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The cost of registration - A comparison is made between the increase in retention fees over 10 years and the cost of living, with references to Government policy.

The amendment to the Architects Act of June 2008 - giving an appraisal of the statutory regulations and describing the predicted early consequence: an increase in the human resources retained by the Board.

Parliamentary written replies - describing how the cost of retention has been disproportionate to the number of those on the register.

Conflicts of Interest : s.4(2A) of the Architects Act 1997 (as amended June 2008)

Case Study 3, Part 2 - in the public interest?

Case Study 3, Part 3 - the European Commission takes a view that "the UK authorities have transposed Directive 2005/36/EC in an incorrect manner".

Case Study 3, Part 4 - an unsatisfactory reply from the Department of Communities and Local Government is criticised by the inquiring architect.

Case Study 3, Part 5 - the Commission writes formally to the United Kingdom.

Case Study 3, Part 6 - a credibility gap emerges?

Case Study 3, Part 7 - New UK Regulations, but is the Directive itself lawful?

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Case Study 3, Part 2

It is likely that few, whether architects or others, will have paid much attention to subsection (2A) which was inserted in section 4 of the Architects Act 1997 by the departmental Regulation S.I. 2008 No. 1331 : The Architects (Recognition of European Qualifications etc and Saving and Transitional Provision) Regulations 2008.

  • Had the officials, consultees or others who were party to the drafting been fully aware of the conflict with the public interest (which, to some extent, includes what is called the "consumer" interest)? 

  • Would legislators have been alerted by the Explanatory Memorandum submitted to Parliament?

  • Was it appropriate to have mentioned (paragraph 4.8 of the Memorandum): "...it would be undesirable for migrants to exploit this loophole..." ?

  • Has that consideration drawn attention away from more important issues affecting the statutory Register of Architects?

  • Were there undeclared assumptions about present or future policy benefits for the profession or for others?

A critic could claim that the insertion of this 4(2A) has done nothing in the public interest; that the persons most likely to be disadvantaged are those who have qualified in this country and wish to carry on practice; and the only persons likely to be advantaged are those who derive satisfaction from their responsibilities as appointed members of the Board (who cannot themselves be practising architects), or others who are in competition with architects whose profession has been trammelled by what amounts to an ineffectual restrictive practice which criminalises certain uses of an ordinary English word.

(For the Transposition Note annexed to the Memorandum see page 9 of the Explanatory Memorandum.)

 An AARUK contributor, 10 February 2009.

See explanatory paper of 21 April 2009

Case Study 3, Part 3

For sequel, see Case Study 3, Part 3.

Case Study 3, Part 4

In a further letter to the EU Commission (8 June 2009) the inquiring architect mentions that the official reply from the DCLG (15 May 2009) fails to explain why the UK government believes the straightforward requirements of the Directive provide a "loophole", asking that the United Kingdom Government be required to amend its legislation so that it conforms with the Directive.

It is understood from other cases (such as the French Gaming Regime case) that if the matter is taken further by the Commission, then European Court of Justice procedures under Article 226 of the EC Treaty may take two years or more to complete. (See also European Law by Alina Kaczorowska.)

Case Study 3, Part 5

On 20 November, 2009 the Commission decided to send the UK authority a formal letter.  The UK has 2 months in which to make its observations.

Case Study 3, Part 6 (25 November 2010)

We can now report that among reasons being claimed on behalf of a government department for withholding information about progress with the amending legislation is that it is or relates to "information which if disclosed would, or would be likely to, prejudice relations between the United Kingdom and any other State or relations between the United Kingdom and any international organisation or international court."

Is it well-nigh incredible that the issue in question ("that the UK authorities have transposed Directive 205/36/EC in an incorrect manner" words of the European Commission) could really and truly be of such a kind that the information cannot be given to the citizens whose taxes fund the department and the EU due to the risk of prejudice to relations between the United Kingdom and another State or relations between the United Kingdom and an international organisation or international court? What grave mischief can have been afoot, which we knew not of, on the part of our government against another, or vice versa, to disallow freedom of this information? The ARB regime (and the legislation) must now be seen as having become enmeshed in something of an international incident, if not for what it has done or not done, then because it is being used as a bargaining counter in a web of negotiations against a state or international organisation unknown.

Case Study 3, Part 7 (16 September 2011)

 

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