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CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF CERTIFIED SECRETARIES AND REPORTERS OF NIGERIA ACT
This Act seeks to establish the Chartered Institute of Certified Secretaries and Reporters as a statutory body responsible for regulating the practice of the profession of Chartered Secretaries and Reporters.
ARRANGEMENT OF CLAUSES
Second Schedule—Supplementary provisions relating to the Disciplinary Committee and the Investigating Panel.
CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF CERTIFIED SECRETARIES AND REPORTERS OF NIGERIA ACT, 2015
An Act To Establish The Chartered Institute Of Certified Secretaries And Reporters For The Registration And Discipline Of Certified Secretaries And Reporters,
And To Provide For A Governing Board Charged With The Responsibility Among Other Things, Formulation Of Policies For The Institute; And For Connected Purposes
Enacted by the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria—
Establishment and corporate personality
(a) determining and reviewing from time to time the qualifications for membership of the Institute;
(b) ensuring professional ethics, high standard and sound knowledge by members of the Institute;
(c) securing in accordance with the provisions of this Bill the maintenance of a register for its members; and
(d) carrying out such other functions as the Board may from time to time prescribe.
Membership of the Institute and its categories
3.—(1) Members admitted to the Institute shall be enrolled as Chartered Certified Secretaries or Chartered Certified Verbatim Reporters and shall be entitled to the use of that status accorded and shall be registered as—
(a) fellows, if they satisfy the Board that—
(i) they are not less than thirty-five (35) years of age and have ten (10) years relevant working experience in the office of at least one reputable Organisation or Government Department of which at least five (5) years have been spent on a senior appointment;
(ii) for the period of three (3) years immediately preceding the date of application or recommendation in that behalf they have been fit persons and have, in addition to being the holders of approved academic professional qualifications or certificate of the final examination of the Institute, contributed to the development of the Institute and are fit-persons to be so registered;
(b) members, if they satisfy the Board that they—
(i) are at least thirty (30) years of age, have been associate members for not less than three (3) years, have passed examinations prescribed or accepted by the Institute and are fit persons to be so registered; and
(ii) have maintained a good record of membership for at least five years immediately preceding the date of application and have contributed to the upliftment of the profession and the Institute;
(e) associate members, if they—
(i) are not less than twenty-eight (28) years of age, have passed relevant examinations prescribed or accepted by the Institute and have not less than five (5) years relevant working experience in the office of a reputable Organisation or Government Department; or
(ii) have University First Degree not below Second Class Lower Division or Higher National Diploma or its equivalent from Government approved Institutions not below Credit Pass and have not less than five (5) years post qualification experience, however that period of higher education (maximum of two years) may be counted towards years of experience;
(d) registered graduate members, if they have attained the age of twenty-one (21) years, have passed examinations accepted by the Institute and have not less than three (3) years working experience in secretarial or reportorial profession; and
(e) registered students if they Meet the entry requirement as specified by resolution of the Board.
(2) The Board shall have the power to approve through its resolution that any persons be awarded the Institute’s honorary membership status in recognition of outstanding qualities, achievement in industry, education, commerce and contribution to the development of the Institute and profession provided that such an award shall not entitle the recipient to the practice or membership of the profession or voting in the affairs of the Institute.
(3) The Board shall have the power to approve the award to a corporate body of the Institute’s corporate membership status and such an award shall entitle the recipient to the rights and obligations of just one member.
(a) “FCSR” for professional fellows;
(b) “FCSR (Hon.)” for honorary fellows;
(c) “MCSR” for professional members;
(d) “MCSR (Hon.)” for honorary members;
(e) “ACSR” for Associates; and
(f) “ICSR-member” for corporate members.
5.—(1) There shall be for the Institute a President and two Vice and (first and second Vice-Presidents) who shall be Presidents elected by the Board and must be professional members of the Institute in the categories of fellows and members.
(2) The President shall preside at all meetings of the Board and the Institute and in the absence of the President due to any reason, the first Vice-President (in whose absence, the second Vice President) shall preside.
(3) The President and Vice-Presidents shall hold office for a term of two years and shall cease to hold office immediately they cease to be members of the Institute as specified in Subsection (1) of this section.
Board and its composition
6.—(1) The Institute shall have a governing body (in this Bill referred to as “the Board”), charged with the responsibility of formulation of policies for the administration and general management of the Institute.
(2) The Board shall consist of professional members not below the category of associate members and such other persons on honorary advisory capacity, appointed, elected or nominated as follows—
(a) the President of the Institute, who shall be the Chairman of the Board;
(b) the registrar of the institute who shall be the Secretary of the Board;
(c) the Vice-Presidents of the Institute, with the first Vice-President as the Vice-Chairman of the Board;
(d) one representative to be appointed by each of the following—
(i) the Government Department charged with manpower development and training (in this Bill referred to as “the Government Department”);
(ii) Federal Ministry of Education;
(iii) Public Service Office in the Presidency;
(e) one person to represent the Universities offering courses relevant to any of the two professions in this Bill, to be appointed on a rotational basis by the National Universities Commission;
(f) one person to represent the Polytechnics and Colleges of Education offering courses relevant to any of the two professions in this Bill, to be appointed on rotational basis by the National Board for Technical Education;
(g) one person to represent training institutions with relevant courses under the Government Department to be appointed by that department;
(h) four persons to be elected by the Institute among its members; and
(i) past Presidents of the Institute who shall serve on the Board for a maximum period of three (3) years from the expiration of their terms as President.
Tenure of office
Resignation and filling of vacancy
8.—(1) Any member of the Board may, by notice in writing to the President of the Institute resign his membership of the Board.
(2) Whenever there is a vacancy in the membership of the Board, a person representing the same interest as the member whose exit created the vacancy shall be elected or appointed as the case may be, to fill such vacancy.
Rules and Regulations
10.—(1) The Board has the power to make regulations subject to the approval of the Government Department, for the carrying out of any of its policies and functions of the Institute.
(2) Rules and Regulations made under this Bill shall be published in print media and or the Institute’s journal as soon as they are made and copies of such rules shall be sent to the Government Department.
Delegation of power
12.—(1) The Board shall maintain a Fund which shall be applied towards the carrying out of its functions and into which shall be paid—
(a) all fees and other monies payable to the Institute;
(b) such monies as may be payable to the Institute;
(c) all grants, aids and solicited funds received for the Institute; and
(d) proceeds from programmes/activities.
(2) There shall be defrayed from the Fund the following—
(a) remuneration and allowances of the Registrar General and other employees of the Institute
(b) such reasonable travelling allowance (as determined by the Board and its Committees) incurred in the business of the Board; and
(c) any expense incurred by the Board in the discharge of its duties.
Power to invest or borrow money
13.—(1) The Board may invest the Institute’s money in any security created or issued by or on behalf of the Federal Government.
(2) The Board may borrow money for the purpose of the Institute and any interest payable on money borrowed by the Institute shall be defrayed from the Fund of the Institute.
Auditing of accounts, proper records, etc
14.—(1) The Board shall keep proper accounts of the activities of the Institute in respect of each year and proper records in relation to those accounts. And the Board shall cause the accounts to be audited by an auditor appointed from the list and in accordance with the guidelines supplied by the Auditor-General for the Federation.
(2) The audited accounts shall be submitted by the Board to members of the Institute for approval at the annual general meeting of the Institute.
Transfer of assets and liabilities.
(a) all assets held by or on behalf of the Institute (of Certified Secretaries and Reporters) shall by virtue of this Act vest in the Institute and all liabilities incurred before the commencement of this Act by the former Institute shall automatically be transferred to the Institute; and
(b) any act or thing done by the former Institute shall be deemed to have been done by the Institute.
Registrar General and Assistant Registrar General
16.—(1) The Board shall subject to the approval of the Government Department appoint fit and proper persons who shall be professional members of the Institute to be the Registrar General and Assistant Registrar General (in this Bill referred to as “Registrar” and “Assistant Registrar” respectively).
(2) The last person to hold office as the Registrar of the former Institute shall upon the commencement of this Bill continue in office (for a maximum of one year) as acting Registrar of the Institute before the Board appoints the first Registrar of the Institute.
(3) The Registrar who shall be the chief executive of the Institute shall hold office for a term of four (4) years and shall be eligible for a renewal of tenure once only.
Contents of the Register
(a) professional fellows;
(b) professional members;
(c) associate members;
(d) graduate members;
(e) affiliate and student members; and
(f) honorary fellows, corporate and honorary members.
Rules for maintenance of Register
(a) mode of application, enrollment and registration;
(b) notifying the Registrar of any change in particulars furnished to the Institute; and
(c) all fees to be paid to the Institute including annual subscriptions.
Corrections, alteration, etc. of the contents of Register
(a) correct, in accordance with the directions of the Board any entry on the register which in the Board’s opinion was incorrectly made;
(b) make, from time to time, any necessary alterations in the registered particulars of persons;
(c) remove from the Register the name of any enrolled or registered person who has died; and
(d) record the names of members who are in default for more than six (6) months in the payment of annual subscriptions, and to take such action in relation thereto (including removal of the names of defaulters from the Register), as the Board may direct.
Removal of names from the Register
(a) sends by post to any registered or enrolled person a registered letter, addressed to him at his address on the Register inquiring whether the registered particulars relating to him are correct and receives no reply to the letter within the period of six (6) months from the date of posting it; and
(b) upon the expiration of that period sends in the like manner to the person in question a remainder and receives no reply to that letter within three months from the date of posting it;
the Registrar may remove the particulars relating to the person from the register. However where the Board directs that such removed particulars be restored to their appropriate place in the Register, the Registrar shall comply.
Printing, publication, etc. of Register of members
(a) the Register to be printed, published and put on sale to members of the public not later than two (2) years from the day he assumed office;
(b) to be printed, published and put on for sale each year (after the first publication) either a corrected edition of the Register or a list of alterations made to it since it was last printed; and
(c) a print of each edition of the register and each list of corrections to be deposited at the Head office of the Federation Institute and the Board shall keep the Register and lists so deposited available at all reasonable times for inspection by members of the public.
Evidence of a registration
23.—(1) A document purporting to be a print of an edition of the Register or list of corrections to it published under Section 22 of this Act shall be admissible in any proceeding as evidence that any person specified in the document is so registered at the date of the document, and that any person not so specified is not registered.
(2) Where in accordance with Subsection (1) of this section, a person in any proceeding is known to have been or not to have been registered at a particular date, he shall unless the contrary is proved, be taken for the purpose of that proceeding as having at all material times thereafter continue to be so or not so registered.
Conditions for enrollment or registration
24.—(1) Subject to the provision of this Act or rules made there-under, a person shall be entitled to be enrolled or registered as a Certified Secretary or Certified Verbatim Reporter if such a person—
(a) passes a qualifying examination for membership conducted by the Institute and completes the practical training prescribed; or
(b) holds a relevant qualification granted by a Government owned institution which is of equivalent standard; or
(c) holds a qualification granted outside Nigeria which is acceptable to the Board and satisfies the Board of sufficient practical experience as a Certified Secretary or Certified Verbatim Reporter.
(2) In addition to Subsection (1) of this section, the applicant shall satisfy the Board that he—
(a) is of good character and high integrity;
(b) has attained the age of twenty-one (21) years; and
(c) has never been convicted of an offence involving fraud, dishonesty or gross misconduct.
(3) The Board shall, from time to time publish in its internal newsletter and National Dailies, the qualifications acceptable for enrollment or registration by the Institute.
Approval of qualification
(a) course or training at an approved institution which is intended for persons who are seeking to become or are already Certified Secretaries and Verbatim Reporters or which the Board considers designed to confer on persons completing it sufficient knowledge and skill for admission to the Institute; and
(b) qualification which as a result of an examination taken in conjunction with a course or training approved by the Board under this section, is granted to candidates reaching a standard at the examination which affords the candidates sufficient knowledge and skill to practice as Certified Secretaries or Certified Verbatim Reporters.
Withdrawal of approval
(a) obtain consent to that effect from the Government Department;
(b) give notice of its intention to persons appearing to it to be the conductors of the course, or the recipients of the qualifications, or the controllers of the institution;
(c) afford persons in paragraph (b) of this section an opportunity for making representations to the Board with regards to the proposal; and
(d) take into consideration any representation made in pursuance of paragraph (c) of this section.
Effect of withdrawal of approval
28.—(1) Any withdrawal of approval under Section 24 of this Bill takes effect on the day the instrument of the withdrawal is signed by the President/ Chairman of the Board.
(2) The Board shall as soon as possible publish every instrument of withdrawal of approval in the Institute’s Newsletter or in the Gazette.
Monitoring of examinations and training
(a) instruction given at approved institutions; and
(b) examinations as a result of which approved qualifications are granted.
30.—(1) The Board shall appoint an Examination and Training Monitoring Committee (in this Bill referred to as the “Monitoring Committee”) for the purpose of Section 29.
(2) The Monitoring Committee shall report to the Board on the adequacy of the instructions and examinations given by the institutions visited by it and any other matter relating to such instructions and examinations, but no member of the Committee shall interfere with the giving or holding of instructions and examinations.
(3) Upon the receipt of a report made in pursuance of Section 30 (2), the Board may send a copy of it to the management of the institution to which the report relates or to the person responsible for the examinations, requesting that comments be made on the report within a stipulated period (not being less than one month) from the date of the receipt of the request.
31.—(1) There shall be for the Institute an Investigating Panel responsible for conducting a preliminary investigation in a case of alleged professional misconduct and deciding whether such a case be referred to the Disciplinary Committee.
(2) The Investigating Panel shall consist of five members to be appointed by the Board from the members of the Institute.
32.—(1) There shall be for the Institute a Disciplinary Committee which shall be responsible for considering and determining—
(a) cases brought before it by the investigating Panel; and
(b) any other case that it takes congnisance of.
(2) The Disciplinary Committee shall consist of—
(a) five members of the Institute to be appointed by the Board; and
(b) one representative of the Government Department.
(3) The Second Schedule to this Bill applies accordingly in relation to the Disciplinary Committee and Investigation Panel.
33.—(1) Where a member of the Institute is—
(a) adjudged guilty of a professional misconduct by the Disciplinary Committee; or
(b) convicted by a Court of competent jurisdiction, of an offence which in the opinion of the Disciplinary Committee is incompatible with the status of a member of the Institute; or
(c) discovered to have been enrolled or registered fraudulently, the Disciplinary Committee may either give such a person a written reprimand or direct the Registrar to strike his name off the Institute’s Register.
(2) The Board shall make rules as to what acts constitute professional misconduct; for the procedures of the Investigating Panel and Disciplinary Committee; mode of appeal and serving of notices; and all matters incidental to the duties of the investigating Panel and Disciplinary Committee.
Qualified but un-enrolled persons
35.—(1) A person shall be deemed to practice privately as Certified Secretary or Certified Verbatim Reporter (in this Bill referred to as “the profession”), if in consideration of remuneration he engages in the private practice of the profession or renders any other service which may by regulations made by the Board be designated as service constituting private practice.
(2) Nothing in Subsection (1) of this section shall be construed as exempting persons who, while in employment are required under the terms or in the course of such employment to perform the duties of a professionally Certified Secretary or Certified Verbatim Reporter or both.
Training, subscription, etc of members of the profession
(b) supervision and regulation of employment;
(c) subscription and renewal of subscription;
(d) licence to practice and practicing fees; and
(e) restriction of right to practice privately,
of persons engaged in the profession shall be regulated by the Board.
Offences and penalties
37.—(1) Any person who—
(a) for the purpose of procuring the enrollment or registration of any name, makes a statement which he believes to be false or recklessly makes a statement which is false materially; or
(b) not being a member of the Institute and not being a person under Section 34 of this Bill, on or after the relevant date (which is twelve months after the commencement of this Bill), practices the profession for remuneration or takes or uses any name, title, addition or description implying or suggesting that he is in private practice; or
(c) being the Registrar or any other person employed by or on behalf of the institute, willfully makes any falsification in any matter relating to the Register, is guilty of an offence and liable upon summary conviction to a fine not exceeding x5, 000.00 or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding three months or both; or conviction of an indictment to a fine not exceeding x10,000.00 or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months or both.
(2) Where an offence committed under this section by a body corporate is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of, or to be attributed to any neglect on the part of any Director, Manager, Secretary or other similar officer of the body or any person purporting to act in any such capacity, such person as well as the corporate body shall be deemed to be guilty of that offence and be proceeded against and punished accordingly.
Library, research, etc
38.—(1) The Board shall provide and maintain a library for the Institute.
(2) The library shall comprise books and publications which the Board deems necessary for the advancement of the profession.
(3) The Board shall also as it thinks necessary encourage research in the profession and allied subjects.
Disclosure of interest
Saving and Transition.
“fees” includes all subscriptions;
“former Institute” means the Institute of Certified Secretaries and Reporters;
“President and Vice-President” means respectively the office holders under those names in the Institute;
“professional member of the Institute” means an enrolled professional fellow, member, associate, and graduate qualified to practice the profession;
“registered affiliate student” means person undergoing an academic program leading to the qualification and career in the profession; and
“the profession” means the art and science of Secretaryship and Verbatim Reporting for dissemination of information for management decision making and for the guidance of effective executive actions.
FIRST SCHEDULE – Section (9)
SUPPLEMENTARY PROVISIONS RELATING TO THE DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE AND INVESTIGATION PANEL
ALPHABETICAL INDEX TO THE LAWS OF NIGERIA (UPDATED)