The Isle of Man Government has launched an attempt to recruit an Auditor General for the Isle of Man, offering up to “£110,000 per annum” for the right candidate, according to a new job advertisement online.
The advertisement says that the successful candidate “will be responsible for the audit of all Isle of Man Government Departments, Boards and Offices.” Further, the future Auditor General is expected to provide “independent assurance that the public finances of the Isle of Man are being regulated, controlled, supervised and accounted for appropriately.”
In audit situations elsewhere, the independence of the auditor is usually jealously guarded. However, in this role, the Isle of Man Government says that the Auditor General will need to “influence effectively” and “to build a wide range of relationships with politicians and with senior officers within Tynwald and across Government.” Cosy relationships between the auditor, and the subject of the audit, have led to extensive problems across the world. In particular, the lure of re-appointment, promoted prominently in the advertisement, can raise the risk of conflicts-of-interest.
“Work with integrity”
As a noted offshore financial centre, the Isle of Man already applies extensive rules to auditors “that audit market traded companies incorporated in a Crown
Dependency.”[efn_note]Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Crown Dependencies’ Audit Rules and Guidance, p.1[/efn_note] These rules require auditors to “carry out audit work with integrity” and “be and be seen to be independent.”
The ICAEW rules for auditors in the Crown Dependencies mention the word “ethic” twenty-one times, “integrity” ten times. Neither word appears in the Isle of Man Government’s advertisement for the Auditor General.
Bonus for non-Manx candidates
The Isle of Man Government offers a bonus for candidates who relocate to the island. The advertisement advises, “If you are relocating or returning to the Island, you can also benefit from the Insurance Holiday Scheme, which allows you to apply for a refund on your NI contributions for your 1st year of living here.” Such benefits do not appear to be available to local applicants.