Industry Member Interference May Be Conduct Deserving of Sanction
Purpose: This bulletin explains that industry professionals must not interfere with an investigation.
This bulletin applies to all industry professionals.
The Real Estate Council of Alberta’s (RECA) complaint, investigation and disciplinary processes are a core function of self-regulation. A legally sound investigation and discipline process that adheres to the principles of natural justice and fairness is of the utmost importance to the maintenance of public and industry confidence in the industries RECA governs.
RECA must fully investigate complaints to have an effective complaint and discipline process. Complainants and witnesses have to be able to talk to RECA without any kind of pressure. They also have to be able to give to RECA relevant documents and information important for the investigation.
Industry professionals must never do anything to interfere with the investigation. This includes:
- tell a person not to make a complaint
- to offer a person money or some other benefit not to make a complaint
- threaten a person who makes a complaint
- threaten a witness
Examples of RECA cases of interference:
- industry professionals promise to give a witness money not to testify at the disciplinary hearing
- industry professionals sue complainants for making a complaint to RECA
- in a lawsuit against an industry professional, the lawsuit is settled with a term that the person suing must withdraw their complaint with RECA and/or is not allowed to talk about the situation with anyone
The executive director considers this type of conduct to be very serious and harmful to the integrity of the industry. Where there is evidence that this took place, the executive director will seek sanctions, which may include suspension of a member’s licence.