The membership is currently being balloted on proposed changes to the way in which our institution is governed. As the current and incoming Presidents we thought it important to explain why we support these changes and ask that you vote in favour of them.
ICE is a charity and we believe that it is in our members’ best interests that we fully comply with the recommended governance procedures and best practice guidance for such organisations.
Last year the UK's Charity Commission published its latest guidelines for the governance of large charities such as ICE. These latest guidelines were published against a backdrop of a number of high profile issues associated with charities in the UK.
Having considered the latest guidelines and taken legal advice the Council of ICE voted unanimously that we take the necessary steps to ensure that we are fully compliant with the recommendations - at the earliest opportunity.
One of the areas in which we are currently not compliant with guidance is the appropriate size of our Trustee Board - currently made up of the 44 people who are the members of Council.
The recommendation therefore is that we create a smaller, compliant and more agile Trustee Board of 12 people, which would fulfil the individual and collective role of a trustee as defined by the governance guidance. The new Trustee Board will be responsible for ICE’s strategic decision making and importantly the trustees would be drawn from you, the membership of ICE.
At the same time we are recommending the creation of a new Council, which will also be elected by and represent the membership of ICE. The new Council will focus on a range of professional and societal issues and use their wide range of expertise to propose solutions to tackle them. The new Council will develop new plans and policies reflecting their ambition for the institution, which they will enact through the Trustee Board.
Importantly, the new Council will also appoint the panel that is responsible for selecting members of the Trustee Board, scrutinize the performance of the Trustee Board and approve individual trustee appointments on an annual basis. In this way, we will ensure that we both comply with appropriate governance requirements and ensure that our members retain full control over the direction of our institution.
The latest guidance from the Charity Commission is not controversial and we have a duty to comply. To remain non-compliant with current guidance and recommended best practice represents a significant risk for ICE, its trustees (current Council members) and our membership.
Those members eligible to vote should have now been provided with their voting papers and a necessarily detailed Paper K explaining the changes.
Further to that, and to help members understand the implications of their vote, a comprehensive Q&A pack has been published on the ICE website.
If you have further queries you are, of course, more than welcome to contact the Secretariat of your institution.
The ballot is your opportunity to have a say in the future of our institution. It remains open until 10 July and we would urge you to vote in favour of these proposals.
Professor Lord Robert Mair CBE, President
Andrew Wyllie CBE, Senior Vice President
For more information on the current ballot see the FAQs page