Historical background FR

Since Independence, the policy of the successive Governments has been to assume the role of a facilitator and to create an environment conducive to maintaining political, economic and social stability where private initiatives can flourish. Although Mauritius compares well with other international jurisdictions, and is increasingly recognised as a safe, trustworthy and well-regulated centre for doing business, it now faces challenges arising from the changing global environment.

To meet these challenges, Mauritius has adopted policies to boost its corporate image, and to ensure that the country conforms to international best practices and standards so as to enhance investors’ confidence in the management of business.

The establishment of the Committee of Corporate Governance - 2001

Since the international community views “good governance” as a platform for all stakeholders to achieve higher standards of responsibility, of transparency and of business ethics, a Committee on Corporate Governance was established in September 2001 with the mandate to promote principles of good corporate governance (accountability, transparency, responsibility, fair treatment, meritocracy, management disciplines, and fight against corruption) amongst public and private sector organisations.

The Code of Corporate Governance for Mauritius – 2003

Under the aegis of the Committee of Corporate Governance, and with the assistance of the World Bank, the “Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes” (ROSC) for Corporate Governance was published in October 2002. One of the recommendations of the ROSC was the preparation of a Code of Corporate Governance for Mauritius.

For the preparation of the Code, the expert services of Mr Mervyn King, SC, author of the King Reports on Corporate Governance for South Africa, was enlisted to assist the Committee, and wide-ranging national consultations were held with stakeholders at different points in time.

The Code was first published in October 2003 and was held in high regard by both the national and international business community.

The establishment of the National Committee on Corporate Governance - 2005

The Financial Reporting Act 2004 (Act No 45 of 2004) was gazetted on 11th December 2004 and came into operation on 20 January 2005. The main objective of the Act was to establish a strong and effective apex body for overseeing corporate financial reporting, accounting and auditing standards and practices, and corporate governance in Mauritius. As a result, in keeping with Section 63 of the Act, the “National Committee on Corporate Governance” (NCCG) was established as the national coordinating body responsible for all matters pertaining to corporate governance. The NCCG took over all the activities of the “Committee on Corporate Governance” as from January 2005 under the chairmanship of Mr Tim Taylor.

The proposed Code of Corporate Governance for Mauritius – 2016

An NCCG survey and focus group meetings identified that the Mauritian business community believed that the 2003 code needed to be revised. Reasons for revisions included the need to align the Code with new laws and guidelines (e.g., the Bank of Mauritius Guidelines); recognise, learn and apply governance lessons from the BAI and Bramer Bank collapses in 2015 and the global financial crisis that began in 2008; and identify and apply international best practices.

For the preparation of the Code, the expert services of Dr Chris Pierce was enlisted to assist the Committee, and wide-ranging national consultations were held with stakeholders.

The new Code is currently being finalised and will be published in the second quarter of 2016.

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