Settlement reached between Margaret May and CIMA

AFTER A seven-year saga, a result has been reached between Margaret May and CIMA over misconduct.

CIMA‘s Professional Standards Department released yesterday the out of court settlement that was made regarding May and all outstanding issues following a Judicial Review that cleared her of all charges.

May said: “I am delighted that the disciplinary findings of dishonesty and lack of integrity against me have been quashed.”

Margaret May was a fellow of CIMA and had been an elected member of the Governing Council since 1994.

In March 2010, whilst carrying out council member duties of the Executive Committee and as chairman of the Member Services Committee, two complaints were made against her.

The first arose from emails following a meeting of the Executive Committee. The second was from her disclosure to members of a “strictly private and confidential” letter sent to her by the then CIMA chief executive Charles Tilley in which he responded to her email about his Great Ormond Street Hospital non-executive directorship.

Both complaints were raised under the Code of Best Practice for Council Members and referred to a Disciplinary Committee (DC). The allegations were heard originally at a DC hearing, in relation to both charges of engaging in unprofessional behaviour and failing to act with integrity. It found May guilty of misconduct and imposed a sanction of reprimand and ordered her to pay costs.

May appealed the findings to the Appeal Committee (AC) which upheld the appeal on the first charge, ruling that there was no evidence of dishonest conduct by ordinary standards, and overturned the disciplinary ruling. However, the appeal of the second charge was dismissed, ruling that confidentiality should have been respected.

In disclosing the letter, May was seeking to draw attention to an issue important to CIMA’s reputation. The AC acknowledged this and upheld the sanction of reprimand, which was reduced to £10,000 from £55,000. Although, CIMA had spent at least £179,000 on the misconduct case.

May sought a judicial review of the AC decision through the Administrative Court, which upon review, held that the AC’s finding of a confidentiality breach was in error, as the disclosed information was not confidential.

The Court ordered that the following be substituted for the decision of the AC: that May’s appeal should succeed and that she should not be subject to any sanction.

As a result of the Administrative Court’s findings (on application of Margaret May v CIMA 2013), May was cleared of all charges and findings.

May added: “I was just doing my job as a council member on behalf of the membership. It is my belief that this action was taken because I was challenging the leadership team and highlighting continuing failures. I felt obliged to defend the charge, not only to clear my own name, but in order to ensure that council members were not cowed in their duties.”

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