Exclusive – ACCA faces legal probe

ACCA was plunged into turmoil this week after its council sacked the president-elect, prompting the resignation of a senior council member and an independent legal inquiry into the handling of the high-profile disciplinary case which provoked the crisis.

President-elect Ray Gardiner was forced to step down hours before last Thursday’s agm after the council voted 25 to 10 to back a motion of no confidence in him. Vice president John Brockwell was elected in his place.

Gardiner told Accountancy Age he had been forced out after arguing ACCA should ‘review the balance between the council and its executive’. He planned to use his presidency to make ACCA more open and accountable.

He said he would have asked council to review ‘whether the current wide role of the chief executive is compatible with good corporate governance’.

Pledging to stay on as a council member, he added: ‘As president I would have been guided by the fundamental principle that ACCA exists because it is a professional body. Within that context, council is responsible to ACCA’s global membership.’

He said he wanted to challenge the power of the president to use members’ proxy votes in council elections, a situation he said had resulted in an ‘extremely inexperienced council’.

Council member Tony Cruse resigned on Monday in protest at Gardiner’s treatment.

He said that, as a condition of his resignation, ACCA had agreed to appoint a senior lawyer to investigate the handling of the recent disciplinary case against Robert Jackson.

Gardiner’s evidence in the Jackson case prompted the no-confidence vote. Analysis, page 2.

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