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RULE §519.20Complaints

(a) Written complaints should contain information necessary for the proper processing of the complaint by the board, including:

  (1) complainant's name, address and phone number;

  (2) name, address and phone number of the licensee or certificate holder against whom the complaint is filed;

  (3) description of the alleged violation;

  (4) supporting information and factual evidence;

  (5) names and addresses of witnesses; and

  (6) sources of other pertinent information.

(b) The board has discretion whether or not to open an investigative file. A complaint that does not contain all of the information requested in subsection (a) of this section may be pursued if the missing information can be obtained from another source. For the board to proceed it must have jurisdiction over the person and the subject matter. Once the board has received a complaint, board staff shall conduct an initial screening of the complaint within 30 days. The board staff shall notify the complainant whether or not the board will proceed with an investigation.

(c) The board may accept anonymous complaints. Anonymous complaints may not be investigated if insufficient information is provided, the allegations are vague, appear to lack factual foundation, or cannot be proved for lack of a witness or other evidence.

(d) The board will periodically provide an update on the status of the complaint investigation to the complainant when there has been a substantive change of status. A substantive change would include the scheduling of the complaint investigation before an enforcement committee, the execution of an agreed consent order, a decision to refer the matter to litigation for prosecution at SOAH, any subsequent settlement agreement and the issuance of a proposal for decision.

(e) The board may open a complaint investigation on:

  (1) an individual licensee and the individual's firm when it has evidence that the individual licensee participated in a possible violation of the Act or board rule; and

  (2) a firm when there is evidence that the firm, in the practice of public accountancy, may have caused harm to a Texas resident or entity.

(f) Interpretive comment: The CPA firm may contact the board to determine if there is a nexus to Texas regarding the issue in subsections (e)(1) and (e)(2) of this section. The board will not open a complaint investigation on a firm unless the firm, in the practice of public accountancy, has caused harm to a person or entity located in Texas.

Source Note: The provisions of this §519.20 adopted to be effective June 9, 2004, 29 TexReg 5628; amended to be effective February 9, 2012, 37 TexReg 492; amended to be effective October 10, 2019, 44 TexReg 5785

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