CIMA finally holds open hearings

Link: CIMA in scramble to open up hearings

The hearings, which took place on Monday, were cases against a student, who had been accused of cheating, and a member who, in February of last year, had confessed to charges of fraud against Wandsworth Council.

The accountant pleaded guilty to misconduct in the CIMA hearing. Although the outcome of the case is not yet known, the rogue accountant could face losing his CIMA membership. Other sanctions include fines and those who are judged to be in breach of rules and guilty of misconduct are also made to pay costs of the disciplinary.

The institute first announced its intention to hold public disciplinary hearings in April 2001, saying open hearings would bring more transparency to the accountancy profession. It is also wants to show the process member accountants are required to go through when a complaint against them is made.

But in spite of the importance they seemed to have placed upon the open disciplinaries, the institute postponed them for more than a year, due to a backlog of cases and legal issues.

Bill Connell, chair, Disciplinary Committee, said the postponement was because CIMA wanted to ensure best practice and consider advice from its solicitors and external barristers.

CIMA is expecting at least one monthly meeting to deal with the disciplinary cases. ‘The Disciplinary Committee is working on a rolling three month planning programme as there are a considerable number of people involved in the process of bringing someone before the Committee,’ added Connell.

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