F. The Role of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy

Author:Roderick J. Wood
Profession:Faculty of Law. University of Alberta

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The Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy was created in 1932 as a response to cases involving the appointment of incompetent or dishonest trustees.163The superintendent is responsible for supervising the administration of all estates and matters to which the BIA applies.164

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One of the primary duties of the superintendent is to license trustees. The superintendent determines the qualifications and the criteria to be applied in determining if a trustee’s licence is to be issued to a person.165

These include successful completion of qualifying courses and exams. The superintendent has the power to investigate complaints concerning potential wrongdoing in the administration of a bankrupt estate.166

Following an investigation, the superintendent may cancel or suspend the licence of a trustee or place conditions on it if it appears that the trustee has not properly performed the duties of a trustee or has failed to comply with the provisions, rules, or directives governing trustees or if it is in the public interest to do so.167

The superintendent issues directives on the powers, duties and functions of trustees.168Several directives have been issued on matters such as the preparation of the inventory of estate assets and surplus income and on standards for recommending conditions of discharge for first-time bankrupts. The superintendent also maintains a record of all bankruptcies and has established a registry system that permits interested persons to search by individual or debtor name to determine if insolvency proceedings have been initiated.169


ANDERSON, h., "Insolvency Practitioners: Professional Independence and Conflict of Interest" in A. Clarke, ed., Current Issues in Insolvency Law (London: Stevens, 1991) 1

CANADA, STUDY Committee on BANKRUPTCY AND INSOLVENCY LEGISLATION, Bankruptcy and Insolvency: Report of the Study Committee on Bankruptcy and Insolvency Legislation (Ottawa: Study Committee on Bankruptcy and Insolvency Legislation, 1970) c. 6 (Tassé Report)

LALONDE, l., "Fairness and Due Process: Update on the Disciplinary Powers of the OSB over Trustees" in Janis P. Sarra, ed., Annual Review of Insolvency Law, 2007 (Scarborough, ON: Carswell, 2008) 295

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LANDO, A., "Sale of Assets by a Trustee: The Fundamental Pragmatics" (1991) 3 C.B.R. (3d) 179

NEVILLE, w., "Faithful Watchman or Trojan Horse???" (2006) 23 Nat’l Insolv. Rev. 39

ZIEGEL, J., "The Personal Liabilities of...

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