The WIA treasurers have produced a further statement on the fiscal state of the WIA. Despite having spent many hours in the office and online with MYOB the accounting package, they are still unravelling the mess that the Institute has got itself into. On release of the statement only a few members of the Board seemed to understand the seriousness of what the treasurers had written, whilst others thought that proofreading and graphic design of fly sheets for the members was more important. This goes back to points I have made in the past. The current board is a management committee and appears not to have the appetite to actually direct.
Not a great deal of business was transacted at the Board teleconference last Tuesday except that the treasurers report was accepted in full. This makes it certain that there will be changes to the personnel on the Board in the immediate future. So expect some departures. In addition the President admitted that he was wrong in allowing amendments to motions on notice after he finally acceded to a demand for a written legal opinion on the issue. The result of this is that the current resolution to have a general meeting of members to agree to funding an audit and review is null and void.
The Board never got round to discussing this however as it couldn’t proceed beyond trying to make decisions as a result of adoption of the treasurers report and so the meeting was adjourned for a week.
To further show the desperate state of affairs the two treasurers do not recommend a financial audit at this stage as, and I quote “the finances are in such disarray that there is nothing to audit”. What is needed is a clearout of those Board members who are dysfunctional and appointment of new Directors with skill sets that can put the WIA on a sound footing and initiate a systems review of the whole organisation, prior to new elections.
Oh and by the way, despite many members having shown concern with the WIA constitution the delayed report of the constitutional committee has been received and recommends only very minor changes. This is all they could do under the terms of reference they were given apparently. Most states and territories have been developing standardised model constitutions for organisations such as the WIA. We should move to adopt one of these and cease to remain in the dark ages with clauses in our constitution that only are applicable to public companies, which we are not and other clauses that are in contradiction to the corporations act. We need a new constitution as a basis for the structure of the WIA
So where to from here. I am fully aware that the equivalents of the WIA in other countries have had similar problems and that they have been resolved by members taking action. It is my view that this has to be the next step as if the Board cannot resolve the many issues that face the institute then the members must.
You may be aware of the attempts by the WIA Reform Group to call a general meeting of the members and whilst the Board’s resolution to call a general meeting was in force, I thought that calling for another meeting may be an unnecessary duplication but now that a Board sponsored meeting looks unlikely, then I would urge members to consider becoming involved in a process to convene a general meeting. Signing the reform group’s letter so that the members can have a say in the workings and the future of the institute as soon as possible is one option.