THE ROLE OF A COMPANY SECRETARY IN THE MODERN ERA

THE ROLE OF A COMPANY SECRETARY IN THE MODERN ERA


Introduction

The role of a company secretary has been subject to significant evolution over the last century. According to Black’s Law Dictionary, 5th Edition of 1979,  a secretary is defined as  “an officer charged with the direction and management of that part of the business of the company which is concerned with keeping the records, the official correspondence, with giving and receiving notices, countersigning documents, etc.”. From the above definition, we tend to understand, limit and ascribe the functions of a company secretary to the task of writing and keeping records, tasks that are likened to a scribe.

 

Following the displays of weak corporate governance systems in the United Kingdom i.e.  permitting the Maxwell Communications to file for bankruptcy protection despite the  series of risky acquisitions which led Maxwell Communications into significant debts, the subsequent discovery that the Mirror Group’s (an affiliate company of Maxwell) debts, vastly outweighed its assets, and the misappropriation of about £440 millions (GBP) from the company’s pension funds. Coupled with the circumstances, which led to the collapse of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) and Polly Peck, a company that reported very high profits in a year proceeding to declare bankruptcy the next, it became evident that there were governance failures in the UK corporate governance systems….Continue reading