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ARB reprimands architect for copying employers’ files

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An architect who copied electronic records from two previous employers onto his personal storage devices has been issued with a reprimand by the Architects Registration Board (ARB)

The board’s Professional Conduct Committee issued the rebuke after Benjamin Vivian of Newton Abbot, Devon, accepted the allegations against him.

Electronic files copied by Vivian included practice templates, policies and other administrative documentation.

In addition, he copied fee arrrangements and a number of documents relating to other staff members, including salary information.

A statement from the Architects’ Registration Board said: ‘Vivian attended the hearing and accepted the facts of the allegations and that he had acted without integrity. Mr Vivian denied that he had acted dishonestly.’

The committee found that Vivian’s actions were serious enough to amount to unacceptable professional conduct, but concluded that he had not been dishonest.

In reaching its decision to issue a reprimand, it found that Vivian had no adverse regulatory history during his 12-year career and that he had apologised.

It also took into account that he had not gained financially from his failings, that there had not been any release of confidential client information into the public domain, and that there was no direct risk of harm to the public.

‘The PCC considered that the issues arose from poor judgment rather than entrenched integrity issues and that the ARB proceedings had been a salutary lesson for Mr Vivian.’

In a separate case, the ARB also issued a reprimand to Philip Orchard of PJ Orchard Architects, Portishead, after finding him guilty of unacceptable professional conduct.

The board found that Orchard had failed to enter into a written agreement with his client after being approached by a client to obtain planning permission to build a property on land to the side of her house.

A statement from the ARB said that the board had ‘taken into account that Mr Orchard had not gained financially from his failings and that he stated he had learned his lesson and had addressed his failings by taking corrective action in now sending clients compliant terms and conditions’.

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