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Report urges cull of institute's 'fossilised' decision-makers

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riba council news

A big clearout of decision-makers at the riba has been called for to shatter 'fossilised' ways and streamline the running of its hq.

Colin James, the honorary treasurer, outlined the institute's proposals for reorganisation, calling for a radical cull of committees below board level and their replacement by specialist advisers. More than 50 committees gobbled up huge resources, he said in the strategy framework discussion paper.

Clare Frankl, riba honorary secretary, condemned the committee structure for 'fossilising participation. It does not contribute one iota to increasing participation but resists change and makes it very difficult for someone outside to get into the system. There are other ways of achieving face- to-face contact like seminars and conferences.'

The report also said Portland Place tried to do too much, did things badly or not at all. Director general Alex Reid said a third of calls to the riba were not getting through and the hq was like a ship with a seized-up rudder: 'I propose a big cash budget of £100,000 a year to put in key policy areas for research and study.'

James Thomas, riba honorary librarian, urged a seat at the top policy table for a 'champion for the library'. He said: 'The library is worth a lot of money and is a jewel in the riba crown. It is not adequately represented at a second level and the director of the library should have access to the policy makers.'

Jez Abbott

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