of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of
New Zealand (Member Guilty of Conduct Unbecoming an Accountant, Breaching the
Rules of the Institute and Failing to Respond
to the Institute)
At a hearing of the Disciplinary Tribunal of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of New Zealand held on the 30th day of June 2005, which the member did not attend and was not represented by counsel, Hari Krishna Ramlingam, of Nadi, Fiji Islands (formerly of Auckland), was charged with the following charges and particulars.
THAT in terms of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of New Zealand Act 1996 and the rules made thereunder, and in particular Rule 21.30, the member is guilty of:
(1) misconduct in a professional capacity and/or conduct unbecoming an accountant; and/or
(3) breaching the institute’s code of ethics, specifically the fundamental principles of integrity and/or objectivity and independence and/or professional behaviour; and/or
(4) breaching the rules of the institute, specifically Rule 18.2 and/or Rule 22.1 and/or Rule 23.1; and/or
(5) failing to promptly respond to communications from the institute; and/or
(6) failing to pay a sum due to the institute by the date specified for payment.
IN THAT in his role as a chartered accountant the member:
(a) offered accounting services to the public in breach of Rule 18.2;
(b) obtained a loan of $25,000.00 from another person and did not repay this loan or interest due on this loan;
(c) provided a cheque in repayment of the loan that was subsequently dishonoured;
(d) made statements which he knew or ought to have known to be false, incorrect and/or misleading;
(e) in these circumstances, inappropriately led another person to seek a summary judgment, which was subsequently awarded against him on the 9th day of November 2004 in the District Court at Auckland, for the amount of $32,706.46;
(f) offered to be a mentor to a provisional member of the institute, at the rate of $100.00 an hour, thereby impairing his integrity and/or objectivity and/or the good reputation of the profession;
(g) did not acknowledge a letter dated the 21st day of May 2004, from the institute, until the 9th day
of June 2004 and/or did not provide a response
to the complaint attached to this letter until the
19th day of July 2004;
(h) did not respond to an email sent on the 16th day of August 2004, on behalf of the professional conduct committee, until the 20th day of September 2004;
(i) failed to pay membership fees to the institute for the 2005 financial year, by the due date, as required by Rule 22.1;
(j) failed to notify the institute as soon as practicable of any change of address and/or any change of business or employment, as required by Rule 23.1;
(k) failed to provide a continuing professional development declaration for the 2004 financial
year when requested by the institute.
The member admitted particular (i) and pleaded guilty to charge (6).
The tribunal found the proved particulars (b), (c), (d), (e), (g), (h) and (k).
The tribunal found the NOT proved particulars (a), (f)
In relation to particular (a), the tribunal found the member NOT guilty of charge (4) as to Rule 18.2 only.
In relation to particular (f), the tribunal found that it is not detrimental to the integrity or objectivity or good reputation of a member for a mentor to be remunerated on reasonable terms and, accordingly, the tribunal found the member NOT guilty of charge (3).
In relation to the remaining particulars (g), (h), (i), (j) and (k), the tribunal noted that where a member fails to respond to the institute on professional conduct matters, this severely impedes the institute’s disciplinary processes and found the member guilty of charges (4), (5) and (6).
In relation to the loan, the tribunal found the summary judgment against the member was a matter of fact.
In relation to charge (1), the tribunal found the member NOT guilty of misconduct in a professional capacity but guilty of conduct unbecoming an accountant.
Orders of the Tribunal
(a) Pursuant to Rule 21.31 (b) of the Rules of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of New Zealand, the disciplinary tribunal ordered that Hari Krishna Ramlingam be suspended from membership of the institute for one year.
(b) Pursuant to Rule 21.33 of the Rules of the Institute
of Chartered Accountants of New Zealand, the disciplinary tribunal ordered that Hari Krishna Ramlingam pay to the institute the sum of $7,500.00 (inclusive of G.S.T.) in respect of the costs and expenses of the hearing before the disciplinary tribunal and the investigation by the professional conduct committee.
In accordance with Rule 21.35 of the Rules of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of New Zealand, the disciplinary tribunal directed that the decision of the tribunal be published in the Chartered Accountants Journal, the
New Zealand Gazette and the Fiji Times with mention
of the member’s name and locality.
Right of Appeal
Pursuant to Rule 21.41 of the Rules of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of New Zealand which were in force at the time of the original notice of complaint, the member may, not later than 14 days after the notification of this tribunal to the member of the exercise of its powers, appeal in writing to the appeals council of the institute against the decision.
No decision, other than the direction as to publicity, shall take effect while the member remains entitled to appeal or while any such appeal by the member awaits determination by the appeals council.
Dated this 11th day of July 2005.
R. J. O. HOARE, Tribunal Chairman.