The biggest difference between the State Boards of Accountancy and the Federal Trade Commission is the FTC approaches everything through a filter of promoting competition, Tara Isa Koslov, Chief of Staff to the Chairman of the FTC, observed. “In the North Carolina Dental case there was some distrust: Why is the FTC budding in? We are all focused on protecting consumers. We share respect for the rule of law….But do Boards think about promoting competition?”

She assured the NASBA audience that the FTC believes some occupational regulation is good for society. However, the FTC is focused on boards because the choices they make can impact entry and restrict services, and the FTC believes there is an inherent conflict of interest when those in the profession are on the licensing board. “We need some mechanism to implement smart trust,” Ms. Koslov said, and that exists when a board can show there is “active supervision by the state.” She pointed out, “There has not been an avalanche of cases coming from the FTC in the wake of NC Dental.”

In the paper released by the FTC in September, Options to Enhance Occupational License Portability, “We recognized accountancy as having done mobility and accountability right. “ Ms. Koslov noted, “Importantly you are providing disciplinary support beyond state lines.”

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