News May 2015 Closure of investigation into the conduct of members and member firms in connection with Healthcare

Closure of investigation into the conduct of members and member firms in connection with Healthcare Locums plc

26 May 2015

PN 27/15

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) announces the closure of its investigation into the conduct of BDO LLP and certain members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales as auditors of Healthcare Locums plc. The Executive Counsel to the FRC has concluded that there is not a realistic prospect that a Tribunal would make an Adverse Finding against BDO LLP and the members in respect of the matters within the scope of the investigation.

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. The initial scope of the FRC’s investigation, announced on 28 November 2011 related to:

  • preparation, approval and audit of the financial statements of Healthcare Locums plc and its subsidiaries for the years ended 31st December 2008 and 2009;
  • preparation and approval of the interim financial statements of Healthcare Locums plc and subsidiaries for the six months ended 30th June 2010;
  • operation by Healthcare Locums plc and its subsidiaries of the discounting facility with Barclays Bank plc during 2010; and
  • compliance by Healthcare Locums plc and subsidiaries with the National Health Service terms and conditions as set out in the Framework Agreements since 1 January 2008.

3. 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
  • Investigation
  • Decision whether to bring disciplinary proceedings against Member Firm or Member and, if so decided, referral to Disciplinary Tribunal
  • Tribunal hearing
  • Determination and imposition of sanction and/or costs orders

4. 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.

5. 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.