Legislators have attacked the government's proposal to set up an accounting investigative body, claiming it may overlap the work of the Securities and Futures Commission. The plan to establish a Financial Reporting Council, which will include two bodies, was discussed at a meeting of the Legislative Council financial affairs panel yesterday. The two bodies are an independent Audit Investigation Board (AIB) to investigate audit failures of listed companies and a Financial Reporting Review Panel (FRRP) to monitor corporate financial statements for non-compliance with accounting or disclosure rules. The AIB, to be headed by a full-time chief executive and staff, will replace the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA) as the authority to investigate audit scandals. Ronny Tong Ka-wah, vice-chairman of the Legislative Council financial affairs panel, opposed the proposal. 'After an investigation by the AIB, it would need to take the result back to the HKICPA to decide on the disciplinary action. At the same time, the Securities and Futures Commission is doing a similar job as the FRRP,' Mr Tong said. 'Under such proposals, there will be a lot of overlapping among the different regulators and a lot of agencies will be involved in the investigation of any false accounting scandals.' His views were shared by Democrat Albert Ho Chun-yan and labour legislator Wong Kwok-hing. Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Frederick Ma Si-hang, defended the proposal. 'There maybe a slight overlapping among the various regulatory bodies but this could be resolved by liaison among the regulators,' Mr Ma said. Sin Chung-kai, the Democratic Party economic affairs spokesman, doubted the proposed $10 million annual budget would be enough.