Scots refuse to go public on disciplinary tribunals

ICAS has rejected public disciplinary tribunals, despite disapproval from top
accounting watchdog the
Financial Reporting

The Scottish institute is now the only CCAB body left holding proceedings in
private after the ICAEW announced it would move to public hearings from last

ICAS general counsel Tom McMorrow told Accountancy Age that ICAS had
a long-held principle that until the institute had powers to compel attendance
from parties vital to a tribunal, it would not go public.

‘We’d prefer tribunals to be open, but we don’t have powers to secure
evidence from anyone other than an ICAS member, or the powers to compel
attendance. With an open hearing you won’t get people to attend,’ said McMorrow.

The ICAEW made its move following earlier best practice guidelines from the
Professional Oversight Board (POB), and
the subsequent public hearing of the Mayflower case by the Accountancy
Investigation & Discipline Board.

POB director Paula George said that public hearings were best practice and
expected the accounting bodies to follow its guidance, or explain their reasons
for not doing so. ‘ICAS [has said] why it does not comply; we respect that right
even if we do not agree with it,’ said George.

The ICAEW agreed last week to public hearings following passionate debate
among council members.

Concerns were raised about how to evaluate what circumstances could lead to a
closed case, and some members said the proposals required further discussions.

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