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The ARB's descent into farce

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1 April 1997 - arb comes into being (on April Fool's Day) to replace the old arcuk following the Architects Act 1997.

22 July 1999 - arb raises retention fees to £55 from £50, one year on from pushing through a 66 per cent hike. The fee had been static for the previous eight years as arcuk.

12 August - Andrew Finch 'resigns' from his post of registrar as arb aims to 'move forward'.

26 August- arb places advertisements with the aj for a £70,000 p/a post of new 'chief executive' to replace Finch. The advertisement says the Board wants a 'dynamic executive' who is 'flexible and outward looking', with 'the intellectual capacity to analyse and advise on a wide range of public and social and policy issues'.

26 August - riba's immediate past president David Rock says a new-look arb must stop attacking architects and become their 'guardians' instead.

16 September - Jane Rees is appointed as acting registrar of the arb.

7 October - arb's new pr firm Tamesis masterminds a press event on the board's new visual identity, annual report and details on its office redevelopment.

12 November - cabe secretary Francis Golding has his first interview for the vacant arb chief executive's job with the board's hired headhunters, Norman Broadbent.

23 November - Golding is interviewed by arb chairwoman Barbara Kelly.

25 November - The aj reveals cabe secretary Francis Golding is on a shortlist for the new arb chief executive's job.

29 November - Golding is selected as preferred candidate after his third interview and invited to a final interview with arb's full board and Christmas party to take place on 9 December.

2 December - Golding meets arb staff and discusses issues for discussion with board atnext - and fifth - meeting.

9 December - Golding told by phone not to come to meeting by headhunter Bill Phillips, three hours before it was due to take place.

15 December - Selection committee meets again and decides not to recommend Golding for appointment, allegedly because he was 'too close' to the architectural fraternity.

16 December - Amanda Levete resigns in protest, and is followed by Sir Colin Stansfield Smith, Marco Goldschmied, and, later, Frank Duffy.

5 January 2000 - Reduced recruitment sub-committee meets to decide on a new preferred candidate for chief executive. He is understood to be a lawyer.

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