The censorship policies at ACCA continue. The editor of the in-house magazine has no editorial freedoms.  ACCA Chief Executive continues to decide what the members should read. Awkward events continue to be filtered out. Until the Chief Executive  and the 'inner council' is removed there is no prospect of the members receiving 'real' news.

In response to requests from ACCA members AABA will continue to present alternative news.
Fresh blow to ACCA
(Accountancy, July 1999, page 12)

The ACCA faced further embarrassment when it was strongly criticised by a group of MPs for its conduct - including the recent row in which president-elect Ray Gardiner was unceremoniously sacked (see Accountancy, June, p 15).

Austin Mitchell and Jim Cousins headed the attack on the ACCA in a series of Parliamentary early day motions that condemned its' failure to function in an open, democratic and accountable manner' The MPs described the association as 'unfit to be a regulatory body' and urged the government to suspend its regulatory powers and launch an independent inquiry into its affairs.

Among the accusations fired at the ACCA were references to the treatment of Mr. Gardiner, who was dropped on the day he was due to become president.  The motion criticised the association for a lack of transparency and democracy, and went on to accuse it of 'threatening and silencing reformers' '

Meanwhile former council member Anthony Thomas is gathering support for an egm to call for an examination of corporate governance at the ACCA.

'I'm not the only one that's very unhappy with what's happening,' he said.  He is particularly concerned with two issues: the independent inquiry into the Robert Jackson disciplinary case - which apparently led to Mr. Gardiner's downfall - being conducted by a member of the Appeals Committee, and the handling of Mr. Gardiner's departure, which he described as 'quite appalling'.

'They've totally destroyed a person's career without being held to account for what they've done, 'he said.

Mr. Thomas blamed the inexperience of the majority of council members for allowing the minority of long-standing members to direct events.  Mr. Gardiner was understood to be in favour of making the ACCA more open and accountable and was not, Mr. Thomas believes, a popular choice for president with some of those in the top ranks of the association, including chief executive Anthea Rose.

However, Mr. Thomas is confident of securing enough support to propose an egm in the autumn.  'I've even had a past president of the ACCA phone me up to say he's happy to support what I'm doing - that is astonishing.'

The ACCA issued a statement to explain Mr. Gardiner's removal from office.  It blamed his role in the Jackson case, maintaining that it cast doubt on his ability to 'appreciate that ACCA's officers must uphold the integrity of its disciplinary, process', and he had therefore failed to 'uphold the highest standards' expected of a president.