WSR 01-07-042

PROPOSED RULES

BOARD OF ACCOUNTANCY


[ Filed March 15, 2001, 1:38 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 00-19-010.

Title of Rule: WAC 4-25-721 CPA examination -- Cheating policy.

Purpose: To identify and expand what the board considers as cheating on the CPA exam, what actions the board may take if cheating is suspected, and to clarify what sanctions the board may impose if cheating occurs.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 18.04.055(11).

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 18.04.055(11).

Summary: Defines and expands what the board considers to be cheating on the CPA exam and clarifies what sanctions the board may impose if cheating occurs.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: Clearly defining what the board considers to be cheating, what the board may do if cheating is suspected, and what sanctions the board may impose if cheating occurs ensures candidates for the CPA exam are sufficiently informed and ensures fairness in interpretation and application of the rule.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Dana M. McInturff, CPA, 711 South Capitol Way, #400, Olympia, (360) 586-0163.

Name of Proponent: Board of Accountancy, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: This rule provides CPA exam candidates with a listing of what the board considers to be cheating, what actions the board may take if cheating is suspected, and what sanctions the board may impose if cheating occurs. The goal of the amendment is to promote clarity; ensure effective communication; ensure fairness in interpretation and application of the rule; and promote efficiencies through minimizing gray areas.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: The amendment: (1) Changes the title of the rule to "What does the board consider to be cheating on the CPA examination, what actions may the board take if cheating is suspected, and what sanctions may the board impose if cheating occurs?"; (2) expands the definition of what actions are considered to be cheating to include copying, transmitting, or taking parts of exam booklets, answer sheets, essay question paper, or notes; (3) clarifies what sanctions the board may order if the board concludes cheating occurred; and (4) is written in a clear rule-writing format.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The proposed rule will not have more than minor economic impact on business.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. The Board of Accountancy is not one of the agencies required to submit to the requirements of RCW 34.05.328.

Hearing Location: Capitol Court Building, 110 Capitol Way South, 11th and Capitol Way, Room 135, Olympia, WA, on April 27, 2001, at 9:30 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Cheryl Sexton by April 20, 2001, TDD (800) 833-6384, or (360) 664-9194.

Submit Written Comments to: Dana M. McInturff, P.O. Box 9131, Olympia, WA 98507-9131, fax (360) 664-9190, by April 26, 2001.

Date of Intended Adoption: April 27, 2001.

March 15, 2001

Dana M. McInturff, CPA

Executive Director

OTS-4668.1


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 93-12-069, filed 5/27/93, effective 7/1/93)

WAC 4-25-721   ((CPA examination -- Cheating policy.)) What does the board consider to be cheating on the CPA examination, what actions may the board take if cheating is suspected, and what sanctions may the board impose if cheating occurs?   (1) ((Purpose. The purpose of this cheating policy is to define cheating for purposes of the CPA examinations and the penalties the board may impose for cheating.)) Cheating includes, but is not limited to:

(a) Communication between candidates inside or outside of the examination room during the examination((.));

(b) Unauthorized communication with others outside of the examination room during the examination((.));

(c) Substitution by a candidate of another person to write one or more of the examination papers for him/her((.));

(d) ((Reference to)) Referencing crib sheets, text books, or other material inside or outside the examination room during the examination((.));

(e) Copying or attempting to copy another candidate's answers;

(f) Taking, removing, copying, transmitting, attempting to take, attempting to remove, attempting to copy, or attempting to transmit an examination booklet or paper, answer sheet, essay question paper, or notes from the examination site;

(g) Disclosing or attempting to disclose examination questions and/or answers to others;

(h) Bringing unauthorized prohibited items into the examination site; or

(i) Possessing unauthorized prohibited items in the examination site.

(2) ((Policy.)) Cheating on the CPA examination is dishonesty directly related to the professional responsibilities of a CPA. All candidates involved in cheating may be subject to penalties, although not necessarily of the same severity. When determining appropriate sanctions for cheating, the board may impose one or more of the following penalties:

(a) Enter a failing grade for any or all parts of the candidate's examination;

(b) Bar a candidate from writing future examinations;

(c) ((Expel a)) Impose a fine up to one thousand dollars and recovery of investigative and legal costs;

(d) Notify other jurisdictions of the board's conclusions and order.

(3) If a candidate is suspected of cheating, a board representative may expel the candidate from the examination ((room.

Board representatives may)), move ((a)) the candidate suspected of cheating away from other candidates and/or confiscate unauthorized prohibited items. ((Board representatives may request any candidate suspected of cheating or who may have observed cheating to remain for a reasonable period of time following an examination session for questioning.)) The board representatives may require a candidate suspected of cheating, or a candidate who may have observed cheating, to respond to board inquiry. The board may schedule a hearing to determine the validity of the charge of cheating.

((All candidates involved in cheating may be subject to penalties, although not necessarily of the same severity.

Other jurisdictions to which a candidate may apply for the examination may be notified of the board's conclusions and order.))

[Statutory Authority: RCW 18.04.055. 93-12-069, 4-25-721, filed 5/27/93, effective 7/1/93.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office