BYLAW 12 ‎–‎ COMPLAINTS, INVESTIGATIONS AND DISCIPLINE

Published: February 2021

Definitions

12-1 In this Bylaw 12 and Bylaw 13  (Public Disclosure):

“complainant” means a person who delivers a complaint to the registrar under section 12-2(1);
“complaint” means a complaint against a current or former registrant under section 65 of the Act , and includes a report made to the registrar about a current or former registrant under section 58(2), (4) or (5) of the Act or Standard 9 of the Code of Ethical and Professional Conduct;
“hearing panel” means a panel of the discipline committee appointed under section 12-15(1) to conduct a hearing of a citation;
“investigation report” means a report prepared by a lead inspector after an investigation under section 12-8(5)(c), and includes an amended or supplementary investigation report described in section 12-13(2);
“lead inspector” means, in respect of an investigation authorized by the investigation committee, the inspector assigned to lead the investigation under section 12-6(1)(a);
“respondent” means a current or former registrant who is the subject of a complaint under Part A, an investigation under Part B, or a discipline hearing under Part C.

Part A – Complaints

Complaints

12-2 (1) Any person may deliver a complaint, in writing, to the registrar.
(2) Subject to section 58 of the Act and Standard 9 of the Code of Ethical and Professional Conduct, a complaint must allege conduct or practice by the respondent that, if admitted or proven, would constitute 

(a) the incompetent performance of services or duties undertaken by the respondent while engaged in the practice of professional forestry,
(b) professional misconduct,
(c) conduct unbecoming a registrant, or
(d) a breach of the Act or the bylaws. 

(3) The registrar may decline to accept a complaint if the registrar determines, on a preliminary review, that

(a) the complaint is trivial, frivolous, vexatious, or made in bad faith, or constitutes an abuse of process,
(b) the complaint does not relate to a concern about the conduct or practice of a current or former registrant, 
(c) the complaint does not allege conduct or practice that, if admitted or proven, would constitute a matter referred to in subsection (2),
(d) the complaint does not include sufficient information or particulars to allow an investigation to proceed, or
(e) the subject matter of the complaint would more appropriately be addressed by a different regulatory or administrative organization, agency, board or tribunal, or by the courts.

(4) The registrar may request or obtain additional information from the complainant, the respondent or another source if it is reasonably necessary to do so for the purpose of the registrar’s preliminary review of the complaint under subsection (3).
(5) If the registrar declines to accept a complaint under subsection (3), the registrar must deliver a report to the investigation committee summarizing the complaint and the grounds for declining to accept it.
(6) Within 30 days after receiving a report from the registrar under subsection (5), the investigation committee must either

(a) accept the report, or
(b) direct the registrar to act under subsection (8).

(7) If the investigation committee accepts a report of the registrar under subsection (6)(a), the registrar must notify the complainant and the respondent of the disposition of the complaint and the grounds for declining to accept it.
(8) If the registrar does not act under subsection (3) or receives a direction from the investigation committee under subsection (6)(b) in respect of a complaint, the registrar must refer the complaint 

(a) to the investigation committee, for investigation under Part B, or
(b) to the audit and practice review committee, for a review of the practice of the respondent under section 63(4) and (5) of the Act and Bylaw 11  (Audit and Practice Review).

(9) If, at any time before referring a complaint to the investigation committee or the audit and practice review committee under subsection (8), it appears to the registrar that an order under section 67(1) of the Act may be necessary to protect the public interest, the registrar must deliver a report to the council summarizing their concern.
(10) If the registrar delivers a report to the council under subsection (9), the registrar 

(a) may disclose to the council for its review any information or records relating to the complaint that may be relevant to the council’s consideration of whether to issue an order under section 67(1), and
(b) must disclose to the council any information or records described in paragraph (a) that are requested by the council. 

Protecting identity of complainant

12-3 (1) The investigation committee may order that the identity of a complainant, or information that might enable the identity of a complainant to be established, not be disclosed to a respondent or other person, if the investigation committee is satisfied that such disclosure would expose the complainant to an undue risk of harm, including an undue risk of reprisals described in section 103 of the Act.
(2) A complainant may deliver to the registrar a request, in writing, for an order under subsection (1), which may be included in the complainant’s complaint or delivered separately, and may by accompanied by evidence in support of the request.
(3) The registrar must refer a request under subsection (2) to the investigation committee for determination before disclosing the identity of a complainant, or information that might enable the identity of a complainant to be established, to the respondent or other person described in the request.

Part B – Investigations

Delegation of authority to investigation committee

12-4 (1) The investigation committee may exercise the powers and authority of the council under 

(a) sections 65(4), 66(1) and 72(3) of the Act, and
(b) section 1.8 of the General Regulation, with respect to action taken by the investigation committee.

(2) The powers and authority vested in “the investigation committee or the discipline committee” under sections 72(1) and (2), 73(1) to (3) and 74 of the Act may only be exercised by the investigation committee.

Authorization of investigations

12-5 (1) If a complaint is referred to the investigation committee under section 12-2(8), the investigation committee must

(a) authorize an investigation of the complaint under section 66(1)(a) of the Act, or
(b) refer the complaint to the audit and practice review committee under section 12-11(1)

(2) The investigation committee may authorize an investigation on its own motion under section 66(1)(a) of the Act into concerns about the conduct or competence of a current or former registrant.
(3) A decision to authorize an investigation under subsection (2) may be based on concerns about the respondent’s conduct or competence arising from 

(a) information that the registrar or another inspector appointed under section 68 of the Act obtains from any source and provides to the investigation committee for its review, 
(b) a report made by the registrar under section 10-2(4)(b) of Bylaw 10  (Continuing Professional Development),
(c) a report referred to the investigation committee by the audit and practice review committee under section 63(5)(d) of the Act, or 
(d) notification given to the investigation committee by the audit and practice review committee under section 110(4) of the Act or section 11-9(2) of Bylaw 11 (Audit and Practice Review).

Assignment of inspector

12-6 (1) If the investigation committee authorizes an investigation under section 12-5(1)(a) or (2), the registrar 

(a) must assign an inspector under section 68 of the Act to lead the investigation, and
(b)may assign one or more additional inspectors under section 68 of the Act to assist the lead inspector with the investigation.

(2) Subject to any contrary provision of the Act or bylaws and any directions given by the investigation committee, an inspector assigned under subsection (1) or the registrar may undertake any aspect of an investigation authorized by the investigation committee.

Respondent’s opportunity to comment

12-7 (1) If the investigation committee authorizes an investigation of a complaint under section 12-5(1)(a), the registrar or the lead inspector must request that the respondent provide a written response to the complaint.
(2) If the investigation committee authorizes an investigation on its own motion under section 12-5(2), the registrar or the lead inspector must 

(a) notify the respondent of the concerns about the respondent’s conduct or competence that are being investigated, and
(b) request that the respondent provide a written response to those concerns.

(3) The respondent must provide a written response to a request under subsection (1) or (2)(b) within 14 days of receipt of the request or such further time as may be permitted by the registrar or the lead inspector.

Conduct of investigation

12-8 (1) Subject to any directions given by the investigation committee, the lead inspector assigned to lead an investigation must ensure that appropriate steps are taken to adequately investigate the matter, which may include any of the following:

(a) requesting that the respondent, the complainant, or any other person who may have relevant evidence provide additional information, including files, records or other documents, or written responses to inquiries;
(b) interviewing the respondent, the complainant, or any other person who may have relevant evidence;
(c) requesting that the investigation committee issue a written notice to the respondent under section 66(1)(b) or (c) of the Act in support of the investigation;
(d) exercising the powers of an inspector under section 69(1) of the Act;
(e) applying to the Supreme Court for an order under section 70(1) of the Act;
(f) any other investigative steps within the authority of an inspector.

(2) The respondent and any other registrant must 

(a) cooperate fully with any steps taken in an investigation under subsection (1)
(b) respond fully and substantively to any written requests by an inspector or the registrar under subsection (1) within 7 days of receipt of the request or such further time as may be permitted by the inspector or registrar, 
(c) ‎attend for an interview requested by an inspector or the registrar, ‎and
(d) subject to subsection (4), produce any information, including files, records or other documents, requested under subsection (1), even if that information is confidential.

(3) The respondent must

(a) comply with any written notice issued by the investigation committee under section 66(1)(b) of the Act within 7 days of receipt of the notice or such further time as may be permitted by the investigation committee, and
(b) appear before the investigation committee at the time and place directed by the committee in any written notice issued ‎by the committee under section 66(1)(c) of the Act.

(4) For greater certainty, nothing in this section requires disclosure of information to an inspector, the registrar or the investigation committee if

(a) the information is subject to solicitor-client privilege, or
(b) disclosure of the information to an inspector, the registrar or the investigation committee is prohibited by law.

(5) The lead inspector assigned must

(a) provide to the investigation committee any interim reports on the progress of the investigation that the committee may require, 
(b) provide periodic updates to the complainant, if any, on the progress of the investigation, in accordance with investigation committee policy, and
(c) prepare a report for the investigation committee after an investigation, if the matter has not already been disposed of through alternative complaint resolution under section 12-10 or referral to the audit and practice review committee under section 12-11 or discontinued under section 12-9, outlining the steps taken and evidence obtained during the investigation, the investigative findings, and any recommendations of the lead inspector.

(6) Before an investigation report prepared under subsection (5)(c) is reviewed by the investigation committee, the registrar may request that the respondent provide a written response to the investigation report.
(7) The respondent must provide a written response to a request under subsection (6) within 14 days of receipt of the request or such further time as may be permitted by the registrar.

Termination of investigation

12-9 (1) The investigation committee may discontinue an investigation authorized under section 12-5(1)(a) or (2) before the preparation of an investigation report under section 12-8(5)(c) if it becomes apparent in the course of the investigation that the available evidence will not be capable of supporting a finding against the respondent under section 75(5)(b) of the Act. 
(2) If the investigation committee discontinues an investigation under subsection (1), the registrar must notify the complainant, if any, and the respondent of the termination of the investigation.

Alternative complaint resolution

12-10 (1) At any time before the commencement of a discipline hearing, the investigation committee may, with the registrar’s agreement, direct the registrar or the lead inspector to attempt to resolve a complaint, or other concerns investigated under section 12-5(2), by alternative complaint resolution under section 74 of the Act.
(2) Subject to any directions given by the investigation committee, the registrar or lead inspector may attempt to resolve a complaint, or other concerns investigated under section 12-5(2), by negotiating the respondent’s agreement to

(a) a consent or undertakings to be requested by the investigation committee under section 72(1) of the Act, 
(b) a consent order to be requested by the investigation committee under section 73(1) of the Act, or 
(c) other measures to resolve the matter in the public interest.

(3) For the purpose of an agreement negotiated under subsection (2)(a),

(a) an undertaking to be requested by the investigation committee under section 72(1)(b) of the Act may include an undertaking by the respondent to take 

(i) pre-approved educational courses specified in audit and practice review committee policy, 
(ii) other educational courses approved by the audit and practice review committee under subsection (4), or
(iii) educational courses to be specified by the audit and practice review committee in accordance with the terms of the agreement, and

(b) a consent or undertaking to be requested by the investigation committee under section 72(1)(d) of the Act may include a consent or undertaking by the respondent to

(i) pre-approved action specified in audit and practice review committee policy, 
(ii) other action approved by the audit and practice review committee under subsection (4), or
(iii) other action to be specified by the audit and practice review committee in accordance with the terms of the agreement.

(4) The investigation committee, registrar or lead inspector may request that the audit and practice review committee approve an educational course or other action to be specified in a consent or undertaking to be requested under section 72(1)(b) or (d) of the Act, other than a pre-approved educational course or other pre-approved action specified in audit and practice review committee policy. 
(5) An agreement negotiated under subsection (2) 

(a) may require the respondent to reimburse ABCFP for expenses reasonably incurred for the purposes of the investigation or in preparation for a hearing under Part C, and
(b) is conditional on approval by the investigation committee.

(6) The amount payable by a respondent under subsection (5)(a) must not exceed the total amount of expenses that could be included in an award of costs under section 12-25(2) if a hearing panel ordered the respondent to pay the costs of the investigation or hearing under section 81 of the Act
(7) If a complaint is resolved through alternative complaint resolution, the registrar must notify the complainant within 30 days of the investigation committee’s approval under subsection (5)(b).
(8) A notice delivered to the complainant under subsection (7) must include a written summary of the consent or undertakings, consent order, or other measures agreed to by the respondent under subsection (2).

Referral to audit and practice review committee

12-11 (1) If, at any time before the commencement of a discipline hearing, it appears to the investigation committee that the subject matter of a complaint, or other concerns investigated under section 12-5(2), would more appropriately be addressed through the practice review process, the investigation committee may refer the complaint or other concerns, in whole or in part, to the audit and practice review committee under section 65(4) of the Act for a review of the practice of the respondent under section 63(4) and (5) of the Act and Bylaw 11  (Audit and Practice Review).
(2) If the investigation committee refers a complaint or other concerns to the audit and practice review committee for a practice review ‎under subsection (1), the registrar must notify the complainant, if any, and the ‎respondent.‎

Extraordinary action 

12-12 (1) If, at any time before the commencement of a discipline hearing, it appears to the investigation committee that an order under section 67(1) of the Act may be necessary to protect the public interest, the investigation committee must deliver a report to the council summarizing its concern.
(2) If the investigation committee delivers a report to the council under subsection (1), the registrar or lead inspector may disclose to the council for its review any information or records relating to the complaint or investigation that may be relevant to the council’s consideration of whether to issue an order under section 67(1) of the Act.
(3) The council may establish additional procedures, consistent with the Act and the bylaws, for considering whether to issue an order under section 67(1) of the Act. 

Review of investigation report and disposition of investigation

12-13 (1) The investigation committee must review and consider an investigation report prepared by the lead inspector under section 12-8(5)(c) after the investigation of a complaint or other concerns, and any written response to the investigation report provided by the respondent under section 12-8(7).
(2) On preliminary review of an investigation report and any written response provided by the respondent, if the investigation committee considers that further investigation is necessary, the investigation committee may direct the lead inspector to conduct such further investigation and to prepare an amended or supplementary investigation report.
(3) Before deciding what action to take under subsection (6), the investigation committee may direct the registrar to request that the respondent provide a written response to the investigation report if the respondent has not already provided one under section 12-8(7).
(4) The investigation committee must direct the registrar to request the respondent’s written response to an investigation report under subsection (3) if the respondent has not already provided one under section 12-8(7) and it appears to the committee on a preliminary review of the report that there may be reasonable grounds to issue a citation against the respondent for a discipline hearing.
(5) The respondent must provide a written response to a request under subsection (3) within 14 days of receipt of the request or such further time as may be permitted by the registrar.
(6) After considering the investigation report and any written response to the report provided by the respondent under section 12-8(7) or subsection (5), the investigation committee may 

(a) dismiss the complaint or other concerns without taking further action,
(b) refer the complaint or other concerns to the audit and practice review committee under section 12-11(1),
(c) issue a written notice under section 66(1)(c) of the Act for the respondent to appear before the investigation committee to discuss concerns identified in the investigation report about the respondent’s conduct or competence,
(d) attempt to resolve the complaint or other concerns by requesting the respondent’s agreement to a consent or undertakings under section 72 of the Act, a consent order under section 73 of the Act, or other measures to resolve the matter in the public interest,
(e) take other action within the investigation committee’s authority that the committee considers appropriate to resolve the complaint or other concerns, or
(f) ‎direct that a citation be issued against the respondent under section 66(1)(d) of the Act for a discipline hearing under Part C.

(7) Section 12-10(3), (4), (5)(a) and (6) apply to a requested agreement under subsection (6)(d).
(8) If the respondent refuses to agree to a consent or undertakings, a consent order, or other measures requested under subsection (6)(d), or if other action taken under subsection (6) does not resolve a matter to the investigation committee’s satisfaction, the investigation committee may take additional action under subsection (6).
(9) The registrar must notify the complainant, if any, and the respondent of any action taken under subsection (6).
(10) ‎A notice delivered to the complainant under subsection (9) must include a written summary of any consent or undertakings, consent order, or other measures agreed ‎to by the respondent under subsection (6)(d) or any other action taken by the investigation committee under subsection (6)(e).‎

Part C – Discipline

Citation

12-14 (1) The registrar may exercise the powers and authority of the council to issue or rescind a citation under section 66(1)(d) or (e) of the Act at the direction of the investigation committee in accordance with this section.
(2) If directed by the investigation committee under section 72(3) of the Act or section 12-13(6)(f), the registrar must issue a citation for a discipline hearing that

(a) names the respondent whose conduct or competence is to be the subject of the hearing,
(b) describes the allegations that are to be the subject of the hearing, and
(c) informs the respondent that the discipline committee is entitled to proceed with the hearing in the respondent’s absence.

(3) Before the issuance of a citation under subsection (2), on the direction of the investigation committee, the registrar may join one or more complaints or other concerns that are to be the subject of a hearing in one citation as the committee considers appropriate in the circumstances.
(4) After the issuance of a citation or citations under section 66(1)(d) or 72(3) of the Act but not less than 14 days before the date specified in a notice of hearing for the hearing of a citation, on the direction of the investigation committee, the registrar may

(a) join one or more complaints or other concerns that are to be the subject of a hearing,
(b) sever one or more complaints or other concerns that are to be the subject of a hearing, or
(c) amend a citation.

(5) At any time before the hearing of a citation is completed, the hearing panel may direct the registrar to 

(a) join one or more complaints or other concerns that are to be the subject of a ‎hearing,‎
(b) sever one or more complaints or other concerns that are to be the subject of the ‎hearing, or
(c) amend the citation.

(6) The registrar must deliver a citation and any amended citation to the respondent by personal service, or by sending it by registered mail to the most recent address that ABCFP has on record for the respondent.
(7) The investigation committee may direct the registrar to rescind a citation that has been issued on its direction if the investigation committee afterwards determines that a discipline hearing is not required, and the registrar must then cancel the citation and notify the respondent and the complainant, if any, of the cancellation.

Appointment of hearing panel

12-15 (1) On issuance of a citation under section 12-14(2), the chair of the discipline committee must appoint a panel of the discipline committee to conduct a hearing of the citation under section 75 of the Act.
(2) A member of the discipline committee is not eligible to be appointed to a panel to conduct a hearing of a citation respecting a matter in which they

(a) were previously involved as a member of the investigation committee or the audit and practice review committee, or
(b) had any other prior involvement.

Notice of hearing

12-16 (1) A hearing panel appointed under section 12-15(1) must issue a notice of hearing specifying the date and time and, if applicable, the place for the hearing of the citation.
(2) The registrar must deliver the notice of hearing to the respondent at least 30 days before the date of the hearing.
(3) The hearing panel may amend the notice of hearing to change the date, time or place of the hearing at any time before the hearing is commenced.
(4) The registrar must deliver the amended notice of hearing to the respondent at least 14 days before the date (or amended date) of the hearing.
(5) The registrar must deliver the notice of hearing, or any amended notice of hearing, accompanied by a copy of the citation, to the complainant, if any, at least 14 days before the date (or amended date) of the hearing. 

Legal counsel

12-17 (1) The registrar may retain a member of the Law Society of British Columbia to prosecute the citation on behalf of ABCFP, and to represent ABCFP at the hearing of the citation and at any pre-hearing meeting or pre-hearing conference, in accordance with section 79(2) of the Act.
(2) The respondent may appear with legal counsel at the hearing in accordance with section 79(1) of the Act.
(3) The hearing panel may retain a member of the Law Society of British Columbia to act as independent legal counsel to the hearing panel, in accordance with section 79(3) of the Act, who may conduct or assist with conducting the proceedings of the panel and participate in its deliberations and the drafting of its decision and written reasons, but must not have a vote.

Style of hearing

12-18 (1) A hearing must be conducted orally, unless the hearing panel directs under this section that the hearing, or any portion of the hearing, be conducted in writing.
(2) At any time before the commencement of a hearing, the hearing panel may direct that any evidentiary portion of the hearing be conducted in writing

(a) if the respondent and ABCFP agree, or
(b) if the hearing panel is otherwise satisfied that the applicable portion of the hearing 

(i) will not involve any significant evidentiary conflict or issue of credibility, and 
(ii) may fairly be conducted without undue prejudice to the respondent or ABCFP on the basis of affidavits, agreed facts or admissions, or other documentary evidence, without the need for cross-examination of any witness before the hearing panel.

(3) At any time before the commencement of a hearing, the hearing panel may direct that any non-evidentiary portion of the hearing be conducted in writing

(a) if the respondent and ABCFP agree, or
(b) if the hearing panel is otherwise satisfied that the applicable portion of the hearing may fairly be conducted without undue prejudice to the respondent or ABCFP on the basis of written submissions. 

Pre-hearing matters

12-19 (1) The registrar may invite the respondent to participate in a pre-hearing meeting with ABCFP to discuss one or more of the following in relation to the hearing:

(a) jurisdictional or procedural issues;
(b) admissions or an agreed statement of facts;
(c) disclosure of information or records;
(d) style of hearing;
(e) witnesses;
(f) estimated length of time required for any oral portion of the hearing;
(g) possible resolution of the complaint or other concerns that are the subject of the citation by alternative complaint resolution;
(h) possible referral of the complaint or other concerns that are the subject of the citation to the audit and practice review committee for a practice review;
(i) possible disciplinary actions under section 75(6) of the Act.

(2) A pre-hearing meeting under this section must be held in private unless the respondent and the registrar agree otherwise.
(3) The respondent’s legal counsel may attend a pre-hearing meeting on their behalf.

Pre-hearing conferences

12-20 (1) At any time before the commencement of a hearing, the hearing panel may convene a pre-hearing conference.
(2) At the discretion of the hearing panel, a pre-hearing conference may be conducted in person, or by video, telephone conference, web casting, or an equivalent method of telecommunication that allows all participants to hear and interact with each other.
(3) A pre-hearing conference under this section must be held in private unless the hearing panel directs otherwise.
(4) The respondent’s legal counsel may attend a pre-hearing conference on their behalf.
(5) A pre-hearing conference under this section may proceed in the absence of a party if reasonable notice of the pre-hearing conference was delivered to the absent party.
(6) At a pre-hearing conference‎, the hearing panel may make an order

(a) fixing the date, time or place of the hearing to be specified in a notice of hearing under section 12-16(1), or changing the date, time or place of the hearing previously specified in a notice of hearing,
(b) for the discovery and production or information or records relevant to the citation, 
(c) respecting applications for joinder or severance of one or more complaints or other concerns that are to be the subject of a hearing, 
(d) directing under section 12-18 that the hearing or any portion of it be conducted in writing, or revoking a direction previously given under section 12-18,
(e) for the hearing, or any oral portion of it, to be conducted by video or web casting, or an equivalent method of telecommunication that allows all participants to hear, see and interact with each other, 
(f) for any oral portion of the hearing that does not involve the examination of witnesses to be conducted by video, telephone conference, web casting, or an equivalent method of telecommunication that allows all participants to hear and interact with each other, or
(g) respecting any other matters that may aid in the disposition of the citation.

Hearing

12-21 (1) An oral hearing under section 75 of the Act must be in public unless the hearing panel, at the request of the respondent, ABCFP or a witness, or on its own motion, determines that it is in the interests of justice

(a) to hold all or any part of the hearing in private, or
(b) to exclude any person from attending the hearing
to avoid unwarranted disclosure of confidential information or for any other reason.

(2) The hearing panel must provide notice by personal service or registered mail to a person who is required to attend a hearing or to produce files, records, other documents or information, or any other thing under

(a) section 77(4) of the Act, or 
(b) section 80(1)(a) of the Act and 34(3) of the Administrative Tribunals Act.

(3) At an oral hearing under section 75 of the Act,

(a) the testimony of witnesses must be taken on oath or affirmation, which may be administered by any member of the hearing panel, 
(b) subject to paragraph (c), the hearing panel may, in its discretion, receive the evidence in chief of any witness by affidavit, and
(c) ABCFP and the respondent have the right to cross-examine witnesses and to call evidence in reply.

(4) The hearing panel is not bound by the legal rules of evidence and may allow the introduction of information or evidence it considers relevant to the matter before it and appropriate in the circumstances, whether or not that information or evidence would be admissible under the rules of evidence in a court of law.
(5) Subject to subsection (6), evidence is not admissible at a hearing under section 75 of the Act unless, at least 14 days before the hearing, the party intending to introduce the evidence provides the other party with

(a) in the case of documentary evidence, an opportunity to inspect the document,
(b) in the case of expert testimony,

(i) the name and qualifications of the expert,
(ii) a copy of any written report the expert has prepared respecting the matter, and
(iii) a written summary of the evidence the expert will present at the hearing if the expert did not prepare a written report in respect of the matter, and

(c) in the case of testimony of a witness who is not an expert, the name of that witness and an outline of their anticipated evidence.

(6) The hearing panel may

(a) grant an adjournment of a hearing,
(b) allow the introduction of evidence that is not admissible under subsection (5), or
(c) make any other direction it considers appropriate
if the hearing panel is satisfied that this is necessary to ensure that the legitimate interests of a party will not be unduly prejudiced.

(7) The hearing panel must cause any oral portion of the hearing to be transcribed or audio-recorded electronically, and the transcript or audio record must be presumed to be correct and constitutes part of the record of the hearing.
(8) If, by a mechanical or human failure or other accident, the transcript or audio record of a hearing is destroyed, interrupted or incomplete, the validity of the hearing is not affected.
(9) The respondent is entitled to obtain a copy of the transcript or audio record of a hearing at their own expense.
(10) Subject to the Act and bylaws, a hearing panel may adopt additional procedures for the conduct of a hearing.

Extraordinary action during hearing

12-22 (1) The hearing panel may issue an order under section 67(1) of the Act between the time a hearing is commenced and the time the hearing panel takes any action under section 75(6) of the Act, if the hearing panel considers that the order is necessary to protect the public interest.
(2) If the hearing panel issues an order under section 67(1) of the Act, the hearing panel may exercise the powers and authority of the council under section 67(2) and (4) of the Act and section 1.8 of the General Regulation.

Delivery of decision and reasons

12-23 (1) After a hearing under section 75 of the Act, the hearing panel must deliver its decision, including its written reasons under section 75(4)(b) of the Act, to the registrar, the complainant, if any, and the respondent.
(2) The hearing panel may exercise the powers and authority of the council under section 1.8 of the General Regulation with respect to a decision of the hearing panel under section 75 of the Act.

Effect of suspension

12-24 (1) During any period of suspension of a registrant’s registration under section 67(1)(b) or 75(6)(d) of the Act, Bylaw 14  (Indictable Offences), or otherwise, the registrant

(a) ceases to be in good standing,
(b) must not engage in the practice of professional forestry,
(c) must not use any title or initials reserved for the use of registrants of ABCFP under Part 5 of the Act and section 3 of the Forest Professionals Regulation,
(d) must not display the registrant’s certificate of registration or confirmation under section 49(1) of the Act, 
(e) must not sign any professional document or use the registrant’s professional seal under Bylaw 8 (Use of Professional Seal and Signature), 
(f) must not hold any office in ABCFP, including membership on the council or any committee or panel,
(g) must pay, when due, any fee, special assessment, penalty, costs or other debt payable to ABCFP, and 
(h) must continue to comply with all other applicable obligations of registrants under the Act, the regulations and the bylaws.

(2) No registrant or former registrant is entitled to any refund of any fee, special assessment, penalty, costs or other amount paid to ABCFP solely on the basis that it was paid during or in relation to a period of suspension.
(3) Subject to the registrar’s approval, a suspended registrant may employ or permit another registrant to carry on the registrant’s practice of professional forestry, provided that the suspended registrant complies with subsection (1).

Costs

12-25 (1) If a hearing panel requires a respondent to pay the costs of an investigation or hearing under section 81 of the Act, the hearing panel must assess the amount of costs payable by the respondent in accordance with this section.
(2) The following expenses described in section 81(2) of the Act may be included in an award of costs against a respondent, at the discretion of the hearing panel:

(a) up to 50% of actual legal fees incurred by ABCFP for the purposes of the investigation or the hearing, including the fees of 

(i) legal counsel engaged to advise ABCFP on the investigation, and 
(ii) both prosecuting counsel under section 12-17(1) and independent counsel to the hearing panel under section 12-17(3);

(b) up to 50% of the salary costs of employees or officers described in section 81(2)(b) of the Act, including any inspector;
(c) up to 100% of actual expenses incurred by ABCFP for other reasonable and necessary professional services engaged by ABCFP for the purposes of the investigation or hearing, including any expert witness fees;
(d) up to 100% of actual expenses incurred by ABCFP for other reasonable and necessary disbursements incurred for the purposes of the investigation or hearing, including disbursements incurred by legal counsel.

(3) The registrar must notify a respondent by personal service or registered mail of the assessed amount of a costs award made against them.
(4) The respondent must make payment to ABCFP of the assessed amount of a costs award made against them within 30 days of receipt of the notice under subsection (3), or by such other date as may be directed ‎by the hearing panel.
(5) Subject to any directions given by the hearing panel, the registrar may extend the time for payment of a costs award, at the respondent’s request, if there are extenuating circumstances.


Download Bylaw 12: Complaints, Investigations and Discipline in PDF format.

 

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