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Press release

1 DEC 2021

Lord Bichard appointed to lead Independent Review into governance & purpose

RICS has appointed Lord Michael Bichard to lead a wide-ranging independent review into the governance and purpose of the institution.

The review was a key recommendation of Alison Levitt QC’s report into historic issues at RICS, which was published in September, and Lord Bichard has been selected after an open recruitment process.

He will begin work on the review immediately with a six-month timetable for completion and will issue a call for evidence to all members and interested parties in early December.

During a long and varied career in public life, Lord Bichard has served as a Permanent Secretary in Whitehall and chief executive of two local authorities. He was Director of the Institute of Government, has chaired several organisations, including the Social Care Institute for Excellence, and led a major government inquiry.

Lord Bichard will set his own terms of reference for the review, which will be published shortly, based on the three objectives set by Governing Council:

• to create clarity about RICS’ purpose

• to make proposals for the future to make RICS a beacon for best practice in governance, transparency, and accountability, strengthening the reputation of members and the Institution

• to ensure that RICS’ governance structures, culture and resources are fit for today and contain mechanisms which can be reviewed and refreshed so they remain relevant in the future

Lord Bichard will report directly to Governing Council. A dedicated website is being created to host all documents and relevant materials so that members can follow the progress of the inquiry.

Nick Maclean, interim Chair of RICS Governing Council, said:

“We could not have wished for a better independent reviewer than Lord Bichard, who has a wealth of experience, derived from a long and distinguished career in public service and as Chair of leading organisations. He was the outstanding candidate from a very strong shortlist and he will bring to the review his deep understanding of governance and commitment to promoting the highest values in public life”.

Lord Bichard said:

“I am delighted to have been asked to undertake this review. I want this to be a positive, forwardlooking review, advising RICS on how it can become a world-leading membership organisation again. I will focus on the purpose and governance structure needed to achieve that and look forward to receiving evidence from the membership and to meeting as many stakeholders as possible during my inquiry”.

-ENDS-

 

Notes to Editors:

Lord Bichard was made a life peer in 2010 and sits on the cross benches, following a long career in local and central government. Having served as Chief Executive of Brent Council and Gloucestershire County Council, he began a succession of senior government roles in 1990 when he was appointed Chief Executive of the Benefits Agency.

He subsequently served as Permanent Secretary at the Department of Employment and at the Department of Employment and Education, where he was credited with leading a wide-ranging modernisation programme. He retired from the Civil Service in 2001.

Lord Bichard served as Rector of the University of Arts London and Chairman of the Design Council. In 2004, he was asked to lead a government inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the murder of two 10-year-old girls in Soham. He was subsequently appointed Chairman of the Legal Services Commission before becoming Director of the Institute for Government in 2008 and Chair of the Social Care Institute for Excellence in 2013.

About RICS:

We are RICS. Everything we do is designed to effect positive change in the built and natural environments. Through our respected global standards, leading professional progression and our trusted data and insight, we promote and enforce the highest professional standards in the development and management of land, real estate, construction and infrastructure.Our work with others provides a foundation for confident markets, pioneers better places to live and work and is a force for positive social impact.

We are RICS

Everything we do is designed to effect positive change in the built and natural environments.

Through our respected global standards, leading professional progression and our trusted data and insight, we promote and enforce the highest professional standards in the development and management of land, real estate, construction and infrastructure.

Our work with others provides a foundation for confident markets, pioneers better places to live and work and is a force for positive social impact.

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