RICS has appointed Lord Michael Bichard (main pic) to lead a wide-ranging independent review into the governance and purpose of the institution following the financial mismanagement scandal that has seriously damaged its reputation.
The review was a key recommendation of Alison Levitt QC’s report into the scandal published in September, and Lord Bichard has been selected after an open recruitment process.
He will begin work on the review immediately with a six-month timetable for completion and will issue a call for evidence to all members and interested parties in early December.
During a long and varied career in public life, Lord Bichard has served as a Permanent Secretary in Whitehall and chief executive of two local authorities.
He was Director of the Institute of Government, has chaired several organisations, including the Social Care Institute for Excellence, and led a major government inquiry.
Lord Bichard will set his own terms of reference for the review, which will be published shortly, based on the three objectives set by Governing Council:
These are to create clarity about RICS’ purpose; make proposals for the future to make RICS a ‘beacon for best practice in governance, transparency, and accountability’, and strengthen the reputation of members and the Institution; and to ensure that its governance structures, culture and resources are fit for today and contain mechanisms which can be reviewed and refreshed so they remain relevant in the future.
Lord Bichard will report directly to Governing Council. A dedicated website is being created to host all documents and relevant materials so that members can follow the progress of the inquiry.
Nick Maclean (pictured), interim Chair of RICS Governing Council, says: “We could not have wished for a better independent reviewer than Lord Bichard, who has a wealth of experience, derived from a long and distinguished career in public service and as Chair of leading organisations.
“He was the outstanding candidate from a very strong shortlist and he will bring to the review his deep understanding of governance and commitment to promoting the highest values in public life”.
Lord Bichard adds “I want this to be a positive, forward-looking review, advising RICS on how it can become a world-leading membership organisation again.”
Read more about the RICS scandal.