Memorandum submitted by the Chartered
Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM)
1.1 The Chartered Institution of Water and
Environmental Management (CIWEM) is the pre-eminent independent
professional body and learned society for an integrated approach
to environmental management. We have a global membership comprising
scientists, engineers, ecologists, biologists, managers and environmental
professionals from many other disciplines. CIWEM members play
a key role in achieving the goal of a sustainable environment
and the advancement of environmental affairsthey are required
to conform to this Institution's Code of Environmental Ethics.
CIWEM is a constituent body of the Science Council and services
the Science Council's "Science in the Environment Group".
This Institution is also a "Nominated Body" of the Engineering
Council UK and licensed to award the qualification and designation
"Chartered Engineer". We are one of a small but unique
group of professional bodies that embraces both science and engineering
disciplines. CIWEM is currently engaged in the establishment of
an umbrella body of environmental institutions and learned societies
and we are in discussion with the Privy Council about a Royal
Charter for this new body.
1.2 This Institution was founded in 1895.
It is a registered charity and is funded through membership subscriptions
and income from conferences, sale of publications, donations and
training initiatives etc. CIWEM does not receive any form of direct
Government funding and is entirely self financing.
1.3 This Institution welcomes the Science
and Technology Committee's Inquiry into the funding of Scientific
Learned Societies. We hope that it will lead to a more transparent,
rational and equitable approach to future funding as this has
been a matter of concern to CIWEM for some time. This Institution
is pleased to offer this text as CIWEM's contribution to the Committee's
Inquiry and we would be pleased to give oral evidence if invited
to do so.
2.1 CIWEM urges Government to continue funding
independent Learned Societies (but refrain from the "patronage"
of a select few). They perform an important role in society, regulate
the professions they serve and are an authoritative source of
2.2 CIWEM urges Government to review the
regime and criteria for funding Learned Societies and to create
a new funding framework. Such framework to take account of:
(a) the extent to which a body is financially
sustainable and self supporting;
(b) a body's policies in relation to inclusivity,
gender, race, age, sustainable development and ethical behaviour.
2.3 CIWEM takes the view that funding criteria
should be based on principles of "additionality" with
Government funds supporting new work and not the core activities
or overheads of a Learned Society.
2.4 CIWEM believes that funding should be
conditional and justified by a three or five year Business Plan.
The Plan should include targets, performance indicators and a
methodology that will enable Government to assess performance
against the Plan and the achievement of value for money, annually.
2.5 CIWEM urges Government to consider a
much broader range of Learned Societies for allocation of funds
using a set of criteria which is fair, open and transparent embracing
value for money tests.
2.6 CIWEM urges the Government to support
and incentivise closer collaboration between Learned Societies
that share a common remitin particular the emergent over
arching body for environmental institutions (currently operating
under the working title of the "Chartered Umbrella Body for
the Environment"CUBE) and the Science Council.
2.7 Learned Societies with a Royal Charter
must demonstrate that they are meeting their Charter commitments
to qualify for Government funding.
3.1 In considering CIWEM's position on the
funding of learned societies this Institution has identified three
key issues. These are:
(a) The Role of Learned Societiesaffirmation;
(b) Government Fundinga framework;
(c) Learned Societiesthe case for
widening access to Government funds.
3.2 For the purposes of this evidence CIWEM's
definition of "Learned Society" includes any independent
learned society or professional body that is either a registered
charity or holds a Royal Charter or, of course, is both a charity
and holds a Royal Charter. We specifically exclude those bodies
which hold political or commercial affiliations.
4. THE ROLE
4.1 Learned Societies and professional bodies
perform a unique role. The majority are independent of political
and commercial interests and rely on the voluntary efforts of
their members who do what they do for altruistic reasons. They
care about their profession and are committed to the common good.
Therefore, these learned bodies play a critical role in providing
independent expert advice to Government and others, regulation
of the profession and professionals they serve, education and
training, professional development, research and much more besides.
They provide a platform for objective debate on the critical scientific
and technological issues of the day and the very best are forward
thinking, providing innovative solutions to pressing social and
scientific needs. CIWEM suggests that if Learned Societies did
not exist they would have to be invented or, Government itself
would have to perform many of the functions they now provide.
4.2 CIWEM is aware that successive Governments
have expressed a view that there are too many bodies serving similar
professional interests leading to conflicting advice and duplication
of effort. The need for closer collaboration of Learned Societies
to create a single authoritative voice has, to some extent, been
heeded and there is now a Science Council which acts as an over
arching-body for science-based Learned Societies and professional
bodies. Launched by Science and Innovation Minister, Lord Sainsbury,
in 2000, it is anticipated that the Science Council will fulfil
its objective and become a respected and authoritative voice for
the science community on cross cutting scientific issues. Similarly,
CIWEM is currently working with nine other environmental institutions
and Learned Societies to create a federation for the breadth of
environmental affairs and disciplines. Our aim is to co-ordinate
our activities and speak with authority to Government and the
public on environmental affairs. This is an initiative which has
been widely welcomed across Government, by the Environment Agency,
employers and the environment profession at large. The Steering
Group driving this development aspires to create a new designation
of "Chartered Environmentalist", or similar designation,
for appropriately qualified and experienced environmental practitioners.
4.3 Initiatives that lead to collaboration
between Learned Societies are to be applauded. They deserve Government
support since it is Government that will be a key beneficiary.
The process by which Government is informed and advised, under
such arrangements, will rationalise the consultation and advisory
process. CIWEM urges the Government to consider incentivising
any cluster of Learned Societies, that share common aims and objectives,
in order to encourage them to co-ordinate their activities.
5. A FRAMEWORK
5.1 CIWEM believes that Government should
continue to fund Learned Societiesmany of them continue
to make a tremendous contribution to the health, wealth, culture
and standing of this country. They also make a significant contribution
to the advancement and application of science and engineering
for the public benefit. Much of this excellent work is undertaken
by members of Learned Societies on a voluntary basis and CIWEM
believes that so much more could be achieved if some of the available
(or any additional) funding was directed to those bodies who currently
do not benefit from Government support. That only a select few
Learned Societies receive Government support represents an opportunity
lost. CIWEM believes that there is an urgent need to review the
current funding structure and to establish a new framework for
funding based on merit, value for money and sound management principles.
For example, funded bodies should demonstrate that they are inclusive
and have policies in relation to gender, race, disability and
age. They should also show that they are committed to sustainability
and operate within an acceptable Code of Environmental and Social
Ethics. Such bodies should be open and inclusive committed to
outputs and outcomes which serve the public good and known social
5.2 Government funding should be conditional
and relate to a prescribed programme of activities, targets and
performance indicators which show how a funded body is contributing
to innovation, excellence and a better public understanding of
science and engineering. We also advocate that a Learned Society
be required to submit to Government a three or five year Business
Plan justifying initial and continued funding. Such bodies should
report, annually to Government, on actual performance against
5.3 Those bodies, like CIWEM, which carry
a Royal Charter should also be able to demonstrate total compliance
with the terms of their Charter in order to qualify for Government
5.4 CIWEM understands that, in any new framework
for the funding of Learned Societies, Government may not wish
to underwrite core activities and overheads. This Institution
certainly believes that such bodies should be self financing and
that Government funding should be provided on the "additionality"
principle. That is, funding should support projects and initiatives
that a Learned Society could not otherwise fund from its own resources
but for which there is a demonstrable need. Government funding
of these "value added" projects should, by definition,
lead to innovation and better practice, have measurable outputs,
be demand led, meet social priorities and offer better value for
money than the current funding arrangements.
6. WIDENING ACCESS
6.1 Currently, only a small proportion of
Learned Societies receive Government funding. This seems to be
based largely on historical practice and discounts the potential
of many other Learned Societies to contribute to social and Government
priorities. Many of the bodies that do not receive Government
funding could easily make a case for doing so. The fact that there
is no obvious mechanism for accessing available funds is unfair.
It discriminates against those Learned Societies with an excellent
track record of achievement in favour of an elite few who are
effectively "subsidised" by the taxpayer and who do
not necessarily represent the views or activities of other bodies.
6.2 The current funding regime is not only
discriminatory it is exclusive in nature and should be changed.
It perpetuates a tradition which is no longer relevant in a modern
more accountable world where greater transparency is, or should
be, the norm. The Government funding and "patronage"
that certain bodies now enjoy may have been appropriate one and
two hundred years, or more, ago but a modern world with a different
ethos and culture demands that the reasons for continuing with
that approach are vigorously tested. Other learned bodies must
be allowed to make their case. This is basic good public governance
and should be regarded as part of the modernisation of Government.
7.1 CIWEM applauds this Inquirywe
believe that it is long overdue. We urge the Government to continue
to fund Learned Societies but within the context of a new funding
regime and framework. This Institution advocates a system which
is modern, inclusive, transparent, encourages outputs that meet
social priorities and recognises the potential contribution of
all Learned Societies to the improved health, culture and economy
of this country.
7.2 In supporting a new and fairer funding
system for Learned Societies we advocate that such funds should
not be used to underwrite a body's core activities or overhead
costs. We firmly believe in the principle of "additionality"
with funds being used for specific initiatives that are relevant
to social and Government objectives and that a body would not
otherwise be able to undertake. All bids for Government funding
should be supported by a Business Plan showing measurable outputs.
7.3 Finally, CIWEM urges Government to encourage
those Learned Societies, that share common aims and objectives,
who wish to work co-operatively in clusters or partnerships. It
is in Government's interest that Learned Societies come together
and speak authoritatively with one voice and reduce the incidences
of repetition and duplication of effort. The funding mechanism
could be used to offer incentives for so doing and support, for
example, the current initiative to bring together the many environmental
Learned Societies and Institutions which exist.