In reference to the Regulation 18 (25) (B) (i) of SEBI (Mutual Funds) Regulations, 1996 which states that Trustees are required to obtain internal audit reports at regular intervals from independent auditors appointed by the Trustees. SEBI has issued a circular which would come into effect from 01 October 2020 mentioning that Trustees are required to appoint a dedicated officer having professional qualification and minimum 5 years of experience in finance and financial services related fields. The officer would be an employee of the Trustees and would directly report to the Trustees. The said officer would be treated as an access person in terms of SEBI CircularNo.MFD/CIR No.4/216/2001 dated May 08, 2001.
However, it has been clarified that Trustees would still have liability of discharging the fiduciary responsibilities as cast upon them in the SEBI (Mutual Funds) Regulations, 1996. In addition, Trustees would be having standing arrangement with independent firms for special purposes audit and/ or to seek legal advice in case of any requirement as identified and whenever considered necessary.