September 6, 2008
Further to your requests for comments on the director independence test as it relates to any relationships with the company's auditors, I would like to provide a comment for your consideration in that perhaps not all partners of audit firms are the same.
To the extent that an immediate family member is a partner of the firm yet is in the "business consulting arm" of such firm (the person may not even be a CPA/CA but some other specialist), and that individual is in another location and has no possible/probable contact with the audit of the company - that relationship because of the remoteness of location and type of work - while still a partner - would seem to be distant enough ( because any perceived influence is not through the accounting/auditing side of the firm) not to warrant disqualification for a director under independence tests.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment. Should you wish to discuss further I would be pleased to do so at the contact numbers below.
Eric B. Miller