The Accountancy and Actuarial Discipline Board (AADB), a part of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), has published a feedback statement on the changes being made to its Accountancy Scheme. The board finalised its proposals following a wide-ranging review of the Accountancy Scheme, a public consultation and discussions with the professional bodies that participate in the Accountancy Scheme.
The proposed changes are designed to uphold the principles of fairness, transparency and proportionality and to ensure the continued provision of a “demonstrably fair, independent and expert system for investigating and, where appropriate, hearing significant public interest disciplinary cases” (AADB Aims and
Key changes being made to the Accountancy Scheme include:
- A change to the evidential test to be applied before a matter proceeds to a disciplinary tribunal and the introduction of a desirability test.
- New procedures to appoint tribunal and appeal tribunal members by an independent convener.
- A new power to conduct preliminary enquiries, subject to an agreed protocol, before making a decision to investigate.
- Restriction of the tribunal’s discretion to award costs against the board to circumstances where the AADB is found to have acted ‘unreasonably’.
- Changes to the tribunal’s voting arrangements.
Timothy Walker, chairman of the AADB, said: “The changes we are making demonstrate the board’s commitment to the principles of independence, fairness and transparency in its disciplinary arrangements. They are the result of extensive consultation with the participants and others. We welcome the support of the participants for these changes, which we believe will further strengthen the disciplinary process in public interest cases. We anticipate the changes will come into effect in January 2010 at the latest.”
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