A group of Scottish architects has published a five-point plan proposing reforms of the troubled Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS)
The group, known as A New Chapter, is calling for greater transparency, among other objectives, as it sets out its vision for the future of the organisation.
Just before Christmas Police Scotland confirmed it was making enquiries into allegations of financial irregularities at the RIAS. Earlier in December the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) began its own formal probe into aspects of the running of the 101-year-old body.
A New Chapter’s reform plan calls for the RIAS to ‘work collaboratively to foster openness and transparency’. It also urges the body to ‘represent members, their finances and their interests in an open, transparent and accountable way’.
Alongside collaboration and transparency, the group’s plan calls for unity and support; excellence and learning; federalism and internationalism; and implementation of best practice.
In November last year, RIAS president Stewart Henderson wrote to A New Chapter defending separate internal RIAS reviews of salaries, probity and management practices.
But the group – which includes RIAS members and fellows Malcolm Fraser, Chris Platt and Jude Barber – hit back, claiming that conflicts of interest prevented the reviews from delivering the reforms necessary to improve the running of the organisation.
Neil Baxter quit as secretary and treasurer of the RIAS in November.
In an email sent to its members in December, the RIAS admitted that a ’system of decision making [had] developed that [was] not supported by a robust policy framework’ and that the findings of a recent governance review had ’identified a lack of structured governance and accountability’.
RIAS has been contacted for comment.