John McKenna wrote:Don't lose sight of the fact that ECF is a company limited by *guarantee* and despite the word Federation in its title, it's clearly not a grassroots democratic organisation.
Being limited by guarantee means there are no shareholders. So there are no owners in the sense of members of a Company limited by shares. This means there isn't directly a body who have oversight of the directors other than one defined by the Articles of Association of the Company. In the case of the ECF, that body is the Council, made up of representatives of bodies, whether incorporated or otherwise who have joined the ECF. These bodies are required to have someone sign the white form on their behalf to become voting guarantors. Representatives of individuals do have minimal voting rights, around 5% of the total. otherwise voting rights are determined broadly by the amount of chess organised. Other Companies limited by guarantee would have a different structure. They are numerous, in the public sector as well. For example Network Rail and the Financial Services Authority.
The ECF Council has been given the power to elect directors and the approval of the annual accounts. It was pointed out that Company law requires at the very least, legal action to be disclosed to the Auditors, in order that a decision not to mention it in the accounts can be validated. That, to me, anyway, implies that Council does have a "right to know" about legal action taken in the name of the ECF, as collectively, it is responsible by signing off the Accounts.