Key institutions support better risk management controls

Key institutions here have backed Singapore's proposed adoption of frameworks for public companies designed to manage risk more effectively through internal controls.

Participants representing these institutions at a roundtable unanimously agreed that the so-called Coso Frameworks should be adopted nationally.

They agreed this would benefit Singapore-based companies in raising their corporate governance standards.

The frameworks were developed in the United States by the Committee of the Sponsoring Organisations (Coso) of the Treadway Commission in response to various scandals there in the 1970s.

Institutions, including the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (Isca) and Institute of Internal Auditors (Singapore), were represented.

Others included the Ministry of Manpower, Ministry of National Development, Singapore Exchange, and the Singapore Institute of Directors.

The Coso Frameworks seek to ensure controls and risk management processes are in place within organisations.

They have been adopted by publicly traded companies in the United States, Japan and China.

The participants agreed that the frameworks should become a preferred means for organisations to cope with the volatility of today's business environment.

They also offered various factors for measuring the success of Coso implementation here, such as greater cross-sector collaboration and a heightened awareness of risk throughout the organisation.

The roundtable was organised by the Protiviti-SAC Coso Academy.

The academy was launched by global risk and business consultancy Protiviti and the Singapore Accountancy Commission on Dec 3 last year.

Dr Sandra Richtermeyer, a member of the Coso board, said: "Successful national adoption of Coso provides a common platform for various organisations and bodies to support high-quality, consistent and integrative approaches to internal control and risk management.

"It also has the potential to enhance and support the overall business climate by enabling opportunities for collaboration and development of best practices."

Mr Sidney Lim, managing director at Protiviti South-east Asia and co-founder of the Coso Academy, added: "There's unanimity that the Coso Frameworks will benefit organisations using them.

"What is needed next is an approach for these organisations to adopt the Coso Frameworks and realise the value-add to organisational performance and corporate governance."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 09, 2015, with the headline 'Key institutions support better risk management controls'. Print Edition | Subscribe