WIA treasurer’s report leaked

We received the following email from the President of a large VK3 radio club.

Apparently, the latest WIA Treasurer’s report has been leaked and posted on a ZL file sharing site.

The report contains some very, very serious conclusions and recommendations.

We have also received the report from two other email sources, so it is obviously in the public domain….

Members need to see the report.  Members need to know exactly what is happening with our WIA, free from spin.

The text of the email, including the link to the report is enclosed below.

 

 

Hi GGREC Members
The saga of the WIA management problems are ongoing.
I can appreciate that this information will be more interesting to some more than others, but developments are happening in real time and this is the best way of keeping our Club informed.  Ultimately it affects licensing, examinations and WIA membership, so it is very important for all Amateurs to know what is going on.

Firstly, the latest WIA Treasurer’s report has been leaked into the public domain and I found a New Zealand site where the pdf report can be
downloaded and read.

While it is a five page document, it is really worth having a look at, because our new WIA treasurers have examined available records and have been truly scathing in their findings.   They have also called for the resignations of Fred Swainston and Roger Harrison from the WIA board, citing conflicts of interest and actions unbecoming of Directors.   This report has been accepted by the board, but the two persons involved are refusing to stand down!

The 2015 to 2016 Treasurer’s Report tabled at the AGM at Norfolk Island has vastly under-reported losses.  The Board claimed that the losses were $12,680, but the new Treasurers found losses of $65,686 for that year.   ASIC will not be impressed by the huge errors in the WIA report. So much for the expensive ‘Review’ process that the WIA members paid for…

It appears that no more Treasury work will be performed by the Treasurers until these resignations take place, so the pressure is building.

This recent Treasurers Report also reveals that all concerns and reported issues by previous Treasurer Chris Chapman almost a year ago were all accurate, even though they were ignored at the time.  The second document posted at the same site contains details that Mr Chapman supplied to the Board back in January of this year.

Follow this link to read them:  https://mega.nz/#F!54Q1AQ5I!vt0BGc_zQogE5xlerUGYlQ

These two documents represent a significant leak, but having found them in the public domain, it is in our Members interests to read them, as based upon previous trends, certainly it won’t be published in the Amateur Radio magazine that the WIA puts out each month.  This magazine is still being censored.

 
There’s More:
Many of you will have heard about the Call for a General Meeting by the WIA Reform Group, where there would be a members vote to dismiss four
Directors.  This has been running for about a month now and indeed around half of GGREC members have signed these forms.  Yesterday they Reform Group came out and declared that they had received well over the necessary 100 signatures and that they have served notice to the WIA Secretary, Jim Linton to call this meeting.  By law the WIA now have only 20 days left whereby they must set a time and date for this meeting.

They don’t have a choice about this, the WIA constitution, voted in by all members in 2008, the constitution says:

8.3 Convening of general meetings
(b) The Directors must call and arrange to hold a general meeting of the Institute upon
the request of at least 100 Members who are entitled to vote at the general meeting.

I observed that the Reform Group anounced this on their web site:  http://wiarg.org/sigs-delivered/

So it seems that excrement has well and truly hit the rotating blades this week.

I will keep an ear to the ground and pass on any significant developments that come to the surface.

Cheers, Ian VK3BUF
President GGREC.

 

WIA Director VK6AS calls for members to sign the Reform Group’s letter. Board in disarray.

Latest report from WIA Director VK6AS.

(our bolding)

 

20161127 Directors Report

 

The WIA treasurers have produced a further statement on the fiscal state of the WIA.  Despite having spent many hours in the office and online with MYOB the accounting package, they are still unravelling the mess that the Institute has got itself into.

On release of the statement only a few members of the Board seemed to understand the seriousness of what the treasurers had written, whilst others thought that proofreading and graphic design of fly sheets for the members was more important.  This goes back to points I have made in the past.  The current board is a management committee and appears not to have the appetite to actually direct.

Not a great deal of business was transacted at the Board teleconference last Tuesday except that the treasurers report was accepted in full.  This makes it certain that there will be changes to the personnel on the Board in the immediate future.  So expect some departures. 

In addition the President admitted that he was wrong in allowing amendments to motions on notice after he finally acceded to a demand for a written legal opinion on the issue.  The result of this is that the current resolution to have a general meeting of members to agree to funding an audit and review is null and void.

The Board never got round to discussing this however as it couldn’t proceed beyond trying to make decisions as a result of adoption of the treasurers report and so the meeting was adjourned for a week.

To further show the desperate state of affairs the two treasurers do not recommend a financial audit at this stage as, and I quote “the finances are in such disarray that there is nothing to audit”.

What is needed is a clear out of those Board members who are dysfunctional and  appointment of new Directors with skill sets that can put the WIA on a sound footing and initiate a systems review of the whole organisation, prior to new elections.

Oh and by the way, despite many members have shown concern with the WIA constitution but the delayed report of the constitutional committee has been received and recommends very minor changes.  This is all they could do under the terms of reference they were given.  Most states and territories have been developing standardised model constitutions for organisations such as the WIA.  We should move to adopt one of these and cease to remain in the dark ages with clauses in our constitution that only are applicable to public companies, which we are not and other clauses that are in contradiction to the corporations act.  We need a new constitution as a basis for the structure of the WIA

So where to from here.  I am fully aware that the equivalents of the WIA in other countries have had similar problems and that they have been resolved by members taking action.  It is my view that this has to be the next step as if the Board cannot resolve the many issues that face the institute then the members must.

You may be aware of the attempts by the WIA Reform Group to call a general meeting of the members.  I am not a member of the reform group and whilst the Board’s resolution to call a general meeting was in force, I thought that calling for another meeting may be an unnecessary duplication but now that a Board sponsored meeting looks unlikely, then I would urge members to consider signing the reform group’s letter so that the members can have a say in the workings and the future of the institute as soon as possible.

The letter may be found here.

 

23 November 2016. WIA Reform Group – News Letter Number 31.

The 2015 WIA Financial Report presented at the AGM on Norfolk Island incorrect.

ASIC, ACMA and the Auditor have been advised.

WIA Director Andrew Smith advises: “I can confirm that the accounts presented to the AGM at Norfolk Island were not correct and should not have been approved.” (VK6 News 21 November 2016).

Andrew goes on to say: “A lot of this financial inaccuracy took place whilst the office was under the stewardship, in a paid capacity, of one of the (WIA) Directors.  Indeed, this director performed the role of treasurer, despite publicly confessing that he had little experience, knowledge of or wish to be involved in financial matters.”  (VK6 News 21 November 2016).

The director referred to here is Mr Fred Swainston.  This matter may well be a breach of the Corporations Act.

Andrew adds: “It is now clear that the finances of 2015 and 2016 are in disarray…. Had it not been for Paul Simmonds and I (this) desperate situation for the WIA would have continued to be concealed”. (VK6 News 21 November 2016).

In spite of what was reported at the AGM on Norfolk Island, the 40% of members who voted to reject the Financial Report were in fact correct.

In the April issue of Amateur Radio Magazine, the President reported that he visited the National Office in February following Treasurer Chris Chapman’s resignation:

“We spent several hours analysing the accounting system and the financial records and determined that the WIA did not appear to have any major accounting issues. Accounting processes and record keeping has been very much improved in the last few months, and major problems with the WIA’s upcoming annual financial review are not anticipated”

The President went on to say: “Meantime, the WIA office underwent a top-to-bottom review to reflect the wishes of members, and to better face an environment of regulatory change for spectrum users and the prospect of some further government outsourcing. The end result includes emphasis on customer service, delivery of member services, office function streamlining, banking and finances.”

The President states: “Over about a five-month period, Fred was successful in making the Office more efficient and responsive to members. He established improved, written procedures for enquiries and the general office workflow, introduced new office security measures, and caught up with the accounting entries. The Office now works much better from a customer service and business systems perspective” (Amateur Radio Magazine, April 2016)

The WIA paid Trainsafe $2,060 per week for almost seven months……

In his November President’s column in AR, Phil Wait introduced the new Treasurers, and said:

we now have two very capable people looking after the WIA’s financial systems, and although there are obviously some serious issues to work through, real progress is being made.

I am certain these two very experienced volunteers will be a great asset to the WIA.

 

We call on the President to release the latest Treasurer’s report to all members NOW.

Members need to know what is happening with THEIR money and THEIR WIA. 

Time for transparency, Mr. President.

Our WIA urgently needs a new board.  The President and Directors Swainston, Harrison and Broomhead must resign.

Please support the call for a General Meeting by reading and signing the letter at this link.

Contact us if you have any questions.

 

 

19 November 2016 – latest report from Director Andrew VK6AS….all is not well.

From the (uncensored) VK6 news:

(our bolding)

 

 

20161120 Directors Report

I spent most of last week touring VK3 and together with Paul VK5PAS we gave multiple presentations to radio amateurs on the current issues at the WIA.

Unlike the WIA presentation given in Sydney by one of my co-directors I hope that we were seen to concentrate on the issues and not make personal attacks.  Videos of our presentations are available on the net.

What were the issues that we raised?  First of all and the biggest is fiscal incompetence and maladministration.  We still do not know the level of losses that have been made although the Board expects to have further information before its meeting next Tuesday.

It is clear however that there is a very significant loss and that lots of money appears to have been wasted on a firm of bookkeepers and and accountant in the past. This has ensured that the current bookkeepers have had to unravel incorrect data entry that had occurred.

I can confirm that the accounts presented to the AGM at Norfolk island were not correct and should not have been approved.  Concern was expressed during our question and answer sessions that a lot of this financial inaccuracy took place whilst the office was under the stewardship, in a paid capacity, of one of the directors.  Indeed this director performed the role of acting treasurer despite publicly confessing that he had little experience, knowledge of, or wish to be involved in financial matters.

Secondly concern was raised about the structure and functions of a number of the WIA committees.  It was noted that directors were overrepresented on committees and that this prevented them from having the helicopter view required by Boards of Directors. This term has been stated by the president but was in fact taken from our board corporate training courses and no changes have yet occurred..

This over involvement in committee work has hampered the Board and it is only to be hoped that the volunteer charter and a different approach to recruiting volunteers through an open expression of interest process rather than the current method of tapping on the shoulder of a mate.

I was astonished at a show of hands at each presentation how few members had been asked to volunteer.

Thirdly, the issue of the Registered Training Organisation was raised.  It is clear that Trainsafe is no longer an RTO with the Australian Quality Standards Authority although on both its own webpages and at the WIA website there are still statements that it is Registered.

It is possible that it is registered with another like body, but that is not made clear.  The concern here is that if the RTO or equivalent is non compliant then not only is legality of the deed with the ACMA, but the whole structure of assessment and issuing of certificates of proficiency, together with recommendations for issuing of licences must be in doubt.

The issuing of special event call signs, the standards of reports provided to the regulator and many other issues were raised with us and may be seen and heard on the recordings that were made.

The most significant question raised with us was what was the “aim of our talks”.  The answer is clear, as supporters of the Institute, it is to ensure the the WIA undertake an audit and review of not just its finances but its overall structure, governance, policies procedures and practices.

Whether or not this needs to be for three full years is debatable but as it is now clear that the accounts for both 2015 and 2016 are in disarray the auditors need to draw a line in the sand and so to do so most likely 2014 will need to be checked through as well.

Despite the reluctance of the President and members of the Board to be scrutinised it is quite clear that if Paul and I had not raised these issues in the first place it is obvious that the desperate situation for the WIA would have continued to have been concealed.

We have little pleasure in being shown to be correct.

One further matter is directly related to the functioning of the Board and advice given to board members on legal issues by non legal practitioners both from within and without the board and including, it appears, Professor Google.

The Board was advised that it was lawful for motions on notice to be amended.  Despite a contrary view being put, this was ignored.  Legal opinion has confirmed that motions on notice cannot be amended.  The result is that the resolution to call a general meeting to get approval for costs to be expended on an audit and review is not valid. 

Similarly a motion on notice amended at a previous meeting is also not valid.  We will have to await Tuesday’s meeting to see what can be done to rectify the situation.  It is my view that the Board will most likely vote 5 to 2 to make the motion null and void and therefore there will be no meeting and no audit and review.

If you are a member and this is the outcome then I suggest that you let your feelings be known to the president and perhaps consider that a general meeting of members should be held nevertheless by becoming one of the 100 signatories required under the constitution to demand a meeting as soon as is possible.

 

On a final note.  I apologise for the Board having developed a culture of ownership of the WIA rather than understanding that its true purpose is actually to serve the WIA that after all, is in fact an institute owned by its members.

This is WIA Director Andrew VK6AS

18th November 2016. WIA Reform Group – News Letter Number 30

 

WIA lacks leadership and the Board is a farce.  

Is the WIA Assessor Program at risk?

 

Many VK2 and VK3 radio amateurs attended one of the four information sessions presented by Directors Andrew Smith and Paul Simmonds this week.  The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

Everyone appreciated Andrew and Paul’s personal efforts in delivering these information sessions. (Links to two of the four presentations are at the end of this newsletter).

The presentations provided some very troubling insights into inappropriate behaviour at the highest levels of our WIA over the last 12-18 months.  Some of the most important objectives of our WIA are at risk.   These are discussed below.

 

The Board has become a farce

We have been informed there are two legal cases being brought against Directors of the WIA over potentially unlawful behaviour.  The board is truly out of control.

To quote a well-respected WIA member “Board members are too focused on what they are doing, instead of what they should be doing”

Financial Mismanagement….yet again….

In August of last year, the Board appointed Trainsafe/Silverdale to undertake an office review.  This review resulted in WIA Director and Trainsafe Director Fred Swainston managing the office and overseeing finances for a 7 month period.

During this time the WIA also paid an accountant to attend the office.  It appears that office procedures and accounting practices became somewhat disconnected during this period.

Between March and July, the WIA paid the same accountant to act as Treasurer.  This paid Treasurer (also a CPA) did not attend any Board meetings nor did he provide the board with any P&L or Balance Sheet reports.

He did not attend the AGM on Norfolk Island and the Acting Treasurer (WIA Director Fred Swainston) was unable to answer a number of questions fully or accurately.  The Acting Treasurer also advised members at the AGM that he has no knowledge or interest in accounting.

We all know how well the Financial Report was received on Norfolk Island: an unprecedented 40% of votes were against accepting the report.

We now hear that this report was incorrect and should never have been presented.

Since mid-year, the WIA has employed two separate book-keeping firms to bring the financial records up-to-date.  Estimates  suggest that the WIA has spent as much as $30,000-$40,000 this year (on top of about $4,000 between September and December last year) paying accountants, book keepers and treasurers.

The newly appointed Treasurer has advised that the books (MYOB) are still in a mess and that there are numerous data entry errors and omissions.  It appears the Board provided no direction or oversight whilst allowing a massive sum of member’s money to be spent on external consultants. 

It will take the new Treasurers another 2-3 months to correct the accounts and provide the Board and members with an accurate view of our finances.

Stand by for a loss that could be well in excess of the $50-60k that has been suggested by WIA Directors.  It could be closer to $80,000.  No one knows for certain.  This is another breach of the Corporations Act.

The big question (or to quote the President “elephant in the room”) is:

how should this Board be held to account for spending around $40,000 on accounting and book keeping services only to find that the books are still in a mess.  Should the paid sub-contractors (especially Trainsafe and the accountant) be asked to refund their fees? 

Moreover, the Board spends circa $30-$40K on accountants and book keepers with no member consultation, and yet they have the GALL to require member approval of costs for an Audit……

To paraphrase one well respected long time WIA member: “the biggest disappointment at the AGM…there was no financial plan… this board would not obtain a certificate of competence for the manner in which it has overseen the WIA’s finances”.  Another suggested that “this board is out of control” and his comment was met with agreement by the two Directors present.

WIA Assessor Program…have the wheels fallen off?

The WIA has nominated Trainsafe (Silverdale Training and Development) as its RTO.  Silverdale Training and Development cancelled its RTO status on 31st July 2014.  Since that date, Silverdale/Trainsafe and the WIA have continued to promote this organisation as being an RTO, despite a direction to cease this practice by the Government training regulator.

Whilst it was acknowledged that the deed does give the WIA the option to use a “like organisation” rather than an RTO, there are valid concerns that the continued promotion of Silverdale as an “RTO” by the WIA after it has been deregistered is disingenuous and misrepresentative at best.  It may be a breach of the NVR Act and may be the subject of substantial fines.  It is also unclear if Silverdale/Trainsafe has any registration credentials with a “like organisation”.

There were some suggestions at the meetings that these corporate oversights by the Board of the WIA and the Director/s of Trainsafe/Silverdale could place the whole assessor and examination process at risk.

The Board of the WIA has been alerted to these issues on numerous occasions but no action has been undertaken.   The Board has continued to avoid the issue.  Have they exposed the WIA and the entire hobby to an unacceptable risk?

If the ACMA is forced to cancel the agreement with the WIA, how will amateurs undertake exams and callsign applications?

The ACMA are aware of these failings and are conducting their own assessment.

The WIA has not acknowledged formal complaints as it is required to do under the Deed, and for over two years it has permitted this false advertising and misrepresentation to prevail.

This misrepresentation of Registration Status (RTO) by both Silverdale/Trainsafe and the WIA is just another example of serious impropriety, incompetence and failure to follow processes as described in the Deed with the ACMA.

Censorship

Amateur Radio Magazine and the National News Broadcast continue to be censored, as does ARNSW and VK5 news.

This board simply refuses to allow any alternative messages or correct reporting of the facts to be published in AR media.

We recently wrote to the editor of the WIA national news, VK4BB, pointing out the issues around the WIA board, and requesting that an alternative viewpoint be heard on the broadcast.  We had not heard back from him when this newsletter was published (1825 EDST 18 November 2016).

The Editor of AR has again refused to publish a letter from the WIA RG for the Over to you column.  The latest reason for rejection?  The piece in question contained our website link…..really?  What are they afraid of?

As an audience member remarked at the Albury presentation “but you are members, they have no right to stop you from writing to AR or putting an article on the broadcast!”

Indeed….

 

 

All these issues are symptomatic of a toxic, dysfunctional culture at the top of our WIA.  We need a change in the makeup of the board immediately.  Please follow this link and sign the letter calling for a General Meeting to remove up to four currently serving WIA Directors.

Please send this newsletter to your friends and contacts and discuss the issues with them.  Write to the Editors of AR Magazine and the national news broadcast and demand they allow freedom of speech….

Our home page now provides a concise description of the key problems and a clear vision for the future of the WIA; our National Institute.

Until next week.

WIA Reform Group

www.wiarg.org

 

Recordings of VK6AS and VK5PAS presentations:

Albury/Wodonga

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5R5AqBDNSL0&feature=youtu.be

EMDRC – Melbourne

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ic9UVXhG7A&feature=youtu.be

Club newsletter

http://ggrec.org.au/Magazines/201611.pdf

 

 

 

12th November 2016. WIA Reform Group – News Letter Number 29

Finances a Mess, Censorship continues

The feedback from last week’s newsletter was overwhelming.  Thanks for your emails and calls of support.  There is no doubt that since August 2015 the National Office descended into chaos and the finances are in a mess.

The WIA is on track to report a massive loss this year.

ACMA are aware of the situation and are undertaking a series of reviews.  ASIC have an open investigation.

Yet still, the President continues to tell members that there is “nothing to see here”….  Nothing more than a “difference of opinion” between certain Directors…..

Are the new Treasurers being allowed to do their job, with full access to the accounts and complete cooperation from the office and board?

Was the Treasurer’s recent report edited prior to publication?

Are members getting the full, unvarnished truth?

What spin and misinformation will be published in the December issue of our National Journal?

The message is short and sharp this week.  If you are VK3 based, please get along to one of the information sessions being presented by Directors Andrew Smith and Paul Simmonds.

We are aware that Amateur Radio Magazine and the National News Broadcast continue to be censored.  This board simply refuses to allow any alternative messages or correct reporting of the facts to be published in our Journal.

Please send this newsletter to your friends and contacts and discuss the issues with them.

Write to the Editors of AR Magazine and the national news and demand that they stand their ground to allow freedom of speech and equal access to our AR media…..

Our home page now provides a concise description of the key problems and a clear vision for the future of the WIA; our National Institute.

new home page

Until next week.

73

WIA Reform Group

 

6th November 2016. WIA Reform Group – News Letter Number 28

WIA President comes clean: finances are a mess. 

WIARG vindicated.

Members call for President to resign.

 

In the WIA National News this week, the WIA’s President provides the first honest assessment of the WIA’s financial situation in over one year.

Congratulations to the new Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer for having the strength of character to force this report into the public arena.

New Treasurer Chris Hendry VK3PAT and Assistant Jeff Tubbenhauer VK5IU commenced their roles just 2 short weeks ago.

Since the beginning of the year, it now appears that, based on the latest Treasurer’s report, the President of the WIA has issued many misleading statements.

Everything the WIA Reform Group has been reporting is now officially confirmed by the President. 

Please bear with us as we recount some history and justify member’s calls for the President’s immediate resignation.

In the WIA National News of 5th November, the WIA President reports:

 “Unfortunately, getting the accounting up-to-date will be both a challenge and a time consuming exercise… We now have many hours work reviewing all transactions to discover past errors.
This will take two to three months.  Producing an accurate Profit and Loss and
Balance sheet to the Board will take some time
….  There are many operational issues to tackle and to solve these issues a strategic review is recommended”   (a full transcript of the News Broadcast is attached at the end of this newsletter)

This statement is just a few short weeks after the President penned the following for AR Magazine:

“At the time of writing, the WIA’s accounts are in the process of being brought up to date, and simplified, by an external team of MYOB specialists. By the time this Comment is published, I expect the accounts will be up to date and we will be well on the way to having a new WIA Treasurer”.  (November AR Magazine)

WIA Members should consider the following:

Former Treasurer John Longayroux confirms that financial records and MYOB were accurate and up-to-date when he resigned in August 2015.

Between September 2015 and January 2016, the WIA paid Trainsafe (Director Fred Swainston’s company) $2,060 per week to manage the National Office and oversee the day-to-day operation, including financial management, accounting and to undertake an “office improvement exercise”.  The WIA was also paying an accountant to assist during this period.

Why then was the 2015 Annual Report peppered with errors, as unanswered questions at the AGM illustrated?

ACMA Financial Reporting contained material errors.  When questioned about these at the AGM, neither the Chairman nor the Acting Treasurer was able to offer an explanation.  To this day, no adequate response has been provided.

Between January and February 2016 Chris Chapman was the Treasurer. He resigned after six weeks citing “ethical and professional concerns”.   He reported very similar problems to those contained in today’s WIA News report.  Why did the Board not take action in February?

Between March and June the WIA employed a professional accountant to act as Treasurer.  How much did the WIA pay for this service, and why were the accounts and financial processes not repaired during his engagement?

Since the end of June, the WIA has operated without a Treasurer.  Finally, in mid-October, two very capable gentlemen have taken on the role;  Chris Hendry VK3PAT and Assistant Jeff Tubbenhauer VK5IU.

In recent weeks (4-6 weeks?) the WIA has appointed external book-keepers to bring the books up-to-date; at an estimated cost of $12,000-$15,000 to members.  Why have these “specialists” not brought the books up-to-date as reported by the President in the Amateur Radio Magazine?

The President also reports that “Over the few months following his appointment, Fred made many significant improvements in the office operations, including increasing security, controlling access and documenting processes and procedures. He wrote over 30 new office procedures in that time.” (November AR Magazine)

However, the President reports this week on the National News that “sub-systems such as the online bookshop, and MEMNET do not integrate easily with the MYOB Accounting software. Many of the transactions relating to these sub-systems have been incorrectly entered into the accounting software. Chris (Hendry) has found that the bookshop inventory is incorrectly valued in the Accounts and that debtors, that is people who owe us money, are too high and more importantly may not have been reconciled correctly.”
The President’s latest News Broadcast appears at odds with his comments in AR Magazine where he states “Fred made many significant improvements in the office operations…. documenting processes and procedures.”

Why then, are the financial records in such a mess?  Why doesn’t the membership system and bookshop provide correct data to the accounting system?

Former Treasurer Chris Chapman advised the board of very similar issues that the President reports today.

However, in the April issue of AR, the President reported that he visited the National Office in February following Mr Chapman’s resignation:

“We spent several hours analysing the accounting system and the financial records and determined that the WIA did not appear to have any major accounting issues. Accounting processes and record keeping has been very much improved in the last few months, and major problems with the WIA’s upcoming annual financial review are not anticipated”

 The President went on to say: “Meantime, the WIA office underwent a top-to-bottom review to reflect the wishes of members, and to better face an environment of regulatory change for spectrum users and the prospect of some further government outsourcing. The end result includes emphasis on customer service, delivery of member services, office function streamlining, banking and finances.”

The President states: “ Over about a five-month period, Fred was successful in making the Office more efficient and responsive to members. He established improved, written procedures for enquiries and the general office workflow, introduced new office security measures, and caught up with the accounting entries. The Office now works much better from a customer service and business systems perspective” (Amateur Radio Magazine, April 2016)

In February the then Treasurer advised the Board that accounting entries were in error and not up-to-date.

The President also advised: “The WIA’s professional accountant, Murray Leadbetter, has agreed to act as an independent paid Treasurer for as long as required, and was appointed by the Board at the 1 March teleconference.” (Amateur Radio Magazine, April 2016)

An inspection of Board Meeting Minutes indicates that this paid Treasurer presented no financial reports, nor did he attend any Board Meetings.

Keep in mind that the then Treasurer Chris Chapman alerted the Board (in February) to a number of financial issues that are very similar to those reported in the News Broadcast today.  Yet in the April issue of AR, the President advised members:  “Are there any serious issues concerning the WIA’s finances and accounting practices?  On all the information currently available, no.”

Then in the September issue of Amateur Radio Magazine we have the infamous “bucket economics”.  It’s now clear why the President resorted to “bucket economics”.  The accounting system MYOB and associated business processes are a mess and will take another 2-3 months to rectify. For those who missed that update, follow this link  to Bucket Economics.

We also note that the new Treasurer has enforced some financial discipline at long last – three quotes are required for expenditure over $1000.  Further, all unbudgeted expenditure over $1000 must be approved by the Board.

What message does this send…and why has it taken so long for these standard business measures to be put in place?

Has the Board used our National Journal and Broadcast as a tool for propaganda and misinformation, whilst stifling alternative viewpoints?

Alternative viewpoints clearly vindicated by the latest Treasurer’s report…

Poor financial management inevitably leads to poor financial outcomes.  Whilst it’s not official, our assessment of what we can derive from various sources suggests the WIA will make an operating loss of between $70,000-$100,000 for 2016.  But no-one knows for sure; not even the Board.

Remember, four previous Treasurers have all made public statements concerning the ethics and professionalism of this Board.

Serving Director Andrew Smith alerted members earlier this year (August) when he reported “The WIA has had no budget since 2014, currently we have no treasurer and our financial reporting is in disarray”.  Both Andrew Smith and Paul Simmonds have publicly aired serious concerns with the Board’s performance.

In a report of a recent visit with Dick Smith by WIA Directors, Dick comments on the corporate failure of DSE….. “dumb management blunders, such as expansion beyond belief, buying too much inventory, wrong product choices”…  is there a parallel lesson for our WIA? 5,000 Foundation Licence Manuals  – 10-12 years of stock – being one possible example.  Accounting records containing errors and not being up-to-date being another….

Ultimately, the President sets the tone and culture for an organisation.  He or she leads by example and either permits, or discourages certain behaviour.

The President must resign immediately and allow a new and capable leader to repair the considerable damage done.

 

 

 

WIA News Broadcast.  5th November 2016

(our emphasis)

WIA Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer report after their first week.

At the Tuesday night Board meeting the WIA’s new Treasurer, Chris Hendry VK3PAT and Assistant Treasurer Jeff Tubbenhauer VK5IU gave an outline of the financial and operational position of the WIA. Both Chris and Jeff have significant corporate experience to tackle the accounting and operational systems of the WIA.

Chris has had a week in the office and reviewing the WIA’s accounting records.

Clearly, the WIA is solvent and it can pay its current liabilities such GST,
Employee PAYG and Employee Superannuation as they fall due.

Unfortunately, getting the accounting up-to-date will be both a challenge and a time consuming exercise. The sub-systems such as the online bookshop, and MEMNET do not integrate easily with the MYOB Accounting software. Many of the transactions relating to these sub-systems have been incorrectly entered into
the accounting software.

Chris has found that the bookshop inventory is incorrectly valued in the Accounts and that debtors, that is people who owe us money, are too high and more importantly may not have been reconciled correctly.

We now have many hours work reviewing all transactions to discover past errors.
This will take two to three months.

Producing an accurate Profit and Loss and Balance sheet to the Board will take some time. Once we are satisfied that the accounts are accurate our goal is to have a reconciled set of financials provided to the board monthly. In addition, the Treasurers are developing an operating budget for 2017 for approval by the Board. A budget compliance report will be submitted to the Board each month.

Processes have already been put into place to make sure that all expenses are scrutinized. For any proposed expenditures over $1,000 competitive quotes must be sought and approved by the Treasurer. All unbudgeted expenditure over $1,000 must be approved by the Board.

Members can be assured that the issues are not life threatening but there are significant challenges to maintaining our revenue streams and providing member benefits.

The board has created a new volunteer charter which will be distributed shortly. There are many operational issues to tackle and to solve these issues a strategic review is recommended.   (WIA PRESIDENT VK2ASD)

4th November 2016 – WIA Reform Group – News Letter number 27

WIA – To survive it must move with the times – shut the bookshop and/or move it to Online Services

 

The WIA operates a bookshop.  It offers a discount for members.  However, there are serious problems with it:

  • it is not a part of the core objectives of the WIA;
  • it takes time for the Board and Office staff (one person) to manage. Stock must be ordered, paid for, received, checked, stored and orders must be fulfilled;
  • it takes up office and storage space;
  • it is not competitive. Nearly every book can be sourced elsewhere and for a cheaper price (especially Fred Swainston’s..); and
  • WIA capital is tied up in dormant stock.

Books are volatile stock with a poor return.  It is too easy to get stuck with unusable books that cost a lot to buy.  The WIA can delegate the whole bookshop and save itself a lot of office processes for volunteers and paid staff.

We live in an internet connected age where online services have revolutionised the way in which business is conducted.  The same goes for publishing and printing books, as well as distribution channels.  The days of running a physical book shop like the WIA’s are over.

There are far more cost efficient solutions that enable the WIA to make more money for less effort, thereby enabling resources to be focused on core activities; like regulation and growing the hobby.

The bookshop (excluding FL Manual and callbook) has revenue of about $29,000 (2015).  Gross Profit is about 35% or $10,800. Out of this come fixed costs:  salary, real estate, IT Systems, overheads and administration.  These very quickly eat into this gross profit leaving perhaps only a couple of thousand dollars of net profit at best.  And that doesn’t include all the unpaid effort put in by volunteers and directors….

The WIA Board must consider moving to an online service offering for printing and distribution of its publications.  Why this wasn’t done in the recent (and expensive) office review remains an enigma.  One such solution is CreateSpace, an Amazon owned company.  This service offers the following benefits:

  • no money tied up in stock;
  • no need to guesstimate print runs;
  • no need for storage for stock;
  • no risk of “too much stock” and big cash outlays – FL Manual 5000 copies purchased!
  • no more stock write-off (hundreds of Callbooks have been written off in recent years);
  • no risk of damaged stock or out-dated stock (as will occur with the Foundation Licence Manual);
  • significantly reduced logistical hassles for WIA
  • printing costs are very competitive – probably cheaper than WIA pays today;
  • print any volume; and
  • fast turn-around – 24 hours.

Well known amateur radio educator, Ron Bertrand VK2DQ uses the CreateSpace service.  He reports great outcomes for his business, students and customers.  Many members are buying his latest publication Radio Theory Handbook which is about 30% the price of similar textbooks in the WIA Bookshop.

Ron does not need to be concerned with purchasing volumes of stock or outlaying large chunks of cash.  The process is handled by CreateSpace and Ron can get on with bringing new amateurs into the hobby.

Isn’t it time the WIA Board stepped back and called in the experts to help bring our WIA business into the 21st century?