Relationships with State and semi-State agencies and other professional bodies underpin much of the work of the Society. Director General, PATRICIA BYRON, reports on some recent important exchanges of views.
The benefit of our professional relationship with our colleagues in the United Kingdom was in evidence recently when the Society hosted the members of the Rural Board of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) for a meeting. I briefed them on the current state of the Irish economy and following that, Stephen Kavanagh, Chair of our own Rural Surveying Professional Group and Justin McCarthy, Editor of the Irish Farmers Journal, led a very interesting discussion. It was an exchange of views on the implications of a British exit from the European Union (Brexit) for both Britain and Ireland’s agriculture sectors. It is fair to say that both sides felt they had a more informed and better-nuanced understanding of the issues involved by the close of session.
On another front, since the formation of the Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA), the Society has actively engaged with the Regulator and over the last year in particular we are pleased to see the formation of a User Forum and closer engagement on a number of the more pressing matters. Maeve Hogan, CEO, PSRA, talks in this edition of the Journal of the willingness and indeed need to work with practitioners to foster best practice in a proportionate and practical manner.
Another important topic this quarter relates to Public Works contracts, where our engagement continues with the Office of General Procurement (OGP). Again, our Quantity Surveying Professional Group is engaging with government and statutory bodies on a number of fronts, striving to achieve best practice within the industry but exploring and debating issues of concern to the Quantity Surveying membership including, for example, potential unlimited liability in public works engagements which runs contrary to international best practice. The Building Surveying Professional Group is also actively engaged with Government agencies as they develop a remedial programme for radon gas. The Society has also reached out again to all Government departments with a view to ongoing engagement in relation to the housing shortage, whilst it is recognised real progress is inevitably hampered by the delay in the formation of a new Government.
As always, the Society will continue to actively engage with relevant stakeholders on behalf of members and keep you fully informed.