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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Brett's Response to IRPanel Preliminary Report

A forum for discussing the IRP reports, both preliminary and final.
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Brett Stevenson
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Brett's Response to IRPanel Preliminary Report

Post by Brett Stevenson » Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:35 pm

Hi Members,

Well how to comment on the 114 pages of the Preliminary Independent Report released this week.
Let me just highlight a few matters and observations.

1. We were right.
The IRP Report confirms that what has been exposed by the members about CPA Australia over the last 6 months was substantially correct. All the opposition, and reasonably forthright denials by the CPA leadership have been shown to be just as hollow as they have been in their leadership.

2. The silence from those who knew better was deafening.
People (members) who should have known better, and were certainly in better positions than most to expose these matters over the last decade were noticeably silent. And who might these people be?
i. Well certainly all the directors at CPA Australia over the last decade can take a bow for being such silent and complying individuals. Special mention needs to go to those of them who were Presidents/Chairpersons (Tyrone Carlin, Jim Dickson, Graeme Wade, Richard Petty, Penny Egan, John Cahill ). To think these are the people who oversee the management and the strategic direction of CPA - asleep at the wheel is the best description I can think of. In my more sane moments I would suggest other less respectable motivators were at play.

ii. I hardly need to mention the scandalously well remunerated CEO (Alex Malley) and his two offsiders (Adam Away and Jeff Hughes) as his COO’s. Disgraceful is perhaps the best descriptor of their leadership.

iii. How about all the extremely well paid middle management at CPA (‘Business Effectiveness Leadership Team’ per the 2016 annual report - lets’ give them a mention for being such obliging and compliant managers in the face of such obvious wrongs - Bowen, Diss, Malady, Laughton, Wood, Dignam, Thomason, Bibby, Chenery, Leung. One can always pass the buck upwards eh, but sometimes a little bit of quiet reflection and consideration of one’s own responsibilities in the midst of this would to go astray. Probably did not see the bullying that went on at Head Office, maybe that occurred on their days off.

iv. I think the problems with CPA go much deeper into the culture of the place, and certainly the leadership at board and senior management level need to take most of the blame for that but really others of the CPA staff and associated persons (such as the Ethics column writer in the CPA magazine In The Black Eve Tsahuridu) probably need to ask themselves why did I not speak up about these matters? or is there anything I could have done in my position to not participate in these wrongs?

v. Clearly many of the Divisional Councillors, especially the Presidents and those who had served for quite a few years, need to take a good hard look at why they were so silent (at best) and compliant by default. I think we all need to take a long look at the schedule I prepared of these people and their deep connectivity with the Malley decade to appreciate that many of these people who should have known better just went along for the ride. This is why Tim Youngberry receives no plaudits from me as he was President of the ACT Division, and now comes out and portray himself as some knight in shining white armour trying to ‘save the day’. Please thats just crap. Total silence from you for years on these matters. And for Simon Chhoeu as NSW Divisional President to now start portraying himself on the CPA Linked In site as being one the people who spoke out against the wrongs and was especially influential in fostering change just makes me cringe. Up until the last few months you were virtually silent Simon, so lets not kid ourselves eh?

vi. How about all the members of the Advisory Committees, the Representative Council and especially the International Committees (which even includes Ian McPhee). Apart from a few notable exceptions there was total silence. I can use hear it now - ‘we didn’t know’.

What was very very obvious in the Independent Review Panel Report was the almost extreme lengths the Panel went to to avoid naming anyone. Just read page 31 and they clearly deal with provisions relating only to Graeme Wade, Richard Petty and Kerry Ryan (extended directors terms) but the names are not mentioned but rather a nice distant ‘a number of directors’.
I think it just fits perfectly into the approach of the IRP which is to avoid any sort of blame game of holding people responsible, but rather to just focus on future changes.
Therein lies my biggest issue with the IRP and their report. They assured us no ‘stone would be left unturned’ but failed to mention that no-one would be held accountable for what they uncovered. Thats a just a facade. It’s what I call a sanitised professional whitewash.

The other noticeable item in this regard is that the IRP went to great lengths to thank the Divisional Presidents (refer v. above). “The Review Panel would like to acknowledge the consultation, engagement and insights offered by the Divisional Presidents, which provided a rich source of input to the Review” (p.11).
Yes, I bet. Hopefully a bit more than the silence that came from them over the last decade. Hopefully insightful gems like ‘there are no remuneration or governance issues at CPA” from the Victorian Div President at the Singapore AGM was not included. Nor the NSW Div Presidents late recasting of himself as one of the outspoken critics when he was completely silent. Or perhaps of the ACT Div Presidents self promotion to the board and the Nominations and Remunerations Committee and position as the great listener when really he has also been silent for years.
But perhaps your glowing endorsement of the Divisional Presidents is reflected in the soft recommendations made and the lack of recommendations to hold anyone accountable. So, perhaps no surprises there.

But what we also noted in this regard was the special mention saved for members such as myself and others who were prepared to speak out on these issues for being ‘disrespectful’ and damaging’. Nothing of the misinformation, and misreporting and lies told by CPA staff and leadership. Of course that is not damaging or disrespectful in the same way is it. Nothing about the lies about the membership growth, or the lack of transparency on things like scandalous remuneration, or the irresponsible and selfish marketing expenditure in the millions being disrespectful or damaging. And of course nothing about the oppression of members by the leadership in doing all they could to prevent these issues being communicated with the wider membership. No, none of that was disrespectful or damaging.
No, what needed to be emphasised was the disrespectful way the ‘rogue’ members spoke about the greed and irresponsible and misguided leadership of CPA Australia, and of the silence of the members and staff who should have spoken up much earlier.
Yes, you really nailed us (me) on that one Ian.
For me, I think you have completely lost the plot with such a statement, and have not understood anything about the way these matters were exposed. We did not receive a million dollar pay packet to conduct a post event independent review., calling for submissions from on high. Or forming an insightful Divisional Presidents Groups to ‘richly garner’ your report.
No, we were in the trenches trying to expose what your report has just confirmed has been happening.
There is no mud up there in the Independent Review Panels air. No, that is where the air is so fresh and perfect and the view is so magnificent. Mud, that’s not for us up here in IRP land, that’s for those journeymen down in the trenches which we don’t want to know about. Those journeymen don’t have a case. We are the ones who have the rich insights (from the Divisional presidents of course) and we dine on million dollar consulting fees while they slave away in the mud and the trenches. I bet they don't even use deodorant.
Did you hear that from the trenches? I’m sure I heard someone say ‘$4.9 million’ and then there was some swearing. Disgraceful, those journeyman have no idea, they don't have the manners we eminent people have up here in IRP land.
Lets go over there into Divisional Presidents Land and see what they are saying. Total silence. Oh well, thats pretty typical eh?



3. Lets now look at the recommendations

This is where the IRP has failed us badly. They know as well as anyone that their recommendations would form the basis of the changes needed at CPA Australia and would effectively be the action plan for the new board.
Some of them are fine, as with many of the findings of the IRP Report, but the elephant in the room with them all is that they do not cover any actions against the people who were responsible for this disastrous chapter in the history of CPA Australia. That is the fundamental weakness of the report and I suggest lays a weak foundation for the CPA’s future.

I mentioned to Ian that there needs to some sense of accountability and responsibility. If not then forget using words like integrity and transparency high ethical standards, and accounting standards. They just become slogans without meaning, and that is what they had become during the last decade at CPA Australia. We can pontificate all we like about our logo having the word integrity emblazoned across it, but it became a term of ridicule in view of the things which have been exposed. We are not an organisation of integrity.
Just take simple little examples like not being able to see the contract for Alex Malley upon which his termination payment of $4.9 million was made. What do you think that says of people like Jim Dickson, or Graeme wade, or Richard Petty or Tim Youngberry, or Sharon Portelli, or Michelle Dolin, as the board who refused access to it, as displaying integrity.
How about spending millions on misguided marketing to self promote Alex Malley and the board with no obvious connection to CPA Australia (and use the money contributed to the South Sydney Rugby League Club or the National Basketball League as prime examples) as displaying integrity?
What about their lack of transparency in relation to remuneration of the board and senior management, and saying that it was ‘complete disclosure and held no secrets’, when the exact opposite was the case when we forced them to fully disclose it. Do you think that reflects great integrity?
What about the lies about the membership growth from the CPA staff? Where is the integrity in that?

So Ian and the rest of the IRP if the people who made these awful decisions and were responsible for some of these matters are not held to account and are called to take responsibility for their actions and decisions, then all we are left with is an empty shell of an organisation with cheap slogans that mean little.

Post WW2 Europe needed the Nuremberg Trials as well as the Marshall Plan. The Essendon AFL Club needed disciplinary action after the drugs scandal before it could restore itself. The Enron era in the USA required not just Sarbanes Oxley but also the CFO/CEO’s responsible to be held accountable, as with the professional advisers such as Arthur Anderson. I think it is fair to say that the post GFC financial world is still showing the same signs of weakness because none of the bankers responsible were held to account.
So, with CPA Australia, these recommendations are intentionally made by the IRP to avoid the very thing they should include i.e. action against those responsible for that has happened.

Lets look at them all together to get a feel for what the IRP has taken the easy path where the air is fresh, the view is magnificent and the mud is never seen. In other words they live in fairyland.

I encourage members to just quickly read through the preliminary recommendations which I have copied below. Lots of good recommendations but ask yourself where in all of these is anyone held accountable or any specific action suggested against those who were responsible?
I’m sure the IRP will see that as respectful, fairyland friendly, a sanitised and positive professional approach which aims to move forward without trying to hold anyone responsible or accountable. I think that is what they have provided.
But is that the right approach given what has been exposed and confirmed in this report. The ‘salesmanlike’ almost arrogant approach of the CPA leadership displayed over the last decade but in particular over the last year suggests that they are ‘laughing all the way to the bank’ and will walk away scot-free.
That is not right.
I’m sure that can be padded out more but those four words pretty much summarise why this IRP Report is a failure on the most fundamental of levels - it is not right.

Governance
The Representative Council’s composition should be reviewed to ensure it is meeting the requirements of independence from the Board and reflecting diversity of CPA Australia’s membership.
CPA Australia maintains Directors’ three year term but reconsider the appropriate number of further terms.
Preliminary recommendation: Change practices to allow the Representative Council to have timely and meaningful consideration of applicants
The Board skills matrix and continuing professional development requirements should be kept under review for continuous improvement
There should be a Review Implementation Committee
CPA Australia should review its approach to issues management
There should be allotted time at meetings of Directors with no management present

Remuneration
The Review Panel recommends a number of changes in Board remuneration to align with member expectations and peer organisations
Set the CEO remuneration to be competitive but comparable to similar organisations
Balance attractiveness and comparability to set KMP remuneration
Disclose individual remuneration to improve transparency to members

Marketing Strategy and Expenditure
Ensure marketing investments align to an appropriately set corporate strategy and are executed accordingly
Maintain marketing activities that differentiate CPA Australia with proper oversight and caution
Ensure CPA Australia’s future brand building activities are centred on CPA Australia and its members
Utilise member engagement mechanisms to actively engage membership in the development of marketing strategies
Consider a review of the organisation structure of marketing related business units to fit within an overall organisational structure

Member Services and Engagement
Empower Divisions and Divisional Councils to better engage with members
Improve member ability to meaningfully engage with CPA Australia’s directions
Periodically review costs of member services and how membership value is reported
Make Annual General Meetings accessible to all members
CPA Australia institute a code for appropriate professional behaviour by members

Strategy and Performance of CPA Advice
Carry out a comprehensive post-implementation evaluation of CPA Advice



4. The elephants in the room that the IRP conveniently ignored

a. Any apologies to the media especially he AFR for the legal threats of the CPA leadership about matters that were shown to be correctly reported.

Clearly the IRP do not see the threats and misrepresentations and misreporting and false denials from the CPA leadership as being on par with the disrespectful communication of the rogue members to the CPA staff and CPA leadership. Somehow I think the IRP have been listening too much to the great CPA salesmen in the CPA leadership, the silent divisional presidents and the CPA staff a wee bit too sympathetically and have lost sight of the real issues and concerns. And who really was in the wrong.
I think there is a saying that has words like ‘shooting the messenger’ which have some relevance here.


b. No apologies from the current board on these matters.

And please do not say Dicksons apology at the Senate Hearing was an apology. It was not. He apologised for the difficult period and if anything he and Wade and Youngberry were almost dogmatic in their assertion that the marketing strategy of CPA Australia so comprehensively detailed and quite excellently critiqued in this IRP Report was spot on.
Ditto regarding governance, remuneration, member engagement and CPA Australia Advice. The IRP Report makes a song and dance about the way Jim Dickson and the current board have made changes but nothing about the fact that they were forced to do so. They have done so reluctantly and screaming all the way. The weight of the evidence of their wrongs was pretty compelling but it wasn’t until they had to fully disclose remuneration, and 7 directors resigned, and then the truth of CPA Australia Advice became known (even though conveniently hidden in the Annual Report using consolidated accepting techniques - very tricky, a real badge of honour for a professional accounting body purporting to set the highest of standards- give me a break), and the gerrymandering of the corporate governance process became evident, that they started to recognise they could not defy gravity any longer.
The IRP see this as the board taking ‘positive steps under the Chairmanship of Jim Dickson’. I think that is compete crap and distorts the reality.
They have opposed, obfuscated, misreported, threatened, prevented members knowing of these things and even lied to fight these matters being exposed.
To suggest that this current board, and past boards also I would suggest, are a beacon of positive change is just gilding the lily.
But of course the IRP just couldn’t help itself from emphasising the need for more respectful member engagement. Forget the CPA leadership and staff communications. That by default was always respectful. It is those naughty rogue members, they were the problem. Get rid of them and CPA can move forward.
You think I exaggerate. Well have a quick read of the first half of page 3. I feel sure the IRP asked Jeff Hughes to write this using his management speak expertise.
But of course I cannot say that. That will get a tut tut from the IRP as being just too disrespectful.
Please save us from the respectful approach of the IRP which ignores the elephant in the room of the CPA leadership behaviour and communication and prefers to have a go at the merely CPA journeymen further down the eminence ranks.


c. What about Alex Malley $4.9 million termination pay.

The IRP Report correctly observed that (p.52) “member responses were, without exception, vocal in condemning the scale of this payment”. So you would think one of the first things they would do would be to have a look at the contract given that Jim Dickson reluctantly admitted at the Senate Hearing that it was a contractual obligation, and then told Ian McPhee that it was contractual employment benefit (see footnote 67 on page 42).
But no, they didn’t. Have a look at page 52. The IRP say that it ‘complied with the letter of the law” (p.52) but that there was ‘minimal documentation of the decision-making process or rationale”, and that the terms of this ‘contractual agreement were not disclosed to the members”, and presumably also not to the IRP.
Why doesn’t the IRP actually say that rather than make it obscure.
Does a contract actually exist to is this just based on the word of the Chairman and ‘minimal documentation’? The questions just keep coming. When was this contract signed? Who signed it? What did the current board members agree to? and on what basis?

This is why we need to take legal acton on this matter both to recoup the money and also to hold these irresponsible directors accountable for their decision to pay it.

The elephant in the room is staring at everyone but the IRP just refuses to even to comment on it. This was the single most obvious breach of trust, as I see it, by the IRP with we as members.
Just look at the beautiful sounding Terms of Reference on page 107 - the IRP “will receive the full co-operation of the Board and the executive”. Well it would seem that is crap. They will receive full access to info and fill co-operation so long as the llght does not shine into any holes that the board or executive do not want investigated. Clearly Alex Malley termination pays one such hole.

Who do you think was on the Nominations and Remuneration Committee in 2013 when Alex Malley and all the other scandalous remunerations were reset?(p.53).
Well let me look up the 2013 Annual Report and I shall tell you
Richard Petty Chairman (4th of his 6 year long reign as Chair of this committee)
Jim Dickson (surprise surprise)
Graeme Wade another surprise surprise
Penny Egan, wow the surprises must keep coming
Kerry Ryan, her 6th year of an 8 year service to this committee.

But of course the IRP did not think it worth highlighting the fact that three of the current board were on this very important committee that reset the scandalous remuneration levels including for Mr Malley.
Little wonder they were not too keen to show any contracts.
This is the one area where the IRP should have recommended legal action. But no. Not to be. Verbal assurances for the Chairman was enough to convince them that this was all legal and bona fide.
I say it stinks and needs to be legally actioned, and we will do all we can with what remains of the fighting fund to pursue this so the new board takes action.


d. What about CPA Australia Advice?

i. I’m still shaking my head in disbelief after reading it again (p.101-106), and also p.47 dealing with the directors remuneration.
Wow, what an exercise in professional obfuscation and avoiding the issues.CPAA Advice board and senior executives and their remuneration were recommended by Alex Malley (p.47) and approved by the CPA Australia board (excluding those who were to sit on the CPAA Advice board” (p.47).
Well let’s name these CPA Board members who believed paying some of their fellow board members an extra $70,000 p.a. (Petty, Carlin, Dolin) and $100,000 p.a. (Wade), along with an extra $250,000 p.a. for Alex Malley and an extra $185,000 p.a. each for A Awty and J Hughes. Remember this is for people who are already on outrageously high remuneration levels, and from a subsidiary which is going to lose lots of money in the early years per the business plan.
Well these are the directors who approved these outrageous payments - David Spong, Jim Dickson (name keeps going up), Richard Alston, Sharon Portelli (still there on the board), Kerry Ryan (lots of experience on the N & R Committee at CPA, 8 years of it), Tim Ebbeck, Deborah Ong and Peter Dowling.
Just ask yourselves why would anyone pass such crazy levels of remuneration to people who were already well remunerated in a subsidiary that will lose lots of money in the early years? I just call this folly on the part of the directors who approved this, and greed on the part of the directors/senior managers who assumed the roles with CPAA Advice.
Did they even consider the question of it putting some of the directors over the constitutional limits of directors fees?And what does the IRP say on this aspect of CPAA Advice - well nothing really other than stating the facts.
No recommendations for follow up action. Just this is what happened and it is not unusual for directors to be paid in subsidiaries etc. And that is the oblique and ‘washing their hands of making any sort of judgement’ on the fact that the payments to the subsidiary effectively enabled them to go over the CPA Australia constitutional limits.
Just pathetic.
I would have thought even Maryjane Crabtree as a litigation lawyer might have at least suggested some action. But no.
This IRP is all into the future restoration of CPAA, they are not concerned with trifles such as past failings and potential breaches of the constitution.

ii. Well what about the business plan and the massive losses at CPA Australia Advice? Surely the IRP would have looked closely at the $47,000 revenue and $7.2 million loss in just 19 months and asked some hard questions. NO.
It was all according to the Business Plan, it was a long term strategy, income is a little down on projections but basically their motives were pure, their overdraft from CPAA of $20 million was guaranteed so what does it matter that almost $1.5 million of that $7.2 million loss was due to payments to the board and three senior executives (Malley, Awty and Hughes).
You read that whole section from p.101-106, and if you were a member of the IRP and had a bit of spare cash it almost reads as if this CAA Advice is a goer, and you should put some money into it.
It’s a dog and they even go on to partially blame the public exposing of this being a dog as the reason for it not meeting its targets.
I find this just mind blowing.
And the IRP want us to take their report seriously.
Even the academics and the senior management at Sydney University recognised that Tyrone Carlin was stretching it a bit at CPA with the Chairmans remuneration plus being a director of CPAA Advice plus holding down his full time job as Deputy Vice Chancellor at the university. But the good old IRP just saw through all that negativity and did not recommend any sort of action against those responsible and just said it needs to be reviewed.
Can you believe the wording of their finding “the business case for establishing CPA Advice articulates a strong rationale” (p.102). Just ask yourself what does that mean? It looks good in theory even though it actually is crap in reality. It’s almost as if they are trying to ‘out-sell’ the CPA leadership on it. Must be catching.

iii. I leave it for others to comment on the way they mishandled the Professional Standards Scheme. Knew the risk but went ahead anyway it seems.


e. What about members directly voting for directors?

No, thats not an option. This was a very detailed section on governance (p. 21-41) with some good recommendations but more just a tinkering with the current system than a major overhaul. There is too much motherhood type language in governance work (it all sounds so beautiful and high-minded) but ultimately you have to look at what is happening.
And what has been happening at CPA Australia is that the system was gerrymandered with an influential small group holding significant power and sway over the whole organisation however nice the theory reads.
To my mind to not deal with the reality and let too much ‘motherhood type language and theory’ hold sway is a recipe for failure. Too much of the 40 pages in this section was chock a block full of this governance verbiage.
Our current governance system is a failure. Here is my two bob’s worth based on what I have seen at CPA and the evident failures
i. Members need somehow to directly vote for directors. This can be done but needs changes to ensure member engagement. Clearly this was not own the IRP’s agenda.
ii. There need to be more checks and balances to prevent any group, whoever they are and however high-minded they might sound, from wielding too much control. That is what happened at CPA Australia. I think the failure of we members in whatever capacity we are was a key reason for that. Hence why with whatever system that is developed member engagement is critical.
iii. I did go through the entire Governance Review Report done in 2006 and my conclusion as I recall now is that it was gamed by a few to foist a corporate style model on a nfp professional membership organisation. I’m not so sure the motives of those who gamed the system were as pure as driven snow (as a matter of fact I would put them almost on the opposite spectrum) but they ‘won the day’. And we now see what has resulted. So whatever is done lets not get too caught up with the governance verbiage and look at the reality. We all read the CPA leaderships defence of the governance at CPAa Australia in their memo’s of 16th March and 31st May, and that was verbiage which tried to legitimise what we all knew was a gerrymandered system. So I would suggest to the IRP, just keep their realistic feet on the ground and not listen too much to the CPA Australia leaderships sales talk on governance.
iv. I thought the most telling part of the failure of governance at CPA Australia was the chart on pages 37 and 38 with the IRP making some suggestions to the current board for immediate changes. The current CPA Boards response just show how pathetic they are. Still protecting their territory and making sure no real change occurs while they are there. I regard the whole six of them with the same level of disrespect as they possibly regard me. Fancy Jim Dickson still wanting to be Chairman of the Representative Council, and to attained meetings even if not to vote. Really how pathetic is that. And how about management preparing the communications strategy for the Representative Council with members. I mean really this makes a mockery of all them.
v. I just loved that last sentence of added extra advice from the IRP in 5.2.6 (p.40) in relation to the Corporations Act change. They obviously are keen to leave any communication with the members centrally controlled by Head Office. It wasn’t a necessary addition but they did add it which in itself was very telling given that CPA really did use the compliance with the law as a tool to prevent member communication.
vi. I still believe we need to pursue possible legal action against some of the directors and senior managers at CPA Australia for they decisions and failures. Oppression of shareholders, breach of duties to name just two.

f. ASIC’s involvement and possible investigations

I would think that the IRP have very conveniently ‘knocked on the head’ any possible ASIC involvement with this report. They have, as I said above, conveniently refrained from suggesting any sorts of legal or other actions against the persons involved in allowing all this to occur. That send s pretty clear message to ASIC doesn’t it.
For that you get no plaudits from me IRP.


g. Sponsorship of the South Sydney Rugby League Team - who was responsible for this?

Well if you look at footnote 117 on page 67 we can say it was the CPA Board of 2016. So let’s list them here to see who was responsible such a stupid decision to waste our money and provide ‘entertainment benefits’ to CPA leadership and staff.
Here they are
Tyrone Carlin - Chairman
Jim Dickson - Deputy Chairman
Deborah Ong- Deputy Chairman
Graeme Wade
Richard Petty
Jennifer Lang
Michele Dolin
Sharon Portelli
Richard Alston
Kerry Ryan
Martin Hourigan


h. How about the National Basketball League (NBL) sponsorship?

Same people as above except Greame Wade would obviously have had no part of the consideration of this deal given that he was also Chairman of the NBL. It was a case of a conflict of interest that was carefully managed. Nudge nudge wink wink sort of stuff. Yes, of course it was a conflict, but I did not get involved and certainly was not there when the board made the decision. No that was done by my wonderful colleagues listed above. Nothing like a cohesive leadership team at CPA Australia eh?


i. Nothing in the report about bullying at CPA

Yes, the IRP were happy to major on the disrespectful rogue members but not a word on the awful cases of bullying at CPA. Well, they are hard to prove, and very difficult for people to speak about but what we heard was enough to say I would never apply for a job there. But of course the main focus of the IRP was on the disrespectful members. I suggest they need to perhaps look a little closer to home.


j. Nothing in the report on the enormous waste on international travel by CPA staff and board members, and no recommendation to have a good forensic accountant go in and give the place a good going over.

What can I say. The IRP have access to so much more information than we yet manage to come up with zilch.
Even Joe Aston and the AFR journalists were able to expose more on this that at least gave the IRP something to work on. But no, nothing to even mention.
Sure.
No recommendation to have a detailed analysis done of the international travel done by the Key Management Personnel, and the Business Effectiveness Team?
No forensic look at the supplier contracts such as with the outsourced education and professional development?


k. Nothing about the appointment of Alex Malley as CEO and the Macquarie University connections/termination.

Again not even worth a mention.


l. No mention of why seven board members including the Chairman resigned over a six week period recently.

I guess that is for us to just assume. One would have thought some interviews with them and some sort of statement by the IRP to see what sorts of lessons can be learned. Or was this down to criticism by the rogue members. Just an obvious elephant that is ignored.


m. No recommendations to perhaps disclose more fully the expenditure of CPA Australia beyond the current four line items?

I thought that was an obvious lesson from the marketing analysis done (which by the way was perhaps the best part of the report). Why should a membership organisation such as CPA Australia not err on the side of giving much more information than is minimally required by the law. To not do so automatically defaults to a what are they covering up mentality. And in the case of the last decade of CPA Australia we were correct to have that mentality because much was covered up.

n. What about the auditor in all of this?

Two members in particular (Andrew North and Greg Angelo) have raised some really serious questions over the standard of the auditors work especially in relation to CPAA Advice and the s202B statement. The auditor (Deloittes) can be as cocky and confident as they like but quite frankly I tend to think Andrew and Greg are right. It would be good for the IRP to at least look at these concerns.

5. Lessons Learned

Let me make a few observations

i. Most public companies that are unlisted (whether limited by guarantee as with CPA Australia or other) need to be closely watched because they do not have the fourth estate watching them normally, nor the share market providing a trading eye. And usually the members (or shareholders) do not trade their membership or shares but are rather too caught up in their own affairs to monitor the company.
Membership organisations and retail groups are two very clear examples of these sorts of public companies.
The danger is when the board and management get just a wee bit too closely aligned, which is a real risk because the directors are usually not ‘professional’ directors and can be easily intimidated by the management or a dominant chairman or leader.
I have come across it twice in my professional career just by accident really with CPA Australia ($180m t/over, and who knows how many millions were squandered), and with a retail buying group called Associated Retailers Limited ($250 million t/over, and close to a $20 million loss to members).
Some of the common denominators to these two, and I’m sure with others, is that the board and management feel aggrieved and offended when their failings/faults are pointed out. And the members are often too busy to really be too concerned.
ASIC is just ASIC and doesn’t really care. It is a big weakness and possibly a vacuum in our corporate sector. No easy answers as there are no rewards or class actions for exposing the problems.
Thankfully we have the fourth estate, and hopefully there are still some individuals in organisations who are prepared to make a stand on principle even if it does cost. Nothing beats the contentment that comes from doing the right thing I reckon, no matter how lowly you are in the pecking order.

ii. Where are the academics in all of this? Some of the main supporters I had in this (usually private for obvious reasons) were academics. And there were a few who were quite outspoken. Somehow one would like to think that they have more freedom to expose and write about these matters. I can think of dozens of excellent PhD studies that would come out of this whole CPA charade. Maybe some of the Business Schools might see this as a catalyst to add a little more ethical grunt into their schools and disciplines because the peddling influence of CPA Australia with its grants and awards leaves a lot to be desired. Thats another area that the IRP did not touch but maybe that it is legitimately outside their purview.

iii. What is the role and function of a professional membership organisation like CPA Australia? Is it to grow larger and build a large capital base (financially and membership wise) or is to develop and strengthen the profession? You may think that a rhetorical question but that seems to me to be the most pertinent one that comes out of all of this. Going on the example of CPA Australia I tend to think they are mutually exclusive and the latter should be the focus. But that is not the answer that most accounting membership organisations around the globe seem to be pursuing at the moment.

iv. How do we prevent our professional and accounting standards from being ‘gamed’ and from losing their integrity. This possibly is tied to the above purpose of the professional organisation and developing the profession itself. But really you would have to say at CPA Australia the leadership have ‘gamed’ the rules of compliance, and minimum disclosure, and consolidation, and even auditing standards, and integrated reporting, and even governance to hide and misreport and obfuscate and basically not show a true and fair view of the condition of CPA Australia. That is a professional problem we have I reckon, and we need a gutsy and strong membership organisation to lead the way. Certainly we need more oomph in our professional development and at affordable prices and locations. The cream puffery and sugar coated crap we have been fed over the last decade needs to stop.

v. How do add a strong ethical framework to our profession to prevent what has happened at CPA Australia without all the normal motherhood statements that sound so good but are practically meaningless usually. I’m sure no silver bullet on that one but I did hear the President of Harvard University say that they need to add more cross disciplinary studies into all their programs to prevent the more silo type treatment of subjects such as in Business Schools then current which enabled these smarty pants accountants and financiers to come up with the sort of shenanigans that allowed the Enron period and the GFC failures. In other words we need a bit of interdisciplinary studies in say the humanities and sciences to balance out often purely financial focus. Makes a lot of sense to me. But whatever the answer is we sure could do with a bit more ethical grunt at CPA Australia.

vi. How do you foster member engagement in an organisation like CPA Australia?
To be honest I have never been involved at a ‘political ‘ level in CPAA, nor have any desire to, but I certainly am concerned as an individual about the standard of my profession and my organisation. I did my professional training through the Institute but went with CPA because I had a boss who had enormous integrity, was a good accountant and was a big CPA fan. I’ve been in and out of the profession in terms of career path so I am perhaps untypical but I think I would be typical in wanting to take pride in the CPA designation because it represented something of value professionally. There is no doubt that the CPA designation has been denigrated enormously over this last decade but the question remains how does our organisation foster member engagement to prevent this sort of crap from happening again?
I’m afraid I shall have to leave this long response there with that question hanging in the wind.


6. Where to from here?

Well there is still about $23,000 in the fighting fund so I am suggesting we consider a number of strategies at this stage. The IRP Report will be the action plan for the new board I daresay. We still are unsure about the new board so its a matter of waiting.

These are the actions I am considering and am discussing with other members so let me know your thoughts

a. Getting legal advice to at least see how strong a case we could have regarding pursuing the $4.9 million termination payment to Alex Malley (both in terms of A Malley and the board that approved it), and also the over the constitutional directors fees payments in relation to CPAA Advice. Clearly we cannot afford to actually take the legal action but we can certainly get enough of an opinion to make sure the new board do so. CPA have plenty of money to pursue legal action and we should do it if there is a strong case. It would seem the IRP are not going to move this way so we need to continue to push for the action.

b. Force an EGM on basis of a resolution to strip Alex Malley of his life membership (and too my way of thinking also Richard Petty, Graeme Wade, Penny Egan and John Cahill). That is possibly more for the Spill Motion group as they have over 4,000 members in their list.

c. Develop a brochure to be handed out at the coming Congresses to members highlighting the above two issues to try to alert and engage with the members on these important matters. To me we really do need to take some affirmative action against some of the people who are responsible for what has happened at CPA, and which the IRP Report has detailed pretty well. Their failing is that they are just weak on the recommendations.

From a personal perspective this has been a long haul, and I was happy to commit to end of September, and depending upon events may go a wee bit over. But really now is the time for the corrective action. I was pretty optimistic that the IRP Report might be the catalyst but as you can see from what I have written above it was pretty disappointing. So the next catalyst will be the new board but I am not quite as optimistic with it either given the involvement of the current board (especially Tim Youngberry and Jim Dickson on the Nominations and Remuneration Committee) and the lack of a call for a full governance review by the IRP so that members can directly vote for directors in the future. That sounds to me like a recipe for a pretty weak organisation.

But you never know so any suggestions for possible strategic actions let me know. Remember in all of this we have really only had the ability to huff, puff and shame them with the truth, and that we were closer to the angels than they were (in other words we were more right than they), plus we have had some pretty darn good media journalists who saw the issues more clearly than we as members often did. So we have achieved quite a deal.
Thank you to everyone who has contributed in whatever way you could, be it with your own analyses and emails, your financial contributions to the fighting fund, your website comments. or just your words of support to those of us who were able to be a bit more outspoken.
The Naked Webmaster needs a special note of thanks because he (or is he a she?) really pulled it all together with the website.

Well if you are one of the few who made it to this far and are reading this sentence. Well done. You deserve a medal.

Cheers

Brett



Brett Stevenson CPA BComm MDiv
bstevenson100@gmail.com

theallseeingeye
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Re: Brett's Response to IRPanel Preliminary Report

Post by theallseeingeye » Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:54 pm

Well played Brett.

Hard to fault anything you've said here. I was reading books about Enron and also the sub-prime mortgage market implosion earlier this year and yes, a lot of those responsible did not face justice or censure. Particularly bankers - and also accountants. Then again, Enron killed Andersons as an accounting firm, and some execs faced prosecution . And one blew his brains out in shame.

So we members do need to keep pushing for some transparency and accountability here, right now, probably through an EGM, because I am really not sure who else is incented, and legally able, to act. ASIC and AICD seem unlikely to take a stand. There is an argument , I suppose, that a properly constituted new Board , one that places member interests first, has a right to delve into past records forensically and bring civil or criminal proceedings if appropriate.The denial and lack of disclosure seen to date suggests to me there is more dirty laundry to be aired. I really don't care if it's all settled out of court, but we members need to be clear on what had happened at CPA so , at the very least, checks and controls can be put in place to stop it happening again.

Alternatively, if the 2018 Board chooses to act like the IRP has, and focus on the future and "let bygones be bygones", then I am done as a CPA member. If I cannot rely on my professional association to stand up for our best interests, for transparency, for the best use of our money, and to aid our personal development as professionals, then all the best intentions for the future are meaningless to me because we will need another Brett in a decade or so from now.

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Re: Brett's Response to IRPanel Preliminary Report

Post by incitem3 » Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:36 am

Brett, I am impressed with your energy and ability to digest a large report so quickly and call the review panel out on their whitewashed comments.

I would like to add that I think the review is what I thought it was at the beginning, a strategy by the Board to defend their actions and avoid accountability. It is obvious now that the IRP was a tactic to cover up most of the real problems at CPAA. I think that members of the review panel have conflicts of interests perhaps hidden and some not, to arrive at the whitewash conclusions that they have written in this report.
I do not think that the review panel members are stupid people but just drinking from the same coolaid jug as the board members.

My opinion at this point is to go ahead with the spill of the board and revision of the constitution through a derivation action under the corporate act. I think that the funds in the fighting fund should be used to hire a lawyer to draft the petition to be filed with the court. If the court approves the action we can use the CPAA resources and funds to file law suits against the board members and senior managers who have basically conducted unjust enrichment over the last decade. This should include trying to get the $4.9m back from Mr Malley and excess payments for board members from CPA advice. Maybe we can also sue the IRP members to try and recover some of the million dollar fees they have been paid for such a biased review and report they have farted out in support of their friends on the board.

Shame on you Mr McPee, you should be better than this, I am sure that you understand the problems here, and you chose to ignore and help cover up the crap that needs to be addressed for CPAA to move forward as an accounting body member organisation. Shame on the rest of you review panel members also.

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Re: Brett's Response to IRPanel Preliminary Report

Post by Brett Stevenson » Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:52 am

I think allseeingeye that it is the new CPA Board which needs to take action, and they certainly have the power, the right and the resources to do so.
As you can imagine the current board will be fighting hard to prevent that, given that most of them, and three in particular (Wade, Petty and Dickson) would more than likely be the subject of those legal actions.
But we need to always remember that the boards responsibility is to the company CPA Australia, and where the company has been damaged or poorly overseen then appropriate action needs to be taken. If that involves legal action so be it.
If a closer forensic investigation into the other maters at CPA Head Office then it is the Boards duty to do that.
We, as members have very limited rights (and even the normal ones assumed such as voting directly for the board have been taken from us, and things like approving remuneration to KMP as with listed public companies does not aply as we are a public company limited by guarantee) so we really do need the board to be proactive in these areas.
The courts (and legislation for that matter) are pretty clear in saying that it is the board that really wields the power to oversee the company. Whenever these matters hit the courts (which we know is pretty rare because of the cost involved) the directors are usually given a hammering for not doing their jobs properly. But, as with CPA Australia, the current board wll just presume no-one will take action against them so they will be okay.
Well I say NO. That is where it is wrong, and we of all organisations (because of our purportedly public profile and professional standing) need to make a very strong stand against such behaviour. It is not a matter of seeking revenge or anything. It is a question of doing the right thing and ensuring high standards are not just professed but also implemented.
To be brutally frank if some of the directors and officers of CPA Australia are able to get away with some of the things that have been clearly exposed no matter what positive changes are recommended by the IRP, with no action or redress against them then I think CPA is kaput.
It is bad enough that some of the people closely involved in these matters still wield power and influence at CPA (at both board and management level - I mean for Jim Dickson to defend the current CEO Adam Awty as he did at the Senate Hearing just makes a mockery of us) but to think that there will be no follow up action to not expose buy-t also redress the people involved defies all sense of justice and integrity in my view.
It is worth keeping in mind that the bigger perspective in all of this is more clearly seen by outsiders such as the AFR journalists and the leaders of public companies. Just look the way Edmund Tadros in particular has had to almost drag out the remuneration of the CEO's of the organisations which purport to be 'gatekeepers' and professional representatives in the marketplace (AICD, BCA, CAANZ, IPA etc). They have been the most reluctant and non-transparent screamers yet they stand up as being the standard-bearers and standard-setters for the marketplace.
This is where I think Ia McPhee and the IRP just don't get it.
If CPA is going to have a future then they need to make sure the people responsible for the things that have been exposed are held to account, and not be able to walk away scot-free. And as is now the case they still wield power and influence over the selection of the new board, over what they disclose to the IRP, and (as was the case with Alex Malley's response to the report, and as the rump of the board did at the Senate Hearing) arrogantly proclaim that what they did was fine and very successful.

Clogs
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Re: Brett's Response to IRPanel Preliminary Report

Post by Clogs » Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:36 pm

Well said Brett. I think the ultimate result of this whitewash is an exodus of members come 31 December. Unfortunately too many members suffer from apathy and haven taken little interest in the problems at CPAA.

Ironically the "disrespectful" behaviour of members mentioned by the IRP, was brought to my attention, thorugh a rather "disrespectful" e-mail I received from CPA talking about "rogue members" trying to discredit CPA Australia. The tone and wordig of this e-mail set alarm bells ringing. Up until that day I had been blissfully unaware of the issues with CPAA (yes I suffered from apathy as well). Being a WA country accountant I was so disassociated from CPA Australia that even though I had been dissatisfied with CPAA for a long time, I had no idea who to contact or what to do about it. This e-mail led to me doing a google search on the CPAA problem topic and brought me to AFR and ABC articles and to this website!

I would like to thank Brett for fighting the good fight and being such a wonderful advocate for change within CPAA. There is still a long way to go but there are some wins, resignation of a large part of the board and more to follow, resignation of Alex Malley, no more money wasted on a very ineffective marketing strategy and most importantly a part of the membership has become more actively involved in their organisstion andlastly CPAA Board and Management have now been put on notice that management decisions are now more closely examined!

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Re: Brett's Response to IRPanel Preliminary Report

Post by Ken Crout » Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:21 pm

Hey Brett! An excellent response to the IRP report . . . but please give credit where it is due . . . at least this time Ian McPhee managed to restrain himself from gibbering enthusiastically about Alex Malley driving his "bright orange Datsun" up that steep, winding road to leadership greatness. McPhee's endorsement of Malley's ridiculous book should have been enough to preclude him from producing this so-called independent review.

Can we all pause for a while and contemplate the self-serving drivel served up in "THE NAKED CEO"! That puerile title alone should have rung warning bells, but perhaps CPAs were too busy just earning an honest living to notice what now seems excruciatingly obvious to the world at large.

Anyhow, simple justice demands that The Naked Drongo and his cronies are all dragged into court and made to answer for using CPA Australia as their own personal cash cow. A $4.9 million termination payment? You would not believe this stuff if it appeared in a Hollywood movie!
Cheers,
Ken ex FCPA, current OAP
Last edited by Ken Crout on Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mael Colium
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Re: Brett's Response to IRPanel Preliminary Report

Post by Mael Colium » Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:57 pm

Yes, a very thorough analysis of the failure of the review. It's astounding that McPhee is chairing that panel when he was involved in the place - hardly independent even to a causal observer. I'm not sure that ASIC or AAPRA will be mollified though, even if McPhee was a former AG - consider the outrage at Lionel Murphy who was thought to be untouchable. If the AFR stay with the story the dogs will start barking - unless the editors have been told to ignore it.

I tend to agree that the only course of action is legal. The remaining cash would be best spent engaging discussions for the legal people who run class actions because there are at least almost 4000 potential litigants (members signed up to roll the Board) and if it burns the house down then so be it. There seems to be such a strong case that a "no win no fee" arrangement has potential. Multiple lawsuits against individuals and the Boards would be the way to go so that they are all made bankrupt - they are criminals!

I share the outrage at the current state of play to let these financial criminals off, as happened with the banks in the GFC. They have affected the well being and lives of many and should be held to account. Because legal action would shake the foundations and public confidence in these membership organisations is no excuse - you never hear that the catholic church should be let off for their priests messing children as an example.

Mael Colium FCPA

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Re: Brett's Response to IRPanel Preliminary Report

Post by nakedadmin » Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:05 pm

Ian McPhee pulled his punches that is for sure. He made it look good but he pulled his punches.
The Naked Webmaster

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Brett Stevenson
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Re: Brett's Response to IRPanel Preliminary Report

Post by Brett Stevenson » Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:09 pm

Exactly Naked Webmaster.
And the critical question to ask is Why?
I would like to think better of the Panel, but really why "they pulled their punches" when they were in a position to access so much more than we, does not have a good look.
Methinks the current board (in particular Wade, Petty, Dickson and the knight in shining armour Youngberry who clearly failed to listen while on his listening tour - a pretty basic mistake I would suggest Tim. A wee bit like trying to say something but not opening your mouth. That's a joke by the way. Go and ask some of your fellow divisional Presidents they can explain it to you), the current CPA senior and middle management (Awty, Hughes and co), and those wonderfully silent divisional Presidents (oh yes, what sterling warriors they have been over the years to stand up against these wrongs. I think they should get the Award of "Retreat and Regather Until the Coast is Clear and the Battle has Been Fought and Won". A bit long I know but it was suggested by one of the CPA Members in Vladivostok after he recovered from the recent CPA Awards Night there. I'm blowed if I now why the Siberians get such a bad wrap, they're a great bunch with vivid imaginations) were given too much credence and time with the IRP.
The question the IRP need to ask (and answer) is why would these people not want us to be upfront and as transparent as possible?
C'mon Ian, and Maryjane, and Su, and Bob - you are smarter than that. We all know that's a rhetorical question.
But do you?
This is your big chance to come clean and not be unduly influenced by those who have no right to do so.

JWheldon
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Re: Brett's Response to IRPanel Preliminary Report

Post by JWheldon » Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:34 pm

There is a need to improve the following;

(1) Financial reports and disclosure need massive improvement

IRP has agreed with, what all the members of CPA Australia have been saying for years. This just shows the problem with the Australian Accounting Standards Board and the standards which are ineffective for the not-for profit sector eg AASB 124 Related Party Disclosure. There are also short comings with requirements under the Corporation Law for this sector. Even Alex Malley highlighted that the Accounting Standards are too general and not appropriate for the Not-For Profit Sector. So CPA Australia has know about this problem for years, but generally did very little, if not anything. Lets not forget what happens to a lot of the past presidents of CPA, they all get jobs on these accounting bodies, but little effective change is seen.

The disclosure by the auditor concerning "True and Fair" set of accounts needs reviewing. Issues have been raised, and ASIC needs to review this area and improve what they mean by "True and Fair", as there are massive difference of opinion. The auditor needs to disclose, how they determined the accounts are "True and Fair", given the members have raised so many problems and issues.

The type of audit being undertaken, needs to be reviewed, as the old type of audit being undertaken has failed the community and the not-for profit industry. Lets take the problems with the Health Service Union, Craig Thompson, Kathy Jackson and Michael Williamson, and the NSW RSL and probably many others. There is no accountability by the auditor at the AGM to the members and therefore the relevance of the type of services obtained, needs to be reviewed.

(2) AGM of CPA Australia

The board have done little, in conjunction with its so called wonder boy, Alex Malley to improve the attendance at the AGM. This should have been a massive reduction in Alex's and his teams so called KPI returns. Even Jeff Hughes the COO of Membership has failed in this area. Again, maybe this is what they really wanted, a poor turn out at the AGM. The AGM should be a avenue for answers to questions, given it is about financial accounts and the organisation is about accounting. There should not be a limit on the questions that a member can ask, given the extremely poor turn out of the membership in the past.

The State Presidents should also ask questions at the AGM and not just turn up for the dinner after the AGM or to make the numbers.

The auditor needs to make a presentation to the members as to why the accounts are "True and Fair" and what issues she/he sees with the audit, and not just get paid the half a million dollars to produce a standard letter and standard reply report. The auditor general always reviews the issues and makes a point to comment on concerns raised during the audit. All members needs to have some type of check and balances in the system, and not just one which reports back to the board, so that the board can just sit on the report and do nothing. The auditors are generally there to provide confidence in the organisation and not to create a lot of serious questions about the auditor and the audit process, as is currently happening with this current auditor.

Internet technology should be used to enable more members to ask questions, and view the AGM. Over the last ten years, with the massive improvements in technology, the board did nothing to use the technology to enable interstate and international members to take part, and take ownership in the AGM. They just used the funds to spend on their so called marketing, because its was what they have always done, because no one questioned it. Not really great management from the board in the last ten years, and not great forward thinking.

The membership should have the opportunity via the proxy to vote for or against a resolution put to them by the board, and not just enable the board to use the proxy, as they wish.

The AGM, needs to be more then just a review of the accounts, but also an opportunity to combine the presentations to young members and senior retiring members, and other events so the membership can put a face to the board and management team. The AGM should be seen by the management team and board members as a Grand Final day, and celebrated, and not just seen a necessary compliance problem. The younger members don't get involved, because they don't know what to expect, nor feel comfortable in going. Well, if they are encouraged and supported, to attend and ask questions, then maybe more young members would take part. Maybe Jeff can get out of his office and go and ask young members and see what can be done to the AGM to get them to attend. Jeff Hughes has be in his position for over ten years, and seems to have run out of ideas.

(3) The State Presidents need to take back ownership on behalf of their membership

The State Presidents and State Vice-Presidents, need to take ownership of their jobs and get involved to seek answers and then report back to the membership and stop letting Peter Docherty the over paid General Manager, get his face here there everywhere. They have for ten years let Alex Malley and his management team, provide them with lots of pictures, but not much on actual accounting information. They have the ability, unlike the general membership, to get a look at the detailed financial accounts and then in conjunction with all the other state presidents take action, if required. They need to stop letting 12 individuals (the board) and a bad management team provide them with rubbish answers. The State Presidents need to come together and have a regular meeting to go through issues and the state of the financial accounts, then act as the representatives of the general membership which they have not done for years.

(4) The international Presidents and branches need to take back the accounts and allocation of funds.

The International Presidents and branches need to take back control from Head Office Melbourne, which is just collecting their membership funds and wasting it. They need appropriate accounts and information which they can then submit to their local members at a local AGM. Their membership funds should not be wasted, towards improving the CEO personal TV career.

(5) The Public Practice Committees, and the other Committees to take more responsibility.

How can the Public Practice Committee, not get information about the limited liability scheme and then take appropriate action? They need to get information and make the management team and Peter Docherty provide them with answers about how the membership funds are being spent in their department.


The general membership, don't get paid thousands of dollars to do a job and come up with ideas, and therefore Jeff Hughes and Adam Awty has lots of questions to answer as what they have been doing over the last ten years to get the membership involved. and what has been happening with the membership funds. We all know they have been working hard to spend the money on Alex Malley and his pet projects and using membership funds to open branches in Vietnam and encourage sales teams to sign up as many members as possible so they can increase their KPI. It sounds like a network marketing business and not a Not-For Profit Accounting organisation.

Again, the last ten years have been a big waste of membership money, and a huge lost opportunity.

Magnet
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Re: Brett's Response to IRPanel Preliminary Report

Post by Magnet » Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:12 am

We need to push on for that EGM. If we don't spill the board then I don't think anything will change.

2000 more signatures needed.

Can we engage the help of the good guys at the AFR to place ads in the paper?

Can we invest more money into the online advertising via facebook/linkedin etc?

Can we ask CPA again nicely for the email addresses of members? :lol:

Or would any of those state/divisional presidents or members now like to jump off the sinking ship and switch sides? We could really use their help to push for those final signatures on the petition!!

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The Nude CPA
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Re: Brett's Response to IRPanel Preliminary Report

Post by The Nude CPA » Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:18 pm

Mael Colium wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:57 pm
I tend to agree that the only course of action is legal. The remaining cash would be best spent engaging discussions for the legal people who run class actions because there are at least almost 4000 potential litigants (members signed up to roll the Board) and if it burns the house down then so be it. There seems to be such a strong case that a "no win no fee" arrangement has potential. Multiple lawsuits against individuals and the Boards would be the way to go so that they are all made bankrupt - they are criminals!

I share the outrage at the current state of play to let these financial criminals off, as happened with the banks in the GFC. They have affected the well being and lives of many and should be held to account. Because legal action would shake the foundations and public confidence in these membership organisations is no excuse - you never hear that the catholic church should be let off for their priests messing children as an example.
Agreed.

Can't see myself remaining part of CPA Australia if those responsible are not held to account one way or another.

chuck_meister
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Re: Brett's Response to IRPanel Preliminary Report

Post by chuck_meister » Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:57 pm

Magnet wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:12 am
We need to push on for that EGM. If we don't spill the board then I don't think anything will change.

2000 more signatures needed.

Can we engage the help of the good guys at the AFR to place ads in the paper?

Can we invest more money into the online advertising via facebook/linkedin etc?

Can we ask CPA again nicely for the email addresses of members? :lol:

Or would any of those state/divisional presidents or members now like to jump off the sinking ship and switch sides? We could really use their help to push for those final signatures on the petition!!
Totally Agree to push for the final 2,000 signatures.

As Brett has very eloquently summarised, the preliminary IRP report it does not go anywhere near far enough on addressing issues of accountability. Although the IRP is asking for further feedback I can't imagine them changing the substance much for the final report. At the moment we also don't know the intentions of the short listed Directors and what they stand for.

What I would really like to see if a short manifesto similar to what you see in council elections. It needs to address their position on:

1. Reforming the constitution for direct election of the board by members, remuneration, term limits, auditor rotation
2. Legal action to hold the former board, executives and auditors accountable for their mismanagement/oppression of members/duty of care/negligence etc.
3. Transparency of financial reporting (ie the four line issue), membership reporting
4. Marketing spend, status quo (less Malley items) vs priority funding for local divisional events/training etc.
5. CPA Advice, close it vs wasting more $ keeping on life support.

Though I guess we can contact them when we become aware of who they are. If the answers are less then satisfactory, trigger the EGM.

Magnet
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Re: Brett's Response to IRPanel Preliminary Report

Post by Magnet » Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:50 pm

Brett Stevenson wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:35 pm


a resolution to strip Alex Malley of his life membership(and too my way of thinking also Richard Petty, Graeme Wade, Penny Egan and John Cahill)
This would be a massive win for all CPA members.

coomberd
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Re: Brett's Response to IRPanel Preliminary Report

Post by coomberd » Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:14 am

Thank you Brett for your extraordinary dedication in uncovering this Whitewash. My two letters to Jim Dickson asking specific questions on 07/06/2017 and 23/06/2017 were followed up with only an email response dated 04/07/2017 apologizing for the delay in replying. It only referred to the review announcement and would "take on board my suggestions". All very satisfying! Unless there is substantial change, I shall be seeking and organisation that represents me. I am with the 4000!

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Re: Brett's Response to IRPanel Preliminary Report

Post by R2D2 » Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:58 pm

I think you can just stop paying the annual membership for a few years and re-join later (looks like the fine is about 2 years fees). The new directors should be asking themselves why members would want to keep tipping in their membership fees.

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