It is the same old story. Censorship and secrecy is rife at ACCA. The self-appointed leadership excels at keeping members in the dark. The official magazine is run for the benefit of the leadership not ordinary members.

In July 1997 ACCA chief executive admitted in writing that one of its examiners plagiarized the Malaysian tax papers. The official magazine remained silent. then one disgruntled student sued ACCA. ACCA remained silent and its annual accounts only mentioned the episode after AABA and the UK press exposed its silence. ACCA members have still not been told of the settlement between MACPA and ACCA. Hardly surprising, you might say. But accountancy bodies should set a good example on disclosures and transparency.

Now another lawsuit against ACCA has been reported (see below). But the official magazine remains silent. No explanation from the leadership. Increasingly, members are telling the leadership that they don't want to receive the official magazine.


ACCA faces £300,000 lawsuit
(Accountancy Age, 2 September 1999, p.2)

By Lucinda Kemeny

ACCA is being sued for more than £300,000 in damages in a legal action brought by a member who was disciplined by the association in 1996.

Dr Raymond Stanbridge, from Nettleham, Lincolnshire, has lodged a claim with the High Court alleging that he was treated with gross unfair-ness during a disciplinary hearing three years ago. According to the writ, the hear-ing cost him around £20,000, including a £5,000 fine and £3,230 in costs.

ACCA's disciplinary committee found Stanbridge guilty of several charges including pro-viding information to Pannell Kerr Forster which he knew, or should have known, to be false, and failing to disclose a contin-gent liability in the accounts.

In the writ, Stanbridge says ACCA's ‘proceedings were conducted unfairly and oppres-sively in relation to time limits’ and left him ‘insufficient time 'to properly defend the allegations made’.

The writ says that other allegations by ACCA were ‘too ill-defined’ and accuses the association of the ‘oppres-sive introduction of new allegations at a late stage in the proceedings’

Stanbridge’s writ also accuses the association of allowing insufficient time for a fair hearing as one of the mem-bers of the disciplinary com-mittee left early to catch a plane.

ACCA chief executive Anthea Rose will be fighting the writ. A spokesman said: ‘We have received the writ from Dr Stanbridge and we believe this case to be without merit. We have appointed solicitors and they will be vigorously defend-ing on our behalf'.