After smouldering for two years, the hostility between the people who run Hong Kong's accounting certification body and Mandy Tam Heung-man, the accountants' representative in the Legislative Council, has broken into the open. A source at the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants tells White Collar that the body plans to announce today that it will no longer distribute Ms Tam's newsletter to its 26,000 members. The institute also intends to hit back at some of the criticisms that Ms Tam, a member of the democratic camp in the Legislative Council, has been voicing in her columns in the Chinese press. Among other things, she has said that the institute's examinations are too difficult and demanded that it survey its members on the government's proposed goods and services tax, which she opposes. 'Enough is enough,' our source said. 'The institute has kept a low profile for a long time but Ms Tam has been questioning our integrity in her columns and her newsletter. We think we need to tell our side of the story. 'The HKICPA considers it is time to distance itself from politics so we have decided not to distribute her newsletter together with ours to prevent the members from mixing them up. This is not to say that our relationship with Ms Tam is totally over but we would prefer to co-operate with her in different ways.' Readers will know that Ms Tam and the institute have clashed often since she defeated its president Paul Chan Mo-po by a razor-thin margin of 36 votes in the Legco functional constituency elections two years ago. Their first public spat was over her insistence that the institute post her newsletter along with its own to all local accountants. The institute countered that it would send 10,000 copies by post and the rest by email to its members who had opted for electronic delivery. The institute finally agreed to post Ms Tam's publication to all members after she agreed to pay the HK$30,000 postage costs. In some bean-counting circles, Ms Tam's newsletter is deemed to be too political. Her opposition to the goods and services tax has raised some hackles. Leaders of the institute don't plan to do a survey on the issue at Ms Tam's behest. 'It should be the institute that decides how and when to do its survey,' the source said. 'Ms Tam can do her own any time she likes.' The source said that the institute's survey, when it comes, will be more than a simple yes or no exercise. It will weigh in on the question of tax rates and exemptions too. The institute plans to submit a position paper to the government before the GST consultation period ends in March. lam wins on attendance Legislator Jeffery Lam Kin-fung, our podcast guest this week, is known for his hardworking ways. Since his election, he has attended every one of Legco's weekly meetings and 99 per cent of the meetings of the panels he sits on. This makes him the chamber's hands-down attendance champion. Fewer people are aware of Mr Lam's other public role - chairman of the advisory board of the Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corp. The ECIC was established by the government in 1966 to provide insurance cover for exporters. Those who buy cover receive compensation if their customers delay payment for more than four months. Mr Lam says the ECIC is a godsend for our 100,000 small exporters, who would find it prohibitively expensive to get default protection from private providers. Despite the arrival on the scene of more international credit insurers, Mr Lam says the ECIC's importance is undiminished. 'Private insurers usually target large exporters as their clients so there is no conflict with the ECIC, which covers mainly small exporters.' sfc sees a good friday Whatever your feelings about the Securities and Futures Commission, it can't be accused of being superstitious. The SFC has scheduled its annual media gathering for this Friday, which is Friday the 13th. A lot of organisations would keep a low profile on Black Friday but the regulators feel it's a good time for the media to meet its four new executive directors. In previous years, the SFC has tried to vary the menu by inviting journalists to partake of different activities, such as hiking and bowling. This year, it will hold a good, old-fashioned food and drink gathering in Central.