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Interim RICS boss gives salary to charity as body seeks forgiveness

The independent review into the RICS scandal of recent months and how the governance of the body failed, has thrown up numerous recommendations.

The main recommendation from Alison Levitt QC is for a wide-ranging external review of purpose, governance and strategy, led by an independent reviewer, such as a retired senior civil servant.

The governing council of RICS has committed to implementing all the report’s recommendations. 

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In addition to apologising to the dismissed non-executive directors - whose legal fees are being reimbursed - it has also apologised to members who were incorrectly threatened with legal action and also offered to reimburse their legal fees.

A process is under way to appoint a new CEO, with an announcement expected imminently. 

Nick Maclean, who led the steering group for the independent review by Levitt, has been appointed temporary chair of the governing council, and will be donating his salary for the role to Lionheart, the RICS charity.

In addition to recommending a wide-ranging external review, the report makes a series of interim recommendations relating to governance, executive remuneration, whistle blowing and legal advice, which will be implemented in full, including:

 

- Greater oversight for governing council, which should be provided with the minutes of all boards and committees. Updates should be provided by the chair of the board or committee, not by the chief executive or another senior member of staff;

- More frequent meetings of the management board, which should be recognised as having responsibility for all operational matters and should receive minutes and documents it requests from all other boards. Members should be able to raise issues with governing council directly;

- Financial bonuses at senior executive level should be reviewed to determine if they are appropriate for a professional membership organisation;

- The whistle-blowing procedures should be overhauled to allow any complaint against a senior member of the senior leadership team to be referred to an independent third party;

- External legal advice should always be given on the basis that RICS is the client, not its senior management. RICS should consider whether previous legal advice kept this principle sufficiently in mind. The provision of legal advice to RICS should be determined by competitive tender every three years.

More on the issues behind the QC's investigation here.

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