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Insolvency (Reviewers Of Complaints)

Volume 281: debated on Tuesday 16 July 1996

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To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list by location each of the reviewers of complaints appointed by each of the insolvency regulators, indicating who is responsible for (a) appointing, (b) dismissing and (c) retiring them and on what basis; and what remuneration each reviewer receives. [37334]

The information requested by the hon. Member is as follows:

Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales— the current reviewer of complaints for the institute is Mr. A. C. Surtees, P.O. Box 51, Farnham, Surrey, GU10 5TA. The reviewer of complaints is appointed by the Council of the institute for a period of not less than three years and his appointment is renewable. The terms of his appointment are a matter for the institute.
Chartered Association of Certified Accountants—the Association appoint a lay observer who is presently Mr. Simon Loveless of Potter Owtram and Peck, 42 West street, Haslemere, Surrey GU27 2AN. The lay observer is responsible for co-ordinating the reviewing of complaints. He is appointed by the council of the association. The terms of his appointment are a matter for the association.
The Law Society—complaints against solicitor insolvency practitioners are dealt with in the first instance by the Solicitors Complaints Bureau, an independent arm of the Law Society. A dissatisfied complainant may refer the matter to the legal services ombudsman who is presently Mr. Michael Barnes, 22 Oxford court, Oxford street, Manchester M2 3QW. The legal services ombudsman is appointed by the Lord Chancellor, normally for a period of three years. The remuneration for the office is a matter between the Lord Chancellor and the appointee.
The Law Society of Scotland—a dissatisfied complainant may ask for the matter to be referred to the Scottish legal services ombudsman who is presently Mr. Garry S. Watson, 2 Greenside lane, Edinburgh, EH1 3AH. The Scottish legal services ombudsman is appointed by the Secretary of State for Scotland after consultation with the Lord President of the Supreme Courts of Scotland. The appointment is for a period of three years. The remuneration for the office is a matter between the Secretary of State for Scotland and the appointee.
The three remaining professional bodies are the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ireland and the Insolvency Practitioners Association. These bodies do not have an independent reviewer of complaints although in the case of the Scottish institute, a complaint about the institute itself may fall to be considered by a committee appointed from a panel of lay members of institute committees. This committee may report to the institute's council on its findings.

Each of the professional bodies have recognised the importance of independent input in regulatory matters and all have lay representation on their various regulatory and disciplinary committees.