Canadian regulators want more corporate governance disclosure

by Kathryn Leger for The Gazette, December 2nd, 2010.

The umbrella organization representing securities regulators in Canadian provinces and territories said today it wants more disclosure by public companies of corporate governance practices.

The exhortation follows a review of 72 issuers that found that 55 per cent of those companies “were required to make prospective enhancements to their corporate governance disclosure,” the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) said. The 55 per cent is up from 36 per cent in a similar review in 2007.

“Given the results of the review, the notice is intended to be an educational tool for reporting issuers to assist them in improving their corporate governance disclosure,” said Jean St-Gelais, chair of the CSA and chief executive officer of the Autorité des marchés financiers, Quebec’s financial market regulator. “Disclosure of corporate governance practices is important for investors, who require access to regular, reliable and comparable information in sufficient detail in order to make informed investment decisions.”

Areas the CSA identified for disclosure improvement are boards of directors, position descriptions, orientation and continuing education, ethical business conduct, nomination of directors and assessments.

The CSA said it has published Staff Notice 58-306 which provides guidance on complying with existing requirements.

“Where deficiencies were found (in the review) reporting issuers agreed to make changes in future filings,” the CSA said, adding issuers “should anticipate staff requests fro additional disclosure or re-filings if required.”

 

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