”
Among the 49 comments to date several very interesting options appeared, no less than 21 choices from 16 people – a testimony to the helpfulness and the creativity of the Group. So now is the time to vote on them, which I’ve asked people to do here as there’s no voting there and also people may want to vote without putting their name to the vote.
Hopefully the mods of the Group will see this as fair, as there is a chance for my regulars to know about and join the Group as well as for Group members to see this site and sub to it.
Anyway, here’s the poll and thansk in advance for your vote. I can’t see your IP Address but the machine at polldaddy does so you can only vote the once and be counted. Further attempts are not counted, but enable you to see how the vote is progessing, and when it pans out I’ll put the results into the discussion.
There isn’t a prize for the winner, other than the honour of having thought of the best one, but my heartfelt hanks for all your help in getting to an optimal answer to the problem!
- Splitting Europe (zewar.wordpress.com)
- Sorbs: relics of the Ostsiedlung | Gene Expression (blogs.discovermagazine.com)
- Taking Your Pulse: Karaoke vote results in a tie (pbpulse.com)
Martin Oxley sent this out for the Foreign and Commonwealth office and we are pleased to assist in its propagation.
Dear Quoracy.com subscribers,
Poland presents an attractive nearshore growth opportunity for Britain Plc. In line with the new UKTI strategy presented to government recently by Lord Green, Minister of State for Trade and Investment we are introducing a step change in the way UKTI supports British business growth.
We are taking a very proactive approach on behalf of government to provide a range of bespoke services to enable British SME’s to significantly enhance exports and also work with large corporations to win major overseas contracts and expedite their growth in market.
With our new Ambassador HMA Robin Barnett and the Embassy team we are engaging to support strong growth oriented business agenda in Poland.
With this in mind I am pleased to attach a brief outline of the services which UKTI has developed to support British business in Poland. I very much look forward to meeting you over the course of the coming weeks to discuss with you how we can assist you with your specific company needs.
I am very happy to visit you or alternatively you would be most welcome to visit us and I will provide you a tour of our excellent event facilities at the Embassy.
Quoracy.com would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate our dear friend Martin Oxley on his recent new appointment to the FCO in Warsaw, and to wish him every success working with Her Majesty’s new Ambassador to Poland, His Excellency Robin Barnett. We wish you and your team many successes and a lot of fun.
I wrote my views today to the head of Corporate Governance at the OECD relating to their Guidelines on Corporate Governance. A work which I believe under-represents to position of external audit in Governance.
The document can be downloaded as a pdf for free from the OECD website.
It has been used as the basis of the Corporate Governance code in numerous countries. Its paucity of regulations on what should be the rights and powers as well as duties of external auditors have assisted Governments to fail to accord a full range of powers – of the sort enjoyed in the UK for instance – to external statutory auditors in many countries.
At the same time the EU did not impose on Member States the obligation to enact that auditors should be entitled to attend AGMs - at the very least of quoted companies they audit and given the right to speak at them. That is because they saw it as a matter of Corporate Governance which should be covered by Corporate Governance Codes.
At the same time, even were the OECD code contains great recommendations such as the one on page 44 that barriers to international voting should be done away with, many nations are still asking for physical attendance at the AGM. The AGM ought to be attendable in this day and age by personal appearance OR videolink and the auditor should always be in attendance – if not the people have no guarantee that they are being given the real audit report, and there is no guarantee that serious findings that the auditor wanted to have commuicated to the owners will be portrayed with the necessary gravity, or just explained as if they were harmless and made a joke of by the embarrassed Board.
Anyway, here is the letter I wrote:
I was only able in this 66 page document which I downloaded from the OECD website to see less than half a page of the most basic information on the topic of external auditors.
External auditors are the most effective way to police good corporate governance, and yet the lack of any recommendations for our profession to be given teeth means that countries such as Poland who used the OECD guidelines to create their own codes and thought that they were getting the best protection available don’t have anything like the built in systemic safeguards that countries like the UK have.
One example – in the UK the auditor has the right to attend the AGM. They must be given notice of it and have the right to address it in matters concerning their report. In Poland there is no such right and the OECD code is where the authorities point to show that there is no need of it. They are using the brevity of the code as an excuse for poor practice, and the result is that stock listed companies are able to call AGMs where they talk around the findings of auditors, often dead-batting our recommendations and we are not even given the right to be present and put the record straight.
My reason for writing is to ask to have the views of the audit profession heard more forcefully in a – hopefully near future – reworking of the Code. I believe that IFAC would be able to place much more technically high-powered people than myself to your disposal when the time comes, but if not I’m happy to give time to this as a public service. The way things are now I deeply feel that the code develops very well some aspects of governance, such as Directors’ duties, but gives so small a role to the natural enforcers and advisors on governance in client firms, namely our profession, and impose on us duties without according us any powers – or recommending the according to us of powers whether by national law or by contract – as to constitute a missed opportunity for good.
Had someone asked me, before I had opened the pdf, to guess at how many of the 66 sides would be dealing with the question of external verification, I would have said 5 to 10. I add that just as a quantifier of how relatively important to the whole I believe the topic is, and therefore as well and indication of its degree of under-representation, in my opinion, in the document.
The above is my individual view, not necessarily the view of all my colleagues.
David J. James
- EFF Declines to Endorse OECD Communiqué on Principles for Internet Policy-Making (eff.org)
- The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation (bjconquest.com)
- OECD: See Greek Deficit In Line With IMF Target, But Risks (forexlive.com)
- Report: Poverty in households with children is rising in nearly all OECD countries (bespacific.com)
In Monopoly, whichever player is banker is supposed to keep the bank money separate to the money he’s also doing business with in the market. He’s also supposed to run the bank according to certain rules and if he was cheating it’d be game over. They should bring out a new version of Monopoly in which the Banker is allowed to cheat all he likes and always automatically wins, and another player is called The Government and that player chooses from the Chance and Community Chest cards for the other players instead of just getting them to take the next one in a shuffled pack. The Government cannot only do it to the banker – they automatically give the Banker the best card. Banker and Government get to throw three dice instead of two, and they are also allowed to compulsorily purchase other player’s properties, and also send them to Jail for two turns if they complain about the unfairness of the rules.
That modern update to the famous board game would be most enlightening. Nobody would play it given the choice, but in reality of course we don’t really have a choice. After all, there’s a monopoly of government in any country and there’s an oligopoly of banks.
- Scrabble Dictionary Adds ‘Thang,’ ‘Grrl’ (newser.com)
- AC/DC Collector’s Edition Monopoly Due In August (bravewords.com)
- Hooray, Settlers of Catan Is Not the New Monopoly (wired.com)
Shortly after Baker Tilly Poland‘s much talked-about Warsaw office move to groundbreaking accommodations at Crown Tower on Hrubieszowska 2, their Łódź office has followed suit, moving from ul Niciarna to ul Nawrot 114, 90-029 Łódź.
Their phone numbers, emails, etc are the same as before.
A spokesperson for Baker Tilly said “we look forward to focussing a stronger presence in Poland’s second city and assisting in the vital and dynamic development of this critical region. With the progress on the Warsaw-Berlin motorway continuing to a gradual conclusion, the axis between Lodz and Warsaw will give rise to additional opportunities for business and prosperity in this part of Poland in the coming years”.
- Acting Up in Łódź, Poland (stevensirski.wordpress.com)
- Discover Poland: the best of the country and the cities (guardian.co.uk)
- Motivating employees during the economic slowdown and recovery – TGC Legal Alert (quoracy.com)
- Police arrest 21 after stadium rioting in Poland (usatoday.com)
Baker Tilly Czech Republic sent us the following.
Please find enclosed the new issue of our Newsletter which lets you know about major changes in tax legislation and accounting in the Czech Republic over the previous quarter. We trust that it will be valuable for you, helping you stay abreast of hot topics.
If you know someone who you believe would like to receive our alerts and updates, please let us know. It is a free service, building goodwill for us in the community.
The archive of previous editions of our Business & Tax Newsletter and Tax Alert and other free publications can be found on our website on http://www.bakertillyczech.cz/Publications,19,j,1.html
Head of Tax
Registered Tax Adviser
Baker Tilly Czech Republic
Direct: +420 542 425 823 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +420 542 425 823 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Fax: +420 542 425 822
- Czech Republic: Brno city councilors condemn international neo-Nazi march on 1 May (dokmz.wordpress.com)
- Ivan Klima, celebrities support nonviolent blockade of neo-Nazi march in Czech Republic (dokmz.wordpress.com)
- BCC Invitation to workshop Ethics at Lunchtime, 24 March 2011, Prague (quoracy.com)
Once again Lucia Rablova and her team have pulled out all the stops and given us a timely Tax Alert for the Czech Republic.
- 50 CZK banknote is not valid (praguevisit.wordpress.com)
- Thousands of pens sent to Czech president after he’s caught stealing one (thestar.com)