Merry Christmas to Peter Wilson. When it was suggested that Peter Wilson should be independent of the old board so that we can have a fresh start Peter responded with "That's your issue". Summary of the meeting here: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=594
A good summary of where we are up to by Joe Aston of the AFR, linked to from here: viewtopic.php?f=5&p=4137#p4137
If you are new to this website read the story so far: viewtopic.php?t=321#p1793
Check out some of the AFR articles, too many to list and check out some of the ABC reports: ... 215-h055ej ... 211-h02x1d ... s,/8626662
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Bretts Initial Response to IRP Final Report 1st Dec 2017

A forum for discussing the IRP reports, both preliminary and final.
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Brett Stevenson
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Bretts Initial Response to IRP Final Report 1st Dec 2017

Post by Brett Stevenson » Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:58 am

Hi Members,

Well there we have it.

Probably a million bucks plus later, and we have a professional whitewash. (Do you think they will disclose that in full or do you think that will come under the minimum disclosure regime?)

Let me say a couple of quick things now as time and work pressures prevent more at this stage.
The attention this Final (and Preliminary) Report deserve (after all they did probably cost us in excess of $1 million - you have already said that Brett) will require some consideration time.

1. I intend to do a very detailed three part analysis and critique of the Final Report over the next two months to show that words like 'Potemkin village' and 'show trial' are not the unique preserve of soviet history.
CPA Australia has shown itself (or perhaps more correctly the Independent Review Panel) very adept at taking some history lessons from far afield.

2. I shall also include with those three part reviews the special resolutions to not only counter some of the obvious areas where the words 'cop-out' perhaps more correctly reflect what has happened here but also to provide the CPA members with an opportunity to see if I am just a rogue member 'whistling in the wind' or whether there really are major issues at stake here.

And of course it goes without saying that this will also give the CPA leadership and divisional representatives and discussion groups time to weave their little message of ‘lets keep this all quiet now, and stop this criticism of the IRP’.
It also gives them time to come out and speak honestly about it but methinks history lessons of a shorter time frame are perhaps not so easily learned at CPA Australia.

3. But I want to be as upfront as possible with the members. This whole exposure started that way so lets finish it off that way I reckon.
The three part approach is also to focus attention on the obvious areas where the potential for legal action against the leadership of CPA Australia are screaming the loudest.
But clearly not from the IRP report.
You can almost hear the heart beat of their report "Lets keep this all in-house and so professional. Let's make recommendations that are so soft you could never attribute blame to any persons.”

Part One will focus on remuneration.

Part Two will focus on CPA Australia Advice

Part Three will focus on Governance.

4. In between these I will be weaving in other areas but these three perhaps best highlight the major problems CPA Australia continue to have, and the areas where the IRP was as weak as water and 'copped out'.
Let me give you a very quick hint on the words to look for in the report which are pointers on this and how younger accountants (or anyone for that matter) can learn from a masterclass in doing a professional whitewash.
Are you ready - just look for these phrases, and you will get a pretty good feel for it. I could call them “the harbingers of hype” or perhaps the “red flags of absolution”, or perhaps the “expressions of exoneration” or perhaps the daddy of them all “professional whitewash tools of exculpation”. I’ll just call them humdingers, as that term encapsulates so many of the phrases in this report that are part of the essential professional toolkit if ever you are called upon to do a whitewash.

"This reflects very poorly on former board…..”
“..does not reflect well on CPA Australia…”
“…was not adequately considered…”
“… this was an oversight, it does not reflect well on…”

These are just some of the ways attributing responsibility on the leadership of CPA Australia was avoided.

5. I also realise we are coming up to the holiday period for many (preceded by a stressful period for many also) so I trust by spreading them out it would make them more readable. I know many of you just want a quick bullet point summary but I’m afraid that would not give credibility. If you want a short summary, then this is it
‘The IRP Final Report is a professional whitewash such that none of the leadership of CPA Australia will be held to account and the recommendations on governance are pretty much a dressed up version of what has been”.

6. This also provides the opportunity for other members to come froward and provide their feedback and response. I will be eager to hear from the eminent CPA’s and previously silent divisional councillors and presidents. Yes, this will be interesting to see just what these ‘guardians’ of CPA Australia have to say about this Final Report.
Oh yes, that will reveal much.
Silence can be ‘so professional’ can’t it?
And it can be so damning also can’t it?

7. It will also provide time for the new CPA Australia Board to provide some feedback to see their response. Mmmmm.
I wonder if one of the first things they deal with will be to ‘toughen up’ the CPA codes of conduct between members and staff. That was an area the IRP specifically focussed upon. I reckon the board and senior management of CPA Australia were the main complainers of what was said about them. Quite incredible that the IRP gave more heed to their complaints than the almost constant barrage of sales talk and almost offensive obfuscating and misinformation that they provided to the members. The speaks loudly to me of the IRP’s real objective.

Oh yes that will reveal much given that it will be, in effect, a ‘let’s curtail the whistleblowers’ code. I never recall any effective exposure of these matters prior to some ‘delinquent’ members and that cheeky Joe Aston from the AFR. But of course that was so unprofessional and the IRP saw fit to make sure that will never happen again.
So, we await your prompt response on that one new board. That also will tell us much.

Let me leave the new board and the IRP with this one thought - do you really think any of this would have come to light through the ‘oh so professional channels’ of the divisional presidents, or past presidents, or board members. or senior staff?
At last, we have come to agree on something.
Yes, that's right I hardly think so also.
And yet here the IRP have the temerity to sanction/caution the very people who did expose it so that action followed.
Your eminences and professionalism means so little to this journeyman.

In the ‘journeyman land’ where I was trained we were taught to walk and talk to the same beat but I am tending to think that in the ‘your eminence land’ different drum beats abound.

8. Just to remind the members that I have received drafts of the special resolutions, and once I have settled on the final wording of them, and written the explanatory memorandum, I shall be sending them around to obtain the requisite 100 signatures. So, if any of you feel (as I do) a little bit discouraged and despondent about the Final IRP Report can I encourage you not to give up hope (yet anyway) as we can certainly force some of these issues at the AGM on 22nd May in Melbourne.
I’ll be there. And hope as many of you can also. If any of you cannot attend and would be happy to give your proxy to some of the media (ABC, AFR, The Australian for example) so they can attend please let me know. But that is very advance notice. We need to get these resolutions up and signed beforehand.
You can imagine there will be lots of counter punches (all very professional of course) coming from CPA Australia and the divisions. By the way did you notice the ‘almost over the top’ way the IRP in its Appendix listed the submissions made by each of the Divisions. And let me place here for the record as they were not quite so forthcoming, that I made submissions to both the Preliminary and Final Reports, and I did not ask for anonymity.
Being clever and being deceitful can be pigeon pairs sometimes.

9. The special resolutions drafted to date. This is the overall thrust not the actually wording mind you as we want to make these flexible with any changes pending from CPA Australia.

Directors remuneration to be reduced by 50%

Limit Directors terms to 6 years absolute

Members to vote for director

Full disclosure of remuneration akin to public listed companies.

Subsidiaries to come under the remuneration limits of the CPA constitution. Hopefully this will be done by the new board but let’s see.

Alex Malley’s termination pay - yes, you can imagine the reason the IRP are trying to avoid this is because the directors who paid it in 2017, and those who approved it in 2016 (in private and without notes) will be under the spotlight.

NBL sponsorship - I think they ‘got off the hook’ a wee bit to easily on this one.

Life memberships awarded from 2009. The wording of this one is important.

Again if any members want to assist in drafting any of the memorandums for any of these, then I’ll be very appreciative. I will finalise and take responsibility for the wording as I know for others that may be a concern.

10. Finally let me say I will provide a claimer to counter their disclaimer on page (i) of the IRP. It reminds me of so many ‘professional’ reports these days. The fees are willingly taken but then all responsibility and care is remove with these disclaimers. I’m not being naive but crikey it does make you wonder. Have a read of the IRP’s disclaimer and you might as well shove it in the bin for all the responsibility they are prepared to take.
I will also provide a Glossary of not just Key Terms but also Key People at CPA Australia over the last decade (to match the IRP’s page1). I’m not a big fan of terms like the board or management or key management personnel. I like to see the actual names behind these terms.

Well I trust this will suffice as a brief response until I can do Part One (Remuneration) of my response to the Final IRP Report, I am going to name it the “It Does Not Reflect Well Report”



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Re: Bretts Initial Response to IRP Final Report 1st Dec 2017

Post by Magnet » Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:01 pm

Great post Brett.

Looking forward to you analysis and critique in the coming weeks.

It does appear that the IRP went in with the brief to not apportion blame on any individuals.
They have not intent to hold people accountable for the their actions...only to see identify issues, how it can be improved slightly in the future and lets just forget about this saga and move forward.

Unfortunately this will not cut the mustard with the annoying little spillers group!

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Re: Bretts Initial Response to IRP Final Report 1st Dec 2017

Post by Steve Hamilton » Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:12 pm

I've posted a question on the CPA Australia Facebook page today, asking if the new board will provide a response to the IRP Final report specifically related to the two increases in the notice period on termination of the CEO. Still waiting for a reply.... :roll:

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Re: Bretts Initial Response to IRP Final Report 1st Dec 2017

Post by JWheldon » Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:04 pm

Alex Malley has repsonded to IRP and reports in AFR about him . Start listing at 6.12 into the podcast and Alex says that he may have been paid too much compared to the Tax Institute, which has a smaller membership compared to CPA, and he is happy to debate the comparison used in the IRP. He says that their was a process followed by CPA Australia and he executed the strategy and the payout to him was found to be legal, and argues that CPA Australia was successful under his leadership. He believes the respondents to the IRP was either the media or a very small number of individuals.

The board made the decision to increase his payout term. The relevant board meetings were held and that he did not attend those board meetings and everything was done above board.

Alex also responds to the AFR article in which Peter Wilson was critical of his personal branding at CPA, and believed that Peter Wilson was misquoted in the AFR. Alex responded by saying that Peter Wilson the Chairman of the Australian Human Resources Institute invited him to the AHRI board meeting to account to the board on what an amazing strategy he had at CPA Australia, and spoke to them all for an hour and a half. Then 3 weeks ago one of the current board members of AHRI sent a linkedin message to Alex Malley to request for further information about this amazing strategy.

Relying of Alex Malley's brand failed us spectacularly: CPA chairman ... 115-gzlvzz

Peter Wilson, chair of the Australian Human Resources Institute and newly instated chair of the beleaguered CPA, described how relying explicitly on Alex Malley's personal brand left the organisation open to serious disturbance.

"The strategy of taking over the leadership space by using the personal brand of the CEO is dead," Mr Wilson told the audience at the AFR BOSS Leadership Summit on Wednesday.


So ladies and gentlemen. Alex Malley says the board made the decision to increase his payout period from two years to three years, without any influence from him, as he didn't attend the board meeting. So why did Graeme Wade, Richard Petty, Carlin Tyrone, Michele Dolin etc make the decision to increase his payout?? Alex Malley is making the previous board sound rather silly. Why would they increase his payout term and remueration, if Alex says he wasn't involved?? It sounds like that the board got worried from all the press in 2016, along with the pressure from Alex Malley. Alex Malley was probably starting to feel the fall out from the membership. Therefore in order for the board to keep running with this personal brand strategy at CPA Australia, they decided increase his payout terms and remuneration,in order to keep Alex around. This just goes to show how much Alex Malley had the board under his control, and put it to the board members to increase his remunerations and benefits, or he would leave, and this would damage the board's strategy and standing in the general membership, given all the millions of dollars that they had invested. It appears that the board had lost control and were not acting in the best interest of the general membership, nor that of CPA Australia. It may also appear that they breached their own high governance standards, but who would know.

Alex is now saying that the current CPA President Peter Wilison invited him, last year to attend his board meeting to give a speech. How close is Peter Wilson and the board of AHRI to Alex Malley and other previous CPA Australia board members? Maybe Peter Wilson needs to explain himself? Maybe he needs to resign due to conflicts of interest or breach of the high governance standard?????

It sounds like its time for Jim Dickson, Tyrone Carlin, Graeme Wade, Richard Petty, Michele Dolin etc to start explaining to the members whether Alex Malley is incorrect in his response on 2GB or why they the decided to increase his payout terms and remuneration????? Maybe we the members should remember, that Alex Malley, only likes to provide a bit of the story about what happened, and not the whole picture, in order to put him in a positive light. Yet the truth maybe be different to Alex's colourful memory.

Will just have to keep reading AFR to see the next chapter in this mess. Maybe Graeme Wade, Jim Dickson, Tyrone Carlin, Richard Petty will respond. Maybe Adam Awty and Jeff Hughes will respond?

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Re: Bretts Initial Response to IRP Final Report 1st Dec 2017

Post by nakedadmin » Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:05 pm

Gee whiz. We knew they appointed a board that was friendly to the old board but this is incredible.
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Re: Bretts Initial Response to IRP Final Report 1st Dec 2017

Post by jendalitz » Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:05 pm

nakedadmin wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:05 pm
Gee whiz. We knew they appointed a board that was friendly to the old board but this is incredible.
you can say that again!!!

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Re: Bretts Initial Response to IRP Final Report 1st Dec 2017

Post by cpasteve » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:55 am

I hope everyone is giving some feedback here ... ent-survey

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