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ICE Governance Interim Report – members’ feedback wanted

07 August 2019

The Presidential Commission into ICE governance has published its Interim Report for consultation within the ICE family.

ICE Governance Interim Report – members’ feedback wanted

Members are being asked to give feedback on an Interim Report that the Presidential Commission into ICE governance has published today.

The Commission was set up last year following approval of governance changes in a members’ ballot, and resolutions passed at a Special General Meeting which expressed disappointment at the ballot process and called for a full review of ICE governance.

It developed the Interim Report after extensive consultation through: the Commission’s open evidence sessions; workshops with ICE boards and committees; and submissions from general ICE members and the Specialist Knowledge Societies.

The Interim Report explains the Commission's detailed analysis on the key issues and sets out 19 interim findings for further consultation.

The Commission considered from first principles the pros and cons of various top-level governance structures. The evidence and weight of opinion in the initial consultation led to the proposition of a compact Trustee Board with a larger, mainly advisory, Council.

The key reasons are:

  • to make decisions effectively, providing clear and consistent direction;
  • to allow every trustee to make a meaningful contribution to numerous trustee decisions (both strategic and tactical) in a way that allows each trustee to take individual and collective responsibility;
  • to strengthen board effectiveness, timely decision-making, legal compliance and accountability;
  • to focus on risks and opportunities in a rapidly changing environment; and
  • to benefit from the advice of the larger, representative Council on strategic issues facing the profession and the Institution.

The Commission then tested this proposition and found that it aligns well with regulatory guidance and the arrangements for nine comparator institutions in engineering and the built environment.

So the first interim finding is to recommend that ICE’s top-level governance structures should comprise a compact Trustee Board of 12 or 13 members with a larger, mainly advisory, Council.

But the Commission recognises the concerns expressed about the balance of the current Trustee Board configuration, and in Interim Findings 2 and 3, it recommends the key principles that a majority of Trustee Board members should be elected by the ICE voting members, and that all trustees should have equal levels of responsibility.

The Commission is particularly keen to hear your views on these issues and also:

  • the options for the method of electing trustees to the Board;
  • the options for chairing the Trustee Board and the ICE Council; and
  • whether the title ‘vice president’ should refer only to those who will become ICE president in due course, or should apply to all trustees.

Other interim findings

Other interim findings cover issues such as: strengthening the role of the Council; the make-up and processes of the Nomination Committee; the President’s Terms of Reference; improving transparency and engagement in ICE governance; and ensuring that ICE members can vote electronically at Special General Meetings.

How to have your say

The Commission warmly welcomes ICE members’ feedback on any or all of these issues. To have your say, please review the Interim Report and Consultation pack on the Commission’s web page, and then simply send your views in an email to [email protected] no later than Friday 11 October 2019.

The Commission is consulting widely so it can advise the Trustee Board and Council on the best governance arrangements to fulfil the great purpose of the Institution - to foster and promote the art and science of civil engineering.

Read the Interim Report and a Consultation Pack.

  • David Orr, The chair of the Presidential Commission