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RIBA Investigating President Amid Allegations

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

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The Royal Institute of British Architects is reportedly investigating its President, Alan Jones, on allegations that he misused RIBA funds.

The Times and The Architects’ Journal both reported that Jones is accused of using RIBA funds to further an alleged extramarital affair. The institute has hired external law firm Browne Jacobson to look into the matter.

What Happened

Late last week, Jones emailed members of RIBA Council that he would be stepping away from his presidential duties because “a matter had arisen” in his personal life. Because RIBA is considered a charity, the Charities Regulator was also informed of “a serious incident” involving the president.

While RIBA gave no details at the time, staff was told that Jones (who has held the position for seven months after being elected to a two-year term), would not be reachable for the next four to six weeks.

Currently, honorary secretary Kerr Robertson is overseeing presidential duties.

The Charity Commission’s guidance says that “a serious incident” constitutes an adverse event (actual or alleged) that results in or risks significant:

  • harm to a charity’s beneficiaries, staff, volunteers or other who come into contract wit the charity through its work;
  • loss of a charity’s money or assets;
  • damage to a charity’s property; or
  • harm to a charity’s work or reputation.

In Jones’ letter to council he said: “I’m grateful for the strong support I have from my wife and family. I need to take some time out from my duties as president and would be grateful if everyone could respect our privacy.

“I appreciate this comes at a time when there are extraordinary demands on everyone and I can only ask that you reinforce your support to our staff and senior officers during this period.”

Robertson commented on Monday on behalf of RIBA, saying: “Alan Jones has brought a matter to our attention which we are investigating. No complaint has been made. It wouldn’t be appropriate for the RIBA to comment further at this stage—we have an obligation to treat such matters fairly and confidentially.”

   

Tagged categories: Architects; Associations; Business matters; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); EU; Good Technical Practice

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