The following letter was sent to the board on April 15, 2016.
The WIA Reform Group
To: WIA Directors
Cc: David Williams – Secretary
15th April 2016
Given the recent issues associated with the conflicts of interest with board member Fred Swainston, the WIA Reform Group proposes that the Board immediately introduces a Register of Interests for all Board members. It is now clear to many members that this director’s conflict of interest was not properly declared, documented or revealed to members (or compliant with Sect. 16.2 and 19 of the WIA Constitution).
It is generally very well accepted that many volunteers, amateurs and indeed, Board members have connections and business skills that can bring benefit to the WIA and its members. There have been many examples over the years where members and volunteers have donated skills, time, equipment and resources to the betterment of the WIA and the hobby in general. We are certain there are many others. Where appropriate and in the best interest of the WIA, any such arrangements should be duly considered by the Board.
We propose that at the beginning of every Board meeting any potential conflicts of interest for Board Members (be they financial or of personal benefit) must be announced and registered. These may include relationships with third party providers, family members, associations with companies etc.
The Board will then independently assess the declared interest (without the director present) to ensure that there is no conflict for the WIA or the director, and that the Board member’s own reputation is protected.
This process must also ensure the proposed arrangement provides the best value and outcome for the WIA and its members.
Where the Board determines that a business arrangement should proceed with a Board Member, a full disclosure must be placed into the Register of Interests, along with substantiating documentation to illustrate an impartial and independent assessment has been conducted by the Board.
Board meeting minutes will also need to be strengthened to include a full and complete detail of proceedings, as required by the Constitution (Sect. 16.2 & 19).
The Register is to be available to ordinary members on request.
Given this elected Board has continually failed the test of transparency and open communication and continues to tolerate mediocre conduct, putting such a process in place would go some way to rebuilding trust with members.
We look forward to a positive response in the near future.
G.C. Dunstan VK4DU C. Chapman VK3QB R. Dollar VK8RD