Sanctions for asset stripping and individual director accountability for presiding over corporate failures are long overdue. But too many company boards continue to prioritise short-term profit over long-term value creation. A positive obligation on directors to take steps to prevent serious impacts on employees, suppliers, customers, the community and the environment would change this.
An obvious way of strengthening corporate decision-making is to introduce a requirement to have a worker representative on company boards. The government should now reconsider its decision not to move ahead with this proposal.
Carillion should be the last corporate scandal on a list that is already too long, but unless government does more to change corporate culture, other high-profile company names will inevitably be added.