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RICS names veteran ex-civil servant to lead independent review

RICS has appointed Lord Michael Bichard to lead a wide-ranging independent review into the governance and purpose of the institution.

The review was a key recommendation of Alison Levitt QC’s report into recent governance and transparency issues at RICS.

Lord Bichard - who will be 75 next month - will begin work on the review immediately with a six-month timetable for completion and will issue a call for evidence to all members and interested parties in the coming days.

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He is a retired career civil servant who has served as a Permanent Secretary in Whitehall and chief executive of two local authorities. He was Director of the Institute of Government, has chaired several organisations, including the Social Care Institute for Excellence, and led a major government inquiry.

Lord Bichard will set his own terms of reference for the review, which will be published shortly, based on the three objectives set by RICS Governing Council:

- to create clarity about RICS’ purpose;

- to make proposals for the future to make RICS a beacon for best practice in governance, transparency, and accountability, strengthening the reputation of members and the Institution;

- to ensure that RICS’ governance structures, culture and resources are fit for today and contain mechanisms which can be reviewed and refreshed so they remain relevant in the future.

A dedicated website is being created to host all documents and relevant materials so members can follow the progress of the inquiry.

Nick Maclean, interim Chair of RICS Governing Council, says: “He was the outstanding candidate from a very strong shortlist and he will bring to the review his deep understanding of governance and commitment to promoting the highest values in public life”.

And Lord Bichard himself adds: “I want this to be a positive, forward-looking review, advising RICS on how it can become a world-leading membership organisation again. 

“I will focus on the purpose and governance structure needed to achieve that and look forward to receiving evidence from the membership and to meeting as many stakeholders as possible during my inquiry”.

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