RICS has appointed senior finance industry and Whitehall figure Mike Driver to head up its Audit Committee.
In normal times this appointment would not be of great note, but Driver is a ‘safe pair of hands’ appointment following the embarrassing financial scandal that has wracked the organisation over the past 11 months.
It’s also the latest move by RICS to steady the ship and follows the announcement of a new interim leadership team.
The scandal was triggered by the dismissal of four non-executive directors Amarjit Atkar, Bruce McAra, Simon Hardwick and Steve Williams. They had complained unsuccessfully within RICS about its treasury management before being booted out.
A damming 167-page report into the affair by Alison Levitt QC (pictured), which revealed the dismissal to be a ‘disaster waiting to happen’, reported that at the time its finances were ‘in a mess’.
In September Governing Council member Nick Maclean promised that reforms and fresh blood would be brought in to answer these criticisms and Driver’s appointment is part of this.
Driver is already President of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy and a former senior Whitehall official with more than four decades in public service. He will take on the role immediately and serve for an initial three-year term.
In his role as Chair of the RICS Audit Committee, Driver will operate independently, reporting to Governing Council.
The Audit Committee is comprised of two RICS members, Peter Lewis and Tom Barclay, and an independent member, Brigid Sutcliffe.
Amongst the committee’s responsibilities are monitoring the integrity and effectiveness of RICS’ financial reporting, internal control and risk management systems, reviewing anti-fraud measures and recommending the appointment of the external auditor.