Irish investors are demanding greater transparency and accountability from corporations, since the collapse of Enron and the scandals that rocked Elan and the Allied Irish Banks this year.
But greater regulation will not solve the problem, according to Professor Niamh Brennan of the Institute of Director’s Centre for Corporate Governance at UCD.
Brennan said that existing legislation is more than adequate, except that bosses do not pay attention to it.
“If more company directors took existing legislation seriously, rather than paying lip service to it, corporate governance would significantly improve,” she said.
“A culture of gamesmanship has emerged where some company directors will try to exploit any ambiguities in company legislation and other regulations. The mindset is that if a rule doesn’t expressly prohibit it, then it’s fair game,” she added.