RIAI AGM | S.I. 9 Conflict or Resolution?

by Bregs Blog admin team


Posted by Bregs Blog on 7th October 2014

RIAI AGM | S.I. 9 Conflict or Resolution?

The BRegs Blog Admin. Team has given considerable thought and consulted widely on how best to report on the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) Annual General Meeting (AGM) that took place on 29th September 2014.

The consensus view would appear to be for the BReg Blog to try and strike a balance between allowing the RIAI to debate the financial and corporate governance issues with its members behind closed doors in the relative privacy of its AGM and that the BRegs Blog should only post on the matters discussed that relate directly to S.I. 9 and that are of legitimate interest to our readers.  Matters relating to annual accounts discussed at representative bodies general meetings are considered a private membership matter and may not appropriate for general release*. In addition, ‘in-house’ professional membership issues are of limited interest to our broader Bregs Blog readership.

These latter items that were discussed at the AGM included:

1.   The question of whether the RIAI was a representative body of its architect members or a regulatory body acting on behalf of the government was discussed in the context of how this had impacted on recent meetings between the RIAI CEO and President with the Department of the Environment in relation to S.I. 9. The issue remains to be clarified further by the RIAI President.

2.    It was mentioned during the AGM that a review of S.I. 9 draft documentation issued by the RIAI earlier this year in July had taken place. This was conducted by a group that included Barrett Chapman of McCann Fitzgerald Solicitors. The review was submitted to the RIAI Council about three months ago but has not been approved for issue to RIAI members. The current status of this review was not disclosed and the Breg Blog are not aware of when the release of details of this detailed review is planned.

3.  A great deal of discussion and confusion arose during the AGM with regard to the general perception that architects were professionally obliged to undertake the role of Design Certifier under S.I.9 and whether or not an architect should only be obliged to act as an ancillary certifier. The assumption that the role of Design Certifier must be undertaken by the architect on any project was challenged which clearly called into question previously issued guidance and information delivered at CPD sessions. It is hoped that clarification will be provided soon on this matter as it is already impacting on the awarding of public contracts.

The BRegs Blog recommends that RIAI members should contact the RIAI Honorary Secretary for a copy of the AGM minutes in relation to matters not commented on above.

 *There is no suggestion being made of any impropriety on the part of any party referred to above. The conflict in a conflict of interest exists whether or not a particular individual is actually influenced by the secondary interest. Unconscious bias is of course a real thing, which is why any serious medical trial is always double blind. Even if individuals or groups are immune to unconscious bias the fact that relations have a commercial interest in the operation of S.I. 9 could be perceived as a conflict of interest and is being noted to contextualise the commentary (definition:Conflict of interest – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). The above statements do not purport to adjudicate or make comment on any proceedings discussed, rather they are intended as a brief record of conversations and items discussed. All statements made without prejudice.

Other posts of interest: