EY auditing Akshaya Patra transactions with temple trusts – Times of India

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BENGALURU: Ernst & Young (EY) is conducting a special audit of Akshaya Patra Foundation (APF)’s transactions with various temple trusts. These are seen as related-party transactions as many leaders of the temple trusts are also leaders in APF or are active in APF. The special audit was initiated in August and was to have been completed in October.
However, APF’s vice-chairman Chanchalapathi Dasa told TOI that EY will assist the former mainly in ascertaining the quantum of food prepared by the related-parties using Akshaya Patra’s kitchen or assets, and in determining a fair price which meets the arms-length test to charge the associated related parties.
Four high-profile independent trustees of the APF resigned this year following concerns that there was no clear arms-length relationship between APF and the temple trusts. They said their efforts to ensure good governance practices had failed. Those who resigned were former Infosys CFOs Mohandas Pai and V Balakrishnan, Raj Kondur, who co-founded Chrys Capital, and Abhay Jain, advisor to Manipal Education & Medical Group.
A note by one of the former members of APF’s audit committee alleged that lack of cooperation by the APF management in providing data and access to related-party books, despite a specific directive by the trustees, had led to the audit being delayed. “It is even doubtful if the audit can conclude in an objective manner given this stance of the related-party leadership who appear to be fully protected by the conflicted leadership at the helm,” it said.
However, Dasa said, “EY are our internal auditors for the last five years. KPMG has been our statutory auditors for the last 18 years. This shows our commitment for good governance. We welcome the recommendations of KPMG and EY and are committed to implementing them.”
Asked about the reasons for the delay in releasing the 2019-20 annual report, Dasa said the special audit by internal auditors is still in progress. “In addition, certain disruptions due to the pandemic. Our new chairman of the audit committee will conclude as soon as possible,” he said.



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