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The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) today announces the outcome of the disciplinary case relating to Ms. Diane Jarvis the former Chief Financial Officer of Healthcare Locums Plc (HCL) and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).
A settlement agreed between the Executive Counsel to the FRC, Gareth Rees QC, and Ms. Jarvis has been approved by a legal member of the independent Tribunal Panel. Ms. Jarvis has admitted that her conduct fell significantly short of the standards to be expected of a Member in that in her role as Chief Financial Officer of HCL during the course of 2010 and early 2011 she breached the Fundamental Principle of Integrity, by dishonestly manipulating HCL’s management accounts to increase its apparent profitability. The management accounts were presented by Ms. Jarvis to external third parties as an accurate representation of HCL’s performance.
The parties have agreed the following terms of settlement:
Paul George, FRC Executive Director of Conduct, said:
“The significant period of exclusion recommended in this case reflects the gravity of the misconduct and sends out a clear message to accountants in business of the importance of acting honestly and with integrity. The substantial sanction will also serve to protect the public and contribute to the maintenance of public confidence in the accountancy profession.”
Settlement Agreement: Diane Jarvis (PDF)
Particulars of Facts and Acts of Misconduct: Diane Jarvis (PDF)
Notes to editors:
1. The FRC is responsible for promoting high quality corporate governance and reporting to foster investment. We set the UK Corporate Governance and Stewardship Codes as well as UK standards for accounting, auditing and actuarial work. We represent UK interests in international standard-setting. We also monitor and take action to promote the quality of corporate reporting and auditing. We operate independent disciplinary arrangements for accountants and actuaries; and oversee the regulatory activities of the accountancy and actuarial professional bodies.
2. In relation to disciplinary matters, the FRC is the independent, investigative and disciplinary body for accountants and actuaries in the UK dealing with cases which raise important issues affecting the public interest. In brief, the stages of the disciplinary process are:
Decision to investigate;
Decision whether to bring disciplinary proceedings against a Member Firm or Member and, if so decided, referral to Disciplinary Tribunal;
Tribunal hearing; and
Determination and imposition of sanction and/or costs orders.
The FRC can start a disciplinary investigation in one of two ways: (i) the professional bodies can refer cases to the FRC; and (ii) the FRC may decide of its own accord to investigate a matter. The Conduct Committee will consider each case identified or referred to it and decide whether or not the criteria for an investigation are met.
Investigations are conducted by Executive Counsel and the Professional Discipline team within the Conduct Division. If disciplinary proceedings are commenced, Executive Counsel delivers a complaint to the Conduct Committee. The Conduct Committee then instructs the Convener to appoint a Disciplinary Tribunal.