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Swiss pension supervisor ‘overstepped authority’ with audit proposal

first_imgIn 2015 OAK carried out a comprehensive survey of the quality of external audit reports and found a high error rate. It subsequently issued a draft directive laying down requirements for auditors, which the cabinet noted was strongly criticised by associations and authorities.The government was subsequently commissioned to check whether OAK’s directive was in line with its legal authority and to potentially consider adjustments. Today’s report is the outcome of that review process.It reaching its conclusions the government also had the input of an opinion from an independent expert, Thomas Gächter of the University of Zurich, although it effectively disagreed with his view that OAK should be denied any authority to give instructions to auditors.If the supervisor were only permitted to issue recommendations, it would ultimately not be able to fulfil its task of making sure that the occupational pension system as a whole was functioning reliably, according to the government.However, the statutory authority to issue directives only applied to those that were needed for quality assurance, it noted in its report. It did not extend to issuing stipulations relating to the admission of auditors, which was the responsibility of the federal audit supervisor.The audit authority has previously warned about weaknesses in the auditing of the country’s pension funds. The Swiss federal pensions regulator “exceeded its legal authority” when it proposed requirements that related to the admission of external auditors of occupational pension funds, according to the country’s government.Although the Oberaufsichtskommission (OAK BV) was allowed to issue certain technical instructions to pension fund auditors as part of its statutory mandate, the introduction of a special permit for examining pension funds was a matter for lawmakers, the federal council said in a report published today.However, it was in agreement with the OAK that there were issues that need to be addressed with regard to the auditing of occupational pension funds, as previously outlined by the regulator.The cabinet had therefore instructed the federal department for internal affairs to weigh possible legislative steps, including whether the federal audit supervisory authority should be assigned sole responsibility for admitting and supervising auditors of occupational pension funds.last_img read more

Lakers’ nightmarish season culminates with 122-99 loss to Sacramento

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The Lakers just felt a brutal knockout punch, punctuating the end to a nightmarish 2014-15 season that will not become forgiving in the history books.The Lakers officially became the worst team in the franchise’s otherwise rich 67-year history, a 122-99 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday at Staples Center concluding a year that seemed as uncomfortable as the lineup they produced in their season finale. The Lakers (21-61) finished with a .256 winning percentage, falling below the 1957-58 Minneapolis team that won only 26.4 percent of its games, with barely recognizable names. Vander Blue, who posted 15 points on only 6-of-23 shooting, joined the team only two days ago after playing with the Lakers’ Development League affiliate. But he started at point guard. Jabari Brown, whose career-high 32 points came on a 9-of-19 clip, signed with the Lakers last month after also starring with the D-Fenders. But he started at shooting guard. It seemed fitting Brown and Blue started with the purple and gold amid sprained left ankles to rookie Jordan Clarkson and swingman Wesley Johnson. It concluded a season in which the Lakers’ players missed an NBA record 339 games due to injuries. That partly explains why Scott downplayed coaching the worst team of Lakers history after once winning three NBA championships as a player during the Showtime Era. “It obviously doesn’t sit with me well,” Scott said. “I don’t like the sound of it. But it makes for a very remarkable story when we turn this around as well.”How do the Lakers turn it around?The first part might start with staying healthy. The Lakers’ 2014-15 season started with veteran guard Steve Nash having a season-ending back injury during training camp. It continued with rookie Julius Randle breaking his right leg in the season opener and Kobe Bryant tearing a rotator cuff in his right shoulder after 35 games. center_img Plenty of players sat on the team bench dressed as if they belonged in a board meeting, including Randle (right leg), Wayne Ellington (right shoulder), Nick Young (left knee), Jeremy Lin (left knee) and Ronnie Price (right elbow). Nash has since announced his retirement. Xavier Henry (left Achilles tendon) and Dwight Buycks (fractured right hand) are no longer under contract. Bryant was presumably in the trainer’s room receiving treatment. “I’m smiling and shaking my head and just going, ‘Wow,’ Scott said. “You can’t do anything but laugh about it.”The Lakers do not consider Clarkson’s injury serious and Scott suggested he could have appeared in a playoff game. But the Lakers erred cautiously because of Clarkson’s limitations with his lateral movement. That left the Lakers with an eight-man rotation featuring three frontcourt players off the bench (Carlos Boozer, Ed Davis, Robert Sacre). The Lakers also lacked any players with past point guard experience. But Scott offered a clear solution on how Blue and Brown would handle that position.“Whoever gets the ball,” Scott said. “Whoever gets it on the rebound or on the outlet, they’re going to be point guard.”To minimize foul trouble, Scott urged Blue and Brown to play cautiously while the Lakers played mostly zone defense. That helped the Lakers avoid duplicating an awkward win last season in Cleveland. Sacre stayed on the floor after collecting six fouls because the Lakers had too many injured players. “As a young guy, we want the minutes. Even though we get tired like the older guys, we relish these opportunities,” Brown said. “Not all rookies are getting to play 30 to 40 minutes.”Yet , that wasn’t enough, leading Scott to question his team’s effort yet again.“My biggest thing after the game going in there with our coaches that you’re only as good as your last game,” Scott said. “That’s what we used to tell ourselves as players. If those guys had that same thought, it wasn’t very good. IT doesn’t leave a very good impression, which is what I’m saying.”So how does the Lakers handle things moving forward?“I don’t know want to tell you,” Scott said. “I really don’t. I’m at the point right now where I will go home and decompress, get my thoughts together and get ready for tomorrow. I don’t want to put a damper on an already not very good night.”Scott said that feeling may not fade away until draft workouts in June, leading to what might mark a long offseason before the rebuilding actually begins. “We’re not proud of that,” Brown said. “It’s tough. But I feel like guys played hard. We weren’t laying down,” Brown said. “We got young pieces, good old vets and Kobe will be back. Byron is a great coach. He knows what hes doing.”But that wasn’t enough for the Lakers to avoid appearing in the record books for all the wrong reasons.“If we had everybody healthy, we’d be a much better basketball team,” Scott said. “Hopefully we got them all out the way this year and we’ll be healthy next year.”last_img read more