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: http://www.afr.com/business/accounting/ ... 215-h055ej http://www.afr.com/business/accounting/ ... 211-h02x1d http://www.abc.net.au/news/programs/the ... s,/8626662
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Questions for the leadership of CPA Australia

Discussion about the proposed resolutions to be put to the AGM in May 2018
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Brett Stevenson
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Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:43 am

Questions for the leadership of CPA Australia

Post by Brett Stevenson » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:37 pm

Dear CPA Australia Board and Members,

You hopefully will have seen the recent Statement from the CPA Australia Board (8th June 2018) as ‘part of their ongoing commitment to improve communication’ etc etc.

What they still fail to grasp are the concepts of openness and transparency in communications. A bad habit perfected by the old board and surprisingly continuing with the new board.

These are some of the specific questions asked of the new board at the AGM, with a ‘we will take that on notice’ answer, plus a few others. They clearly have not addressed them.

1. How much in dollar terms did we give the South Sydney Rugby League Club? The Ian McPhee led Independent Review also ‘failed’ to provide it and the new board refuse to do so as well.

2. When will the board provide the Australian membership breakdown by division and branch given it comprises over 71% (116,909) of the total membership (163,750)? You will tell us the numbers for Pakistan (74), Solomon Islands (37), Kuwait (25), Ireland (49) yet you will not tell us the breakdown of the Australian membership of 116,909. I have ascertained the breakdown by analysing the Members Register which the members purchased from CPA for over $2500. You can see this in detail in below article. Is it because you do not wish the members to see that NSW, Vic and Qld having 96,000 members have been ‘effectively’ disenfranchised’ from the election of directors process because they have only the same three votes as say Europe, NZ and NT with just 4,400 members? Your refusal to be open and transparent about this speaks very clearly.

https://www.excellere.com.au/blog/2018/ ... errymander

3. Why are Penny Egan and John Cahill still our representatives on the APESB given what the Ian McPhee led Independent Review Report revealed that resulted in a total change of leadership at CPA Australia, and their involvement in the past leadership? For more detail on this refer here.

https://www.excellere.com.au/blog/2018/ ... -and-apesb

4. Why did Peter Wilson as Chairman at the AGM refuse to allow the auditor Mark Stretton from Deloitte answer the question as to why he (along with the CFO, Company Secretary and General Counsel at CPA Australia) got s.202B so wrong (understated by $1.3 million or 23%). Refer below schedule to see why the question was important, and what was Peter Wilson doing ‘protecting’ the auditor from answering the question given that it is the Boards job to oversee the auditor on our behalf?

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... 7bqYjQCWLL

5. Why didn’t any of the new board, especially those will long connections in the Malley era, raise any objections publicly to the scandalous activities at CPA Australia prior to their appointment as directors? Four, possibly five, have had high level involvement at CPA for many years - Ric DeSanti (2007), Robyn Erskine (2007). Merran Kelsall (2012), Chin Aik Wong (2010), Caroline Spencer (2015?) - so they would be more aware than most of the shenanigans. Why their silence for so long, and why their board positions now?

6. Why did the new board fail to correct the two obvious weaknesses in our constitution which allowed the ‘Malley decade’ to continue with no effective redress or correction occurring? These being the inability of the members to communicate with other members (resolution 6) and inability to call a members meeting (resolution 13). Perhaps this is why the question at 5 above is so revealing.

7. When will the board provide details (diary) of international travel (who, cost, why, when etc) to prevent the abuses of the past occurring again? Many organisations do this to ensure there is not even a perception of wrongdoing in this area.

8. When will the new board provide details (amount, who, why etc) of grants and sponsorships to universities, researchers and other bodies to prevent the acquiescent silence that these payments can encourage, and to ensure complete disclosure.

9. When will the new board explain the new gerrymander system at CPA Australia such that members are aware of the consequences of the boards continuation with the Representative (now called Appointments) Council to appoint directors? In other words given that you will not provide the membership breakdown by division in Australia will you explain to the 42,000 NSW members, or 37,000 Victorian members, or 16,500 QLD members why they have just one vote on the body to appoint the new directors as NZ (2,000 members), or Europe (1,700 members) or NT (600 members). That’s reality not just theoretical posturing.

10. When will the board reveal the Chairmans proxy vote count by division because concerns have been raised about proxy harvesting by the board given that the overseas consultation forums in Asia and Europe were all held after the Notice of AGM was sent out to members. And also given that the Singapore Divisional President used the email addresses of members provided by CPA Australia to send his preferences (all favouring the board) whereas other divisional members were not given that accessibility.

11. When will the board address the obvious failure of the divisions to not only engage with members (as seen by the low participation of just 5% at the AGM) but also their inability to communicate the members views to either the board or the membership as evidenced by their total rejection of the ten members resolutions at the AGM by their acquiescent silence and unwillingness to offer any alternatives? Your focus on the divisions as being the representative voice of the members sounds good in theory but in reality they are a meaningless group with no power or influence except to allow the board to have virtual unchecked power.

12. When will the new board forbid board members from serving on international and other representative accounting bodies and committees to prevent the conflicts of interest and ‘abuse of power’ that has occurred in the recent past?

13. When will the new board provide the members with the details of the bonus payments to the senior management at CPA Australia? In other words why the secrecy about what the management has to achieve to receive their bonuses. This was abused in the past. No more please.

14. When will the board review the life memberships of CPA Australia in light of the shenanigans over the last decade?

15. When will the divisions and branches actually do anything worthwhile for the membership rather than being a stepping stone for promotion to the board or a silent acquiescent group who cannot agree on anything?

Just some questions for the new board and Peter Wilson, and even the new CEO Andrew Hunter following on from the AGM. Good communication is best when it is open and transparent.

Two quick observations for the board to consider

1. Board remuneration. You have not learned the most obvious lesson from the past decade. On the day Alex Malley became President of CPA Australia on 1st October 2007 the Presidents pay (Alex Malley’s i.e.) was increased by 50%. We have seen how over the decade the Presidents remuneration blew out to over $350,000 p.a., and the previously voluntary directors remuneration blew out to $100,000 p.a. When disclosed to the membership they were appalled and all the leadership has been replaced. So what does the new board do at its first opportunity after being elected on 1st October 2018 - it made sure the President received an extra $95,000 on top of the reasonable level set by members and a very large benchmark sample. And of course the board just chimed in agreement as it also meant an extra $20,000 for each of them. Deja vu alarm bells are already ringing.
2. Member engagement and board power. The leadership of the past decade relied upon a disengaged membership to maintain their unchecked power. The new board have copied virtually the same governance system knowing that the members are unengaged so their power remains unchecked. And just to ensure that remained so they opposed the two member resolutions to provide some check on their powers. Those alarm bells are sounding even louder.
For a brief overview to get some context and perspective on what has happened at CPA Australia you can’t go past this below summary from January 2018 which appeared in our pre-eminent national financial newspaper.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... 7bqYjQCWLL

Cheers

Brett Stevenson

BComm MDiv CPA

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