Author Topic: Application for BCA Secretary  (Read 17121 times)

Offline Badlad

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #275 on: April 30, 2019, 11:07:09 am »
You can vote as an individual and as your elected club or group rep.

Offline Robert Scott

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #276 on: May 05, 2019, 10:18:42 pm »
........................

Robin is absolutely correct; the BCA Manual of Operations does say that the webmaster is appointed by the P&I Committee at the first Council meeting after the AGM. Note that the Manual of Operations is a very different document to the constitution.

BCA Constitution: http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/doku.php?id=about:documents:bca_constitution
BCA Manual of Operations: http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki2/doku.php

...........................
[/quote]

Hello Matt,
I clicked on the link to the BCA Manual of Operations and got to a "BCRA" page which showed

Welcome
Welcome to the BCA Manual of Operations. (For the BCRA Manual of Ops, click here).

This is a working document detailing BCA's standard operating procedures. Please feel free to browse.

Minor amendments, to keep the document up to date, should be made regularly.

More substantive changes that affect how BCA runs, must gain approval of BCA Council, and subsequently the AGM, before being made. If you are in any doubt as to the type of change you wish to make, please contact the Secretary BEFORE making the change.

However there seemed to be no link to the Manual of Operations, so I've still no idea what the BCA Manual of Operations looks like and how the BCA thinks it should operate.

HELP!

Offline andrewmc

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #277 on: May 05, 2019, 10:31:22 pm »
That is the only version of the BCA Manual of Operations I know of; you have to use the links in the left-hand navigation pane (it's all a bit 90s).

Of course, the AGM is only bound by the Constitution. If the AGM voted that the webmaster should be a certain person, it might not be clear whether or not it would be a binding vote but it would certainly reflect the will of the AGM and it would be most unusual for Council to ignore the will of the AGM and, by proxy, the membership...

Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #278 on: May 05, 2019, 10:46:49 pm »
my thought was to propose an amendment to replace the word "appoints" in the motion:

"That the AGM appoints Gary Douthwaite as the BCA webmaster, with immediate effect, and with a mandate to redevelop the website including, but not limited to BCA online and communications systems, and that Gary is provided with the necessary accesses and mandates as outlined in Appendix 7 to fulfil this role.”

with "instructs BCA Council to appoint".
 

Offline Madness

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #279 on: May 06, 2019, 07:42:51 am »
Does it really matter what it says in the 'Manual of operations'?
It very much sounds like it's an incomplete/work in progress document that very few of the membership are aware of and I doubt that it has been formally accepted at a previous AGM - perhaps someone can clarify this?

It should not be allowed to be used to scupper any proposals put forward to an AGM. In my mind a vote at the AGM would be able to over rule anything that isn't written into the constitution.

Offline nearlywhite

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #280 on: May 06, 2019, 09:21:05 am »
Surely it doesn't matter either way as the P&I committee only suggest someone for ratification by council. Therefore if the committee suggests anything else it can be overturned by council.

Given the P&I committee hasn't existed in any meaningful way for a while, and the appointments made in that following council meeting it's pretty evident no one's really following the MoO anyway.

Last year things seemed to just tick over:
P&I Committee:
Newsletter Editor: Dave Rose
Webmaster: David Cooke
P&I: Jane Allen
Web Services: It was felt more appropriate that this came under Commercial Services, and should be
under the IT working party, with DC continuing in role.
Rope Testing Office: In absence, Bob Mehew continued with role


The year before...

(c) Committee Appointments
1. L&I Committee: Child Protection
BM agreed to act as Child Protection Officer. TR proposed. RW seconded.
2. P&I Committee: Newsletter Editor, Webmaster, Web Services
Newsletter Editor: RW stated that he would do next one but then was
standing down. LW emphasised this was an important function. He asked
that suggestions be given to him. RW volunteered to provide information
on the role. Webmaster DC as acting; will see if can find someone.
Web services. DC standing. LW proposed. TA seconded.
3. E&T Committee: Rope‐Testing
BM standing. RW proposed. LW seconded.
The proposals were accepted without comment.


And the year before that...

Committee Appointments
NB: The Act involves both children and vulnerable persons. Maybe we should have an alternative title for the post of
Child-Protection Officer?
BM: Not wishing to do the job full time, but happy to hold the post temporarily until a replacement can be found.
Proposal: That the following Committee Appointments be ratified by Council:
i. Acting Child Protection Officer Bob Mehew
ii. Newsletter Robin Weare
iii. Webmaster David Cooke
iv. Web Services David Cooke
v. Rope-Tester Bob Mehew
vi. Insurance Manager Nick Williams
vii. CRoW-Liaison Officer Tim Allen
Prop: LW Sec: TR agreed unanimously
LW: What about website content? We used to have a Handbook Editor but the role switched to updating the website
instead. Do we now need a replacement for DW as Handbook Editor?
DW: Had seen it as the role of the Secretary, but maybe there should be a person responsible for ‘Information’?


This is clearly just being done by council with the incumbents in the room staying put. The draft minutes of the April council meeting indicate that the P&I have now met but haven't proposed anyone yet.

So I wouldn't worry Madness, the AGM will take primacy


Offline damian

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #281 on: May 06, 2019, 12:39:00 pm »
Does it really matter what it says in the 'Manual of operations'?
It very much sounds like it's an incomplete/work in progress document that very few of the membership are aware of and I doubt that it has been formally accepted at a previous AGM - perhaps someone can clarify this?
It has. I drafted it (quite a few years ago now), it was debated and improved by Council over the course of the following year and approved by the subsequent AGM.

Offline Madness

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #282 on: May 06, 2019, 04:06:33 pm »
Does it really matter what it says in the 'Manual of operations'?
It very much sounds like it's an incomplete/work in progress document that very few of the membership are aware of and I doubt that it has been formally accepted at a previous AGM - perhaps someone can clarify this?
It has. I drafted it (quite a few years ago now), it was debated and improved by Council over the course of the following year and approved by the subsequent AGM.

Thanks for the clarification Damian.

Personally, I'm not a big fan of Standard Operating Procedures/Manuals of Operations/whatever you choose to call them. In my experience they lead to inflexibility, inefficiency and can be used to prevent continual improvement. There's more than one way to skin a cat after all.

Offline Canary

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #283 on: May 06, 2019, 07:06:32 pm »
A standard way of operating is ALWAYS needed, as it means everyone is treated in a similar and open way, when dealing with the BCA.

If the BCA council did not have this, it would lose the faith of its members and other organisations.


Additionally it should prevent BCA from carrying out acts that may harm the organisation in the long run (if written well).

Offline NewStuff

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #284 on: May 06, 2019, 07:10:25 pm »
A standard way of operating is ALWAYS needed, as it means everyone is treated in a similar and open way, when dealing with the BCA.

By the same token, writing such a thing would likely mean infexibility and people using it as a tool to prevent others from doing (insert activity here). There needs to be a common ground decided upon by common sense.
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Offline mikem

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #285 on: May 06, 2019, 07:23:41 pm »
& if you don't have them then unpopular jobs don't get done at all, it works both ways...

Mike

Offline Canary

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #286 on: May 06, 2019, 07:55:58 pm »
As my ability to give a f**k about any motion at the BCA agm is rapidly decreasing i will say this once.

Any democratic organisation needs checks and balances in place at both the electoral level and within its governance.

Just because a decision doesn't go your way or its hard to make progress doesn't mean the entire system needs to be scrapped. Yes the electoral system could do with some refining but it was designed when membership numbers were lower and i suspect, has protections to stop acts such as carpet bagging built in (i.e. the club vote). This does not mean that procedure should be ignored.

End Rant

Offline Canary

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #287 on: May 06, 2019, 09:48:51 pm »
Rant Addendum:

To elaborate, the second house/club vote is designed to prevent a club or other group bussing out its full membership to the AGM unannounced. This would give unfair advantage to the club as they could propose and win every vote, giving significant control over the BCA.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2019, 09:57:19 pm by Canary »

Offline 2xw

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #288 on: May 06, 2019, 10:08:34 pm »
Rant Addendum:

To elaborate, the second house/club vote is designed to prevent a club or other group bussing out its full membership to the AGM unannounced. This would give unfair advantage to the club as they could propose and win every vote, giving significant control over the BCA.

This can happen WITH the the two house system. And it will be dispelled with electronic voting.

Offline Canary

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #289 on: May 07, 2019, 07:18:04 am »
I don't see how replacing one voting system with flaws that can be fixed (i.e. the BCA's poor definition of a club) with another that has structural problems is in any way an improvement.

The obvious problem with online voting is that every single BCA member has to trust the one person running the webserver is competent, unbiased and has integrity. Online voting is a black box that someone pulls numbers out of, unlike voting by ballot or by raise of hands there is no easy way to check the results (without going through millions of lines of machine code). Even simple mistakes such could bias the vote.

Although the obvious choice for developing and carrying out the vote system has expertise and integrity beyond reproach, his successor may not. This is exactly the reason why the British mountaineering council uses a third party to carryout its voting, even this does not fully address the problems.

As it is painfully obvious that trust is limited with regards to the BCA at the moment, i don't see how using a voting system that cannot be verified by members is in anyway an improvement.

Offline 2xw

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #290 on: May 07, 2019, 07:36:07 am »
I don't see how replacing one voting system with flaws that can be fixed (i.e. the BCA's poor definition of a club) with another that has structural problems is in any way an improvement.

The obvious problem with online voting is that every single BCA member has to trust the one person running the webserver is competent, unbiased and has integrity. Online voting is a black box that someone pulls numbers out of, unlike voting by ballot or by raise of hands there is no easy way to check the results (without going through millions of lines of machine code). Even simple mistakes such could bias the vote.

Although the obvious choice for developing and carrying out the vote system has expertise and integrity beyond reproach, his successor may not. This is exactly the reason why the British mountaineering council uses a third party to carryout its voting, even this does not fully address the problems.

As it is painfully obvious that trust is limited with regards to the BCA at the moment, i don't see how using a voting system that cannot be verified by members is in anyway an improvement.

My report uses third party voting system (the same one as the BMC). Actually pretty cheap.

Even if one is made in house (cheaper), it's remarkably simple (millions of line of code? For what?) Somewhat easily checked over by the other BCA IT folks (it should never be just one person) - and the same problems are inherent to the paper postal ballot and the current "hands in the air" ballot anyways.

You're right of course that there are problems with one councilperson having control of that, by having the same person across multiple roles. I've also suggested a limit to the roles and committees one person can have on council, and term limits. Obviously not all of this will be taken on board.

The problem is that the voting system doesn't work now and it is costing the BCA a huge amount of time and money. It excludes the membership and that is wrong, and this can only be fixed by wider engagement of the membership. It used to be that this wasn't possible without enormous expense, now it is.

Offline MarkS

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #291 on: May 07, 2019, 07:39:30 am »
flaws that can be fixed (i.e. the BCA's poor definition of a club)

Altering the definition of a club would not 'fix' the current system. It may make it a bit less bad.

Offline mikem

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #292 on: May 07, 2019, 08:41:15 am »
Are you that sure it's not just cavers having different opinions that affects the voting far more than whatever system you use?

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #293 on: May 07, 2019, 02:05:58 pm »
Main problem is the small numbers voting if it's live voting at an AGM

That means people of certain opinions can find it easier to influence the outcome of votes. Just get a minibus up and job done....
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Offline damian

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #294 on: May 07, 2019, 06:07:06 pm »
As it is painfully obvious that trust is limited with regards to the BCA at the moment, i don't see how using a voting system that cannot be verified by members is in anyway an improvement.
To clarify, I assume you are not suggesting that there is anyone involved in BCA at the moment who is not trustworthy? I assume instead you mean some members are not able to trust the organisation as a whole to do what they want it to?

I  worked for a long time with a lot of the 'old guard' and never came across any reason to question anyone's integrity. Everybody I know of cares deeply, is in it to do their best and, although some members may hold different views from them, it would be desperately sad if anyone reading this were to misinterpret your sentence above.

Offline Canary

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #295 on: May 07, 2019, 06:34:03 pm »
Hi Damian, that is correct. i am not implying anyone is untrustworthy and hope they would not think that. i suspect 'trust in the system' would be a better phrase .

Offline NewStuff

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #296 on: May 07, 2019, 07:12:17 pm »
Main problem is the small numbers voting if it's live voting at an AGM

That means people of certain opinions can find it easier to influence the outcome of votes. Just get a minibus up and job done....

I'd have to set up a popcorn stall to watch the fallout if that happened, I'd make a killing.
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Offline Jenny P

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #297 on: May 07, 2019, 07:59:58 pm »
flaws that can be fixed (i.e. the BCA's poor definition of a club)

Altering the definition of a club would not 'fix' the current system. It may make it a bit less bad.

The requirements for being accepted as a "club" by BCA are straightforward but it does ensure that, at least when the club first applies, it is a genuine club.  I also know, from my time as BCA Secretary, that if there are any questions about the organisation applying, then the BCA Secretary or the BCA Membership Secretary do check up.  It's all on the website if you look it up and it does require that the club applying provides a copy of its constitution and also explains a bit about itself. 

What BCA can't "police", of course, is whether a club voting does so just by the club secretary's say-so or whether the club actually considers the proposals being put and decides as a body how it wants to cast its vote.  Some clubs and constituent bodies may take this more seriously than others but the idea of the "two house" system was to try to avoid the potential of a sizeable group of individuals being "bussed in" to cast their votes and so swinging a meeting.  If we can get electronic voting working properly so that all individual members have a chance to be involved (if they want to), then it will be time to decide whether the two-house system is still appropriate and we might then consider removing it.



Offline Canary

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #298 on: May 08, 2019, 07:37:42 am »
flaws that can be fixed (i.e. the BCA's poor definition of a club)

Altering the definition of a club would not 'fix' the current system. It may make it a bit less bad.

The club voting system prevents the system becoming more broken. As there are no check as to whether DIMs are real people, i could sign up to the BCA 100 times for the not so astronomical sum of £2200. This is well within the means of individuals and clubs.

Getting rid of the club voting system does not mean that it becomes one man one vote. It just becomes how many votes can one man buy.


Offline andrewmc

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #299 on: May 08, 2019, 08:05:39 am »
Getting rid of the club voting system does not mean that it becomes one man one vote. It just becomes how many votes can one man buy.

Has there ever been a single case of electoral _fraud_ (rather than just abuse of a poor system i.e. bussing real people in) in the BCA? It almost never happens at general elections, which actually matter...

I'd worry a lot more about the real problems the BCA and its members currently have with voting, rather than the unlikely hypothetical ones. If someone cared enough about caving to spend £2k getting voting members (not to mention an enormous amount of faff organising at least 50 separate mailing addresses) they could probably get what they wanted much more easily by volunteering for Council...