Institution gives dispute service clean bill of health but makes further claims against former staffer Wajid Khan
The RICS has given its dispute resolution service a clean bill of health after closing its investigation into the conflict-of-interest case involving the website First4ADR.com.
In a statement released today, the RICS said that the inquiry it had commissioned from independent law firm Field Fisher Waterhouse had now concluded and there remained “no evidence whatsoever of inappropriate action by members of RICS or in our dispute resolution appointment process”.
But the RICS placed further blame on former head of DRS operations, Wajid Khan, claiming he had “procured temporary employment for relatives” at the DRS “without ever disclosing a conflict-of-interest”.
The RICS discovered “inappropriate staff behaviour” within the DRS last November involving the alleged setting up of a rival business, the now defunct First4ADR.com, by Khan and then colleague Carol Goodall and their alleged unauthorised use of RICS’ knowledge and information.
Building has since revealed that the RICS alerted two government departments to its investigation and that – earlier this year - Khan was employed by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) as administrator of its “presidential panels”.
A spokesman for the RICS said: “In response to enquiries, Mr Khan has recently confirmed to us for the first time that he was involved in the setting up of the website, First4ADR.com.
“Mr Khan has also admitted that he procured temporary employment for relatives without ever disclosing a conflict of interest.
“We confirm once more that there is no evidence whatsoever of inappropriate action by members of RICS or in our dispute resolution appointment process.
“These regrettable actions were those of individual employees who badly let the profession and their colleagues down and who no longer work for RICS.”
The spokesman said that a “comprehensive review” of the DRS and the employment of new staff meant the service had been improved.
He added that the RICS has passed the conclusion of its investigation to its insurers.
A spokeswoman for CIArb said: “Mr Khan has been employed by CIArb to set up the administration of its Presidential Panels following the sale of IDRS Limited (the CIArb subsidiary which previously administered the Panels).
“CIArb took up normal references, considered all the circumstances and was satisfied that it was in the interests of CIArb to appoint Mr Khan on a six month contract as administrator of its Presidential Panels.”
Khan declined to comment.