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ICE members vote for new ballot on governance


Members of the ICE have voted for a second vote on the governance of the Institution.

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.

It comes after last month’s ballot which saw more than 70% of corporate members vote in favour of bylaw changes to move governance from the 44-strong Council to a 12-strong board of Trustees.

However, members have now voted in favour of a consultation period with Council and expressed “disappointment” with the ICE ”in its handling of the Governance Ballot on proposed changes to our Royal Charter, By-laws and Regulations and its failure to conduct extensive consultation with the Membership at large”.

The ICE Council will now consider the results of the Special General Meeting when it reconvenes at the beginning of September.

Currently, the ICE is managed by a 44-strong Council which meets four times annually to oversee the management of the Institution. A 13-strong Executive Board meets four times annually, but ultimately has to gain approval from the Council for its decisions.

The ICE says the new proposed structure would see a smaller, “more agile” Trustee Board of 12 becoming responsible for the Institution’s strategic decision making. The new Trustee Board would enact policy and plans on behalf of the Institution which in turn would reflect the will and ambitions of the Council.

The ICE says Council, elected by, and representative of the membership, would deliver advisory and audit functions as well as scrutinizing the performance of the Trustee Board. Importantly, it says, Council would also have time to focus on wider professional and societal issues and use their wide expertise to propose solutions to tackle them. 

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Readers' comments (3)

  • Philip Alexander

    Who appoints the Trustees? The old boys club? This would be a classic case of being lumbered with a group of self-perpetuating lovvies who can't be got rid of. Pardon my grammar. The Institution was set up by Engineers for Engineers and should be run by Engineers.

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  • I was one of those who voted for (most) of the Council's suggestions during the ballot, but I became more and more concerned as additional details emerged about the plans.
    In the end I attended the SGM, and as a result of listening to the arguments I decided to vote in favour of the resolutions being discussed (i.e. against the Council's position).
    There were very wide ranging changes discussed or hinted at in the SGM that I had been completely unaware of at the time of the membership ballot. Even after 2 hours of discussion I felt that we had barely begun to cover the impact of the changes.
    At the moment, the plans seem to me to amount to a bonfire of the ICE's current rules and traditions, without clear justification.
    Personally I believe that some trustees need to be directly elected by the members (the current plan allows for 3 to be selected by some unknown process from the elected Council, and a further 9 to be appointed, so elected representatives can always be outvoted).

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  • Michael Thorn

    The ICE Membership owes a debt of gratitude to Paul Jowitt and Jean Venables - both highly-regarded former Presidents - for leading this protest against the clandestine attempt at a radical restructuring of ICE governance. It seems strangely suspicious that an argued proposal of this magnitude was not shared with the Membership in time for an informed debate before a ballot took place. The proposal appears to release the Executive from the scrutiny and control of the Members: to relegate the Council to an advisory role is a travesty. That is not to say that the present structure should not become more efficient and streamlined, but proposals need to shared, explained and debated with the wider Membership. It is to be hoped that the Council and Executive will now act on the resolutions passed by the Special General Meeting.

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