Disciplinary Procedure of the Slovak Society of Actuaries
[Note that this English translation is for informative purposes only. In the event of any dispute the Slovak version is the definitive one.]
The Slovak Society of Actuaries (hereafter Society), in accordance with Article 11 of the Society’s Statutes, promulgates this Disciplinary Procedure of the Society (hereafter Disciplinary Procedure).
Content of the Disciplinary Procedure
- The Disciplinary Procedure sets out the nature, status and tasks of the Disciplinary Committee. It also specifies the procedure to be adopted in dealing with complaints by means of disciplinary proceedings and in applying appropriate sanctions.
- In accordance with Article 8, in conjunction with Article 11, of the Society’s Statutes the Society will maintain a Disciplinary Committee, which will
- receive complaints against a Member of the Society who is reasonably suspected of having breached the generally binding legal code, the Society’s Code of Conduct, the Society’s Statutes or other binding documents,
- receive complaints against conduct which has or may have damaged the good name of the Society,
- in the case of well-founded complaints issue a proposal for the starting of disciplinary proceedings,
- propose measures for remedying any breach and decide on the imposition of disciplinary sanctions against a Member of the Society in accordance with the rules of the disciplinary proceedings.
- The Disciplinary Committee consists of three members, elected by the General Meeting in accordance with the Election Procedures of the Society. The period of office of members of the Disciplinary Committee is two years, but in any event it does not end until the election of new members of the Committee.
- If a member of the Disciplinary Committee is unable to take part in its activities because of conflict of interest or other serious reason, or is himself or herself the subject of the submitted complaint, he or she will be replaced by a substitute member elected by the General Meeting in accordance with the Election Procedures of the Society.
- The Disciplinary Committee is in quorum if all its members are present.
General provisions relating to disciplinary proceedings
- Disciplinary proceedings against a Member of the Society (hereafter the Respondent) may be initiated by any individual or organisation (hereafter the Complainant) on the basis of a written complaint (hereafter Complaint) delivered to the Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee.
- Disciplinary proceedings may take place only if the person to which they relate was a Member of the Society at the time the supposed offence was committed. If in the meantime the Respondent’s membership of the Society has ended, other than in accordance with paragraph 3.a) of Decision of the General Meeting of the Slovak Society of Actuaries No. 2006/2, disciplinary proceedings will not take place, or if already started will be discontinued.
- An offence will be judged in accordance with the generally binding legal code and the rules of the Society in force at the time the offence was committed. In the case that the rules in force at the time the case is judged permit a less severe judgement of the offence, those rules will be used.
- By offence is meant in particular if a Member of the Society:
- while carrying out his or her actuarial work knowingly or as a result of gross negligence contravenes the Statutes of the Society or the Official Documents of the Society, or
- as a result of his or her conduct was found guilty of knowingly committing a serious criminal offence.
- Possible disciplinary sanctions are:
- an oral warning,
- a written reprimand,
- suspension of membership of the Society (for a period of at most one year),
- expulsion from the Society.
- The decision on disciplinary sanction, apart from an oral warning, will be recorded in the membership records of the Society. Previous oral warnings may only be taken into account on a repetition of the offence. If disciplinary sanction applies to a Member, who is also a member of another actuarial association, the Board will notify that association of the sanction imposed.
- In the event of a change in the membership of the Disciplinary Committee any disciplinary proceedings which have not been concluded at the time of the change of membership will be passed on to the new members, who may request the assistance of the previous members in bringing the case to a conclusion.
Disciplinary proceedings – investigation phase
- The Disciplinary Committee shall within ten working days from the date of receipt of the Complaint examine its content and all supporting documents and shall decide whether the Complaint is justified.
- Should the Disciplinary Committee come to the conclusion that the Complaint is unjustified, it shall submit its written opinion to this effect to the Chairman of the Society’s Board.
- If, as a result of the consideration under paragraph 1. of this Article the Disciplinary Committee finds that the Complaint is justified, the Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee shall send to the Respondent:
- a copy of the Complaint, and
- a copy of this Disciplinary Procedure.
- The Disciplinary Committee may authorise a Member of the Society, a lawyer or other person or persons to carry out enquiries on its behalf or assist in the preparation of a case report.
- The Disciplinary Committee may seek and receive from the Complainant or any other person such information as it thinks necessary.
- The Disciplinary Committee may interview any Member of the Society, the Complainant, the Respondent or any other individual. Neither the Respondent nor his representatives shall be present during any interview or meeting arranged by the Disciplinary Committee with any other person without its agreement.
- The Disciplinary Committee shall have the power:
- to require copies or originals of any documents necessary for the investigation from any Member of the Society whether or not such Member is the subject of this investigation,
- to require any further information from any Member of the Society relating to the subject matter of the investigation,
- to require any Member of the Society, whether or not such Member is the subject of the investigation, to attend before it (or such other person designated by it) at a specified time and place to answer questions or otherwise furnish information, which relate to the subject matter of the investigation, and
- to take any legal or other expert advice on questions relevant to the subject matter of the investigation.
- Neither the Respondent nor any other Member of the Society may not be required to provide any information or document in accordance with paragraph 7. of this Article, if they are the subject of legal privilege or might lead to him or her being indicted or exposed to criminal prosecution.
- On completion of their investigation, the Disciplinary Committee will prepare a case report containing all the relevant facts that they regard as material to whether or not there has been misconduct.
- The case report shall in particular contain a report on the Complaint. The case report may contain references to matters which may amount to misconduct outside the scope of the Complaint, if that alleged misconduct: a) has come to the attention of the Disciplinary Committee in the course of its investigation, and b) is not or has not been the subject of a Complaint being investigated separately by the Disciplinary Committee.
- The Disciplinary Committee shall unanimously decide: a) that no disciplinary action shall be taken against the Respondent; or b) to pass the case report to the Chairman of the Board of the Society with a recommendation that disciplinary proceedings be instigated against the Respondent.
Disciplinary proceedings – first instance
- If the Chairman of the Board, on the basis of a Case Report submitted to him or her in accordance with Article 4., so decides, the Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee will, within 20 working days, start to hear the case. In case of necessity or if new facts have in the meantime come to light, there may be started more than one hearing.
- The Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee will, as far as it is possible, agree in advance with the Respondent the dates of the hearings. In the event that the Respondent cannot be reached at their last known address within 20 working days, or if it is not possible to agree the date of the first hearing within 40 working days, the Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee will, on the basis of the powers vested in him or her, specify the dates of hearings. These must be notified to all parties concerned (the Respondent or his representative, invited and expert witnesses, and members of the Disciplinary Committee) at least 20 working days in advance.
- The Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee is required to make available to the Respondent the case report relating to the alleged offence at least 10 working days before the hearing and the Respondent has the right to present a defence at the hearing.
- If the Respondent, despite being informed of the date of the hearing, fails to attend, the hearing may take place in his absence. In the event that he or she was unable to attend the hearing for verifiable objective reasons, he or she has the right to be heard within 20 working days. The Respondent can make use of this right at most three times.
- A record will be kept of the disciplinary hearing.
- The Disciplinary Committee will assess whether an offence has taken place on the basis of its evaluation of the case report and any evidence given during the course of the investigation phase. It will come to a judgement free of any external influence, on the basis of its own evaluation of the evidence, at a closed meeting and by a simple majority.
- When deciding on the disciplinary sanction to apply, account will be taken of mitigating or aggravating circumstances, in particular the seriousness of the offence, the likelihood of its being repeated, the level of guilt or negligence, the damage caused and the extent to which the Respondent accepts that he or she has committed an offence. Account should also be taken of whether the offence committed directly or indirectly damaged the Society or the good reputation of the profession and its standing in society and the level of such damage.
- The Disciplinary Committee’s judgement is made up of their decision and the reasons for it. The decision must include in particular the personal details of the Respondent, the fact that proceedings are being discontinued or the disciplinary sanction to be imposed and a notice to the effect that the Respondent or his representative may appeal within 10 working days of its receipt. The reasons must include details of the offence and its legal and other implications.
- The Complainant will be informed of the Disciplinary Committee’s judgement if it becomes final.
Disciplinary proceedings – appeal
- The Respondent or his representative may within 10 working days of receipt of the judgement of the Disciplinary Committee appeal in writing against it. The appeal must be addressed to the Board of the Society through the Disciplinary Committee which decided on the case in the first instance. Carrying out of the judgement is deferred until the appeal has been heard.
- If an appeal is made within the specified time limit, the Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee will deliver to the Chairman of the Board, for the purpose of the appeal proceedings and without undue delay, details of the appeal and all papers relating to the case, otherwise the judgement of the Disciplinary Committee will become final.
- The appeal proceedings will be led by the Chairman of the Board. The Respondent or his representative and the Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee, or another member of the Disciplinary Committee if the Chairman did not take part in the proceedings at the first instance, must be invited to attend the meeting of the Board at which the appeal will be heard. If the case warrants it, the other participants in the first instance proceedings may also be asked to attend. In the event that the appeal proceedings relate to a member of the Board as Complainant or Respondent or a member of the Board has a conflict of interest with regard to the Complaint, that member of the Board does not have the right to vote in the proceedings and is considered to be not present.
- The date for the appeal hearing is fixed by the Chairman of the Board and the hearing will take place even in the absence of properly summoned participants.
- For the purpose of the appeal hearing the same rules and principles as for the proceedings at first instance apply as appropriate.
- The judgement of the appeal proceedings will be taken at a closed meeting on the basis of a majority vote. In the case of a tied vote, the vote of the Chairman of the Board, or the Vice-Chairman of the Society if the Chairman is unable to vote in accordance with paragraph 3. of this Article, decides. The representative of the Disciplinary Committee also attends the closed meeting, but without the right to vote.
- If, as a result of the application of the last sentence of paragraph 3. of this Article, the number of members of the Board able to vote is less than three, the Chairman of the Board will appoint three members of the Society with adequate experience relating to the subject matter of the case, with good professional reputation, and without any conflict of interest with regard to the matter of the appeal, who will hear the appeal in the place of the Board. These members will appoint one of their number as the chairman, who will take on the responsibilities of the Chairman of the Board as set out under this Article.
- The Complainant will be informed of the content of the appeal judgement.
- It is not possible to appeal against the judgement of the appeal proceedings.
Coming into force
This Disciplinary Procedure was approved by a General Meeting of the Slovak Society of Actuaries held on 18 March 2010 and comes into force from the same date for complaints submitted to the Disciplinary Committee after 18 March 2010.