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Dobson stays on as DG&S selection fails

THE INSTITUTION of Civil Engineers' seven month search for a new Director General & Secretary has failed to find any candidate meeting the exacting specification set.

However Council was told on Tuesday that the appointment committee was now very close to making a decision. Once the candidate is found, a postal ballot will be held among Council members.

The current DG&S, Roger Dobson, has been persuaded to postpone his retirement indefinitely until the appropriate person is found.

'We'll take whatever time we need to find the right bloke. We are not going to be rushed,' explained ICE President Sir Alan Cockshaw.

The DG&S manages ICE's £15M turnover business, interacting both with members and in the political arena. The role will involve restructuring how the ICE operates as an organisation, as well as completing implementation of changes recommended by the Cawthra commission.

When Dobson announced his intention to retire last year (NCE 11 September 1997) ICE set up its selection panel which with help from PA Consulting Group sought out and selected candidates.

But Cockshaw added: 'We've trawled pretty extensively in industry and in other organisations to try and find the right guy.'

He said that the DG&S would 'not necessarily' be an engineer and the remuneration package is likely to be negotiable once the best person has been identified.

Working with presidents appointed for a one year term as the public face of the Institution makes the job particularly demanding. In effect the string of presidents is equivalent to a series of short term chairmen while the DG&S is the long term chief executive of the ICE.

The need for continuity in the post means that the appointment might be for a period of 10 or more years. Dobson was scheduled to retire in July at the end of an eight year contract.

Mike Winney

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