On 29 April 2013, the Club received a notice from Bryan Rush & Co indicating that they were seeking election as the Club’s auditor at the Annual General Meeting to be held on Tuesday 21 May 2013.
The notice was submitted by Bryan Rush & Co at the request of Mr M Barrett, a member of the Club.
In accordance with the Club Rules, the Secretary placed a copy of the notice on the Club’s Notice Board.
Consistent with good corporate governance principles, the Committee then undertook some due diligence to check whether Bryan Rush & Co would be suitable to act as auditor of the Club. For example, under the Club Rules the auditor of the Club must be registered in accordance with section 1280(2) of the Corporations Act. A search conducted of the register of auditors maintained by ASIC confirmed that the principal of Bryan Rush & Co, Mr David Conroy, is a registered auditor and meets this requirement.
However, during the week beginning 6 May 2013, it came to the attention of the Committee that Mr Conroy is in fact the Chairman of the Bowlers Club of New South Wales, which operates premises known as 99 On York. The Bowlers Club of New South Wales is considered by the Committee to be a direct competitor of the Club.
Good corporate governance principles dictate that an auditor should not take part in an audit where a possible conflict of interest situation may arise or may be seen to arise – for example, where a reasonable person would or could conclude that the auditor, or a professional member of the audit team, may not be capable of exercising objective and impartial judgement in relation to the conduct of the audit of the Club. Given Mr Conroy’s involvement with a competing club and the fact that the auditor would have access to confidential information about the City Tattersall’s Club, the Committee felt it was best to avoid any perceived conflict of interest and asked Mr Conroy to withdraw the consent of Bryan Rush & Co to act as auditor.
On 13 May 2013, after considering the Committee’s request, Mr Conroy withdrew the consent of Bryan Rush & Co to act as auditor of the Club, and accordingly Bryan Rush & Co will no longer be seeking appointment as the auditor of the Club.
Absent the above issue, the Committee see no reason why Bryan Rush & Co would not be capable of performing the role of auditor of the City Tattersalls Club, in accordance with the relevant professional standards expected.
City Tattersalls Club