Real Estate Council of Alberta Publication Guidelines

1. OBJECTIVES

These guidelines acknowledge that section 55 of the Real Estate Act places duties and discretion upon the Executive Director to publish information respecting enforcement, licensing and registration and other regulatory action.  These guidelines also acknowledge that the Personal Information Protection Act places responsibilities and limitations on the collection, use and disclosure of personal information that may be published by the executive director.  Section 55 of the Real Estate Act permits personal information about the industry member related to the business of the industry member to be included in the publication.

Section 55 of the Real Estate Act provides:

The executive director may publish information respecting

the refusal, cancellation or suspension of an authorization issued by the Council under this Act,

(a.1) the name, business contact information and category of authorization of industry members,

(b) a person’s withdrawal from industry membership, or

(c) prosecutions and disciplinary actions taken under this Act,

and those publications have qualified privilege.

These guidelines express Council’s views.  When circumstances so warrant, the Council recognizes that the executive director may deviate from these guidelines.

The objective of these publication guidelines is to demonstrate that RECA is a transparent, accountable regulator which promotes the integrity of the industries it regulates and protects the public.

2. PUBLICATION MODE AND CONTENT

  1. Enforcement Decisions

It is Council’s belief that all enforcement decisions i.e. hearing and appeal panel decisions, with or without findings of misconduct, court decisions and authorization suspensions, should be published.  Publication demonstrates to the public and the industry the activities RECA undertakes toward consumer protection and industry integrity promotion.

In any particular case, the publication mode and content will depend on:

  1. the enforcement action process;
  2. the seriousness of the contraventions; and
  3. the sanction or other enforcement action. 

In most cases, enforcement decisions will be published in the Case Summaries, in the annual report and on Council’s website. Published content will be in accordance with RECA’s Redaction Policy.

The media will be notified when the enforcement decision is of a very serious nature and it is in the public interest to broadly inform i.e. authorization suspension.  The news release will also be posted on RECA’s website.

  1. Licensing and Registration Refusal Decisions and Licensing and Registration Appeal Decisions

It is Council’s belief that licensing and registration refusal decisions and licensing and registration appeal decisions should be published. Publication demonstrates to the public and the industry RECA’s commitment to transparent, consistent and fair authorization decision making in the public interest.

In most cases, these decisions will be published in the Case Summaries, in the annual report and on Council’s website. Published content will be in accordance with RECA’s Redaction Policy.

 

3. PUBLICATION IN CASE SUMMARIES AND ON RECA’S WEBSITE

A. Enforcement Decisions

All enforcement action, including disciplinary action resulting in finding(s) of conduct deserving of sanction, no finding(s) of conduct deserving of sanction, mixed finding(s) of conduct deserving of sanction, the sanction and Real Estate Act provincial offence conviction(s) will be

    1. published in the Case Summaries ; and
    2. posted on the RECA website. 

 

For all enforcement action noted below, published content will be in accordance with RECA’s Redaction policy. The information published will depend on the enforcement process undertaken and the resulting outcome or sanction as follows:

i) Letter of Reprimand

Publication in Case Summaries

Letters of reprimand are issued in the least serious misconduct cases.  Publication will not identify industry member(s) by name(s) or business contact information.  Only the fact that a letter of reprimand was issued, the breach and a summary of the facts and circumstances will be published.  

The publication is intended to be primarily statistical in nature.

RECA website

Excepting the industry member(s) name(s) and business contact information, full letter content will be published.

Publication is intended to be educational and to act as both a specific and general deterrent. 

ii) Administrative Penalty

Case Summaries

Administrative Penalties will be published in the Case Summaries and include the industry member’s name, a summary of the facts and circumstances, breaches and sanctions.

RECA website

The Administrative Penalty will be published in full on the website. 

Publication is intended to be educational and act as both a specific and general deterrent.

iii) Hearings, Consent Agreements, Appeals, and other Court Decisions resulting in finding(s) of conduct deserving of sanction, no finding(s) of conduct deserving of sanction, mixed finding(s) of conduct deserving of sanction, the sanction and Real Estate Act conviction(s)

Case Summaries

Hearing, consent agreements, appeal, and other court decisions resulting in finding(s) of conduct deserving of sanction, no finding(s) of conduct deserving of sanction, mixed finding(s) of conduct deserving of sanction, the sanction and Real Estate Act convictions will be published in the Case Summaries and include the industry member’s name, a summary of the facts and circumstances, breaches and sanctions.

RECA website

Hearing, consent agreements, appeal, and other court decisions resulting in finding(s) of conduct deserving of sanction, no finding(s) of conduct deserving of sanction, mixed finding(s) of conduct deserving of sanction, the sanction and Real Estate Act convictions will be published in full on the RECA website.

Publication is intended to be educational and act as both a specific and general deterrent.

iv) Real Estate Act Withdrawal Application (s. 54)

Case Summaries

Council approved withdrawal applications will be published in the Case Summaries and will include the industry member’s name and a summary of the facts and circumstances.

RECA website

A copy of the s. 54 approval letter to the industry member will be posted on the RECA website.

v) Real Estate Act Temporary Suspension Order (s. 53)

Case Summaries

The s. 53 temporary suspension order will be published in the Case Summaries and will include the industry member’s name and a summary of the facts and circumstances.

RECA website

A copy of the s. 53 Temporary Suspension Order will be posted on the RECA website. The news release will also be posted on RECA’s website.

B. Licensing and Registration Refusal Decisions and Licensing and Registration Refusal Appeal Decisions

Information about all licensing and registration refusal decisions and licensing and registration refusal appeal decisions will be  

    1. published in the Case Summaries; and
    2. posted on the RECA website. 

Information published will not identify the person who was refused a license or registration by name(s) and no personal information about that person will be published. Only the fact that a refusal decision was made, what any appeal decision was and a summary of the facts and circumstances will be published. 

4. NEWS RELEASE TO MEDIA

When an industry member’s authorization is canceled or suspended or a provincial court prosecution is concluded successfully, a news release will ordinarily issue to the media. The news release will identify the person by name and will provide a summary of the facts and circumstances and the decision.

5. PUBLICATION LENGTH OF TIME - INTERNET

Approved REA s.54 withdrawal applications will be published for the industry member’s lifetime.

All other enforcement publication and licensing and registration refusal decisions, including Case Summaries publication, will be for a two year period.

6. PUBLICATION LENGTH OF TIME – RECA OFFICE

Letters of reprimand, administrative penalties, hearing decisions, consent agreements, appeal decisions and other court decisions and Real Estate Act offence convictions will be publicly available indefinitely at the RECA offices in hard copy and/or electronic form.

Information about licensing and registration refusal and appeal decisions will be publicly available indefinitely at the RECA offices in hard copy and/or electronic form.

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