Meeting talk:2012 AGM/Candidates/Craig Franklin
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Hi Craig I've noticed that you have yet to post any statement given that its now 18:00 AEDT and elections open tomorrow I have some questions;
As a current member of the committee;
- Why would the proposed employee be based in Brisbane when the association is incorporate in Victoria given that we have legistaltive reporting requirements there?
- There is no actual requirement for us to base staff in Victoria. The employee or employees can be based anywhere, either inside Victoria or elsewhere. In the draft position description that was written, we had an offer on the table from an organisation in Brisbane to supply office space and facilities to us for a token sum. Because getting this effectively for free would result in a considerable saving to the chapter, it was intended at that point to base the person in Brisbane. Since that draft PD was written, circumstances beyond our control and the offering organisation's control has meant that this space is no longer available. As such, the question of where to base the staff member is once again open. This is reflected in my answer to a question from a member of the FDC, that a staff member would be based "possibly in Brisbane, but not necessarily".
- Why was there a need to develop a new COI policy when it was already incorporated into the new rules that were published in April and at a time when the FDC application appears like it should have taken a priority in committee work?
- There is no guarantee that the members of the chapter will vote to take up the new rules. Given the furore over what happened in WMUK concerning Gibraltarpedia, it was prudent to make sure that either way there were clear expectations on COI going forward.
- Why was there delay with FDC application? How does the current board see this as impacting our ability to get funding and our relationship with the Foundation?
- There were a number of other equally important matters that required the attention of the committee at that time, including unresolved grant issues with the Foundation, communication with our auditor, and trying to get to grips with a number of large and complex requests for support. Things were not helped by having one member of the committee absent without notice during that time, and another who consistently declined to take part in any administration work. If there was an extra day in the week we probably could have done better, but given the spike in work to do and the limited resources available to do it, we simply did the best that we could.
- Why was the COI between John and the president of Indonesian chapter not disclosed during the last years AGM vote on WMAU proceeding with the language conference? What steps did you take to ensure that WMAU was not being compromised by its involvement in a situation that has the appearance of a COI? How does this COI impact any ongoing planning for the Indonesian language conference?
- I do not intend to get into the fine details of John's living arrangements and personal life, except to say that the current relationship between John and Siska did not exist at last year's AGM. John has disclosed the relationship to the committee once it became serious (and before it was common knowledge) and reminded us of that potential COI on every occasion where we've discussed the language conference since. On the topic of the language conference, I should add that the budget for the language conference is now significantly less than what was approved last year, and less than half of that budget has actually been spent. I'm now a lot more comfortable with the scope and goals of the conference than I was at this point last year.
- Do you believe that this years committee communicated in a fast and effective manner? What are some examples of the board not responding quickly and effectively this term and how will you address those if elected in the next term?
- In some cases, yes, and in other cases no. As you'll see in my statement, this is one of the main things I would like to see improved going forward. My view is that professionalisation through hiring that first staff member who can act as a communications point during business hours will improve the current situation. I recall that this was also your point of view during the strategic planning process.
- What actions did you take address concerns raised about the inadequacies of last years AGM? What have been the problems so far in this election cycle and do you feel the board prepared adequately for these election?
- Personally speaking, I have gone to a lot more trouble to get the Treasurer's statement prepared and up in advance so that any questions can be asked before the meeting itself. I agree that the AGM last year was a bit of a fiasco and I have kept the concerns you raised with me shortly afterwards in mind so that we do better this year.
- Why given the issues raised about commincation for the AGM has the committee not made arrangements for each city to have a venue available for members to join the AGM more effectively?
- In previous years, it has been the practice for local member communities to make arrangements suitable to their particular requirements to phone in. I am not aware of any requests that have been made for a change to this process, and I don't think that organising meetups centrally would produce a better result than letting the local experts do it. That said if there's any way I can assist on in my personal capacity to make it happen then I'm happy to have a chat with you about that.