Summary of Decision re: Peter Secord

Summary of Complaint and Investigation

Peter Secord, FCPA, FCGA, FCMA, was a board member and the former Chair of the Board of the Certified General Accountants of Nova Scotia (“CGANS”). The complaint against him alleged that Mr. Secord failed to ensure that the CGANS Board exercised the appropriate degree of oversight over internal controls of financial matters, particularly regarding expense reporting of certain CGANS Board members and employees, including the Chief Executive Officer of CGANS.

During the investigation it was discovered that Mr. Secord did not retain emails pertaining to CGANS on his computer, despite his requirement to do so.

Disposition

Following the investigation, the Investigation Panel determined that there is sufficient evidence that, if proven, would constitute professional misconduct, incompetence or conduct unbecoming warranting a registration sanction. It also determined that it is in the public interest to resolve the matter by issuing a Reprimand to Mr. Secord with his consent in accordance with By-Law 479 (c)(iii).

In consenting to the Reprimand, Mr. Secord agreed with the Investigation Panel that as a board member and Chair of CGANS, he failed to take appropriate action to assist the Board with exercising the expected duty of care with respect to its financial oversight of CGANS. In particular, he failed to understand and alert the Board to potential deficits in the organization’s financial controls.

Mr. Secord also agreed with the Investigation Panel that he failed to take efforts to retain electronic CGANS information housed on his employer’s computer when he left his employment, despite a prior agreement with CPA Nova Scotia to retain electronic records given in the context of potential litigation, and despite his knowledge of a CPA Nova Scotia investigation where he knew or ought to have known such information could be relevant.

Mr. Secord is reprimanded for the conduct described above.

The Reprimand became effective on March 31, 2022.