The proposal to set up a smaller, ad hoc decision-making body was driven by concerns that the 90-strong council is too slow in approving commercial contracts.
Allaying immediate concerns of handing over council powers to a ‘faceless committee’, president Graham Ward said: ‘I would prefer to be more business-like.’
The real threat of leaks, because for each contract the proposals are distributed to each council member, was also a driving force behind the move.A council report highlighted the delay in ABG, the institute’s commercial arm, acquiring Pass magazine, the student publication.
The move will only affect commercial contracts of less than £2m.
Ward’s stance was backed by Mark Spofforth, one of the younger council members, who said: ‘I think it’s about time we started living in the real world. I understand people’s concern. But, this place leaks like a sieve. We can’t promise commercial confidentiality when we can’t adhere to it.
‘For practical purposes we need to do this.’
Ian Cherry, council member, was the first to voice concern however. ‘I’m not entirely happy with the proposal. I’m not sure as a council if we should be delegating responsibility to a faceless committee.’
Other council members backed Cherry’s concerns. But, unanimous agreement was reached by Ward agreeing to slight alterations in the proposal on spending limits.
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