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RICS chiefs ‘carefully considering’ independent report into treasury scandal

All eyes are now on the surveying trade body to see how it responds to Alison Levitt QC's 400-page investigation.

Nigel Lewis

 

rics

RICS’ governing council is now ‘carefully considering’ the findings of an independent review of its internal financial controls delivered by Alison Levitt QC following many months of probing and interviews.

“We will issue a formal response once this process has concluded,” a statement from RICS says.

It may take some time – Levitt’s report runs to 400 pages and she has told the Chair of the Steering Committee of the Governing Council of RICS that it should ‘take time to consider her report before deciding what action to take in relation to it’.

Her report, if it supports four whistle blowers’ claims that a critical report into poor management of its treasury controls was buried, is likely to be incendiary for the 153-year-old organisation, which is the world authority on standards and qualifications in building surveying.

This is particularly true because the shenanigans are said to have taken place around the time it was celebrating its 150th anniversary.

Intense scrutiny

RICS, which operates via a Royal Charter has come under intense scrutiny since the scandal broke late last year, kicked off by a Sunday Times investigation.

It alleged that four non-exec directors of RICS had their contracts ended after they questioned how the organisation’s finances were being run.

They had worried back in 2018 that an unflattering report into its treasury management had been buried by senior management following reports that RICs had extended its overdraft without informing the organisation’s board.

On delivering the report into these allegations, Levitt says: “I would like to express my personal thanks to all those who have contributed to the important work of the Independent Review, including the many members of RICS who responded to my call for evidence.

“I was struck by the passion about RICS expressed by all those to whom I spoke.”

August 16, 2021

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