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Compliance Protocol
 


1.   General Definitions

      Member means a person who is a member of the Institute of Municipal Assessors (IMA) in good standing, designated as either an Accredited
      Member of the IMA (M.I.M.A.) or an Associate Member of the IMA (A.I.M.A.).

      Representative means a person licensed by the Law Society of Upper Canada to practice law or provide legal services.

2.   Definition and Scope of a Complaint

      a)   A Complaint is a formal objection to the manner in which a Member performed his or her duties as an accredited professional and member
            in good standing of the IMA.

      b)   A Complaint must allege that the Member violated or failed to comply with the IMA?s Code of Ethics and Professional Standards which were
            in force when the alleged error or omission (the "Infraction") occurred.

      c)   Complaints may only pertain to the activity of performing a property valuation and the provision of related services that fall within the scope
            of work for accredited members of the IMA. Complaints, therefore, must be specific and allege a breach or contravention of a prescribed
            standard for performance or conduct as set out in the IMA Code of Ethics and Professional Standards. In the absence of such a breach
            or contravention, Complaints cannot arise in respect of the outcome of a valuation or decision arising from adjudication of a valuation.
            For clarity, the Complaint process is not to be used to supersede the legislative framework in place within a jurisdiction to appeal an assessed
            value, or to review a decision of an assessment appeal board or tribunal.

      d)   A Complaint must originate from a person who had direct involvement with the Member and the particular circumstances that comprise the
            subject of a Complaint (the "Complainant"). The Complainant must take steps, as prescribed in this Complaints Protocol, to disclose the
            activities or conduct that are alleged to be an Infraction of the IMA Code of Ethics and Professional Standards. Complaints cannot be made by
            an anonymous party or in a manner that might prevent all pertinent facts from being disclosed and tested.

      e)   Subject to Clause d) above, there is no restriction on who may make a Complaint or the timeframe in which a Complaint may be made.

       f)   Complaints that pertain to ethical conduct may only be lodged where there is an allegation that a Member failed to follow the spirit of the
            Code of Ethics, or engaged in activities that are not consistent with the purpose or specific provisions of the Code of Ethics, and without limiting
            the generality of the foregoing, 

            Complaints may be lodged on the basis that:
             i.    A Member failed to treat taxpayer data as private and confidential when the data is not readily available in the public domain, as set out in
                   clause 3.5 of the IMA Code of Ethics and Professional Standards;

             ii.   A Member failed to treat financial data and analysis in a manner that is objective and free of real or perceived conflict of interest, as set out 
                  in clause 3.5 of the IMA Code of Ethics and Professional Standards;

             iii.  A Member failed to safeguard the privacy and confidentiality of information obtained for the purpose of municipal assessment and property 
                  taxation, as set out in clause 3.5 of the IMA Code of Ethics and Professional Standards;

             iv.  A Member failed to conduct analysis, interpretation and reporting in a manner that is both transparent and understandable, as set out in 
                  clause 3.5 of the IMA Code of Ethics and Professional Standards; or

             v.  A Member failed to ensure that services were unbiased and impartial, as set out in clause 3.5 of the IMA Code of Ethics and Professional
                  Standards.

       g)   Complaints that pertain to professional standards may only be lodged where there is an allegation that a Member failed to follow the spirit of
             the Professional Standards or engaged in activities that are not consistent with the purpose or specific provisions of the Professional Standards,
             and without limiting the generality of the foregoing,
 
             Complaints may be lodged on the basis that:
             i.     A Member misused or misrepresented his or her possession of the M.I.M.A. or A.I.M.A. designations;
             ii.     A Member failed to be impartial as set out in clause 4.5 of the IMA Code of Ethics and Professional Standards;
             iii.    A Member failed to be transparent as set out in clause 4.6 of the IMA Code of Ethics and Professional Standards;
             iv.    A Member failed to be truthful as set out in clause 4.7 of the IMA Code of Ethics and Professional Standards;
             v.     A Member failed to comply with current legislation as set out in clause 4.8 of the IMA Code of Ethics and Professional Standards;
             vi.    A Member failed to apply appropriate valuation methods as set out in clause 4.9 of the IMA Code of Ethics and Professional Standards;
             vii.   A Member failed to meet the guidelines for reporting and disclosure as set out in clause 4.10 of the IMA Code of Ethics and Professional 
                    Standards; or
             viii.  A Member failed to provide expert testimony in a manner that would be consistent with the guidelines set out in clause 4.11 of the 
                    IMA Code of Ethics and Professional Standards.

3.    Submission of a Complaint
      
       Complaints must be submitted in writing: 
       a)  As a signed letter addressed to:
                   Chair, Professional Compliance Panel
                   Institute of Municipal Assessors
                   10720 Yonge Street, Suite 206
                   Richmond Hill, ON  L4C 3C9

       b)  As a signed letter submitted by facsimile addressed to:
                   Chair, Professional Compliance Panel
                   Institute of Municipal Assessors
                   (f) 905 884 9263

       c)  As an e-mail addressed to:
                   Chair, Professional Compliance Panel at info@theima.ca

       Complaints will specify the following information:

       a)  Name and contact information of the Complainant.

       b)  Name and contact information of any other person that will act for or represent the Complainant.

       c)  Name of the Member who is the subject of the Complaint.

       d)  Details of the circumstances and concerns that give rise to the Complaint including:
             i. Specific actions or other activities, including the perceived failure to perform actions or other activities, that the Complainant believes 
                in good faith to be an Infraction;
             ii. Background and context of the circumstances in which the alleged Infraction occurred;
             iii. The time period, and specific dates if applicable, associated with the alleged Infraction; and
             iv. References to, or copies of, correspondence, reports or any other documentation that may support the Complaint.

       e)  Acknowledgement that the Complainant is being truthful and will provide further information in writing or in person at the request of the 
            IMA Professional Compliance Panel.

       To ensure that the process for making a Complaint is understandable and accessible without legal or other professional support, Complaints 
       may be expressed in terms that are convenient and familiar to the Complainant. There is no requirement to use technical or legal terminology.

       There is no requirement for a Complainant to claim or demonstrate that any adverse consequence resulted from the alleged Infraction. It is
       sufficient for a Complainant to raise the prospect of an Infraction for a Complaint to be filed with the IMA Professional Compliance Panel.

4.    Procedures of the IMA Professional Compliance Panel

       The IMA will establish and maintain a Professional Compliance Panel that will evaluate all Complaints submitted in accordance with this 
       Complaints Protocol.

       The Professional Compliance Panel will act on behalf of the IMA and report to the IMA Board on the disposition of all Complaints.

       The Professional Compliance Panel will establish a system for logging and tracking all Complaints through the process, and for reporting 
       to the IMA Board.

       The Professional Compliance Panel will ensure that complaints are properly within the jurisdiction of the Panel, insofar as they are: 
       a)  Not frivolous or vexatious;
       b)  Pertain to a Member of the IMA who is expected to comply with the IMA Code of Ethics and Professional Standards, and
       c)  Pertain to a matter that is a valid subject for a Complaint as listed in the definition of a Complaint above.

       The Chair of the Panel will:
       a)  Acknowledge receipt of each Complaint and advise each Complainant of the general procedures and schedule that will be followed to evaluate the
            Complaint.
       b)  Select two other standing members of the Professional Compliance Panel who will participate with the Chair in the initial evaluation and subsequent
            adjudication of the Complaint.
       c)  Upon receipt of each Complaint, extract and summarize relevant details of the Complaint into a standard template. The template will ensure that all
            available and relevant facts are declared by the Complainant and disclosed to the IMA Member who is the subject of the Complaint (the "Subject
            Member");
       d)  Advise the Complainant of additional information that should be supplied, if applicable, to ensure that the Complaint is transparent and understood.

       The Panel?s initial determination of the validity of a Complaint, confirmation that the Complaint falls within the jurisdiction of the Panel, and transmittal
       to the Subject Member shall all occur within 30 business days from initial receipt of the Complaint. The Subject Member will provide a written response 
       to the Panel not more than 30 business days following the Subject Member?s receipt of the Complaint. The response may comprise any information that
       the Subject Member considers relevant, including personal and other confidential information.

       The Chair of the Panel may extend or reduce any time required or allowed in this Protocol.

      During the period that the Subject Member is preparing a written response to the Complaint, the Chair will convene a meeting of the selected members
      of the Professional Compliance Panel that will adjudicate this matter for the purpose of introducing the matter, confirming the procedures to be followed, 
      and setting a schedule for the Hearing.
 
5.   Notice and Conduct of the Hearing
 

      Notice of the time and place of a hearing of the Complaint shall be delivered in writing to the Complainant and Subject Member (the ?Parties?) at least
      20 business days before the Hearing. Such notice may be sent by e-mail to the Parties (seeking confirmation of receipt) unless a Party has no e-mail
      address in which case notice shall be sent by courier.

     The Panel may hold its Hearings by teleconference or video-conference, unless a member of the Panel or either of the Parties exercise their right to
      hold the Hearing in-person.

      Each of the Parties will have the right to be accompanied by representatives or counsel at their own expense. When a Hearing is held in-person,
      the Panel will make its best effort to conduct the Hearing in close proximity to the location of the Parties. 

      If a party fails to attend, the Compliance Panel may proceed to determine the disposition of the Complaint in the absence of such Party, including
      dismissal of the Complaint if the Complainant fails to attend in person or by representative.

      Parties participating in a Hearing may call witnesses in addition to filing supplementary information. All documents that either party intends to rely
      upon must be submitted to the Chair of the Compliance Panel and the other party at least 10 business days before the Hearing date. The Chair
      will ensure that all documents are circulated to the members of the Panel. The Hearing will be conducted in-camera and all parties, including witnesses
      will confirm in writing to the Chair that each party shall not reveal the facts, evidence and outcome of the Hearing.

      If the Panel determines that a Complaint is valid and the Member acted in contravention of the IMA Code of Ethics and Professional Standards,
      the Panel will inform the Parties in writing of: (i) the decision and its reasons; (ii) any remedial action required to be taken by the Subject Member; 
      and/or (iii) any sanction imposed on the Subject Member. In turn, the Panel will advise the IMA Board of the decision, remedial action and/or sanction,
      if any, that the Panel has imposed on the Subject Member. The nature and duration of any sanction will be at the discretion of the Panel.

      Alternatively, if the Panel determines that a Complaint is not valid and the Member did not contravene the IMA Code of Ethics and Professional Standards,
      the Panel will inform the Parties in writing of that conclusion and its reasons. The Panel will also advise the IMA Board of the disposition of the matter.

6.  Right of Appeal
 
     In accordance with Section 6 of the IMA Act, Parties may apply in writing to the Ontario Divisional Court for leave to appeal the decision of the Panel 
     within 45 calendar days of the issuance of the decision.

     If no application for leave to appeal is filed, or if the Divisional Court refuses to grant leave to appeal, or having granted leave, issues a decision,
     the IMA Board may inform the IMA membership of the decision for the purpose of general information and continuing education.

     Communications by the IMA Executive Committee, IMA Board or the Professional Compliance Panel with respect to the receipt and disposition
     of any Complaint that comes before the Professional Compliance Panel, will respect the privacy and confidentiality of the Parties.

 

 

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