Plan to Ginger up ICA

The Institute of Chartered Accountants today faces a challenge to the way it runs itself from a group campaigning to make it more democratic.

The Ginger Group, led by accountancy college chief Jeff Wooller, wants the institute's president and other officers to be elected by all 109,000 members of the body rather than just the 70 members of the council, as at present.

Mr Wooller's motion to today's annual meeting is unlikely to prevent deputy president Brian Currie being confirmed as the next president of the institute. But the move marks the latest stage in a campaign to make the professional bodies more open.

Earlier this year, the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants saw off a similar challenge from a group of reformers led by accountancy academic Prem Sikka, while the Law Society - having avoided contested elections for many years - faces its second consecutive acrimonious poll battle later this year.

Mr Wooller says his group was galvanised by last year's attempt by the institute's leadership to push through a merger with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. Although the proposed link-up was shelved after a majority of ICA members voted against it, the group has decided to step up the pressure for a greater say in its running.