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Disciplinary

Policy

Where the Council concludes that a complaint is sufficiently serious to warrant the exercise of its discretion to refer the matter to the Disciplinary Panels, a Disciplinary Committee will be convened to hear the complaint.

 

Cases referred to the Disciplinary Panels

 

Role

The purpose of a Disciplinary Committee is to deal with formal complaints concerning allegations of misconduct by our members, member practices or registered students pursuant to section 34 of the Professional Accountants Ordinance and by-law 34 of the Professional Accountants By-laws. The proceedings of the Disciplinary Committee are governed by the Disciplinary Committee Proceedings Rules. If a Disciplinary Committee finds the charges against the member, member practice or registered student proven, it will make disciplinary orders setting out the sanctions it considers appropriate to the circumstances.

 

Enabling legislation, authority and guidelines

Part V of the Professional Accountants Ordinance, Cap 50

Disciplinary Committee Proceedings Rules

Guidelines for the Chairman and the Committee on Administering the Disciplinary Committee Proceedings Rules and

background notes to Guidelines

Guideline to Disciplinary Committee for Determining Disciplinary Orders

 

The Process

 

Process Overview

 

1. A Disciplinary Committee comprises five independent persons selected as follows:
   
  a three persons, including the Chairman, from Disciplinary Panel A, which comprises no fewer than 18 lay members appointed by Government; and
     
  b two persons (at least one of whom must hold a practising certificate) from Disciplinary Panel B, which comprises not less than 12 members appointed by the Council of the Institute.
     
2. The Disciplinary Committee considers whether a prima facie case is established against the member, member practice or registered student, and, if so, whether a hearing of the complaint is necessary. A hearing may not be necessary if the complaints are admitted or the Disciplinary Committee considers the matter can be disposed of by consent order.
   
3. If a Disciplinary Committee considers a consent order is appropriate, but either the complainant or the respondent objects to the proposed consent order, that Disciplinary Committee is dissolved and a new Disciplinary Committee is convened to deal with the complaint afresh without regard to any proceedings of the dissolved Disciplinary Committee.
   
4.

Disciplinary hearings are normally conducted in public unless the Disciplinary Committee determines that, in the interests of justice, a hearing or any part of it shall be held in private.

 

 

   
5. If the Disciplinary Committee finds the complaint proven, it makes an order, which may include:
 
  For members/member practices   For registered students
Temporary or permanent removal from membership Removal from student register
Temporary or permanent cancellation of a practising certificate issued to a CPA Suspension of eligibility to sit examinations
Reprimand Reprimand
Penalty < HK$500,000 Admonish
Payment of costs and expenses of proceedings Payment of costs and expenses of proceedings
   
6. If the member, member practice or registered student confirms, in writing, his/her intention to admit the complaint(s), the parties may request the Disciplinary Committee to concur that the steps relating to written submissions and hearing of the complaint(s) be dispensed with and may simply need to make submissions to the Disciplinary Committee as to the appropriate sanction to be imposed under Rule 31 of the Disciplinary Committee Proceedings Rules. This will enable the matter to be brought to a conclusion in a shorter period of time with consequential cost savings for the parties concerned.
     
7. Pursuant to section 41 of the Professional Accountants Ordinance, a certified public accountant may give notice of an appeal to the Court of Appeal within 30 days after he/she is served the order, if he/she is aggrieved by the order made by the Disciplinary Committee under section 35(1) of the Professional Accountants Ordinance.
 
  Pursuant to section 38(2) of the Professional Accountants Ordinance, the Registrar shall not remove the name of a certified public accountant from the register, record a reprimand or penalty or an order to pay costs and expenses or an order in respect of practising certificate in the register by virtue of an order made by a Disciplinary Committee, or enforce payment of a penalty or costs or expenses before the expiry of 30 days after the date of service of the order on the accountant or in the case of an appeal, before the decision of the Court of Appeal on such appeal.
 
8. The order of the Disciplinary Committee will be published in:
     
  The Institute magazine - "A Plus"
  Press release
  Gazette (removal orders only)
  The Institute website
  
9. Publication Policy:

 

Disciplinary and regulatory findings will be published on the Institute's website for five years.

Once the findings are removed from this website, details of the matter may still be available on other websites or in search results.

 

 

 

 

 

Statistics

 

Number of disciplinary cases handled:

 

  2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
At beginning of year 28 21 24 20 18 11
  Council referral 32 21 20 25 24 16
  Caseload 60 42 44 45 42 27
  Closed (18) (14) (23) (21) (22) (9)
At end of year 42 28 21 24 20 18