Accountability and transparency
ARB has a responsibility to members of the public, architects and Parliament to be transparent and accountable in its business operations.
ARB’s Registrar and Chief Executive, Karen Holmes, is also the ARB’s designated Accounting Officer. As well as being responsible for the day to day management of the office, and ensuring that her responsibilities under the Act are delivered, as Accounting Officer, Karen is also responsible for the safeguarding and handling of public funds. These responsibilities are set out in the Framework Agreement.
Every Accounting Officer is required to meet with representatives of the sponsoring Government Department on an annual basis. These meetings require accounting officers to demonstrate and evidence that they are fulfilling their duties appropriately, as well as providing opportunities to discuss any changes to the Government’s expectations. These responsibilities were all successfully achieved in 2016.
In addition to the above, ARB has robust and transparent reporting mechanisms in place to ensure accountability at all levels within the organisation.
The Board is responsible for setting out the strategic direction of the organisation and agrees an annual business plan. Members of the public can attend open sessions of our Board meetings, the details of which are available via our social media channels and our website. The minutes of these open sessions, along with all open session Board papers, are also published on our website. Information about the 2016 Board Meetings can be found here. Board and committee members also undergo annual appraisals, where performance objectives are set each year.
Executive and Staff Team Accountability
The Board holds the executive and the staff to account by monitoring the delivery of the annual business plan. Members of the Operational Management Team, including the Registrar and Chief Executive, attend each of the five Board meetings which take place throughout the year. The Board receives written and verbal reports which detail the progress which has been made in relation to all areas of the business plan on a regular basis. Board members have the opportunity to raise queries and discuss the delivery of the Board’s objectives at their meetings.
The staff team are committed to providing information which is timely, accessible and appropriate so that the Board can discharge its responsibilities effectively. Reports are provided to the Board on either an annual or biannual basis, which enable the Board to test and challenge progress in relation to all areas of the business plan. Throughout 2016, the Board received a series of reports which can be found in its open session board papers.
Whilst the majority of the Board’s business is undertaken in open session, there are occasions where the Board is obliged to discuss matters in private. The Board’s policy setting out what must be considered in confidential session can be found here.