So your Board has received a referral from the DOL, what should you do now? In the past, there has been a great deal of confusion with the referral of matters by the DOL. A new process has been created to help ensure proper receipt of the file and to facilitate communication between the Boards and the DOL to best utilize the resources of the Boards. NASBA has worked with the Boards to provide the DOL with a listing of the correct individual(s) at each Board and the email address to which the DOL should send the electronic file of the referral. Once the Board opens the file, then the DOL receives electronic confirmation of its receipt by the Board. The DOL is providing information to NASBA quarterly regarding the number of referrals sent to each Board, but without any other identifying information. NASBA then reaches out to the Boards to confirm that the referrals were in fact received by the Boards and to encourage Boards to utilize the new Consent process described below to expedite the Board’s enforcement process and to save limited Board resources from being used on duplicate tasks already performed by the DOL during its investigation.
If the Board receives a referral letter from the DOL or learns of a DOL disciplinary action from another source, it is recommended that the Board of Accountancy request the licensee to provide all documentation and correspondence between the licensee and the DOL, including the Notice of Rejection and Statement of Preliminary Findings documents. In addition, the Board should include a copy of the DOL Consent form for the licensee’s signature. The Consent form will allow the Board to obtain the DOL investigative file that is the basis for the referral. This sharing of information may help reduce or eliminate the need for the Board to perform a duplicate investigation after the DOL has already performed its investigation/review.
Once the licensee has returned the signed Consent to the Board, the original signed Consent should then be forwarded to Ian Dingwall, Chief Accountant, 122 C Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001-2109. The DOL will then forward a copy of its file to the Board within 30 days.
Most Boards are authorized to request such information from their licensees, and can also discipline the licensee solely upon a failure to cooperate with the Board in such situations. It is recommended that the Board seek to obtain records from the licensee, as in any other enforcement matter, and also use the Consent form to obtain a copy of the DOL file.
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