PracticeAuditCIMA in scramble to open up hearings

CIMA in scramble to open up hearings

Pressured by heightened concern over best practice in the profession, CIMA is scrambling to publicise and open up its disciplinary hearings one year after the by-laws allowing the move were passed.

Last April, CIMA announced it would begin to hold open disciplinaries in July. But a backlog of cases under the old laws and other technical difficulties delayed the process.

But now the cases have been cleared, there are 36 ongoing cases under the new laws in the investigation stage and the institute expects the first open disciplinary hearing to take place in April 2002.

Mandie Lavin, director of professional standards, explained that under the current climate of heightened public concern it was of the utmost importance to have public hearings.

She said: ‘It is important to show the public we are doing something. There is an unprecedented focus [on the profession] on a global front.

‘The days of closed disciplinaries are long gone.’

In the last two weeks the Accountancy Foundation has examined CIMA’s open disciplinaries. They claimed CIMA’s decision came as there is a move towards more openness and passing of human rights legislation.

The institute has recently expelled three of its members, including Janine Pattison, who was expelled in May of last year after being indicted on eleven counts of false accounting.

The only institutes that do not have open disciplinaries are the ICAEW and the ICAS. It is understood they prefer closed hearings because they believe these allow more open argument.

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