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RIBA president Alan Jones referred to the Charity Commission

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April 2 2020

RIBA president Alan Jones referred to the Charity Commission

Alan Jones, president of the Royal Institute of British Architects, has been referred to the Charity Commission just hours after announcing his shock departure to colleagues just six months after being elected to the role.

Citing an unspecified ‘personal matter’ for his abrupt departure Jones informed staff via email that he would relinquish his duties, handing the reins to honorary secretary Kerr Robertson for at least four to six months.

Robertson said: “I can confirm that we are aware of a personal issue in relation to the president. This is a confidential matter and therefore it wouldn’t be appropriate for the RIBA to comment further at this stage.”

In a dramatic twist, the Institute has now referred Jones for further investigation after compiling its own ‘serious incident report’

In a statement, the Charity Commission said: “The RIBA has acted in line with our guidance, by submitting a serious incident report to the commission in connection with the recent stepping down of the charity’s president.

“We are currently assessing information provided by the charity. We are unable to comment further at this time.”

The leadership vacuum comes at a critical juncture for the profession as the construction industry grinds to a halt.

Robertson previously referred the RIAS for investigation by the Office for the Scottish Charity Regulator over alleged financial impropriety, with the body currently undergoing a leadership transition of its own.

13 Comments

IndyNoo
#1 Posted by IndyNoo on 2 Apr 2020 at 11:34 AM
Architects are seriously their own worst enemy. From scrapping against each other in the bottom of the fee barrel, through investigations over serious incidents in RIAS and now RIBA, to being involved in generally awful designs across the country, particularly Glasgow, the whole industry needs a shake up. It is a shocking indictment of how far industry standards have fallen. What a shambles.
Neil McAllister
#2 Posted by Neil McAllister on 2 Apr 2020 at 12:29 PM
"with the body currently undergoing a leadership transition of its own"

You make it sound like there is something shady about this.

I'm not disputing that there were major problems in the RIAS and we haven't yet fully learnt what was going on, but it helps no-one to compare a regular election being run with what is going on in the RIBA. In fact, the running of proper, open, regular elections is part of the solution - not the problem.

This is poor tabloid reporting that wants to find scandal in everything.
Cadmonkey
#3 Posted by Cadmonkey on 2 Apr 2020 at 12:57 PM
Why haven’t we yet been told what happened at RIAS?
Mark McManus
#4 Posted by Mark McManus on 2 Apr 2020 at 14:17 PM
A 'serious 'incident''
Whit? Wis thera murdur? Naw?
Ordid he use the wrang layer?
Architects. Relevant?
Hilloch
#5 Posted by Hilloch on 2 Apr 2020 at 14:22 PM
#3
Not sure, best guess is legal wranglings
StyleCouncil
#6 Posted by StyleCouncil on 2 Apr 2020 at 14:23 PM
#1 What an incrediblly sweeping and ill informed generalisation.
Is there actually a story here?..'Dramatic twist'..really UR?
I suspect the real dramatic twist of our age is the impending catastorphic doom we are all about to face due to that virus....not some isolated tittle-tattle at RIBA HQ.
FFS, get a grip... and a sense of context.
IndyNoo
#7 Posted by IndyNoo on 2 Apr 2020 at 14:40 PM
#1 What an incrediblly (sic) sweeping and ill informed generalisation.

Ok, let us look at the facts, none of which are sweeping generalisations, nor ill informed:

1. "From scrapping against each other in the bottom of the fee barrel..." True. Architects competing for the lowest fee has affected the whole industry - there is absolutely no argument against that. Indeed, it is part of the reason why there is so much awful design in the country.

2. "...through investigations over serious incidents in RIAS and now RIBA..." True. This is reported above, and several times previously. Note the language used in the response from the Charity Commission.

3. "...to being involved in generally awful designs across the country..." True. As linked to Fact 1. We have substandard buildings being designed and constructed all across the country, and this is due to many reasons, including the low fees offered by Architects to purely win jobs.

4. "...the whole industry needs a shake up..." True. In fact, one only has to look at the alternative group set up when RIAS was investigated to give an indication of what could happen.

5. "...It is a shocking indictment of how far industry standards have fallen..." True. It is, and I don't think anyone can argue otherwise that scandals in the professional bodies that represent Architects in Scotland and England are a good thing.

6. "...What a shambles..." True.

mick
#8 Posted by mick on 2 Apr 2020 at 15:55 PM
The nauseating RIAS musical chairs of the last few years have truly been swept under the carpet and the profession in Scotland still meanders within a fog of questions, doubts, insecurities and delusion. It could well be that the august RIBA is about to repeat such an illusion on UK wide architects. I entered the ARCUK register 44 years ago but chose to voluntarily walk away from ARB, RIBA + RIAS 21 years ago. That liberation of walking away has been remarkable in that my enjoyment of architecture expanded exponentially from that single decision.
The Bairn
#9 Posted by The Bairn on 3 Apr 2020 at 16:03 PM
Only two things the tabloids are interested in;-
1. Financial shenanigans …. (box ticked)
2. Sexual gymnastics …. (box unticked so far)
Looks like the most serious incident since Sticky my pet stick insect got himself stuck on a sticky bun. And where is Salmond?
The Bairn
#10 Posted by The Bairn on 4 Apr 2020 at 13:39 PM
#9 I hate to say I told you so but....

1. Financial shenanigans …. (box ticked)
2. Sexual gymnastics …. (box now ticked)

No I am not the former First Minister lol
mick
#11 Posted by mick on 6 Apr 2020 at 11:23 AM
It is admirable that The Bairn,#9+#10, has demonstrated clear attributes as both a political observer and a seer.
Ronald Villers
#12 Posted by Ronald Villers on 6 Apr 2020 at 21:39 PM
#8 - When you say that the situation at RIAS has "been swept under the carpet", are you aware that it is currently being investigated by both OSCR and Police Scotland, hence the fact there hasn't been a full explanation?
Massie
#13 Posted by Massie on 7 Apr 2020 at 08:58 AM
#8 I hope that investigation includes the then RIAS Presidident whom seems to have so far evaded any mention in this, though unless seriously incompent must have been aware of what was going on in those years leading up to NBs departure.

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