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AusIMM annual compliance report 2023

AusIMM Professional Conduct and Ethics Committees
10 Jan 2024 · 800 words, 5 min read
Each year, the Professional Conduct and Ethics Committees’ report on their work of upholding compliance with the AusIMM Code of Ethics and professional codes. The AusIMM promotes the highest professional and ethical standards of its members through a strong focus on professional ethics and best practice implementation of professional codes. Under the AusIMM By-Laws, all AusIMM members are bound by the AusIMM Code of Ethics at all times, as well as other Board approved and recognised codes, regulations and directives (including the JORC and VALMIN Codes) when acting in certain capacities as a resources industry professional. These codes and regulations serve to protect communities, other members and the profession while providing professional reporting and valuation systems that provide the community and financial markets with confidence in the industry. Members, upon admission, commit to the principles set out in the Code of Ethics and reaffirm that commitment as part of the annual membership renewal process. It is through processes such as these that the AusIMM confirms its position as a trusted and representative voice for resources professionals.

The complaints process

The complaints process involves judgement by peers and is designed to ensure that members are held to account for any conduct in breach of the Code of Ethics and the By-Laws. Reported breaches of these codes are addressed through the complaints process. Any member of the community may submit a complaint using the following form: //jjqqyy.com/globalassets/about-us/notice_of_complaint.pdf

When a breach of the Code of Ethics and/or Professional Codes is reported, one of the following remedies can be imposed on the member concerned:
  • advisory note, further education and/or training
  • reissue of an affected public report
  • caution/warning
  • membership suspension or expulsion from AusIMM
  • publication of details of the breach, including public naming of the professional found to be in breach.
The intent is to ensure a remedy is appropriate to the breach while preserving the integrity of the profession and AusIMM. The process is informed by natural justice principles and includes an avenue for appeal. While there is an obligation to evaluate and determine an outcome for all matters accepted for investigation, there is also a responsibility to support members in understanding their AusIMM obligations. To this end, both committees seek to work with members in addressing any concerns to uphold professional standards and to protect the professional integrity of members. All deliberations of the Professional Conduct Committee and Ethics Committee are strictly confidential. The identity of the complainant and respondent remains confidential, except in the following cases:
  • where the complainant agrees to reveal their name to the respondent when necessary to pursue the complaint
  • where the Ethics Committee has resolved that notice of a breach be published, in which case the name of the respondent may be made public; and
  • in the unlikely event that the matter advances to legal proceedings independent of the AusIMM process, where the identity of the complainant may become known as part of the discovery of documents, or if the AusIMM is directed by a court (or other legally empowered person) to make such information available.

The Professional Conduct and Ethics Committees

The Professional Conduct and Ethics Committees are jointly responsible for investigating and determining the outcome of complaints. The Professional Conduct Committee investigates each complaint received with referrals made to the Ethics Committee if it is determined that a significant breach of the Code of Ethics has occurred. Both Committees have reviewed the Professional Conduct Regulations to apply in 2023 and have jointly made appropriate recommendations and comments to the Board.
2023 AusIMM Professional Conduct Committee Membership
Steve Gemell FAusIMM(CP) (Chair until 30 June 2023)
Fran Burgess FAusIMM(CP)
Rod Elvish HonFAusIMM(CP) (Chair from July 2023)
Deborah Lord FAusIMM
Adrian Penney FAusIMM(CP)
Colin Roberts FAusIMM(CP)
Jodi Wright FAusIMM CP (Min)
2023 AusIMM Ethics Committee Membership
Rex Berthelsen Hon FAusIMM(CP) Chair
David Abbott FAusIMM(CP)
Quentin Amos FAusIMM
Bruce Atkinson FAusIMM(CP)
Susan Border FAusIMM(CP)(Ret)
Jim Galvin FAusIMM(CP)
Amy Lamb FAusIMM(CP) (AusIMM Board Representative)
Matt Mullins FAusIMM
In 2023 four complaints were submitted to end December, half the number submitted in 2022 and all were dealt with by the Professional Conduct Committee:
  • One case related to an alleged breach of clauses 9, 10, 13, 14 and 19 of the JORC Code and resulted in a warning.
  • One case alleged a breach of clauses 1 to 9 of the Code of Ethics, clauses 12, 17, 22, 24 and 38 of the JORC Code and clauses 18 and 19 of the VALMIN Code. Further to a comprehensive examination of the allegations, the complaint was dismissed.
  • One case alleged a failure to disclose the details of the relevant Competent Person and the use of misleading language in a public post with a Caution issued.
  • One case alleged a breach of clause 11 of the JORC Code with a Warning issued.
One case from 2022, where a Warning was issued by the Professional Conduct Committee, was appealed to the Ethics Committee with the appeal heard in 2023. The Ethics Committee upheld the decision on this matter. The Ethics Committee also referred a related but earlier complaint from 2022 back to the Professional Conduct Committee for further consideration after receipt of additional information. The original Warning issued was replaced with a Caution.

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