THE INVESTIGATIVE COMMITTEE (IC) is authorized to undertake investigations of complaints against any APEGA member or permit holder alleged to have performed services deemed as unskilled practice or unprofessional conduct under the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act . When the APEGA Registrar & CEO receives a complaint, he refers it to the IC, which appoints a panel of committee members to investigate the allegation. These individuals may include APEGA’s investigative director, investigative staff, or both. The panel members interview, gather evidence, and prepare a report for review by the whole IC to determine if a referral of unskilled practice or unprofessional conduct should be made to the Discipline Committee for a formal hearing. If the APEGA member or permit holder agrees to enter a guilty plea to the allegations, the panel may recommend a discipline order proposing sanctions and refer the order to a designated member of the Discipline Committee for ratification. During 2020, the Investigative Committee investigated a variety of complaints from APEGA members, permit holders, and the public. These ranged from serious, evidence-based allegations to allegations deemed frivolous or vexatious, or that had insufficient evidence to justify a referral to the Discipline Committee.
The volunteer members of the IC and the Investigation Department staff spend considerable time gathering evidence and compiling reports. IC members are all volunteers who value the integrity of their profession. The IC meets at least five times a year. During 2020, with the exception of one meeting prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the IC held all its meetings via video conference to review the reports and make recommendations. In the latter part of 2020 the IC’s Director, Investigation, Mr. Rick Thiessen, resigned and has now been replaced by Mr. Garth Jespersen. Both these individuals are highly regarded and respected. The Investigative Committee continues to play a critical role in the governance of the engineering and geoscience professions. It is central to the protection of the professions and the public interest. It has done, and continues to do, an excellent job in completing this mandate.
IAN McCONNAN , FCPA, FCA Public Member
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