ACCA has decided to censor the addresses offered by the candidates for the 2000 council elections.

Firstly, the ACCA chief executive insists that the address should not exceed 180 words. There is no bye-law which states this. Unable to cite any bye-laws the ACCA officials now say that some years ago, the council decided that the length should be 180 words. Well, the alleged minute recording this decision has never been published.

Secondly, what constitutes a 'word'? How long shall it be? Now ACCA has decided that the election address offered by Prem Sikka (see below) in support of his candidacy is not acceptable even though it is less than 180 words. In particular, ACCA officials object to the web site address contained in the election address.

ACCA officials now say that some time ago they obtained a legal opinion which said that web site addresses were unacceptable. This legal opinion has neither been published nor communicated to any potential council member. Then they say that in the past a candidate to the International Assembly was prevented from using the web site address in his election address. When was this? Why was this done? ACCA officials have so far not been forthcoming with any information.

Following the Human Rights Legislation, the ACCA is a public body. Its officials cannot gag people and make up the rules as they go along.


Prem Sikka has been a member since 1977.  He is Professor of Accounting at the University of Essex.

Prem seeks to strengthen the Association by encouraging it to be more open, democratic and accountable. He believes that in common with other professional bodies, the Association should 'open' its Council meetings and hold direct elections for officeholders. He believes that the 'proxy voting system' is not appropriate and would like to see an end to the censorship of the ACCA magazine.  At the time of writing (11 February 2000), members have still not been informed (see about their 28% share of the cost of the new UK regulatory arrangements (which could be £5 million), the lawsuits in the UK and elsewhere, the subsidisation of students in China, or the absence of an independent ombudsman to adjudicate disputes with its members.

Prem believes that Council's Code of Practice prevents council members from speaking on matters of public interest and is therefore unable to support it.

Prem believes that 'independent voices' are essential for a strong Association.