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AusIMM annual compliance report 2022

AusIMM Professional Conduct and Ethics Committees
· 900 words, 4 min read

The Professional Conduct and Ethics Committees’ report on their work upholding compliance with the AusIMM Code of Ethics and professional codes during 2022.

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 AusIMM complaints process is integral to upholding the professional standards of its members. The complaints process involves judgement by peers and is designed to ensure that members are held accountable for any conduct that breaches the Code of Ethics and the By-laws. The Code of Ethics requires members to adhere to the requirements of the JORC and VALMIN Codes. Reported breaches of these codes are addressed through the complaints process. 

Remedies that can be imposed on members where a breach of the Code of Ethics and/or professional codes is found include:

  • 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. The Committees consider a fundamental responsibility is 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 provide support to members in the protection of their professional integrity.

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.

2022 AusIMM Professional Conduct Committee Membership

Steve Gemell FAusIMM(CP) (Chair)

Fran Burgess FAusIMM(CP)

Rod Elvish HonFAusIMM(CP)

Deborah Lord FAusIMM

Adrian Penney FAusIMM(CP)

Colin Roberts FAusIMM(CP)

2022 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 2022 eight complaints were submitted to end December, a decrease of a third compared to the twelve complaints submitted in 2021. Of the eight complaints lodged in 2022, all were dealt with by the Professional Conduct Committee:

  • One case related to an alleged breach of clauses 1 and 3 of the Code of Ethics and resulted in a warning.
  • One case alleged a breach of clauses 18 and 19 of the JORC Code and resulted in a warning. The respondent was encouraged to rectify and reissue the relevant Public Report and this request was obliged.
  • One case alleging a breach of JORC clause 19 was not progressed when the announcement in question was amended the day following original publication.
  • One case alleging a breach of clauses 5 and 19 of JORC was not progressed as the announcement referred was considered a metallurgical update which satisfied relevant JORC clause requirements.
  • One case alleged a breach of clauses 3, 7 and 9 of the Code of Ethics and clauses 8.3 and 9.2 of the By-laws. A warning was issued.
  • A case alleging a breach of clause 7 of the Code of Ethics resulted in the issue of an advisory note.
  • A case which alleged a breach of confidentiality provisions was unable to be progressed as at the date of the complaint the respondent was no longer a financial member of AusIMM.
  • A case alleging a breach of clause 3 of the Code of Ethics and By-laws clauses 8.3 and 9.2 was under active consideration at the date this report was prepared (December 2022) with an outcome yet to be determined.

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