RICS has revealed a publication date for the much-anticipated report by Lord Bichard into the governance and purpose of the institution following the financial mismanagement scandal that seriously damaged its reputation last year.
His wide-ranging review was a key recommendation of Alison Levitt QC’s report into the scandal published in September 2021, and Lord Bichard was selected after an open recruitment process.
His report, which is expected to set how the venerable institution should move forward after the scandal, will be published tomorrow (21st June) at 1pm.
Lord Bichard will present the report live via video link from RICS’ central London George Street office.
The scandal broke in early January 2021 when The Times revealed that four non-exec directors had been forced out of the organisation after they flagged up their concerns with the organisations’ audit process and, in particular, its treasury management – accountant speak for how a large organisation manages its finances.
But following the newspaper’s report, the scandal then blew the lid off RICS difficult management structures, which prevented effective scrutiny of its operations, particularly financial ones.
After these criticisms were aired within an interim report by Levitt, who said RICS’ governance was a ‘disaster waiting to happen’.
Her lengthy report blamed its two-board system which senior management often circumvented to ‘get things done’ but which meant power laid in the hands of a few senior directors; its Chief Executive and CEO Sean Tomkins, who resigned the same day Levitt’s report came out.
In November last year a new audit chief was appointed, and a month after that Bichard was given the task of sorting RICS out.