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  #11  
Old 05-25-2011, 01:22 PM
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MountainHawk MountainHawk is offline
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Clearly, you're not a lawyer.
I didn't say 'they wouldn't try to enforce it'.
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  #12  
Old 05-25-2011, 03:05 PM
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silverfox silverfox is offline
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Don't whistleblower protection laws only apply to employees?

You probably won't be able to prove the intent to deceive with just the information they give you. What if they say it's a difference in actuarial judgment? By breaking a NDA, I would think you'd be putting your career at stake for something that could truly be just a difference in opinions.
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  #13  
Old 05-25-2011, 03:13 PM
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Don't whistleblower protection laws only apply to employees?

You probably won't be able to prove the intent to deceive with just the information they give you. What if they say it's a difference in actuarial judgment? By breaking a NDA, I would think you'd be putting your career at stake for something that could truly be just a difference in opinions.
If it's just a difference of opinion, then no, the NDA probably can't be broken. If there is clear evidence of fraud, then I think breaking the NDA is imperative.
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  #14  
Old 05-25-2011, 05:37 PM
actuary21c actuary21c is offline
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Originally Posted by actuary21c View Post
OK, mea culpa, I'll do a simplified example later which should illustrate the nub of the problem better whilst still not divulging any more details.
Here goes for such an example. (I hope this helps, but perhaps what you were really wanting, silverfox and gargoylewaiting, was a concrete illustration of X, Y or Z, in which case let me know and I'll see whether I can provide one without divulging anything significant from the actual case.)

Stage 1: Complaint

Imagine that in July 2009 I ("Mr Complainant") a member of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, complain that another member (called Mr Respondent) failed to do X, Y and Z and thereby broke paragraphs 1.2 and 1.5 of the Professional Code of Conduct (which was in force at the time):

Quote:
1.2 Every member must comply with the standards of behaviour, integrity,
competence and professional judgement which other members or the
public might reasonably expect of a member. Failure to meet such
standards is misconduct, as defined in the disciplinary schemes.
and (the emphasis is mine)

Quote:
1.5 Considerable reliance is placed on the conscience of each individual
member and on the collective conscience of all members to maintain the
highest standards of conduct.
Stage 2: initial assessment by Case Manager and Investigating Actuary
There is an opportunity at this stage for the Case Manager and Investigating Actuary, if they think the complaint is without merit, to send an Advisory Report to an Adjudication Panel, but they don't do this, so they obviously think the Complaint has some merit.

Stage 3: Case Report prepared
The Case Manager and Investigating Actuary prepare a Case Report, which is meant to include amongst other things
- the Complaint
- any response from the Respondent (who sees the Complaint and any other correspondence from the Complainant)
- any other information the Case Manager and Investigating Actuary think is relevant (e.g. information from interviewing the Complainant, Respondent and anyone else thought relevant)

Stage 4: Adjudication Panel meets and looks at Case Report and makes its decision
The Panel's decision (in a report called a "Determination") is that no misconduct occurred. The Determination includes a statement that (contrary to the complaint), the Respondent did do X, adding a sentence to the effect that "the panel was satisfied that X type actions had occurred". It also fails to deal with the complaint that the Respondent failed to do Y.
Furthermore, the Determination, after the section stating that in its view no misconduct had occurred, includes two extra paragraphs in a section called Conclusion. These paragraphs (amongst other things) state that in the panel's opinion, the complaint was without merit, and berate the Complainant for making the complaint.

Stage 5: Complainant receives Panel's Determination and points out errors in it
Complainant writes to Institute (bear in mind that the Panel are anonymous), pointing out that although the Respondent did do X, this was only several months after the complaint was made, therefore at the time of the complaint, the Complaint was correct in stating that the Respondent had not done X.
Complainant also points out that the Determination had not addressed element Y of the complaint, and asks what evidence the Panel had relied on for their final two paragraphs. He adds that he thinks it is wrong for an anonymous Panel to make derogatory remarks about the Complainant without giving producing any supporting evidence, and without giving him the right of reply.

Stage 6: the Panel responds by changing its Determination slightly
The Panel issue a corrected Determination, in which the sentence stating that the Respondent did do X is crossed out. That is the only change to the Determination.

Stage 7: Complainant writes to Institute pointing out that the Panel have ignored most of the questions he asked, and that their sentence "the panel was satisfied that X type actions had occurred" is no longer supported by any evidence. He receives no response.

Stage 8: Complainant exercises his right to ask for the case to be reviewed by an Independent Examiner
Complainant writes to Institute with a formal request for a review, on the grounds that the determinations of the Panel were manifestly unreasonable, inconsistent with the evidence or wrong in law, and/or that there was injustice because of a serious procedural or other irregularity in the proceedings.
He points out what he thinks are the failings in the Panel's Determination.

Stage 9: Independent Examiner agrees to review the case
Note that once again, if the complaint really were without merit, the Independent Examiner had an opportunity here to refuse to accept the case, but he obviously thinks the Complainant has sufficient grounds for review because he accepts the case.

Stage 10: Independent Examiner completes his review
The review is a short document, upholds the Panel's determination that no misconduct had occurred, but asks for the Panel to remove their final two paragraphs because in his view they are not justified by the evidence. He also asks for the panel to identify themselves in an amended Determination with those two final paragraphs removed.

Stage 11: the Adjudication Panel refuse to amend their Determination
The justification they give is that they have no power to amend their determination because the Independent Examiner upheld their determination. They also say that they cannot identify themselves without a formal change being made to the Disciplinary Scheme. (This is contradicted by another case where, with the Institute's consent, the Panel members were identified in the Deputy Independent Examiner's report).

Throughout the whole process, the Institute and Faculty emphasise to Complainant that the process is Confidential and that he is bound by the Actuaries' Code. The formal process has now ended, with no further right of appeal.

Stage 12: Complainant blows the whistle on a thoroughly unsatisfactory process
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a21c is one of the better posters on the AO. That's not saying he's good.

UK software developer, actuary, musician, atheist. All posts in a personal capacity (unless explicitly stated otherwise in the post).
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  #15  
Old 05-25-2011, 06:07 PM
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I'll ignore any opinions I have on whether your case has merit or not and comment strictly on the process.

I think anonymity of the panel should be kept and that any kind of determination should be double blind. Otherwise, the claim becomes personal.

I agree that it's messed up they wrote that your claim was without merit. It should be vague and matter of fact, There is not enough evidence to support that the member did not maintain the highest standard of conduct.

I think there's always going to be a disagreement/disconnect to the loser of the claim because of the anonymity of the panel. In general, I'd say the panel should be erring in favor of the defendant when evidence is ambiguous, lacking, or if the defendant has no history of complaints.
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  #16  
Old 05-26-2011, 12:24 PM
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Why does this surprise you? I can't imagine that the situation in England is different than the US. You have a small, homogenous population of actuaries with an almost incestuous leadership structure that takes turns appointing each other to task forces, disciplinary committees, and non-elected officer positions. My guess is that the actuary you filed the complaint against is in with the in-crowd and he's being protected or, because you aren't in the in-crowd, your seen as a gadfly so the compaint isn't taken seriously. Have you been told you aren't collegial? That's code for you aren't one of us, go away and leave us alone.

People do all sorts of f'd up stuff with crazy rationalizations to protect themselves, their friends, and their ideas. Actuaries aren't any different.
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  #17  
Old 05-26-2011, 06:07 PM
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You are so, so right.

Bruce
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  #18  
Old 05-26-2011, 10:13 PM
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You are so, so right.

Bruce
Go on....
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  #19  
Old 05-27-2011, 08:59 AM
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I agree w/ Bruce & cubs1969 -- it's a small group of people circulating through the various "leadership" positions.

Once you get to the "old fart" leadership groups (which is how the discipline/counseling groups are usually populated, and they would have to be), many of the people involved know all sorts of things about each other, have personal dealings that go back for decades, etc. You're not going to have much in the way of impartial processes for many things.

Anyway, to pull in a different thread, take a look at this [this is the thread on Ferguson and the letter written in his support after his conviction, but before his sentencing]:
http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actu...d.php?t=133305
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  #20  
Old 05-27-2011, 09:22 AM
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I'm not sure that I agree that you have to be an old fart to be on a discipline/counseling group. Maybe counseling but I'd prefer that discipline committees be chosen, like juries, from your peers and not standing committees.

The ABCD is chosen by CUSP, which is an Academy committe but I think that, for example, the CAS Discipline Committee is a board committee. Under the draft agreement on joint discipline, CUSP acting as the "Joint Discipline Council" appoints a pool and a subsets of the pool make up the the disciplinary committees. That's putting more power in the hands of a small group.
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