May 16, 2008

Government Agency Referral Task Force Preliminary Report on Referral Process

Explanatory Note

In January 2008, the Government Agency Referral Task Force (Task Force) sent a draft of a government agency referral process outline to all state boards and requested comments. The responses stated a clear understanding of the need for a process but also stated concerns with respect to independence issues. The Task Force considered these concerns and developed this draft which excludes any mention of a the CPA’s name and we believe provides a simple process that will help avoid the periodic national publicity to the effect that state boards are not been responsive to complaints. The Task Force welcomes your comments on the revised approach.

Government Agency Referral Process Outline

1. By July 1, 2008, NASBA will send each state board a template (in electronic form) to be used in providing the information described in 2 below and the name of the contact person designated by NASBA (NASBA Designee).

2. By the 15th of July 2008 and by the 15th of each October, January, April and July thereafter, the state board submits the aforementioned form to the NASBA Designee showing the following numerical information relating to referrals from government agencies for the preceding three months:

a. number in process at the beginning of the quarter

b. number received during the quarter

c. number closed and final disposition letter sent to referring agency during the quarter

d. number in process at the end of the quarter

Note: The report should be submitted even if there are no referrals in process.

3. In addition, the state board advises the NASBA Designee whether the state board:

a. is encountering any difficulties in obtaining the information needed to process the referral

b. has any concerns or issues that need to be communicated to a government agency

c. wants NASBA to discuss the matter with the agency

If so, the NASBA Designee will work with the agency and the state board to resolve the issue.

4. The NASBA Designee will contact all agencies that are likely to send referrals to state boards and request the identification of a person with whom the NASBA Designee can maintain contact.

5. On a quarterly basis, a NASBA Designee will contact each agency to inquire whether the agency has made referrals to a state board for which they do not know the status. If so, the NASBA Designee will:

a. communicate with the state board(s) and advise them on a no-names basis that an agency is unaware of the current status of a referral and the person to contact at that agency

b. follow up with the agency in approximately two weeks to determine whether the issue has been resolved

6. In order to avoid allegations of non-responsiveness by state boards, NASBA recommends that state boards:

a. acknowledge receipt of a complaint within 30 days of receipt

b communicate status of complaint preferably every three months but at least every six months until adjudication is complete

c. communicate the completion of the adjudication process and the results within 30 days of its closing

7. In order to keep them informed as to how the process is working, quarterly the NASBA Designee will provide the government agencies a summary of the numerical information received from all state boards.

Respectfully submitted,

Government Agency Referral Task Force

Ellis Dunkum, CPA, Chair
Gerald W. Burns, CPA
J. Dwight Hadley, CPA
Laurie J. Tish, CPA

Assisting Task Force
Linda L. Biek, CPA
Director of Governmental, International and Professional Relationships

See Full Document
Government Agency Referral Report

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