PRACTICE MONITORING PROGRAMME
32. In this Part —
“practice monitoring programme” means a programme designed to ascertain whether a public accountant has complied with the prescribed standards, methods, procedures and other requirements when providing public accountancy services;
“Practice Monitoring Sub-committee” means the Practice Monitoring Sub-committee appointed under section 34;
“practice review” means a study, appraisal, or review of one or more aspects of the professional work of a public accountant that is carried out under a practice monitoring programme;
“reviewer” means any person who is appointed by the Oversight Committee under section 35 to carry out a practice review.
—(1) The Oversight Committee may require, as a condition for a public accountant to be allowed to remain in practice, that the public accountant should undergo, at such periods as the Oversight Committee may determine, a practice monitoring programme under this Part and successfully pass the practice reviews carried out under such programme.
(2) The Oversight Committee may require a public accountant undergoing a practice monitoring programme to pay such fee as it may specify in connection with the administration of the programme.
—(1) The Oversight Committee may, with the approval of the Authority, appoint a Practice Monitoring Sub-committee to assist the Oversight Committee in designing and implementing the practice monitoring programmes for the purposes of this Part.
(2) The Oversight Committee shall designate one of the members of the Practice Monitoring Sub-committee to be its chairman.
(3) The term of office of a member of the Practice Monitoring Sub-committee shall be determined by the Oversight Committee.
(4) Subject to this Part and to any general or special direction of the Authority or the Oversight Committee, the Practice Monitoring Sub-committee may regulate its own procedure and business.
35. The Oversight Committee may appoint any employee of the Authority or any other suitably qualified person as a reviewer to carry out any practice review under this Part.
—(1) A reviewer shall carry out a practice review in accordance with —
the relevant provisions of this Part;
the practice and procedure as may be determined by the Oversight Committee; and
such instructions as may be issued by the Authority or the Oversight Committee.
(2) The following provisions shall apply in respect of any practice review under this Part:
any public accountant under review shall, if required by the reviewer —
produce to the reviewer or afford the reviewer access to, any record or document specified by the reviewer or any record or other document which is of a class or description so specified and which is in his possession or under his control being in either case a record or other document which the reviewer reasonably believes is or may be relevant to the practice review, within such time and at such place as the reviewer may reasonably require;
give to the reviewer such explanation or further particulars in respect of anything produced in compliance with a requirement under sub-paragraph (i) as the reviewer shall specify; and
give to the reviewer all assistance in connection with the practice review which he is reasonably able to give;
where any information or matter relevant to a practice review is recorded otherwise than in a legible form, the power of a reviewer to require the production of any record or other document conferred under paragraph (a) shall include the power to require the production of a reproduction of any such information or matter or of the relevant part of it in a legible form;
a reviewer exercising a power under this section shall, if so requested by a person affected by such exercise, produce for inspection by such person such evidence of his authority as may be provided to him by the Oversight Committee upon his appointment as a reviewer.
(3) Nothing in this section shall be taken to compel the production by a public accountant of a record or document containing a privileged communication by or to a legal practitioner in that capacity.
—(1) A reviewer who carries out a practice review under this Part shall submit a report to the Practice Monitoring Sub-committee at the conclusion of the practice review and at any other stage thereof as may be required by the Practice Monitoring Sub-committee.
(2) Where after the conclusion of a practice review the Practice Monitoring Sub-committee, having had regard to any report submitted by the reviewer, is of the opinion that the public accountant concerned has failed to observe, maintain or apply the prescribed professional standards, methods, procedures or other requirements, the Practice Monitoring Sub-committee shall make a report thereof to the Oversight Committee.
—(1) Upon receiving the report of the Practice Monitoring Sub-committee under section 37(2) and considering the recommendations therein, the Oversight Committee may —
take any one or more of the following actions:
by order impose such conditions as are necessary to restrict the provision of public accountancy services by the public accountant in such manner as the Oversight Committee thinks fit for a period not exceeding 2 years;
require the public accountant to undergo and satisfactorily complete such remedial programme as may be specified by the Oversight Committee;
require the public accountant to take other steps as may be specified by the Oversight Committee to improve the practice of the public accountant or to give such undertaking as the Oversight Committee thinks fit;
make such other order as the Oversight Committee thinks necessary or expedient; or
if it is of the opinion that it is contrary to the public interest or the interest of the profession of public accountancy for the public accountant to continue in practice, or if the public accountant has failed to comply with any order or requirement of the Oversight Committee under paragraph (a) —
refuse to renew the registration of the public accountant concerned;
suspend the registration of the public accountant concerned for a period not exceeding 2 years; or
cancel the registration of the public accountant concerned.
(2) The Oversight Committee shall not take any action under subsection (1)(b) unless it has given the public accountant concerned an opportunity to show cause against the action proposed to be taken by the Oversight Committee.
(3) Where the Oversight Committee has made an order referred to in subsection (1)(a), the Oversight Committee may, if it thinks fit having regard to any change in circumstances, by another order revoke the original order or revoke or vary any of the conditions imposed by the original order.
(4) Where the Oversight Committee has, under subsection (3), revoked the order referred to in subsection (1)(a) or revoked or varied any of the conditions imposed by such order, the Registrar shall immediately serve on the public accountant concerned a notice of the revocation or variation.
(5) A decision of the Oversight Committee under subsection (1)(b) shall not take effect —
until the expiration of one month from the date on which the decision has been communicated to the public accountant concerned; or
where an appeal against the decision is made to the High Court under subsection (7), until the appeal has been determined or withdrawn.
(6) While any public accountant remains suspended under subsection (1)(b)(ii), he shall be deemed not to be registered as a public accountant under this Act but immediately upon the expiry of his period of suspension, his rights and privileges as a public accountant shall forthwith be revived.
(7) Any public accountant who is aggrieved by a decision of the Oversight Committee to take action under subsection (1)(b) may appeal to the High Court within a period of 30 days (or such further period as the Oversight Committee may allow on application in any particular case) after the service of the Oversight Committee’s decision on the public accountant.
(8) The decision of the High Court on an appeal under subsection (7) shall be final.