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TimWall
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Post by TimWall » Thu Oct 17, 2019 12:58 pm

I would like to withdraw this message and close this thread. I have decided that in future I would like to communicate with my good friends and respected colleagues in the chess world in person, rather than via this forum.
Last edited by TimWall on Fri Dec 20, 2019 12:42 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Chris Goodall
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Re: Complaint to ECF Board about CEO Mike Truran re. Development Officer appointment

Post by Chris Goodall » Thu Oct 17, 2019 1:28 pm

Let me get this straight.

You had a private chat with Mike Truran after the October 2018 meeting.

Your interpretation of that chat was that he planned to stitch up both the job description and the appointment in your favour.

But you only started having concerns about the fairness and transparency of the process after the ECF went out and found another potential candidate?!

Well, thank you for giving us the full storey. Er, story.
Chris Goodall, formerly known as Chris Wardle. Northumbria League hand-cranker; ECF Grader for Bernicia and the NCCU.
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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Complaint to ECF Board about CEO Mike Truran re. Development Officer appointment

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Thu Oct 17, 2019 1:31 pm

Chris G is a faster reader than me. I was about to say the same thing. Let me quote from Tim's document:
Immediately after the October 2018 AGM closed, Mike Truran assured me there and then at the Ibis Hotel in Birmingham that he wished to proceed quickly to the appointment of the Development Officer, that he wished me to stand for the post and hinted that he would support my candidacy.

[...]

the documents posted by Carl Portman on the ECF website – whether we view them as careless, hubristic, or worse – clearly indicate that he was given to understand by someone in the know that he had the job sewn up before the interviews took place.
Is there not a contradiction there?

Logically, if your allegations are true, the conclusion to this is resignations galore and new people being appointed or elected to most of the roles mentioned here. That wouldn't be ideal, would it?

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Re: Complaint to ECF Board about CEO Mike Truran re. Development Officer appointment

Post by J T Melsom » Thu Oct 17, 2019 1:51 pm

Is Tim Wall actually happy working with anybody else? whilst the news of his appointment to the Women's Recruitment Officer post would be welcome because its good for the ECF to embrace enthusiastic organisers - I know nothing of that appointment process (didn't know there was a vacancy), and given that either side of that news Tim has been putting other Board members in his sights for alleged misconduct, I am doubtful there is any scope for collegiate working with them or working alongside Carl Portman at least some of whose job description he seems to have pinched. As it stands I fear an implosion or a coup.

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Chris Goodall
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Re: Complaint to ECF Board about CEO Mike Truran re. Development Officer appointment

Post by Chris Goodall » Thu Oct 17, 2019 1:52 pm

Reading it again, I'm also concerned by the contradiction between, on one hand, Tim's insistence that the post be in the gift of the ECF and not the Chess Trust, because the Chess Trust are just a conduit and the financial risk actually falls on the ECF. Other the other hand, Tim's repeated reassurances to the membership that we needn't worry our heads about where our membership fees are going, because the funding for the post is coming from the Chess Trust.

Can we have a straight answer as to whether this post is being funded by membership fees, or by charity?
Chris Goodall, formerly known as Chris Wardle. Northumbria League hand-cranker; ECF Grader for Bernicia and the NCCU.
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Complaint to ECF Board about CEO Mike Truran re. Development Officer appointment

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Oct 17, 2019 2:08 pm

Chris Goodall wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 1:52 pm
Can we have a straight answer as to whether this post is being funded by membership fees, or by charity?
I suspect the answer is neither. Over time, the hundred year old British Chess Federation had built up a pool of invested assets, mostly presumably from legacies. The term "Permanent Fund" was usually used. As part of the replacement of the BCF by the ECF a home for these funds had to be found and this was eventually achieved by setting up a charity "the Chess Trust". This has been financed in part by transfers from the BCF Permanent Fund. In its broadest sense, the post is being paid for out of the accumulated wealth of the British chess community.

But you could use historic money elsewhere to develop chess. What if you gave each and every weekend Congress a grant of a thousand pounds or more? They could use it to hire better premises, slash entry fees, increase prize money or just increase the arbiter's meal allowances.

It's a downside of the perks of having a charity as part of your financial structure that you mostly lose control of the money in the charity. Similar problems have arisen from time to time with the John Robinson Trust where the ECF and the Trustees haven't seen eye to eye on what needed financing.

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Re: Complaint to ECF Board about CEO Mike Truran re. Development Officer appointment

Post by Chris Goodall » Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:50 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 2:08 pm
It's a downside of the perks of having a charity as part of your financial structure that you mostly lose control of the money in the charity. Similar problems have arisen from time to time with the John Robinson Trust where the ECF and the Trustees haven't seen eye to eye on what needed financing.
Not if Tim's version of events is to be believed:

In fact, it is abundantly clear that the funding for the post originated with the ECF and BCF – the Chess Trust was merely the charitable conduit. Thus, it is not clear why a representative of the Chess Trust was needed or desirable on the interview panel. As the Chess Trust is not accountable to the ECF Board or the ECF membership, this change led to a lack of transparency and accountability in the appointment.

"Charitable conduit" is an interesting choice of words. If the ECF wants to spend some of its own money achieving some of its own objectives, then why involve the Chess Trust? Bearing in mind that directing a charity to carry out transactions for you so that you don't have to pay tax on them, is... well. There are a few words for what that is. Words that I'm sure Tim, as an official of the ECF, would not want to apply to the ECF's conduct unless he was absolutely certain.
Chris Goodall, formerly known as Chris Wardle. Northumbria League hand-cranker; ECF Grader for Bernicia and the NCCU.
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Re: Complaint to ECF Board about CEO Mike Truran re. Development Officer appointment

Post by Tim Spanton » Sat Oct 26, 2019 7:54 am

Update from the ECF site:

Posted By: WebAdmin 25th October 2019
On 17th October 2019, the Board received a complaint under Regulation No. 5 from Tim Wall regarding the conduct of Mike Truran, the Chief Executive, and other members of the Board in relation to the recent process for the appointment of a Development Officer. The Board has today appointed a panel comprising Gareth Pearce, Suzanne Wood and Roger Emerson (the three members of the Pearce Commission, which in 2015 issued its report on the ECFs governance) to hear the complaint. A further announcement will be made once the panel has concluded its enquiries.

https://beauchess.blogspot.com/

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Re: Complaint to ECF Board about CEO Mike Truran re. Development Officer appointment

Post by JustinHorton » Sun Oct 27, 2019 9:27 am

TimWall wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 9:04 am

Since this is now in the public domain, I have some questions for the Board:
1) Which directors took the decision to appoint a panel?
2) Why was this particular panel chosen?
3) What are the panel’s terms of reference?
4) Were Mike Truran, Julian Clissold and other Board members cited in my complaint involved in any or all of the above decisions?
Have you put any or all of these questions to anybody from the board? I ask because this isn't an ECF forum, it's not a standard means of communication with the ECF board and while it is of course a place to raise all kinds of issues, it would be unusual for it to be one's first port of call in these circumstances.
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Chris Goodall
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Re: Complaint to ECF Board about CEO Mike Truran re. Development Officer appointment

Post by Chris Goodall » Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:26 am

Tim. Take your journalist hat off and put your legal hat on. Never in the history of journalism has there been a "list of unanswered questions" that got answered to the satisfaction of the questioner. If there was a chance of the ECF answering them, it has now gone, because they know that you're fishing for liability.
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Re: Complaint to ECF Board about CEO Mike Truran re. Development Officer appointment

Post by David Sedgwick » Sun Oct 27, 2019 3:45 pm

TimWall wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 9:04 am
What is very interesting is that the ECF Board chose not to notify me about the appointment of this panel. It seems they are bypassing procedures by not communicating directly with the complainant.
Since this is now in the public domain …
You sent an email about your complaint to over a hundred people. It was addressed to "Chess correspondents, members of the chess media". In it you called for a "full and independent investigation".

Now you are complaining about the Board having made public that they have established exactly the kind of independent investigation which you claimed to be seeking.

I find that more than a bit rich.

(I make no comment as to the merits of your complaint.)

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Re: Complaint to ECF Board about CEO Mike Truran re. Development Officer appointment

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Sun Oct 27, 2019 4:09 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 3:45 pm
TimWall wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 9:04 am
What is very interesting is that the ECF Board chose not to notify me about the appointment of this panel. It seems they are bypassing procedures by not communicating directly with the complainant.
Since this is now in the public domain …
You sent an email about your complaint to over a hundred people. It was addressed to "Chess correspondents, members of the chess media". In it you called for a "full and independent investigation".

Now you are complaining about the Board having made public that they have established exactly the kind of independent investigation which you claimed to be seeking.

I find that more than a bit rich.

(I make no comment as to the merits of your complaint.)

I agree with David and would add that I am sure that the panel is independent. I only know Roger to speak of but am confident that what applies to him applies to the others too - they can think for themselves and if they find that the ECF has messed up, they will say so.

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Re: Complaint to ECF Board about CEO Mike Truran re. Development Officer appointment

Post by Roger Lancaster » Sun Oct 27, 2019 6:33 pm

From what I can see, in the past six months Tim has complained vocally first about the result of the ECF Academy tender, then about the appointment of the Junior Director, and now about the appointment of the Development Officer. When the Governance Committee doesn't agree, as in the present case, he complains that it has "failed to address the issue" although - unless he is privy to its deliberations - I fail to see how he can be certain of this. I've said elsewhere that he has a legitimate point, to which there may or may not be a satisfactory answer, regarding the date of Carl Portman's communication but, this apart, it's tempting to conclude that there's very little the ECF management can do that would meet with Tim's approval.

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