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Direct Voting with Open Nominations

Discussion about the proposed resolutions to be put to the AGM in May 2018
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nakedadmin
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Direct Voting with Open Nominations

Post by nakedadmin » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:53 pm

There is a resolution drafted for Direct voting with open nominations. I thought it would be good to have some discussion about this option.

http://www.cpagas.org/blog/2018/03/02/p ... minations/

Should there be a skills matrix?

Should there be a gender balance?

Should previous and current Directors be prohibited from nominating?

Any other ideas?

Are people for this approach or against it?
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JWheldon
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Re: Direct Voting with Open Nominations

Post by JWheldon » Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:28 pm

Interesting points Nakedadmin.

I would not suggest a board of 12 because there a problem when you have a split vote 6 for and 6 against. Who gets the casting vote or how do you break the dead lock, if it would occur. The board needs to be made up of an odd component always already suggested.

Direct voting can lead to the situation that we are now in with CPA Australia. Let me explain. Most, if not all members, will get the voting email and leave it aside, because they have other more important things to look at, and the information about the individuals whom have nominated, would be limited. Thus the individuals who get appointed, are appointed with an extremely low vote. I stand to be corrected on this point, if CPA Australia, wanted to disclose the stats. How do you think individuals like Alex Malley, managed to get into the system in the first place?

It is important to have appropriate individuals, with appropriate skills, being appointed to the board of CPA Australia. The status of Chairman of the board, should be separated from the title and role of President of CPA Australia. The Chairman of the Board of CPA Australia, has not been elected by the members of CPA Australia, but only by the board members. One could even argue that the chairman does not really represent the membership, but himself in a paid position as professional director, who does a paid job. The chairman is there to do a job, of running the organisation, and is paid in the role, as are the other board members. They may be overpaid, and have shown other members that one should not provide your services for free, or volunteer, unless you truly want too. Lets not forget that CPA Australia, given its size is really a business, which is cloaked as a Not-For Profit entity. Therefore those individuals, whom are appointed to the board need to be appropriately qualified or CPA Australia will end up with wrong individuals. The board should not seek appointment, because they are professional directors, getting paid for being on many boards, and looking for the best board role with the highest remuneration. This should not be their prime objective, yet unfortunately the current Chairman, has given the perception that the level of remuneration is very important. Again, one would not argue against providing a remuneration, but the level is not appropriate, and the organisation is supposed to be a Not-For Profit. There are many not-for profit organisation, which have board members, which do not seek remunerations, or paid very little. We have seen the problem with CPA Australia Advise.

The appointment of the board, as Brett has already raised, should be limited for 2 terms. If you have individuals, that can be directly appointment by the members, with a few hundred votes out of 160,000, then you will end up with individuals similar to those in the last ten years. Not all those individuals should be seen in a bad light, or with bad motives. The problem, as history has shown, those that stay in power, tend to change their original goals and focus. Alex Malley may have started with positive intentions, but ended up focusing on other goals, as one may argue that the other long standing board members, like Graeme Wade, Richard Petty, Michele Dolin did. Sometimes fresh ideas, and fresh direction is needed.

The title of President should be removed and if required separated to the council of state Presidents, where one is appointed as the President of CPA Australia. This President, would be akin to the title of CEO. The CEO or marketing manager would represent the organisation, as she or he would have come through the ranks via the committees etc and obtain the title of CPA President. There needs to be a goal for those that wish to serve with CPA Australia. Not an individual, who is appointed to the board of CPA Australia, and has never served with CPA Australia on committees, nor volunteered with CPA Australia, and not even taken part in discussion groups. The President of CPA Australia, should be available to all members of CPA Australia to attain too. Thus all CPA's could become President and not just the University Lectures, who have unfortunately dominated the role.

Does it mean that at the end of the term of the current, now Chairman Peter Wilson, that he will be provides a life membership, for his paid service to CPA Australia as President of CPA Australia. It sounds like government that gives a ex-prime minister the Australian of the year award, for a job that he was paid for.

Peter Wilson should do away with the life membership of all those, including Alex Malley, Graeme Wade etc. and do away with the Past President Dinner, which is held at the end of the AGM for a very very very very small few.

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Re: Direct Voting with Open Nominations

Post by nakedadmin » Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:26 pm

JWheldon wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:28 pm
Thus the individuals who get appointed, are appointed with an extremely low vote. I stand to be corrected on this point, if CPA Australia, wanted to disclose the stats. How do you think individuals like Alex Malley, managed to get into the system in the first place?
Can I remind you that Alex Malley got in under the Representative Council model. Can I also make the point that he actually changed the constitution to implement that model.

Also I don't think that Divisional Council voting participation is comparable. Most members being disenfranchised over many years and having little confidence in the existing system.

Direct voting is probably a good way to get more engagement. If there is a problem with voting then this is also a problem with Brett's proposal.

Both the board's and Brett's proposals use the Representative Council model. Brett has a hybrid model, but you seem to suggest that any problems with voting would somehow not happen under that model. I'd argue that Brett's model would have a lower voting participation as people would be disenfranchised as being a smaller part of the process, they might see 3 candidates none of which they want to vote for. After a couple years not even participate.
JWheldon wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:28 pm
It is important to have appropriate individuals, with appropriate skills, being appointed to the board of CPA Australia. The status of Chairman of the board, should be separated from the title and role of President of CPA Australia. The Chairman of the Board of CPA Australia, has not been elected by the members of CPA Australia, but only by the board members.
Good point. The Chair does seem to have an extraordinary amount of control and is elected by a vote. But the current chair was appointed as such before 30 Sep 2017 i.e. before the new board met. So it was the rump of the old board that voted him into that role.

It's yet another uncontrolled layer in the process that reduces member control.

Although all of the 3 proposed models have that layer/problem. Do you have a solution to that?
JWheldon wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:28 pm
The appointment of the board, as Brett has already raised, should be limited for 2 terms.
This proposal has the same 6 year term. 3 years initially and they can stand for re-election only once.
JWheldon wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:28 pm
If you have individuals, that can be directly appointment by the members, with a few hundred votes out of 160,000, then you will end up with individuals similar to those in the last ten years.
Not sure how the criticism applies to this model but not to Brett's. Are you suggesting that somehow the Representative Council equivalent in Brett's model would not put their mate on the ballot paper? The selection process that we've been criticising is somehow going to be the fail safe now?
JWheldon wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:28 pm
The title of President should be removed and if required separated to the council of state Presidents, where one is appointed as the President of CPA Australia. This President, would be akin to the title of CEO.
This kind of thing has not been proposed by anyone (yet). I'd think it's complex to draft such a resolution and unclear exactly how it would work with divisions nominating the President but paid professional Directors to back him/her up. Problems could arise if the majority of Directors don't agree with the President but cannot elect a new one. Does it effectively give complete control to one person? What's the point of having other Directors in this scenario, they'd become more like consultants all care and no responsibility.
JWheldon wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:28 pm
Does it mean that at the end of the term of the current, now Chairman Peter Wilson, that he will be provides a life membership, for his paid service to CPA Australia as President of CPA Australia. It sounds like government that gives a ex-prime minister the Australian of the year award, for a job that he was paid for.
It's out dated. When they were voluntary positions it was more appropriate that they get some recognition but with highly paid professional Directors of course this life membership thing is simply abused.
JWheldon wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:28 pm
Peter Wilson should do away with the life membership of all those, including Alex Malley, Graeme Wade etc. and do away with the Past President Dinner, which is held at the end of the AGM for a very very very very small few.
Yes, but he will not do that. I think it's pretty far down the list of things he should do but obviously will not.
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JWheldon
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Re: Direct Voting with Open Nominations

Post by JWheldon » Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:50 pm

Accept the valid points that you are making.

Does CPA want a Donald Trump style President??? Can CPA Australia afford another Alex Malley style operation???


Maybe some of the board could be directly voted by the members and others appointed as a result of their qualifications?

Still believe that the CPA President, should not be the highly paid, non-representative chairman of the board. They might as well get rid of the term, as it is out of date, and no-body respects the President anyway.

The junior members who become the next leaders in the organisation are the future. In ten years of Alex Malley, Graeme Wade, Richard Petty, what did they do to encourage the young members of CPA to attend the AGM or even encourage to senior members to attend? Sign up to do the CPA program, and then still not be able to get a job, as they had no professional experience and their Naked CEO book, wasn't really that helpful , except to say keep positive, keep trying and keep paying CPA for its courses, its books, its magazines, its online material, and other products.

Peter Wilson and his board members are really only, on the board of CPA Australia because of the remunerations, or they probably wouldn't waste their time, especially when they have appointments on other well paying institutions.

If you have a look at the large Not For Profit Sector, they would be basically described as organisation with professional directors, who aim to increase their own wealth by increasing the number of boards that they get appointed to. CPA Australia, has basically indicated that the direct appointment of a board member, who does not have the appropriate qualifications, will not be accepted. Therefore, those that become future board members, may all be Chartered Accountants, who are partners on large accounting practices, or institutions, and then become a member of CPA Australia, to then apply to become a high paid board member of CPA Australia. Again you have professional board members, with professional employees, highly remunerated, and most likely no real connection to the grass roots members.

If you have a board appointed by either direct vote or panel, because of qualifications, then how do you ensure that there is a check and balance, or accountability in the system. How do the members, the general members have an ability to pressure the board with accounting questions, when the AGM is less than on hour, and has been for many years, held in Melbourne, with no ability for the other 150,0000 odd members to be able to take part and ask the board real questions. Who ensures the board is doing the right thing? The State Presidents, the committee members didn't. So the past boards, could do want they wanted, and spend what they wanted, with little disclosure or accountability. The audit function, is not designed for that purposes.

In the end, CPA Australia, will most likely go the way of other Not-For Profit organisation, like RACV, Medibank Private etc, and go public, so the board, can then truly do what they want, as long they provide a return to the shareholders.

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Re: Direct Voting with Open Nominations

Post by dlb » Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:27 am

As many members of this Forum are aware, CPA Australia kicked off their Member Forums in Melbourne last night. I attended and wanted to provide all of you some feedback. I have been a fairly inactive FCPA for the last 35 years until the "Financial Review" commenced its campaign last year thanks to Brett. There were about 60 members in attendance but stacked with staff members and Divisional Council members past and present. I asked the first question about the need for direct elections. This led to the majority of the room supporting the proposition on a show of hands with many abstentions. Against my view were the 3 Board members present and some of the current and past Divisional Council members. Hopefully the Direct Election of Directors resolution will be ready to go soon so we can get it passed at the AGM in May. Also it would be interesting to get feedback from others attending Member Forums around Australia on the direct election issue and whether it was raised, which is central to good governance of CPA Australia going forward.

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Re: Direct Voting with Open Nominations

Post by The Nude CPA » Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:55 pm

dlb wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:27 am
As many members of this Forum are aware, CPA Australia kicked off their Member Forums in Melbourne last night. I attended and wanted to provide all of you some feedback. I have been a fairly inactive FCPA for the last 35 years until the "Financial Review" commenced its campaign last year thanks to Brett. There were about 60 members in attendance but stacked with staff members and Divisional Council members past and present. I asked the first question about the need for direct elections. This led to the majority of the room supporting the proposition on a show of hands with many abstentions. Against my view were the 3 Board members present and some of the current and past Divisional Council members. Hopefully the Direct Election of Directors resolution will be ready to go soon so we can get it passed at the AGM in May. Also it would be interesting to get feedback from others attending Member Forums around Australia on the direct election issue and whether it was raised, which is central to good governance of CPA Australia going forward.
Thanks for the update and great to hear of the support for direct elections on public display.

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Re: Direct Voting with Open Nominations

Post by alizzia » Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:11 pm

Great updte dlb. Can you advise the format of the meeting? It sounds very unstructured if they are taking questions on the fly and taking straw polls of the room. Also, Board members arguing against the views of members in the room is not FEEDBACK. They need to do less talking and more listening.....

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Re: Direct Voting with Open Nominations

Post by nakedadmin » Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:29 pm

alizzia wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:11 pm
Also, Board members arguing against the views of members in the room is not FEEDBACK.
I had to laugh at that. Yeah, if you actually want feedback set up a 1-2 hour public forum to discuss a 40(?) page document that does not actually have the proposed changes in it and argue with people. What can one say about that without swearing? Total fail for the new Directors.
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Re: Direct Voting with Open Nominations

Post by nakedadmin » Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:06 pm

The resolution is now out for sign off please sign and send to cpaboardspill@gmail.com

There are 3 resolutions:

http://www.cpagas.org/blog/2018/03/16/2 ... er-wilson/
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Re: Direct Voting with Open Nominations

Post by benito » Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:40 pm

I think there should definitely be some gender balance and diversity on the board if only to be sure of getting multiple points of view on issues. But looking for particular skills seems to be a complete waste of time. Directors don't really have any skills apart from the skill of getting appointed to boards and their decisions are made as a collective. The skill of not believing everything you are told might be a good one though.

The best way forward would be to randomly appoint full CPA and FCPA members to the board by use of a lottery system. It would be a bit like jury duty - you couldn't refuse unless you had a really good excuse like you were really sick or about to give birth to twins or something. The appointment algorithm could be programmed to ensure that there were at least a certain proportion of women or people from a certain region but it would still be random. Once you have served for the prescribed period you don't have to serve again.

This system would be democratic and would save heaps of money on recruitment consultants who are - in the opinion of some people - worthless parasites.

In The Hunger Games, the participants have to kill each other to decide the final winner but I think this would be going too far.

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