Architects welcome ‘significant regime changes’ at RIAS
Among its changes, the next president of the architecture body will be elected by all the RIAS members and no longer be appointed directly by its council.
Other proposals include the creation of an interim audit and finance committee and a governance committee to review structural failures in the running of the Incorporation and to consider more significant reforms.
A group of around 150 Scottish architects called A New Chapter led calls for reform and launched an unprecedented attack on the RIAS last year, raising concerns at what they said was “a lack of effectiveness, poor governance and insufficient financial accountability”.
A five-point plan for “a new progressive future” for the RIAS was issued by A New Chapter in January.
The regime changes proposed by the group and put in place by the RIAS council include:
The announcement follows a tough period for the RIAS which saw Neil Baxter leave his position as secretary and treasurer just days after A New Chapter demanded a major shake-up of the organisation.
Then, in December, the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) began a formal investigation into the 101-year-old body after being alerted to serious concerns about the way the organisation is governed.
Police Scotland confirmed it is making its own enquiries into allegations of financial irregularities at the organisation later in the month.
A spokesperson for A New Chapter said the group is “greatly encouraged” by the moves by RIAS to implement significant reform measures which “are in line with the changes aNC has been pressing for”.
“We are supportive of the changes proposed and agreed at this week’s council meeting and welcome the Institution’s willingness to engage and work together for the benefit of the wider membership,” the spokesperson said. “aNC considers the proposed changes and decisions made at Wednesday’s council meeting to be encouraging. They are in the spirit of greater openness, membership participation, inclusivity and a renewed spirit of optimism.”