GUIDELINES FOR LODGING COMPLAINTS
UNDER THE ACCOUNTANTS ORDER, 2010
1. Who can lodge a complaint?
Any member of the public can make a complaint to Public Accountants Oversight Committee (PAOC) against public accountants and accounting corporations/accounting firms/accounting Limited Liability Partership.
2. Types of complaints against professional conduct:
For Public Accountants
Any improper or dishonourable conduct on the part of a public accountant in the discharge of his professional duty.
For Accounting Corporations/Firms/Limited Liability Partnership
Any improper act or conduct on the part of a public accountant, an accounting corporation, an accounting firm or an accounting Limited Liability Partnership.
GUIDELINES ON LODGING OF COMPLAINT
1. How to Lodge a Complaint
1.1 Prepare a written complaint stating the nature of the professional misconduct alleged against the public accountant or accounting entity; a statutory declaration and a complaint fee deposit of B$500; and
1.2 Attach all relevant supporting documents and submit to:
Public Accountants Oversight Committee Secretariat,
Level 1, Island Block,
Ministry of Finance and Economy Building,
Commonwealth Drive, BB3910, Brunei Darussalam
[Attention: Registrar of Public Accountants]
Please note that all information submitted may be made available to the public accountant and accounting entity concerned for his/her/its response.
2. When to Lodge a Complaint
2.1 Complaints should be lodged as soon as an improper acts or dishonourable conduct on the part of the public accountant in the discharge of his professional duty or accounting entity have been observed or committed.
2.2 Investigations are less likely to be conducted on complaints made on matters which occurred more than seven years ago or where documentary and other forms of evidence are less likely to be available.
2.3 In lodging a complaint against a public accountant or accounting entity, the complainant should ensure that:
a. He/She co-operates with PAOC when PAOC seeks clarifcation or further evidence. PAOC may require the complainant to answer any question or furnish any document or information that is relevant for the purpose of PAOC's review.
b. The complainant may also be called upon to give evidence or testify as a witness when the matter is referred to the Disciplinary Committee for inquiry.
c. The complaint is supported by evidence that contains sufficient particulars to enable PAOC to commence investigations and establish that an improper act or dishonourable conduct has been made. Information such as the name of the public accountant/public accounting entity, the date the misconduct occurred and a detailed description regarding the misconduct should be provided with supporting documents. The evidence should be credible and capable of being verified.
d. The complainant should not have any hidden agenda or vested interest in making the complaint. An example of a hidden agenda/vested interest would be to seek to use the result of PAOC's disciplinary actions to obtain an advantage in a civil proceeding.
2.4 The complaint fee deposit of B$500 shall be returned if the complaint is valid and accepted by the Revenue Division as the Registrar of Public Accountants; however, the complaint fee deposit shall not be returned if the complaint is dismissed because of complainant's refusal or failure to furnish any document or information required or complaint is found to be not frivolous or vexatious following a review or inquiry on the complaint.
2.5 Any person who makes a complaint under the Accountants Order, 2010 which he/she knows to be false in any material particular shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000.
3. Complaints Referred to the Disciplinary Committee (DC)
3.1 The DC has 6 months to complete its formal inquiry on any complaint referred to it by the Authority. An extension may be granted by the Authority if more time is needed.