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Statutes of Newfoundland and Labrador 2009


CHAPTER P-35.1

AN ACT RESPECTING PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS

(Assented to December 22, 2009)

Analysis


††††††† 1. Short title

††††††† 2. Definitions

††††††† 3. Board incorporated

††††††† 4. Appointment by minister

††††††† 5. Meetings

††††††† 6. Fees

††††††† 7. By-laws

††††††† 8. Annual report

††††††† 9. Licensure

††††† 10. Register

††††† 11. Titles which public accountants may use

††††† 12. Date of licence

††††† 13. Definitions

††††† 14. Professional corporation

††††† 15. Corporate register

††††† 16. Annual certificate

††††† 17. Revocation of certificate

††††† 18. Effect of incorporation

††††† 19. Liability of member

††††† 20. Misconduct of a professional corporation

††††† 21. Limited liability partnerships

††††† 22. Definitions

††††† 23. Complaints and disciplinary panel

††††† 24. Allegation

††††† 25. Effect of filing allegation

††††† 26. Complaints authorization committee

††††† 27. Adjudication tribunal

††††† 28. Hearing

††††† 29. Copies of books, etc. as evidence

††††† 30. Guilty plea by respondent

††††† 31. Powers of adjudication tribunal

††††† 32. Filing and publication of decisions

††††† 33. De-registration and suspension

††††† 34. Failure to comply

††††† 35. Re-hearing

††††† 36. Costs of board

††††† 37. Collection of fine

††††† 38. Appeal to Trial Division

††††† 39. Action prohibited

††††† 40. Regulations

††††† 41. Practice prohibited

††††† 42. RSNL1990 cP-35 Rep.

††††† 43. Commencement


Be it enacted by the Lieutenant-Governor and House of Assembly in Legislative Session convened, as follows:

Short title

††††††† 1. This Act may be cited as the Public Accountants Act.

Definitions

††††††† 2. In this Act

†††††††††††† (a)"board" means the Public Accountants Licensing Board continued under section 3;

†††††††††††† (b)"minister" means the minister appointed under the Executive Council Act to administer this Act;

†††††††††††† (c)"public accountant" means a person who, either alone or in partnership or through a corporation to which sections 13 to 20 apply, engages in public practice involving

††††††††††††††††††††† (i)the performance of services which include the auditing of accounts and the preparing, signing, delivering or issuing, of a financial, accounting or related statement, and

†††††††††††††††††††† (ii)issuing a written opinion, certificate, report or statement of the public accountant as to the correctness, fairness, completeness or reasonableness, or otherwise of a financial, accounting or related statement where, because of the circumstances, or of the signature, stationery or wording employed it is indicated that the person or partnership or corporation acts or purports to act in relation to the opinion, certificate, report or statement as an independent accountant or auditor, or as a person or partnership or corporation having or purporting to have expert knowledge in accounting or auditing matters, to the intent that the opinion, certificate, report or statement of the public accountant shall add to or detract from the credibility or acceptability of the financial, accounting or related statement in respect of which it is made,

but does not include a person who engages only in bookkeeping or cost accounting or in the installation of bookkeeping, business or cost systems or who performs accounting or auditing functions exclusively in respect of a public authority or a commission, committee or emanation of one, including a Crown corporation;

†††††††††††† (d)"register" means the Register of Public Accountants of Newfoundland and Labrador referred to in section 10; and

†††††††††††† (e)"registrar" means the registrar appointed under subsection 3(4).

Board incorporated

††††††† 3. (1) The Public Accountancy Licensing Board is continued as a corporation without share capital for the purposes of Part XXI of the Corporations Act.

†††††††††††† (2)The board shall consist of

†††††††††††† (a)6 members elected in accordance with subsection (3); and

†††††††††††† (b)3 members appointed under section 4 who are not members of a body referred to in subsection (3).

†††††††††††† (3)The members of the board referred to in paragraph (2)(a) shall be elected as follows:

†††††††††††† (a)2 persons, who are members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Newfoundland and Labrador, elected by the institute;

†††††††††††† (b)2 persons, who are members of the Certified General Accountants Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, elected by the association; and

†††††††††††† (c)2 persons, who are members of the Society of Management Accountants of Newfoundland and Labrador, elected by the society.

†††††††††††† (4)The board shall elect from among the appointed members a chairperson and a registrar.

†††††††††††† (5)The chairperson, or an appointed member designated by him or her, shall chair the meetings of the board.

†††††††††††† (6)Where a person elected under subsection (3) holds office for a period of 9 consecutive years the person is not eligible for election as a member of the board until the expiration of 12 months from the end of the year in which he or she was last a member.

†††††††††††† (7)An elected member may resign his or her office by written notice to the board.

†††††††††††† (8)Where an elected member resigns, dies or becomes incapable of performing his or her duties, the institute, association or society of which he or she was a member shall appoint a replacement member to serve until the expiry of the term of that elected member.

†††††††††††† (9)Where the term of office of a member of the board expires and a successor has not been elected or appointed, the member may continue to hold office until a successor is elected or appointed but time served by that member under this subsection shall not be counted for the purpose of subsection (6).

†††††††††† (10)Elected members shall serve without payment for their services, but their travel and other expenses associated with their duties as members may be paid by the board, in accordance with the by-laws.

†††††††††† (11)The board may pay the registrar for performing his or her duties under this Act, in accordance with the by-laws.

†††††††††† (12)Notwithstanding subsection (6), one of the members first appointed under paragraphs (3)(a), (b) and (c) shall be appointed for a term of 2 years.

Appointment by minister

††††††† 4. (1) The minister shall appoint as members of the board 3 persons who are not members of an organization referred to in subsection 3(3) who are suitable to represent the public interest.

†††††††††††† (2)A person appointed under subsection (1) holds office for a term of 3 years and is eligible to be re-appointed.

†††††††††††† (3)Where a person appointed under subsection (1) holds office for a period of 9 consecutive years the person is not eligible for appointment as a member of the board until the expiration of 12 months from the end of the year in which he or she was last a member.

†††††††††††† (4)Where the term of an appointed member expires, he or she continues to be a member until re-appointed or replaced.

†††††††††††† (5)The board shall pay the expenses of a person appointed under this section in accordance with guidelines established by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.

†††††††††††† (6)A person appointed under subsection (1) may resign his or her appointment by written notice to the minister and shall provide a copy to the chairperson of the board.

†††††††††††† (7)A person appointed under subsection (1) may be removed from office by the minister before the expiration of his or her term of office and no compensation shall be paid to him or her other than an amount owing under subsection (5).

†††††††††††† (8)Notwithstanding subsection (2), one of the members first appointed under subsection (1) shall be appointed for a term of one year.

Meetings

††††††† 5. (1) A quorum of the board is 5 members, consisting of

†††††††††††† (a)at least one member elected under paragraph 3(3)(a);

†††††††††††† (b)at least one member elected under paragraph 3(3)(b);

†††††††††††† (c)at least one member elected under paragraph 3(3)(c); and

†††††††††††† (d)an appointed member.

†††††††††††† (2)Except where prohibited in the by-laws, a member may, where all the members consent, participate in a meeting of the board by means of the telephone or other telecommunication device that permits all persons participating in the meeting to communicate with each other.

†††††††††††† (3)Where a quorum under subsection (1) exists, a majority of that number is sufficient to make a decision, and in the event of a tie the chairperson of the meeting shall cast the deciding vote.

†††††††††††† (4)In the absence of the chairperson, the members of the board in attendance at a meeting may appoint another member to chair that meeting.

†††††††††††† (5)The board shall appoint annually an auditor to audit the accounts of the board and report on the financial statement prepared by the board.

†††††††††††† (6)The board may in its by-laws provide for voting at a meeting of the board by mail or electronic means.

Fees

††††††† 6. (1) In prescribing the fees payable under this Act, the board shall, so far as it is practicable, ensure that the amount of fees is sufficient to enable it to discharge its duties under this Act.

†††††††††††† (2)All money received by the board shall be applied by it to its duties under this Act.

By-laws

††††††† 7. (1) The board may make by-laws not inconsistent with this Act respecting

†††††††††††† (a)the holding and procedure of its meetings;

†††††††††††† (b)the appointment of committees and the duties and responsibilities of those committees;

†††††††††††† (c)the election of members of the board under subsection 3(3) and setting the terms of office;

†††††††††††† (d)the payment of travel and other expenses of elected members of the board;

†††††††††††† (e)the employment and remuneration of staff and consultants;

††††††††††††† (f)a code of ethics which shall include

††††††††††††††††††††† (i)a definition of "professional misconduct" and "conduct unbecoming" for the purposes of sections 22 to 39,

†††††††††††††††††††† (ii)provisions respecting conflict of interest, and

††††††††††††††††††† (iii)rules respecting methods of advertising;

†††††††††††† (g)the remuneration and payment of travel expenses of members of adjudication tribunals;

†††††††††††† (h)the participation of members at a meeting of the board by telephone or other telecommunications device under section 5; and

††††††††††††† (i)voting by members by mail or electronic means.

†††††††††††† (2)A by-law may be made, amended or repealed at a meeting of the board provided that 30 days notice, in writing, of the making, amendment or repeal of the by-law and of the meeting are given to members of the board.

†††††††††††† (3)The board shall have its by-laws available for inspection by the public on reasonable notice and at reasonable hours.

Annual report

††††††† 8. (1) The board shall prepare and submit to the minister not later than 6 months after the end of its financial year

†††††††††††† (a)a report on the activities of the board in the previous year; and

†††††††††††† (b)the board's audited financial statements for the previous financial year.

†††††††††††† (2)The minister shall table a copy of the annual report and the audited financial statement in the House of Assembly within 15 days of receiving it if the house is sitting and if the house is not sitting within 15 days after it next begins to sit.

†††††††††††† (3)Where the board fails to comply with subsection (1), the board is guilty of an offence and on summary conviction may be fined $1,000.

Licensure

††††††† 9. (1) A person who

†††††††††††† (a)has met the requirement for licensure that may be prescribed by the board; and

†††††††††††† (b)pays the licensing fee set by the board,

is entitled to be licensed as a public accountant.

†††††††††††† (2)As a condition of being issued a licence, a person shall provide proof that he or she has obtained professional liability insurance coverage in a form and amount satisfactory to the board.

Register

††††† 10. (1) The registrar shall keep a register in which shall be entered the names of all persons licensed under this Act.

†††††††††††† (2)The register shall be open to inspection by a member of the public during normal business hours at the office of the board.

Titles which public accountants may use

††††† 11. (1) The board, upon issuing a licence to practise as a public accountant, shall assign to the licensee the titles or identifying words or abbreviations which the licensee may attach to his or her name when practising or in private employment.

†††††††††††† (2)A person practising as a public accountant shall not use or advertise distinguishing titles of identifying words or abbreviations other than those assigned to him or her by the board.

Date of licence

††††† 12. (1) A licence issued or renewed under this Act shall state the date on which it is granted or renewed.

†††††††††††† (2)A licence granted or renewed under this Act expires on December 31 following the date of its issue.

†††††††††††† (3)Notwithstanding subsection (2), a licence-holder has 31 days to the end of January following, to renew his or her licence and pay the fee, and during that period he or she shall be considered still to be licensed.

†††††††††††† (4)A person holding a licence under this Act who wishes to have the licence renewed shall apply to the board and shall pay the prescribed fee.

†††††††††††† (5)A person holding a licence under this Act who has applied to the board under this section shall be entitled to have the licence renewed, but nothing in this subsection prejudices or affects the right of the board to revoke a licence under this Act.

Definitions

††††† 13. In sections 14 to 20

†††††††††††† (a)"non-voting share" means an issued share of a professional corporation that is not a voting share; and

†††††††††††† (b)"voting share" means an issued share of a professional corporation with the right to vote at a meeting of shareholders attached to it.

Professional corporation

††††† 14. (1) One or more public accountants may incorporate a corporation to provide the services of a public accountant.

†††††††††††† (2)The corporation shall be incorporated under the Corporations Act.

†††††††††††† (3)The name of the corporation shall meet the requirements of subsection 17(1) of the Corporations Act.

†††††††††††† (4)A corporation shall not provide the services of a public accountant unless it is registered and certified under this Act.

Corporate register

††††† 15. (1) The registrar shall maintain a register of professional corporations in which shall be entered the names of those corporations permitted under this Act to provide the services of a public accountant.

†††††††††††† (2)The board shall direct the registrar to register a professional corporation that establishes that

†††††††††††† (a)all the voting shares of the corporation are beneficially owned by and registered in the name of one or more public accountants and there is no restriction on the right of each public accountant to exercise his or her vote as he or she wishes to;

†††††††††††† (b)the non-voting shares are owned by a natural person;

†††††††††††† (c)all the directors of the corporation are public accountants, and there is no agreement restricting the powers of the directors to manage the business and affairs of the corporation in relation to the provision of services of public accountants;

†††††††††††† (d)all of the persons who will be providing the services of public accountants as employees of or on behalf of the corporation are public accountants;

†††††††††††† (e)the articles of the corporation restrict it to providing the services of a public accountant and related matters;

††††††††††††† (f)the corporation is in good standing under the Corporations Act; and

†††††††††††† (g)the corporation has complied with other requirements for registration in the regulations made under section 40.

†††††††††††† (3)The corporate register shall be published in accordance with section 10 and a copy of the register shall be available for inspection under that section.

†††††††††††† (4)The board may enter into a reciprocal agreement with a board, association or other body having responsibility for the certification of public accountants in another jurisdiction for the registration of corporations from that jurisdiction in the register.

†††††††††††† (5)Notwithstanding subsection (2), the voting shares of a professional corporation may be held by

†††††††††††† (a)an executor or administrator of the estate of a deceased public accountant to discharge the duties of that position; or

†††††††††††† (b)a trustee in bankruptcy to discharge his or her duties as trustee in respect of the corporation or a public accountant,

for no longer than 180 days, or a longer period where the registrar permits.

Annual certificate

††††† 16. (1) A professional corporation may apply for a certificate to provide the services of a public accountant in the province and the board shall certify the corporation where

†††††††††††† (a)the professional corporation is registered under this Act;

†††††††††††† (b)the application is accompanied by a fee which may be established by the board; and

†††††††††††† (c)the professional corporation continues to meet the requirements for registration set out in section 15 and other requirements for being certified which may be set out in this Act and the regulations made under section 40.

†††††††††††† (2)The holder of a certificate issued under this section is entitled to recover from a person, in a court of the province having jurisdiction to order payment from the person, reasonable charges for the provision of professional services by the certificate holder.

†††††††††††† (3)A certificate issued under this section expires on January 15 following the day upon which it comes into force.

Revocation of certificate

††††† 17. A certificate issued under section 16 may be revoked by the board where

†††††††††††† (a)the professional corporation ceases to meet a requirement for registration and certification under this Act;

†††††††††††† (b)the professional corporation contravenes this Act or the regulations; or

†††††††††††† (c)a public accountant is disciplined under sections 22 to 39 in respect of professional services performed by him or her as an employee of or on behalf of the professional corporation.

Effect of incorporation

††††† 18. (1) A public accountant who provides professional services to or through a professional corporation is, notwithstanding his or her relationship to the professional corporation or the relationship between the recipient of those services and the professional corporation, subject to

†††††††††††† (a)the application of this Act as if he or she were providing services as an individual public accountant; and

†††††††††††† (b)the same duties and responsibilities in connection with his or her dealings with recipients of the services of the professional corporation as if he or she were providing services directly to those recipients.

†††††††††††† (2)The relationship between a professional corporation and a person receiving services from or through the corporation is subject to the laws relating to the confidential and ethical relationship between a public accountant and his or her client.

†††††††††††† (3)All rights and obligations pertaining to communications made to, or information received by, public accountants apply to the shareholders, directors, officers and employees of a professional corporation.

Liability of member

††††† 19. (1) Notwithstanding a provision to the contrary in the Corporations Act, a public accountant who provides services as a public accountant through or on behalf of a professional corporation is liable to a person in relation to those services to the same extent and in the same manner as if the public accountant provided those services as an individual and that liability is not affected because of the public accountant's relationship to the professional corporation as a shareholder, director, officer, employee or in another capacity.

†††††††††††† (2)A public accountant is jointly and individually liable with a professional corporation for all claims made against the corporation in connection with the provision of services by the public accountant.

†††††††††††† (3)In this section "public accountant" includes a person formerly licensed under this Act or a predecessor Act as a public accountant.

Misconduct of a professional corporation

††††† 20. (1) A public accountant is liable to be disciplined under sections 22 to 39 for the actions or conduct of a professional corporation while the public accountant was a shareholder, director, officer or employee of the professional corporation.

†††††††††††† (2)A public accountant shall not be liable to discipline under subsection (1) where the public accountant proves that he or she did not know and could not reasonably have known about the relevant actions or conduct of the professional corporation.

†††††††††††† (3)A power of inspection, investigation or inquiry that may be exercised in respect of a public accountant under section 26 may be exercised in respect of a professional corporation or its records in connection with an inquiry under subsection (1).

†††††††††††† (4)A professional corporation is jointly and individually liable with the public accountant for all fines and costs the public accountant is ordered to pay in connection with an inquiry under subsection (1).

†††††††††††† (5)In this section, "public accountant" includes a person formerly licensed under this Act or a predecessor Act as a public accountant.

Limited liability partnerships

††††† 21. Two or more persons licensed under this Act to practice as public accountants are eligible, as required by section 56 of the Partnership Act, to apply to be registered under that Act as a limited liability partnership.

Definitions

††††† 22. In this section and sections 23 to 39,

†††††††††††† (a)"allegation" means a written document alleging that a person has engaged in conduct deserving of sanction;

†††††††††††† (b)"complainant" means a person making an allegation described in section 24;

†††††††††††† (c)"conduct deserving of sanction" includes

††††††††††††††††††††† (i)professional misconduct,

†††††††††††††††††††† (ii)professional incompetence,

††††††††††††††††††† (iii)conduct unbecoming a public accountant,

††††††††††††††††††† (iv)incapacity or unfitness to practise as a public accountant, and

†††††††††††††††††††† (v)acting in breach of this Act, the regulations or the code of ethics made under section 7;

†††††††††††† (d)"costs incurred by the board" includes

††††††††††††††††††††† (i)out of pocket expenses incurred by or on behalf of the board,

†††††††††††††††††††† (ii)amounts paid by the board to adjudication tribunal members as remuneration and for expenses, and

††††††††††††††††††† (iii)the actual cost of legal counsel for the board and the adjudication tribunal;

†††††††††††† (e)"disciplinary panel" means the panel of persons appointed under section 23 from which the members of an adjudication tribunal are chosen; and

††††††††††††† (f)"respondent" means a public accountant or former public accountant, a corporation to which sections 13 to 20 apply or a former corporation against whom an allegation is made.

Complaints and disciplinary panel

††††† 23. (1) The board shall appoint at least 3 members, at least one of whom is a member appointed under section 4, to constitute a complaints authorization committee.

†††††††††††† (2)The registrar is not eligible to be a member of the complaints authorization committee.

†††††††††††† (3)The board shall appoint the chairperson and vice-chairperson of the complaints authorization committee from the persons appointed under subsection (1).

†††††††††††† (4)The board shall appoint at least 7 public accountants who are not members of the board, one of whom shall be appointed to serve as chairperson, and the minister shall appoint at least 2 persons who are not public accountants to represent the public interest, who shall together constitute a disciplinary panel.

†††††††††††† (5)Of the members first appointed to the disciplinary panel, one half shall be appointed for a term of 2 years and the remainder for a term of 3 years and all subsequent appointments of members to the disciplinary panel shall be for a term of 3 years.

†††††††††††† (6)Notwithstanding the expiry of his or her term, a member of the disciplinary panel continues to be a member until he or she is re-appointed or his or her replacement is appointed.

†††††††††††† (7)Persons appointed to the disciplinary panel may be reappointed.

†††††††††††† (8)Members of the disciplinary panel shall serve on the panel without payment for their services, but may be remunerated for service as a member of an adjudication tribunal and paid their travel and other expenses associated with the work of that tribunal by the board, in accordance with and at the rates set by the by-laws.

†††††††††††† (9)The complaints authorization committee and an adjudication tribunal appointed under section 27 and a person appointed by either of them may summon witnesses and require those witnesses to give evidence, orally or in writing, upon oath or affirmation, and produce the documents and things that either of them considers necessary to the full investigation and hearing of an allegation or complaint and have the powers, privileges and immunities that are conferred on a commissioner appointed under the Public Inquiries Act, 2006.

Allegation

††††† 24. (1) An allegation shall be in writing and signed by the complainant or his or her solicitor, and filed with the registrar.

†††††††††††† (2)The registrar may on his or her own motion make an allegation and file it, and the allegation has the same effect as an allegation referred to in subsection (1).

†††††††††††† (3)Where the registrar has been informed that a respondent has been convicted of an offence under the provisions of the Criminal Code or a similar penal statute of another country or has been suspended by a licensing body for public accountants in another province or territory of Canada or another territory or country for reason of professional misconduct, conduct unbecoming a public accountant, or professional incompetence, the information shall be dealt with by the chairperson as an allegation.

†††††††††††† (4)For the purpose of subsection (3), a certified copy of the record of a conviction or findings made or the action taken by an external regulatory body constitutes proof, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, of the conviction or findings made or the action taken by that body, without proof of the signature of the convicting justice or person purporting to have signed on behalf of that body.

Effect of filing allegation

††††† 25. (1) Where it appears to the registrar after notifying the respondent of the allegation that the allegation may be resolved satisfactorily and where the complainant and the respondent consent, the registrar may attempt to resolve the matter.

†††††††††††† (2)Where the allegation is not satisfactorily resolved by the registrar under subsection (1), he or she shall refer the allegation to the complaints authorization committee.

†††††††††††† (3)The registrar shall inform a complainant and a respondent of the referral of the allegation to the complaints authorization committee.

Complaints authorization committee

††††† 26. (1) Where an allegation has been submitted to the complaints authorization committee, the committee may exercise one or more of the following powers:

†††††††††††† (a)refer the allegation back to the registrar for an investigation or alternative dispute resolution in accordance with the regulations;

†††††††††††† (b)conduct an investigation itself or appoint a person to conduct an investigation on its behalf;

†††††††††††† (c)conduct a practice review into the respondent's practice or the conduct of a corporation to which sections 13 to 20 apply of which the respondent is a voting shareholder; and

†††††††††††† (d)require the respondent to appear before it.

†††††††††††† (2)Where the complaints authorization committee is of the opinion there are no reasonable grounds to believe the respondent has engaged in conduct deserving of sanction, the committee shall dismiss the allegation and give notice in writing of the dismissal to the complainant.

†††††††††††† (3)Where the complaints authorization committee is of the opinion that there are reasonable grounds to believe that a respondent has engaged in conduct deserving of sanction, the allegation is considered to constitute a complaint, and the committee may

†††††††††††† (a)counsel or caution the respondent; or

†††††††††††† (b)instruct the registrar to file the complaint against the respondent and refer it to the adjudication tribunal; and

†††††††††††† (c)suspend or restrict the respondent's licence to practice.

†††††††††††† (4)Where the complaints authorization committee suspends a licence under subsection (3), the committee shall give notice of the suspension to the public as required by the regulations.

†††††††††††† (5)A person conducting an investigation under subsection (1) may

†††††††††††† (a)require a respondent to

††††††††††††††††††††† (i)undergo an examination he or she considers necessary and as arranged by the registrar, and

†††††††††††††††††††† (ii)permit the registrar or a member of the complaints authorization committee or a person appointed by the complaints authorization committee to inspect and copy the records of the respondent and other documents relating to the subject matter of the investigation; and

†††††††††††† (b)require another person to permit the registrar or a member of the complaints authorization committee or another person appointed by the complaints authorization committee to inspect and copy records and other documents relating to the subject matter of the investigation held by that person,

and the respondent or other person shall comply.

†††††††††††† (6)Where the registrar, a member of the complaints authorization committee or a person appointed by the authorization committee requests that a respondent or another person provide information under subsection (5), that information shall be provided within 7 days of receipt of the request or a different period as specified in the request.

†††††††††††† (7)An action for damages does not lie against a public accountant or another person to whom a request is made solely because he or she provides information requested of him or her under subsection (5).

†††††††††††† (8)A complainant whose allegation is dismissed by the complaints authorization committee under subsection (2) may, within 30 days after receiving notice of the dismissal, appeal the dismissal to the Trial Division by filing a notice of appeal with the Registrar of the Supreme Court.

†††††††††††† (9)Subsections (5), (6) and (7) apply to the Crown.

Adjudication tribunal

††††† 27. (1) For the purpose of dealing with complaints referred to the disciplinary panel, the chairperson of the disciplinary panel shall appoint from it an adjudication tribunal consisting of 3 persons, of whom 2 shall be public accountants and one shall be a representative of the public interest.

†††††††††††† (2)The chairperson of the disciplinary panel shall appoint one of the public accountants on an adjudication tribunal to be the chairperson.

Hearing

††††† 28. (1) Where a complaint has been referred under paragraph 26(3)(b), an adjudication tribunal shall hear the complaint.

†††††††††††† (2)The parties to a hearing are the board and the respondent and a party may be represented by his or her counsel at a hearing.

†††††††††††† (3)A hearing shall be conducted in public but an adjudication tribunal may exclude the public from a hearing, or from part of it, where it considers the desirability of protecting a party to the complaint or a witness against the consequences of possible disclosure of personal matters outweigh the desirability of holding the hearing in public.

Copies of books, etc. as evidence

††††† 29. A copy or extract of a book, record, document or thing certified by

†††††††††††† (a)a member of the complaints authorization committee; or

†††††††††††† (b)a person authorized under subsection 26(5) to conduct an inspection,

who made the copy or extract under subsection 26(5) is admissible in evidence in an action, proceeding or prosecution, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, as evidence of the original book, record, document or thing and its contents.

Guilty plea by respondent

††††† 30. (1) Where a respondent pleads guilty to one or more of the charges set out in a complaint, the adjudication tribunal shall, without calling evidence or hearing witnesses, unless the tribunal believes it is appropriate to do so, hear submissions from the parties.

†††††††††††† (2)Where a respondent pleads guilty, and following submissions under subsection (1), the adjudication tribunal may

†††††††††††† (a)reprimand the respondent;

†††††††††††† (b)order that the respondent be suspended for a fixed period that it considers appropriate, until conditions which it may impose are fulfilled, or until further order of the adjudication tribunal;

†††††††††††† (c)allow or direct the respondent to surrender his or her licence to the board upon those conditions that may be considered appropriate and strike the respondentís name from the register;

†††††††††††† (d)impose a fine not to exceed $10,000 to be paid to the board;

†††††††††††† (e)order that the respondent pay the costs or a part of the costs incurred by the board in the investigation and hearing of the complaint;

††††††††††††† (f)order that the registrar publish a summary of the decision including the information set out in subsection 32(4) and other information that the tribunal may specify; and

†††††††††††† (g)order that the respondent comply with one or more of the following:

††††††††††††††††††††† (i)make restitution to the complainant or other person affected by the conduct of the respondent,

†††††††††††††††††††† (ii)obtain medical treatment,

††††††††††††††††††† (iii)obtain counselling,

††††††††††††††††††† (iv)obtain substance abuse counselling or treatment, until the respondent can demonstrate to the board or other body or person designated by the adjudication tribunal that a condition related to substance abuse rendering the respondent incapable or unfit to practise has been overcome,

†††††††††††††††††††† (v)engage in continuing education programs,

††††††††††††††††††† (vi)complete a course of studies satisfactory to the board or another body or person designated by the adjudication tribunal,

†††††††††††††††††† (vii)report on his or her compliance with an order made under this section and authorize others involved with his or her treatment or supervision to report on it,

††††††††††††††††† (viii)restrict his or her professional practice or continue his or her practice under specified conditions,

††††††††††††††††††† (ix)permit periodic inspection of records relating to his or her practice, or

†††††††††††††††††††† (x)impose other requirements that are just and reasonable in the circumstances.

†††††††††††† (3)The costs incurred by the board to ensure the compliance of a respondent with an order or direction of an adjudication tribunal under this section shall be borne by the respondent.

Powers of adjudication tribunal

††††† 31. (1) Upon hearing a complaint, an adjudication tribunal shall decide whether or not a respondent is guilty of conduct deserving of sanction.

†††††††††††† (2)Where an adjudication tribunal decides that a respondent is not guilty, it shall dismiss the complaint and may, where it believes that the submission of the complaint to the tribunal for a hearing was unreasonable,

†††††††††††† (a)order that those costs that the tribunal considers appropriate be paid by the board to the respondent; and

†††††††††††† (b)make another order that it considers appropriate.

†††††††††††† (3)Where an adjudication tribunal decides that a respondent is guilty, it may

†††††††††††† (a)reprimand the respondent;

†††††††††††† (b)order that the respondent be suspended for a fixed period that it considers appropriate, until conditions which it may impose are fulfilled, or until further order of the adjudication tribunal;

†††††††††††† (c)allow or direct the respondent to surrender his or her licence to the board upon those conditions that may be considered appropriate and strike the respondentís name from the register;

†††††††††††† (d)impose a fine not to exceed $10,000 to be paid to the board;

†††††††††††† (e)order that the respondent pay the costs or a part of the costs incurred by the board in the investigation and hearing of the complaint;

††††††††††††† (f)order that the registrar publish a summary of the decision including the information set out in subsection 32(4) and other information that the tribunal may specify; and

†††††††††††† (g)order that the respondent comply with one or more of the following:

††††††††††††††††††††† (i)make restitution to the complainant or other person affected by the conduct of the respondent,

†††††††††††††††††††† (ii)obtain medical treatment,

††††††††††††††††††† (iii)obtain counselling,

††††††††††††††††††† (iv)obtain substance abuse counselling or treatment, until the respondent can demonstrate to the board or other body or person designated by the adjudication tribunal that a condition related to substance abuse rendering the respondent incapable or unfit to practise has been overcome,

†††††††††††††††††††† (v)engage in continuing education programs,

††††††††††††††††††† (vi)complete a course of studies to the satisfaction of the board or other body or person designated by the adjudication tribunal,

†††††††††††††††††† (vii)report on his or her compliance with an order made under this section and authorize others involved with his or her treatment or supervision to report on it,

††††††††††††††††† (viii)restrict his or her professional practice or continue his or her practice under specified conditions,

††††††††††††††††††† (ix)permit periodic inspection of records relating to his or her practice, or

†††††††††††††††††††† (x)impose other requirements that are just and reasonable in the circumstances.

†††††††††††† (4)The costs incurred by the board to ensure the compliance of a respondent with an order or direction of an adjudication tribunal under this section shall be borne by the respondent.

Filing and publication of decisions

††††† 32. (1) An adjudication tribunal shall file a decision or order made under subsection 30(2) or 31(2) or (3) with the registrar and provide a copy to the complainant and the respondent and the respondent's employer.

†††††††††††† (2)The registrar shall maintain a copy of a decision or order filed under subsection (1) for a minimum of 5 years after the day the decision is filed and shall upon receiving a request to view the disciplinary records in relation to a public accountant permit a person to view those records.

†††††††††††† (3)The registrar shall publish a summary of a decision or order of an adjudication tribunal in a newspaper of general circulation in or nearest to the community in which the respondent practises within 14 days of the expiry of the appeal period under section 38, unless a court otherwise orders, where the decision or order

†††††††††††† (a)suspends the respondent;

†††††††††††† (b)allows or directs the respondent to surrender his or her licence;

†††††††††††† (c)restricts the respondentís practice;

†††††††††††† (d)specifies conditions for the continuing practice of the respondent; or

†††††††††††† (e)requires that a summary of the decision or order be published.

†††††††††††† (4)The summary of the decision published under subsection (3) shall include

†††††††††††† (a)the name of the respondent and the address where he or she practises;

†††††††††††† (b)the date, location and a brief description of the conduct of the respondent that was found to be deserving of sanction;

†††††††††††† (c)the name of the complainant, unless the complainant has requested that his or her name be withheld;

†††††††††††† (d)the contents of the order in relation to the actions referenced in paragraphs (3)(a) to (d); and

†††††††††††† (e)other information specified for publication in the decision or order.

†††††††††††† (5)Where a decision published under this section is confirmed, varied or set aside, the registrar shall within 14 days of the filing of the subsequent decision or order publish a summary of the decision or order and subsections (2) and (3) apply, with the necessary changes.

†††††††††††† (6)The registrar may give notice of the decision and information respecting the decision to the other persons the board may direct and shall include a summary of the decision in a certificate of good standing issued in relation to the respondent.

De-registration and suspension

††††† 33. (1) Where a public accountant is allowed or directed to surrender his or her licence, his or her rights and privileges as a public accountant cease.

†††††††††††† (2)Where a public accountant is suspended, his or her rights and privileges as a public accountant cease for the period of suspension.

†††††††††††† (3)Where conditions or restrictions have been imposed upon a respondentís ability to carry on his or her practice, his or her rights and privileges as a public accountant shall be limited to the extent specified by the conditions or restrictions.

Failure to comply

††††† 34. (1) On application by the board to the disciplinary panel, an adjudication tribunal may make an order suspending the rights and privileges of a respondent where it determines that the respondent has failed to comply with a decision or an order under subsection 30(2) or 31(2) or (3).

†††††††††††† (2)The parties to the application are the board and the respondent.

†††††††††††† (3)An order of an adjudication tribunal under this section may suspend the rights and privileges of the respondent for a fixed period that the adjudication tribunal may consider appropriate, or until conditions which it may impose are fulfilled, or until further order of the adjudication tribunal.

Re-hearing

††††† 35. (1) Where a decision or order of the adjudication tribunal

†††††††††††† (a)suspends the respondent;

†††††††††††† (b)allows or directs the respondent to surrender his or her licence;

†††††††††††† (c)restricts the respondentís practice; or

†††††††††††† (d)specifies conditions for the continuing practice of the respondent,

and where the respondent alleges that new evidence has become available or a material change in circumstances has occurred since the decision or order was made, the respondent may apply to the complaints authorization committee for a supplementary hearing to discharge or vary the decision or order based on the new evidence or material change in circumstances.

†††††††††††† (2)An application under subsection (1) shall be made not more than 90 days after the new evidence becomes available or the material change in circumstances has occurred.

†††††††††††† (3)Where an application is made to the complaints authorization committee under subsection (1), and the committee is of the opinion that new evidence has become available or that a material change in circumstances has occurred, as alleged by a respondent, the matter shall be referred to an adjudication tribunal as if it were a matter referred under paragraph 26(3)(b) and sections 28 to 33 apply, with the necessary changes, to the referred matter.

†††††††††††† (4)The parties to a supplementary hearing under this section are the respondent and the board.

†††††††††††† (5)For the purpose of this section, in addition to an order that an adjudication tribunal may make under section 31, a tribunal may

†††††††††††† (a)vary the original decision or order made under section 31; or

†††††††††††† (b)discharge the original decision or order, with or without conditions.

Costs of board

††††† 36. (1) Where a person who was ordered to pay the costs of the board under paragraph 30(2)(e) or 31(3)(e) fails to pay in the time required, the board may suspend the licence of that person until the costs are paid.

†††††††††††† (2)Costs ordered by the board under paragraph 30(2)(e) or 31(3)(e) are a debt due the board and may be recovered by a civil action.

Collection of fine

††††† 37. (1) Where an order is made under section 30 or 31 imposing a fine on a respondent, the board may issue a certificate stating the amount of the fine due and remaining unpaid and the name of the person by whom it is payable, and file the certificate with the Registrar of the Supreme Court.

†††††††††††† (2)Where a certificate is filed with the Registrar of the Supreme Court under subsection (1), it has the same effect and all proceedings may be taken on the certificate as if it were a judgment of the Trial Division for the recovery of the amount stated in the certificate against the person named in the certificate.

†††††††††††† (3)A person named in a certificate filed under this section may, within 30 days after the certificate is filed, apply to a judge of the Trial Division for a review, on a question of law or jurisdiction, of the certificate.

†††††††††††† (4)On application under subsection (3), the judge may make any amendment to the certificate that is necessary to make the certificate accord with the judge's decision.

†††††††††††† (5)There is no appeal from a decision of a judge made under this section.

†††††††††††† (6)A certificate filed under this section may also be filed in the judgment enforcement registry on the expiration of the 30 day period referred to in subsection (3) in accordance with Part III of the Judgment Enforcement Act and be enforced in accordance with that Act.

Appeal to Trial Division

††††† 38. (1) The board or the respondent may, within 30 days after receiving notice of the decision or order of an adjudication tribunal under this Act, appeal the decision or order to the Trial Division by filing a notice of appeal with the Registrar of the Supreme Court.

†††††††††††† (2)An appeal under this section does not stay the decision or order being appealed unless the Trial Division orders otherwise.

Action prohibited

††††† 39. An action for damages shall not lie against the board, disciplinary panel, an adjudication tribunal or the individual members of those bodies, a person appointed to conduct an investigation under subsection 26(5), the registrar, or an officer or employee of the board for

†††††††††††† (a)an act or failure to act, or a proceeding initiated or carried out in good faith under this Act, or carrying out their duties or obligations as an officer, employee or member under this Act; or

†††††††††††† (b)for a decision or order made or enforced in good faith under this Act.

Regulations

††††† 40. (1) The board, with the approval of the minister, may make regulations

†††††††††††† (a)prescribing conditions for the licensing of a person to practise as a public accountant and for the renewal of licences;

†††††††††††† (b)providing for the issuance of provisional licences;

†††††††††††† (c)approving schools and programs of public accountancy;

†††††††††††† (d)respecting the incorporation of companies under sections 13 to 20;

†††††††††††† (e)respecting eligibility of public accountants to form limited liability partnerships;

††††††††††††† (f)respecting the suspension or restriction of a licence under paragraph 26(3)(c);

†††††††††††† (g)respecting alternative dispute resolution for the purposes of sections 22 to 39 and the procedure for that resolution; and

†††††††††††† (h)prescribing time limits for events in the disciplinary process in sections 22 to 39, including time limits for:

††††††††††††††††††††† (i)the filing of an allegation,

†††††††††††††††††††† (ii)the resolution of an allegation by the registrar,

††††††††††††††††††† (iii)the conduct of an investigation under section 26,

††††††††††††††††††† (iv)consideration of an allegation by the complaints authorization committee following completion of an investigation,

†††††††††††††††††††† (v)responding to a complainant and respondent at each stage of the process,

††††††††††††††††††† (vi)the conduct of a practice investigation under paragraph 26(1)(c),

†††††††††††††††††† (vii)the appointment of an adjudication panel under section 27, and

††††††††††††††††† (viii)the conduct of a hearing and the filing of a decision or order by an adjudication panel following completion of the hearing.

†††††††††††† (2)Notwithstanding subsection (1), the minister may make regulations prescribing time limits for events in the disciplinary process under sections 22 to 39 where the board does not do so in a time period the minister considers reasonable.

Practice prohibited

††††† 41. (1) A person who is not licensed under this Act shall not

†††††††††††† (a)take or use the name or title of "public accountant";

†††††††††††† (b)practise as a public accountant; or

†††††††††††† (c)wilfully pretend to be licensed as a public accountant.

†††††††††††† (2)A person who contravenes this section is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000.

RSNL1990 cP-35 Rep.

††††† 42. The Public Accountancy Act is repealed.

Commencement

††††† 43. This Act comes into force on a day to be proclaimed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.