Businesses and Professions

Public Accountancy

SECTION 5-3.1-10

§ 5-3.1-10. Peer reviews.

(a) The board shall require, as a condition to the renewal of permits for practice units under § 5-3.1-9, that applicants undergo peer reviews conducted no more frequently than one every three (3) years in any manner and with any satisfactory result that the board specifies. The review shall include verification that the individuals in the firm who are responsible for supervising attest and compilation services and sign or authorize someone to sign the accountant's report on the financial statements on behalf of the firm meet competency requirements set out in the professional standards for such services. Any requirements established by the board regarding power reviews shall:

(1) Be promulgated reasonably in advance of the time when it must first be met; and

(2) Provide for compliance by an applicant upon the showing that it has undergone a satisfactory peer review performed for other purposes, such as those performed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants in connection with its peer review programs, which was substantially equivalent to the review required under this subsection, and that this review was completed within the three (3) years immediately preceding the renewal period.

(b) The proceedings, records, and work papers of a peer review committee appointed by the board for the purpose of conducting peer reviews under this subsection shall be privileged and shall not be subject to discovery, subpoena, or other means of legal process or introduction into evidence in any civil action, arbitration, administrative proceeding, or state accountancy board proceeding. No member of the peer review committee or other person involved in the peer review process shall be permitted or required to testify in the civil action, arbitration, administrative proceeding, or state accountancy board proceeding as to any matters produced, presented, disclosed, or discussed during or in connection with the peer review process, or as to any findings, recommendations, evaluations, opinions, or other actions of the committees or any members of the committees. Information, documents, or records that are publicly available shall not be construed as immune from discovery or use in civil actions, arbitration proceedings, administrative proceedings, or state accountancy board proceedings merely because they were presented or considered in connection with the peer review process. The privilege created by this statute also does not apply to materials prepared in connection with a particular engagement merely because they are subsequently presented or considered as part of the peer review process; nor does it apply to disputes between review committees and practice units subject to a peer review arising from the performance of the review. The privilege similarly does not apply, notwithstanding any provision in this section to the contrary, to the board or its members, who, so long as they are acting in their official capacities, have access to any and all records, reports, work papers and other documents and materials which may at any time have been in the possession of or prepared by a peer review committee during the performance of its duties.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1995, ch. 159, § 2; P.L. 2001, ch. 336, § 1.)