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The ECF Board: Leakgate

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:23 pm
by Martin Regan
During T-shirtgate and Lawsuitgate and Membershipgate, I had become a little bemused how how some people had been imparting information on this forum and on a certain blog which could have only come from ECF board discussions. Now Adam has posted on the S&B Blog suggesting that two directors had been routinely leaking board decisions.

Am I the only one who believes that, if true, this should overshadow in importance all the other "gates". Did these directors not know of their legal responsibilities? Are they still in post? Where stands the Chair of Governance on such a matter? Or the non-execs for that matter?

Total amateur shambles.

Re: The ECF Board: Leakgate

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:38 pm
by Jonathan Bryant
Martin Regan wrote:Total amateur shambles.
I thought leaking was what the professionals did.


I'm reminded of The Thick of It's leak inquiry special at the weekend and Yes (Prime) Minister's Bernard Woolly and his observation that "to leak" is an irregular verb:-

I have informal conversations
You leak
He has been arrested under the official secrets act.

Re: The ECF Board: Leakgate

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:39 pm
by Ernie Lazenby
Martin with respect as a business man you know that in all business's there are leaks it goes on all the time. Often financially motivated but in ours I think just a genuine desire to make the chess playing members aware of whats going on. I think you are making more of it than it deserves unless you know who it is and have some personal motivation.

Re: The ECF Board: Leakgate

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:45 pm
by Mike Truran
Sorry to disagree with both of you - and I'm surprised you both seem to take the matter so lightly. If ECF directors were indeed disseminating confidential information, that would indeed have been a gross dereliction of duty. Ernie, for you to suggest that just because it happens all the time it's somehow acceptable given the directors' legal responsibilities is particularly surprising given your own background.

Re: The ECF Board: Leakgate

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:58 pm
by Martin Regan
EL wrote:
Martin with respect as a business man you know that in all business's there are leaks it goes on all the time
The ability for board members to speak their minds without fearing that their views will leak to outside world - perhaps out of context - is pretty basic to a board's proper functioning. If a director disagrees absolutely with board policy or position then he resigns and takes up the fight from outside.

Re: The ECF Board: Leakgate

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:00 pm
by Sean Hewitt
Last year, I always thought that Steve Giddines and Alex McFarlane were both remarkably well informed.

I had assumed (wrongly, if Adam is to be believed) that the flow of information was Board - CJ - RDKOBE - AEIC - Alex.

I did ask Steve G at the Diamond Jubilee congress who his source was. He wouldn't tell me. Not surprising, but I had to ask.

Re: The ECF Board: Leakgate

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:03 pm
by Ernie Lazenby
Mike I am not saying its acceptable, and should have said so, but come on we all know it goes on in most organisations. I dont think its a practice that will ever be totally eradicated. The federation has perhaps more important matters to deal with at the moment, not least filling vacant positions.

Re: The ECF Board: Leakgate

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:04 pm
by Sean Hewitt
The bit I didn't understand from Adam's post is that he refers to two directors, who were seeking re-election, as being the source. Only Mike G, Jack and Phil were seeking re-election. I find it difficult to believe that any of those three would leak.

Re: The ECF Board: Leakgate

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:13 pm
by Martin Regan
Mike I am not saying its acceptable, and should have said so, but come on we all know it goes on in most organisations.
Ernie - the claim is not that informal "nudge nudge" conversations took place. That can happen, though it ought not to. The claim is that confidential documents and internal board e-mails were leaked. That is breaking the law.

Re: The ECF Board: Leakgate

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:20 pm
by Ernie Lazenby
Martin I agree, that is out of order and am a little surprised that, if true , anyone would do that. The usual, ''I will deny this conversation took place'' is the normal means of passing such nudge nudge info.

Re: The ECF Board: Leakgate

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:21 pm
by Carl Hibbard
Would we consider the posts of Adam on the comments section of S&B also a leak?

Re: The ECF Board: Leakgate

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:29 pm
by Angus French
Martin Regan wrote:The claim is that confidential documents and internal board e-mails were leaked. That is breaking the law.
How is it breaking the law?

Re: The ECF Board: Leakgate

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:29 pm
by Ernie Lazenby
I have not been able to acces that blog. If hes posting information after leaving office then hes free to do as he likes, theres no ECF version of the official secrets act covering such matters. If he's posted confidential information before leaving office thats a different matter but surely thats not so given his latest comments as posted by Martin.

Re: The ECF Board: Leakgate

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:31 pm
by Martin Regan
Carl H wrote:
Would we consider the posts of Adam on the comments section of S&B also a leak?
He is no longer a director. Had he been then yes.

The whole point is that being a board director is not some kind of clever game for those with large egos - it carries great responsibilities. The ECF, for God's Sake, has staff working for it - their livelihoods depend on it's health. There is a duty of confidentially.

Re: The ECF Board: Leakgate

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:08 pm
by Martin Regan
Angus F wrote
How is it breaking the law?
How is it not? Director's have legal responsibilities under the Companies Act and various other branches of civil law - Contract Law, for example. One of these responsibility is a duty of confidentiality, another is a requirement to act in the best interests of the company (not of a handful nor even a majority of shareholders) Unless leaking board papers and internal emails to further political battles can somehow be said to maintain confidentiality, or be in the best interests of the company - then the legal requirements have not be met. Therefore, by extension, I argue the law has been broken.