News Alert | RIAI EGM Report
by Bregs Blog admin team
The RIAI held an EGM in central Dublin last night. The 400- person capacity conference room of the Davenport Hotel was packed with registered architects, with standing room only. This was an extraordinary turn out for the time of year being in mid-summer holiday season. This huge attendance and the lively debate that ensued proved how topical the issue of BCAR remains among approved professionals.
Architect Ciaran Ferrie, one of the ten EGM signatories, spoke in favour of the motion (see motion detail below). RIAI Council member, Toal O’Muire, spoke against. The RIAI President, Robin Mandal, then introduced Council members, Claire McManus (VP) and Joe Kennedy who gave a brief introduction to a ‘working- paper’ submitted to the RIAI July Council meeting of a proposal for an alternative SS3-Strengthening the System (Version 3) which is seemingly a strategy to replace S.I.9 that is currently being pursued by the RIAI. A ‘working-paper’ is apparently a proposal but not an adopted policy. We will publish details on this in future posts when we get them.
The debate that followed was by all accounts comprehensive and of a very high standard. However not a single speaker spoke in favour of S.I. 9 legislation. The core issue of disagreement was whether to adopt a public policy to revoke rather than disagreement over the problems with S.I. 9. Those against the motion focused on how the RIAI might look to the public and government and concentrated on unity in the profession. Those for the motion were critical of S.I.9 and indeed the handling of the entire BC(A)R issue and the delays in issuing information by the RIAI Council and its Executive to date. There is seemingly much room for improvement there.
Clarification was given on the night by the CEO of the RIAI, John Graby, that electronic voting was not permissible for an EGM. This was in response to a query from the floor at the large numbers of non-Dublin based architects who might have wished to participate in the EGM. However it is noted that E-voting is used for the RIAI Council member elections.
In the end a vote was taken on a compromise to defer having a vote on the resolution below for a three month period with a mandate given to the RIAI Council to pursue the SS3 change agenda with the utmost speed and resources. The same motion will be presented at a future EGM in November. This was carried by a two-thirds to one third vote.
The big winner on the night would seem to be the reputation of architects, with their responsible behaviour taken in the interests of their profession, their clients and the wider construction industry in the face of this appalling piece of BC(A)R legislation. The big loser continues to be the consumer and building owners.
The purpose of the EGM was that the Registered Members debate and vote on the following Special Resolution to be adopted or rejected:
For the reasons outlined above and in the interests of the registered members, the consumer and the wider construction industry, we the Registered Members, call for the RIAI Council to adopt as their first priority a policy to seek publicly the revocation of the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations: S.I. 9 of 2014 and its replacement by a system which better protects the consumer and to actively reach out to other groups to seek support for that policy.