Response to Summary Report
Below the collaborative response I submitted within the deadline.
Apologies for the delay, I've been busy flying around the world to take up ICE Council duties.
Currently the Trustee Board is too remote from the membership and lacks transparency, this needs to be addressed. (Section 11)
In response to Section 6 of the Summary Interim Report, a 12-member Trustee Board is supported provided that:
- Majority of Trustee Board to be elected rather than appointed.
- Open elections by ICE voting members (with candidates NOT from any pre-selected list) Option A is supported.
- No NomCo nomination members on the Trustee Board.
- Quorum of 12 member Trustee Board should be 7
- Terms of Reference are required for the Trustees, particularly with the allocation of portfolios of responsibility.
- It should be possible to dismiss a Trustee if unable or incapable of fulfilling the demanding role. (Section11)
- Council to determine President
- Separate Impartial Chair required for Trustee Board. President should not Chair the Trustee Board (only CouncIl).Option C is supported
- Currently too many Vice-Presidents. VPs should be nominated/appointed with a view to succession planning rather than a badge of honour. Designation of VP suggests some trustees having more responsibility than others. (Section 10)
A more collaborative approach to Governance is sought. There needs to be a proper balance between the Director General and the President (Section11).
SGM protocols should be amended to allow non-voting members to speak and for on-line attendance and voting (Section 13).
General Comments and feedback
We need to keep our Institution strong through responsible governance.
The Institution exists primarily for the benefit of the profession, its members and inter alia the public good (Disagree with Item 2.3 of the Summary Interim Report (SIR))
Trustee Decisions should be more open to the membership to promote transparency and the trust implicit in their designated title. (Section12)
Nomination Committee (NomCo) is seen as the puppet of the Trustee Board 7 out of 10 of the current Trustee Board are appointed by NomCo, with only 3 coming directly from Council. NomCo should focus on Disciplinary and professional conduct, external representation and other matters rather than its current dominant role in selection the President/VPs. There should be no overlap between NomCo and the Trustee Board.
Wording of Par 2.5 of the SIR is open to interpretation.
The responsibilities of the Trustee Board and Council should be clear and distinct. The Trustee Board should be responsible for the corporate legal, financial and strategic management of the Institution. The Trustee Board should be an enabler of members’ aspirations as expressed through Council and other Member bodies of the Institution (e.g expert panels) It therefore follows that the majority of the Trustee Board must be elected by the Members
The Council should be responsible for overseeing the integrity, regulation and development of the civil engineering profession. The council should NOT be reduced to an advisory body with the risk of the members’ advice expressed through their democratically elected members being ignored.
The Annual Strategy Meeting should be regarded as a “team meeting” of the Trustee Board and Council to collaborate these distinct roles and responsibilities and to agree shared ownership for strategy and direction for the Institution. Constructive challenge is essential to collaborative governance and will deliver increased transparency to ICE members.
Section 7 of the SIR
Option A for appointing/electing Trustee Board through open election by ICE voting members is preferred.
Option B – Too much like the current Hong Kong situation and look where that’s got us. There should be no NomCo nomination on the Trustee Board, therefore this Option is rejected.
Option C whereby the Council elects from within its ranks is considered a backward step and is rejected.
Option D – includes elements of Option B and is therefore rejected.
Option E Has some merits and should be further discussed.
Option A is supported
Section 8 of the SIR
NomCo’s role should be restricted to recommending candidates for approval by Council for the Presidency and Vice Presidency plus other roles such as the Chair of the Disciplinary Panel.
Apart from ex officio positions, there should be no overlap between the Trustee Board and NomCo Membership, and neither should they be involved in the determining each other’s composition.
The President should be formally approved by the Council as the legitimate body representing the membership. 2018 changes involving Selection Panel/NomCo reporting directly to Trustee Board effectively removed any significant engagement with the members. NomCo’s recommendation for the Presidency should be submitted to Council for approval and then to the Trustee Board for Information. ICE Council should have final say in who is appointed as President.
Section 9 of the SIR
The President in his role as leader of the Membership and defacto representative of the profession should chair the ICE Council. The role of president should NOT an “old boy network”/ power play by the Trustees or a side show. The President should also be in a position to challenge the Trustee Board, if necessary. As such the Trustee Board requires a separate, impartial Chair.
Option C is supported.