ACCA embarrassment

April 21, 2000

'Mr Carr conducted the appeal without a copy of the disciplinary procedure when the applicant was raising numerous breaches of it' A second major embarrassment has hit the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants following The THES's report that the Higher Education Funding Council has been examining a past record of suggested mismanagement at Hull University by ACCA deputy president Moyra Kedslie, who recently left the university.

Graham Carr, until last year the ACCA's representative on the International Federation of Accountants, and a long-standing council member, has been implicated in a serious case of racial discrimination at a private higher education provider, the School of Finance and Management in London.

The THES reported last month that the London South Tribunal had found that the school, and its parent company Nord Anglia plc, had unfairly dismissed former SFM head, Srian Perera. Mr Carr, director of professional and academic training at Nord Anglia, presided over the unfair dismissal as chair of Mr Perera's appeal hearing.

The tribunal said: "Mr Carr conducted the appeal without a copy of the disciplinary procedure when the applicant was raising numerous breaches of it. Consequently the applicant's complaints about the process were, we think, brushed aside." Mr Carr allowed his Nord Anglia colleague Brian Richbell to sit in, and although he was not a decision-maker, "his private opinions were allowed to affect the outcome".

The tribunal judge also outlined a quality control "crisis" at the School of Finance and Management. The University of Lincolnshire and Humberside withdrew its accreditation of the SFM's degrees in 1999.

"As we understand it," the tribunal said, "there had been criticisms of SFM's examination procedures in that examination papers had not been set or marked on time." There had also been "criticisms of SFM's internal procedures relating to examinations... by the external validating body." Mr Perera was not responsible for academic matters, the tribunal said.

 

Correction:
The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants has asked us to point out (Whistleblowers April 21) that it was not embarrassed by the criticism levelled at one of its members, Graham Carr , at the Perena industrial tribunal case involving the School of Finance and management in London.

Mr Carr is not a member of the council of the ACCA , having stood down after three years in 1998, and represents the UK accountancy profession, not the ACCA , on the council of the International Federation of Accountants.

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