Companies Act 2014

933.

Intervention in disciplinary process of prescribed accountancy bodies

F330 [ 933. (1) In this section

approved investigation and disciplinary procedures means

(a) in relation to a prescribed accountancy body that is a recognised accountancy body, the investigation and disciplinary procedures approved under

(i) section 905(2)(c) ,

(ii) section 9(2)(c) of the Act of 2003, or

(iii) the Act of 1990, whether before or after the amendments of that Act that were made by section 32 of the Act of 2003,

and

(b) in relation to any other prescribed accountancy body, the investigation and disciplinary procedures approved under

(i) section 905(2)(c) , or

(ii) section 9(2)(c) of the Act of 2003;

relevant body means

(a) in relation to an enquiry referred to in subsection (2) , the prescribed accountancy body the subject of the enquiry, and

(b) in relation to an enquiry referred to in subsection (3) , the recognised accountancy body the subject of the enquiry.

(2) Following a complaint or on its own initiative, the Supervisory Authority may, for the purpose of determining whether a prescribed accountancy body has complied with the approved investigation and disciplinary procedures, enquire into

(a) a decision by that body not to undertake an investigation into a possible breach of its standards by a member,

(b) the conduct of an investigation by that body into a possible breach of its standards by a member, or

(c) any other decision of that body relating to a possible breach of its standards by a member, unless the matter is or has been the subject of an investigation under section 934 relating to that member.

(3) The Supervisory Authority may, for the purpose of determining whether a recognised accountancy body has complied with the applicable provisions in performing a Part 27 function, enquire into the performance by the body of that function (including, where applicable, enquire into the conduct by that body of an investigation into the conduct of a member of that body).

(4) For the purposes of an enquiry under this section, the Supervisory Authority may

(a) inspect and make copies of all relevant documents in the possession or control of the relevant body,

(b) if the relevant body falls within paragraph (a) of the definition of relevant body , require the body to explain why it reached a decision referred to in subsection (2)(a) or (c) or explain how it conducted its investigation, or

(c) if the relevant body falls within paragraph (b) of the definition of relevant body , require the body to explain how it complied (if it in fact did comply) with the applicable provisions in performing the Part 27 function concerned (and, also, to explain how it conducted an investigation referred to in subsection (3) if the conduct of that investigation is, in the opinion of the Supervisory Authority, relevant to the enquiry).

(5) If at any time before completing an enquiry under this section into a matter relating to a member of a relevant body, the Supervisory Authority forms the opinion that it is appropriate or in the public interest that a matter be investigated under section 934 as regards a possible relevant contravention committed by a specified person, the Authority may apply to the court for permission to investigate the matter under that section.

(6) (a) Paragraph (b) applies if the Supervisory Authority is not satisfied, after completing the enquiry

(i) if the relevant body falls within paragraph (a) of the definition of relevant body , that the body complied with the approved investigation and disciplinary procedures, or

(ii) if the relevant body falls within paragraph (b) of the definition of relevant body , that the body complied with the applicable provisions in performing the Part 27 function.

(b) Subject to section 941(4) and (4A) , the Supervisory Authority may advise, or admonish, the relevant body or may censure it by doing one or more of the following:

(i) annulling all or part of a decision of that body relating to the matter that was the subject of the enquiry;

(ii) directing that body to conduct an investigation or a fresh investigation into the matter;

(iii) directing that body to perform the function that was the subject of the enquiry again in accordance with any directions or terms and conditions that the Supervisory Authority considers appropriate;

(iv) directing that body, where it in future performs the function that was the subject of the enquiry, to do so in accordance with any directions or terms and conditions that the Supervisory Authority considers appropriate;

(v) requiring that body to pay to the Supervisory Authority an amount not exceeding the greater of the following:

(I) 125,000;

(II) the amount prescribed under section 943(1)(e) .

(c) In default of payment of an amount referred to in paragraph (b)(v) , the Supervisory Authority may recover that amount as a simple contract debt in any court of competent jurisdiction.

(7) Subject to subsection (14) and section 941(4) and (4A) , where, as referred to in subsection (5) , the Supervisory Authority is not satisfied as referred to in subsection (6) , the relevant body concerned is, in addition to any liability or obligation to pay an amount or do a thing by virtue of subsection (6) , liable to pay the amount specified by the Supervisory Authority towards its costs in conducting the enquiry under this section.

(8) Where the Supervisory Authority applies under subsection (5) to the court for permission to investigate, under section 934 , any matter relating to a member of a relevant body or decides to direct under subsection (6)(b)(ii) a relevant body to conduct an investigation or fresh investigation into any matter, the following rules apply:

(a) in the case of an application to the court to investigate a matter, any decision of that body relating to the matter is suspended if and as soon as the body is notified by the Supervisory Authority that permission has been granted under section 941(3) ;

(b) in the case of a direction to conduct an investigation or a fresh investigation, any decision of that body relating to the matter is suspended if and as soon as the body is notified by the Supervisory Authority that the direction has been confirmed as referred to in section 941(4A) .

(9) The Supervisory Authority may publish on its website each decision made under subsection (6) or each decision made specifying an amount under subsection (7) and the reasons for the decision after giving the relevant body and the member (if any) thereof concerned not less than 3 months notice in writing of its intention to do so.

(10) The relevant body or the member thereof (if any) concerned may appeal to the court against a decision made by the Supervisory Authority under subsection (6) (which may be the decision under subsection (6)(a) or the decision under subsection (6)(b) , or both) or a decision made by it specifying an amount under subsection (7) .

(11) An appeal under subsection (10) shall be brought within 3 months after the date on which, as appropriate, the relevant body or the member thereof (if any) concerned was notified by the Supervisory Authority of its decision.

(12) If the Supervisory Authority is not satisfied that a relevant body has, when undertaking an investigation or fresh investigation into any matter as required by a direction under subsection (6)(b)(ii)

(a) if the relevant body falls within paragraph (a) of the definition of relevant body , complied with the approved investigation and disciplinary procedures, or

(b) if the relevant body falls within paragraph (b) of the definition of relevant body , complied with the applicable provisions in performing the Part 27 function,

the Supervisory Authority may appeal to the court against any decision of the relevant body relating to the matter.

(13) An appeal under subsection (12) shall be brought within 3 months after the date on which the Supervisory Authority was notified by the relevant body of its decision.

(14) For the purpose of subsection (7)

(a) the Supervisory Authority may prescribe by regulations

(i) that specified procedures and methods of calculation shall apply in the determination of the amount of costs referred to in that subsection incurred by it, and

(ii) requirements otherwise as to the liability of the relevant body for, and the manner in which that body shall pay, that amount,

and

(b) in default of payment of that amount to the Supervisory Authority, the Authority may recover that amount as a simple contract debt in any court of competent jurisdiction.

(15) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the undertaking of one enquiry under this section into 2 or more matters concerning the same body of accountants where one or more than one of such matters falls within subsection (2) and one or more than one of such matters falls within subsection (3) .

(16) For the purposes of this section

(a) any decision made or any investigation conducted by the disciplinary committee of a relevant body is considered to have been made or conducted by the relevant body, and

(b) member , in addition to the meaning given to that expression by section 900(1) , includes, in relation to a relevant body that is a recognised accountancy body, an individual or firm who or which, though not a member of the recognised accountancy body, is an individual or firm in relation to whom that body may perform functions under the relevant provisions. ]

Annotations

Amendments:

F330

Substituted (21.09.2018) by Companies (Statutory Audits) Act 2018 (22/2018), s. 32, S.I. No. 366 of 2018.