The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has today announced the appointment of the independent ‘Challenge Panel’ that will oversee the BHA’s ongoing Integrity Review.
 
The Panel consists of five leading figures from sports and gambling law, governance and regulation and is Chaired by Nick Bitel, Chief Executive of the London Marathon  and consultant at Kerman & Co solicitors.
 
Nick Bitel was responsible for recruiting the further Panel members, with a focus on a relevant range of experience and the ability to be challenging. He is joined by: Simon Barker (Assistant Chief Executive for the Professional Footballers Association); Philip Freedman (Chairman of the Horsemen’s Group); Terry Miller OBE (former General Counsel for The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games and former International General Counsel of Goldman Sachs International); and Nick Tofiluk (Executive Director, Regulatory Operations for the Gambling Commission).
 
The role of the Challenge Panel is to ensure the rigour and fairness of the process and, if required, to challenge the direction of the Review and the recommendations that arise. The Integrity Review will report in to the Challenge Panel at multiple staging posts in the Review process.
 
Adam Brickell, Director of Integrity, Legal and Risk for the BHA, said:
 
“One of the key objectives of the Integrity Review is to identify ways of building trust between the sport’s participants and the wider public on the one hand, and the BHA’s Integrity Department on the other.

“In order to help achieve this, it is crucial that we ensure the confidence of the industry in the process.  The Review must be, and be seen to be, sufficiently rigorous and challenging of our existing processes. In other words, we can’t be seen to be simply ‘marking our own homework’. It is for this reason that a Challenge Panel has been put in place.

“It is hugely encouraging that Nick Bitel has been able to assemble such a formidable Panel for this purpose, and I look forward to our work being thoroughly examined by the group.”

Nick Bitel, Chair of the Challenge Panel, said:
 
“It is vital that the Integrity Review is not only thorough and rigorous, but is seen to be so by all parts of the industry. The Challenge Panel is there to ensure that the review is carried out fairly and does not shy from making recommendations which might be uncomfortable for some. The Panel will not hesitate to make it's views clear if the Review fails to reach the high standards that it has been set.”
 
The Review will consider the BHA’s policies and processes in this sphere, and it's Integrity department’s structure. It has the objectives of establishing how the BHA will continue to develop a modern and contemporary approach to integrity; improve efficiency, consistency, and communication; demonstrate greater openness; and show that it is fair, accountable and in tune with its participants.
 
The Review methodology is based on consultation and this process has already begun, being led by both Adam Brickell and Sir Paul Stephenson. It is now the Review’s intention to extend the consultation net wider with numerous further invitations being released.
 
Further to this the Review is inviting submissions from those who have not been approached but may have pertinent views on the BHA’s integrity processes. Details of how to make such submissions can be found on the Integrity Review’s dedicated web page: www.britishhorseracing.com/bha/integrity-review/.
 
The Review is expected to be concluded before the end of 2015.