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RIAS reformers set out their plans for a shake-up

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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.

A new chapter

A new chapter

 

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Readers' comments (1)

  • MacKenzie Architects

    Way too fluffy a manifesto for me.
    Admirable motives for Architects to aspire to, but that's not what the RIAS is there for.

    I want to see a hard-hitting Institute, demanding higher standards of brief, specification and commissioning from government and private sector.
    An Institute that drives better standards of Building Control and simplifies Planning Law.
    An Institute that pushes for better education of Architects, business excellence 'design' excellence, technical expertise, and honesty and integrity in the profession.
    I don't want an Institute that is red, pink, blue, green or black. I want to see all these colours in individual practices.

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