Board minutes

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

Post by Ian Thompson » Tue Nov 04, 2014 7:25 pm

benedgell wrote:I've heard the March minutes still require quite a bit of work before they're ready to be published. :roll:
I thought Minutes were supposed to be a factual record of what was said, so struggle to see why it would take months to record that. Of course, if you're trying to concoct Minutes to reflect what you wish had been said ...

benedgell
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Re: Board minutes

Post by benedgell » Tue Nov 04, 2014 7:33 pm

That's my assumption.

David Pardoe
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Re: Board minutes

Post by David Pardoe » Tue Nov 04, 2014 8:06 pm

The problem is that you get a board elected by dubious self serving groups, using suspect election/voting processes, who all have differing agendas and wish lists.
Thats why you need a healthy injection of OMOV to help to balance the picture.....and I believe a larger board group could be beneficial.
The `company` is not really a company in any true normal sense...it is simply an umbrella group that sits over a host of independant bodies, who each represent the interests of significantly differing chess groups.
As such, its hard to envisage any such `umbrella group` being able to please such a wide block of chess interests.....
But, taking the positive tac, it is perfectly possible to assemble a competant group of people who can function satisfactorily in individual roles.
Collectively, the situation can be vastly different, and you can easily get zugzwang....which happened last year.
Mr P was running with his `shadow` as a team....and face saving became the game after the personality clashes started to emerge...it would appear.
Now, they cant square the minutes to save faces from all the infighting and disputes.
Maybe the minutes should just stick to the briefest bullet points that cover actual decisions made..

Provided a spirit of compromise can be established, you can even make that situation reasonably productive, which is why it might have been good to choose a `moderate` like Roger Edwards as President last year, rather than the hit man Paulson, who clearly had a mission of his own, which risked head on clashes.....
Those who shouted loudest got there wish....but, yes, sometimes the big hitter can deliver.
CJ got fairly close in some respects, and delivered a block busting Sheffield British event....even if his style was unorthodox...which everyone knew it would be.
Its very hard to change the spots in a leopard.....
BRING BACK THE BCF

Mick Norris
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Re: Board minutes

Post by Mick Norris » Tue Nov 04, 2014 8:11 pm

Ian Thompson wrote:I thought Minutes were supposed to be a factual record of what was said
No, they are a version of the meeting provided by the Secretary and agreed with the Chairman (or at least they have been when I have filled either of those roles, chess or otherwise)

They have to leave out sensitive info, but they should be out within a fortnight really
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Ian Thompson
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Re: Board minutes

Post by Ian Thompson » Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:55 pm

Mick Norris wrote:
Ian Thompson wrote:I thought Minutes were supposed to be a factual record of what was said
No, they are a version of the meeting provided by the Secretary and agreed with the Chairman (or at least they have been when I have filled either of those roles, chess or otherwise)
OK, if you want to do it like that, but they should still be a summary of the meeting as understood by these people. They should not omit things that were said that they don't like, or add in things they wish they'd said, but didn't.

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Board minutes

Post by Carl Hibbard » Wed Nov 05, 2014 6:55 am

Phil Ehr at the other place.
Ben, still working on them. The Board is expected to approve most of the backlog this Friday. Phil
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Board minutes

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Nov 05, 2014 8:50 am

There's a lengthy response by the FD as well. Also a reply on Ben's other query about the strategy weekend and its costs.

David Sedgwick
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Re: Board minutes

Post by David Sedgwick » Wed Nov 05, 2014 11:50 am

Roger de Coverly (yesterday) wrote:Although the moderators would protect sensitive directors from direct critics, they still don't post, very possibly because they cannot agree what to say.
Roger de Coverly (today) wrote:There's a lengthy response by the FD as well. Also a reply on Ben's other query about the strategy weekend and its costs.
David Eustace has broken the conspiracy of silence and well and truly stuck his head above the parapet. All credit to him.

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Michael Farthing
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Re: Board minutes

Post by Michael Farthing » Wed Nov 05, 2014 2:11 pm

The ECF is now advertising for a minutes secretary using (I believe) exactly the same advertisement as it produced a year ago. It suggests that a reasonable time for the production of a draft is three days (leaving a brief few months, presumably, to change these to a final version).

Any insights, Rob?

[Edited a typo and changed a word that I thought might be construed as critical of Rob (which wasn't intended at all)]

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Rob Thompson
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Re: Board minutes

Post by Rob Thompson » Wed Nov 05, 2014 5:14 pm

I believe that most of the outstanding minutes, or at least those that I originally produced the draft of, will be finally cleared up at the next board meeting. The exception to that may be the meeting at Birmingham before the AGM, since I have been ill recently and that delayed my production of a first draft considerably. Of course, if any major disagreements exist between directors over the content of the minutes this can make the process much longer.

I haven't had any input into the minutes from March, as they are from before I joined as minutes secretary. Thus, I really don't feel confident in commenting on them.

The advertisement is because I am currently unemployed, but actively searching for employment, and clearly if/when I am successful this is going to have some impact on minute production.
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Michael Farthing
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Re: Board minutes

Post by Michael Farthing » Wed Nov 05, 2014 5:36 pm

Good to see there's nothing ominous in the advert then. Thanks for the clarification and good luck with job hunting.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Board minutes

Post by JustinHorton » Wed Nov 05, 2014 8:29 pm

I agree with much of what David Eustace says - especially the necessity of having minutes up to date, and the pointlessness of talking about good governance if they are not. I do however disagree with this:
I personally do not think we should publish Board minutes; there is no legal obligation to do so. I consider a summary of the key decisions made being published soon after a Board meeting would be quite sufficient and more helpful to the membership. That idea might yet come about. Any views?
A very good reason this doesn't work for me is that it's not possible to be sure what the "key decisions" actually are. Something that may seem obscure at the time may turn out to be of great importance later. Publishing full minutes (necessary redactions aside) avoids this problem.

That's aside from the general principle that transparency is good and makes for better governance. And for that matter that the ECF is not NATO or MI6: it's a chess club. There is no particular need for it to have secrets (and every reason, from experience, for it not to have them).
Last edited by JustinHorton on Thu Nov 06, 2014 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Mick Norris
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Re: Board minutes

Post by Mick Norris » Wed Nov 05, 2014 10:03 pm

Problem is, chess organisations seem to like secrecy

Given some of the decisions they make, not surprised (I'd like to see the minutes of the Lancs AGM this summer, as the reports I have had from those present are interesting to say the least)
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Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Board minutes

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Thu Nov 06, 2014 9:08 am

"Problem is, chess organisations seem to like secrecy

Given some of the decisions they make, not surprised "

Very true. One of my favourite Surrey ones (out of a choice of many!) comes from years ago, where we spent ages discussing a rule change, and after several amendments a majority agreed the wording. The chairman of the meeting then said, "Right, we'll tidy up the wording and then publish it." One or two people pointed out that there was no point voting on something if some random individual changed it later, but we were firmly told that the (non-existent) committee could do what it liked.

I can understand the need for secrecy on some occasions, but most chess organisations seem to want to keep everything secret!

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John Saunders
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Re: Board minutes

Post by John Saunders » Thu Nov 06, 2014 11:41 am

JustinHorton wrote:That's aside from the general principle that transparency is good and makes for better governance. And for that matter that the ECF is not NATO or MI6: it's a chess club. There is no particular need for it to have secrets (and every reason, from experience, for it not to have them).
Surely it's not too difficult to see why chess organisations tend to be secretive, is it? It's pure human nature. Few people enjoy intense public scrutiny, whether they are secretary-general of NATO or a minor official of a chess organisation. Of course, it is perfectly right and proper that the performance of chess officials should be open to public comment, and a good deal of this is positive and useful, but when even a small proportion of that comment can be misrepresentation, speculation and unreasoned abuse, often from people whose sole experience of chess organisation consists of putting the pieces back in the box after a game, then it is hardly surprising that officials will be ultra-careful about what they choose to publish. It is also one powerful reason why some highly suitable candidates shy away from becoming chess officials in the first place.

Anyway, if the ECF is only a chess club, as Justin calls it, how come he and others spend so many of their waking hours investigating and criticising its performance? Since the ECF's doings are less important than state secrets (and it is a relief to hear that Justin thinks so), why is the public scrutiny quite so intense?

Perhaps I can end by drawing people's attention to the first line of my signature, which I call Elaine's paradox (it's my wife's adaptation of Sayre's law, after being the unwilling audience to my umpteenth wittering about chess politics). I feel it is relevant.
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