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PEI funding fairly debated


I write to comment on your report that 'The decision to cancel ICE's host funding of Professional Engineering Institutions... was pushed through despite criticism from the floor' (NCE last week).

In past years there have often been complaints, sometimes perhaps justified, that issues of importance have been sewn up before they reach Council. There have been complaints that the budget process has allowed little effective debate.

In the present session there has been a particular effort to handle important subjects in such a manner that Council members have a genuine opportunity to express their views and influence decisions. In particular, key budget issues have been twice debated - in order to guide the budget process. Council will not, when the budget is presented in November, be facing an unknown fait accompli.

If one has genuine debate in Council , one will have differences of view, which your reporter chooses to refer to as 'criticism'. There was no guillotine of PEI discussion - which was at length. Nobody was 'pushed' anywhere. It was in the end quite clear where the balance of opinion lay on this issue.

I like to think of it as an example of more open governance and transparent procedures in the working of the Institution: something to be welcomed, not made the subject of tendentious commentary.

Roger Sainsbury (F) MA FREng HonIFASCE, President ICE, Great George St, London SW1

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