ACCA accused of launching personal attack on former council members

Anthony Thomas and Tony Cruse said a 20-page document sent out by ACCA with voting papers for the £80,000 egm mentioned them by name together with ousted former deputy president Ray Gardiner.

The ACCA document includes details of Thomas’s record on council and the events leading up to a council vote of no confidence in Gardiner over his role in a disciplinary case brought against fellow council member Robert Jackson.

The paper says: ‘It seems that a number of signatories of the resolution wish to return to this matter and that is why they are raising the issue of the way in which ACCA’s officers are elected by their colleagues on council.’

Gardiner said: ‘I did not sign the resolution although members could be misled into concluding I was one of the two council members referred to in the analysis of signatories.’

Thomas criticised the personal nature of the response from ACCA saying it had failed to answer several detailed claims in the resolution, including funding arrangements for oversees students. ‘ACCA has totally failed to deal with a number of important things,’ he said.

An ACCA spokesman said the papers had included details of the Jackson and Gardiner affairs in order to demonstrate the workings of ACCA’s corporate governance structures. ‘We have been at the forefront of corporate governance development and we feel that the members should have the full facts,’ he said.

ACCA chief executive Anthea Rose has defended the association’s corporate governance record, arguing that the council itself has thoroughly overhauled the structures in recent years.

Thomas and Cruse’s resolution calls for an independent inquiry claiming the association ‘acts more like a plc interested in growth and international expansion rather than a professional accountancy body serving the interests of members’.

The ACCA’s egm paper says: ‘Council is not a club for a group of friends. Such a culture is not appropriate to the issues with which ACCA now has to deal, and environment in which it operates, its growth, status and influence, the range of its activities and its responsibilities.’

Date set for airing of ACCA governance row

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