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ICE launches governance review but presses on with changes

Ice hq 2by3

The Institution of Civil Engineers will continue with planned changes to its governance despite some members calling for a new ballot.

Plans to reduce the size of the Trustee Board from 44 to 12 will still go ahead in November, despite concerns raised over the way that the original ballot was conducted.

Some 129 members voted in favour of holding a new ballot with 88 opposing the motion raised by former ICE presidents Paul Jowitt and Jean Venables at a Special General Meeting (SGM) held last month.

Those at the SGM also voted in favour of a consultation period with Council and expressed “disappointment” with the ICE in its handling of the governance ballot.

ICE Council met this week to consider the result of the SGM and in response has launched a full governance review which will consult with members and report back to Council throughout 2019 ”prior to framing recommendations on the basis of the consultation”. An independent chair will be appointed to lead the review.

More than 70% of corporate members who voted in the original ballot held in July voted in favour of bylaw changes. Total votes cast were 3,954 out of the 44,437 members eligible to vote, representing a 8.9% return – up on 7.5% in the last ballot in 2016.

The move would see governance of the ICE move to a new 12-strong Trustee Board, established with the intention of freeing up Council time to debate and consider broader industry issues.

In a joint statement on behalf of Council, president Lord Robert Mair and vice president Rachel Skinner said: “Council has and continues to act scrupulously in accordance with ICE’s bylaws.

“Under our bylaws we are compelled to introduce the governance changes accepted by the membership in July.

“At the same time, we have listened to and accepted the results of the SGM. In particular we recognise that there were concerns over communications, engagement and process in how those proposals were brought to the members.

“In accordance with the SGM resolutions, Council has decided to commit to a full governance review under the new trustee structure. This will include a comprehensive period of consultation to ensure that a full range of views are heard.

“Our next step will be to appoint an independent chair to lead this review. They will develop terms of reference, form a diverse and inclusive working group and collate an onward programme for Council approval in December.”

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Michael Thorn

    This report repeats the "Fake News" that over 70% of the Corporate Members voted in favour of governance changes. No! - 71% of the 8.9% of Members who voted supported the changes - that's about 6% of the Corporate Membership. This is pure statistical spin that further undermines confidence in the competence of the present ICE leadership.

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