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InfoBasis welcomes OFR consultation
InfoBasis Limited, a leading provider of skills management solutions, has welcomed the beginning of consultation on the DTI's draft Operating and Financial Review (OFR) regulations. Expected to become law by the end of 2004, the OFR will require major UK listed companies to publish information on key non-financial measures of performance, including staff's human capital management and skills development. Some 1,300 firms are expected to be affected.
"We are particularly pleased to see that critical assets such as skills and human capital are listed among the key elements to be included in the OFR," said InfoBasis CEO Ashley Wheaton. "Given that the government wants the OFR to gain a similar authority to that of accounting standards, this is a major step towards providing all company stakeholders with a clear, consistent view of every organisation's major asset - its people. At present, employees' sole representation is as costs in the annual report."
Noting that the consultation document does not propose any specific metrics for reporting on skills, Wheaton said: "This is an appropriate starting point. At present there are no agreed ways of reporting on human capital and its key element - individual skills. A set of agreed measures will evolve, as companies devise reporting methods in conjunction with input from the OFR readership. We believe that the standards for skills in the UK already exist in a number of places, such as sector skills councils, trades bodies and within individual companies. The statutory OFR will provide an excellent stimulus for a rationalisation of these standards.
"Remember that accountancy standards and practices didn't evolve overnight - they are the accumulation of over 100 years' work and reaction to events. Human Capital Management reporting will evolve in the face of similar requirements. What this will add up to is - at last - a well-understood and widely-agreed way of measuring the full value of a company and assessing its long-term prospects."
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