Board minutes

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
benedgell
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Re: Board minutes

Postby benedgell » Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:43 pm

My report from the ECF AGM can be found here:

http://www.chessit.co.uk/phpforum/viewt ... ?f=5&t=284

Sean Hewitt
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Re: Board minutes

Postby Sean Hewitt » Fri Nov 14, 2014 2:36 pm

Mick Norris wrote:Phil Ehr comes out particularly badly in them, the impression given previously by Sean Hewitt that Phil is the problem seems to be backed up
You'll remember that Phil Ehr had 59 votes cast against him at the AGM, which represented something like a quarter of the electorate. Quite a rebellion considering there was no challenger. I'm now led to believe that the majority of the board voted against his appointment, which must be making the board an 'interesting' place to be right now.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Board minutes

Postby Christopher Kreuzer » Fri Nov 14, 2014 2:40 pm

The question really should be why there was no challenger.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Board minutes

Postby Stewart Reuben » Fri Nov 14, 2014 6:10 pm

It is often difficult to get people to apply for voluntary administrative posts. Once, when I was chairman/chief exec 4 people stood as Junior Director and that was a record. We were very lucky to have 3 excellent candidates for the two Non-Executive Directorships.
But the difficulty is why backbiting and harsh criticism so often has a negative effect. Phil was reelected democratically (I voted against him) and now people should be seeking to enable him to be effective.

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Re: Board minutes

Postby Sean Hewitt » Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:45 pm

Stewart Reuben wrote:Phil was reelected democratically (I voted against him) and now people should be seeking to enable him to be effective.
Before that can happen, Phil has to try to make himself effective. On the evidence thus far, he is unable or unwilling to do that.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Board minutes

Postby Stewart Reuben » Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:11 pm

So you fight the good fight. But that doesn't always involve actually fighting. The time for fighting was before and during the actual elections. Afer that, one should make the best of it -whatever the outcome.

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Re: Board minutes

Postby Lewis Martin » Sat Nov 15, 2014 8:56 am

Stewart Reuben wrote:Phil was reelected democratically (I voted against him) and now people should be seeking to enable him to be effective.


Since Parliament is supposed to be a model of politics, people see on Wednesday lunchtime that constant arguing/point-scoring between Cameron and Miliband.

It doesn't matter who the PM or the Opposition is, that is what will happen. Admittedly, I've rather generously blown up the scale of the ECF Board in terms of importance, and I don't know what is happening there. But hearing there's arguments, instead of people helping him, I'm not surprised.

Sean Hewitt
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Re: Board minutes

Postby Sean Hewitt » Sat Nov 15, 2014 9:49 am

Lewis Martin wrote:... I don't know what is happening there. But hearing there's arguments, instead of people helping him, I'm not surprised.
People have tried to help him, but Phil Ehr doesn't want help and refuses such offers.

For example, months ago John Philpott offered to do the minutes. John didn't want to do the minutes - he was already doing plenty for the ECF - but he recognised the importance of getting minutes produced in a timely fashion. Phil of course turned the offer down, promised to produce the minutes himself and then spectacularly failed to do so. To quote the other place
David Eustace wrote:The Director responsible for the Board minutes has allowed the situation to get completely out of hand.
When the Finance Director is condemning the CEO in such a public way, it gives an insight of the level of exasperation felt by him and rest of the board. However, it is no coincidence that all of the contested elections this year were for vacant posts. People are reluctant to challenge incumbents, but there are willing volunteers in the wings.

A number of folk who were in the 59 who voted against Phil Ehr hoped that it would be a shot across his bows, making him change his ways and become more inclusive. Sadly, that does not appear to be the case so it will be interesting to see what happens next.

Paul Buswell
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Re: Board minutes

Postby Paul Buswell » Sun Nov 16, 2014 7:34 am

Sean Hewitt wrote:
Lewis Martin wrote:... I don't know what is happening there. But hearing there's arguments, instead of people helping him, I'm not surprised.
People have tried to help him, but Phil Ehr doesn't want help and refuses such offers.

For example, months ago John Philpott offered to do the minutes. John didn't want to do the minutes - he was already doing plenty for the ECF - but he recognised the importance of getting minutes produced in a timely fashion. Phil of course turned the offer down, promised to produce the minutes himself and then spectacularly failed to do so. To quote the other place
David Eustace wrote:The Director responsible for the Board minutes has allowed the situation to get completely out of hand.
When the Finance Director is condemning the CEO in such a public way, it gives an insight of the level of exasperation felt by him and rest of the board. However, it is no coincidence that all of the contested elections this year were for vacant posts. People are reluctant to challenge incumbents, but there are willing volunteers in the wings.

A number of folk who were in the 59 who voted against Phil Ehr hoped that it would be a shot across his bows, making him change his ways and become more inclusive. Sadly, that does not appear to be the case so it will be interesting to see what happens next.


For what little it is worth Phil Ehr (at Stewart Reuben's suggestion) approached me last New Year about doing the Minutes. Although cautiously favourable at first, after sleeping on it I turned it down, as the modest fee was not worth it when travelling time was taken into account.

PB

Sean Hewitt
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Re: Board minutes

Postby Sean Hewitt » Sun Nov 16, 2014 4:03 pm

Paul Buswell wrote:For what little it is worth Phil Ehr (at Stewart Reuben's suggestion) approached me last New Year about doing the Minutes. Although cautiously favourable at first, after sleeping on it I turned it down, as the modest fee was not worth it when travelling time was taken into account.
Getting someone to take the minutes at the meeting has not, in general, been the problem. However, rather than letting the minute takers draft be circulated to the board for comment and approval as would be normal, Phil insisted that the draft minutes were sent only to him. He then claimed that they need a significant re-write which, of course, only he could do. At this point, the minutes invariably disappeared into a black hole.

On one such occasion I asked Phil to circulate the draft minutes produced by the minute taker, which he refused to do. I came to the conclusion that Phil was intent on ensuring that the minutes reflected what he wanted to have happened, rather than what actually happened.

John Upham
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Re: Board minutes

Postby John Upham » Sun Nov 16, 2014 4:51 pm

We used to suffer the same problem in a local league. The Secretary would take the minutes, sit on them for months, write them as he felt the meeting should have gone and circulate them just before the next meeting so that there was no time to check them.

In the end we stopped approving them and passed a rule requiring them to be published not more than 28 days from the date of the meeting.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Board minutes

Postby Roger de Coverly » Wed Dec 31, 2014 12:15 pm

Is another backlog crisis developing? The last published minutes were back in October.

As pointed out at the time, there isn't a need at all for minutes whether redacted or otherwise to be made public. The requirement is more of a timely summary of the ECF Board's decisions and actions, with an emphasis on the timely.

Michael Flatt
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Re: Board minutes

Postby Michael Flatt » Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:40 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:Is another backlog crisis developing? The last published minutes were back in October.

As pointed out at the time, there isn't a need at all for minutes whether redacted or otherwise to be made public. The requirement is more of a timely summary of the ECF Board's decisions and actions, with an emphasis on the timely.

One has to question the purpose and effectiveness of ECF Board meetings if the Minutes of recently held meetings are not available to Board members.

benedgell
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Re: Board minutes

Postby benedgell » Wed Dec 31, 2014 6:03 pm

I hadn't intended to comment on the board minutes until the new year. Its understandable that at the moment board members don't have a great deal of time for ECF work, especially given the voluntary nature of their positions, and so it seems a little unfair to be critical.

Hopefully some time early in the new year the ECF will produce either a summary or the full minutes of the November 7th board meeting, a statement/ forum posting stating whether the ECF intends to produce summaries or full minutes going forward, and a summary/ report of the strategy meeting that took place at the end of November. Hopefully David Eustace won't have to do all of that on his own!

Also, if someone from the ECF wouldn't mind answering the questions myself and Alex McFarlane asked on the other Forum on 9th/ 15th November...

Martin Regan

Re: Board minutes

Postby Martin Regan » Wed Dec 31, 2014 7:26 pm

I have to say this really baffles me. The day after each meeting (knowing the official minutes always took ages) I wrote a digest of key decisions emailed them to the rest of the board and told them to object or hold their peace. I generally gave a week or so before having them published on the website - even before that I produced a digest of the digest and sent it to the heads of our constituent units. Took 20 minutes all told. Time for the governance committee to get a bit narked I feel.


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