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Empire-building ARB has priorities all wrong

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Owen Luder misses the point (Letters, AJ 27.02.03) in stating that client losses will be avoided with the monitoring of PII cover by the ARB. How many architects tick the box without checking if their employer does have cover and that it is current and in place? It would require each and every employee to read their practice PII wording before they could correctly certify that they were covered. Even if they did this in the first instance of filling in the certificate, I can bet they wouldn't bother in subsequent years.

This charade has been facilitated by the amendment of the code of conduct to give more powers of monitoring to the ARB. I object to this. If citizens had to certify to police that they hadn't broken any laws in the past 12 months, there would be an outcry. When will this end?

Will the ARB demand copies of written contracts to ensure compliance with Standard 11? The increasing administrative burden is being borne by architects in the registration fee and is another point of objection.

The most telling piece of evidence to support the accusation that the ARB is empire-building comes from its own PCC reports. An architect operating without PII cover is fined £250 while another is fined £1,000 for not filling in the form. This would indicate that the failure to comply with the monitoring of the ARB is a greater 'crime' than causing a loss to a client.

It is obvious that the ARB is preoccupied with its own increasing powers and not with the protection of the consumer it is empowered to represent.

Mark Benzie, London EC1

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