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RIBA slammed over panel ‘fiasco’

Angry adjudicators who missed out on being reappointed to the RIBA’s tribunal panel have branded the selection process ‘a joke’, and have dismissed a review into the ‘fiasco’

Despite receiving complaints from a raft of disgruntled adjudication heavyweights such as barrister Tony Bingham, the RIBA maintains that its reselection procedure ‘followed an established process with transparent checks and balances to ensure fairness and objectivity’.

But well-respected adjudicator Colin Little – snubbed when the institute revealed an all-new list of 90 adjudicators in March – said: ‘How can a process be transparent, impartial and without a perception of bias when the assessors are already undeclared appointees to the panel, without apparently any need to have their own competence independently assessed, and… they are [also] in competition with the candidates for appointments?’

Little continued: ‘To claim the selection process was fair or objective is frankly a joke and would not bear scrutiny under any legally competent test of the word used.’

Bingham has also called on the RIBA to ‘investigate the suspicion that the assessors used unpublished and still secret criteria’ and reassess ‘whether the assessors were conflicted out by including themselves into a panel which shares out appointments’.

The RIBA is sticking to its guns. A spokesman said: ‘The RIBA has reviewed the selection process following requests from some rejected applicants, and is satisfied that the selection process was fairly and properly carried out. Any queries or concerns from applicants have now been fully investigated and the results of any reappraisal notified to each of the individuals concerned.’ Richard Waite

Readers' comments (2)

  • Perhaps you should have interviewed some of the very many talented and experienced adjudicators, surveyors, builders, engineers, lawyers as well as architects from up and down the country who were selected? Might sweeten those grapes a little.

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  • Mr Little bases his assertion on his own question and Mr Bingham raises a suspicion. As one of the assessors may I dispel any doubt about the selection process.
    1. The RIBA, having invited me to join the assessment panel, required my own application to be assessed before independent assessors. That, somewhat discomfortingly, was done. If I had failed that examination, I have no doubt that my invitation to join the panel would have been withdrawn.
    2. All candidates were informed of the criteria that were to be used before they were invited to submit for selection. Those criteria, and no other, were strictly applied.
    3. I have no part in the nomination of adjudicators. That is an exercise carried out by the RIBA's expert officers, or by the President on those officers' advice.

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