Thursday, 13 May 2010

BCS EGM Date Announced

The date for the BCS EGM has now been announced as July 1st, 2010. The meeting to be held in London.


  1. I really hope you make a difference. The BCS seems to be transforming rapidly into a circle jerking club for IT managers, rather than a body that exists for the benefit of society. The sole aim of this club now seems to gather more members, in order to validate the positions of those who are already patting each other on the back for paying their club dues.

  2. So... after all this text backwards and forwards it is still not clear to me what the EGM signatories would do differently.

    Before we can duly vote against the current plan we really must see the alternative plan.

    Clearly a 'head in the sand' approach to change isn't going to work no matter how we decide to go forward.

    So I would like to invite and request the EGM signatories to present their alternative plans and their vision for the future.

  3. Just like to clarify does EGM = Extraordinary General Meeting or Emergency General Meeting.

    Also as an IT manager I don't understand what a 'circle jerking club' is? Maybe someone that does could post a definition so I can see what all the fuss is about - it seems to have got 52 members quite upset already

  4. A response to the BCS Email which will include a form of 'alternative' is currently being drafted.

  5. Yesterday I got a e-mail from BCS HQ which belittled the motions and those who proposed them. As I'd never heard of the matter before, I was disgusted at this biased introduction. (I am retired and have been out of touch : I have been reading up since.) I have replied that the trustees are entitled to express their views but have a duty to present the issues fairly to the members, and that for me at least, their message has backfired.

  6. I believe is can be either 'Extraordinary' or 'Emergency' or even 'Special General Meeting'. The BCS refers to it as 'Extraordinary' in its own rules and regulations.

  7. I agree with John Palmer: the wording and overall tone of the e-mail was unacceptable and somewhat ironic, as it managed to illustrate the problem with the management team.

  8. Dr Paul Ducksbury1 June 2010 at 18:56

    I too was somewhat surprised at the tone of the email sent out, which should have been impartial not biased. The email to me illustrates a problem with the management attitude.

  9. From what I can see the current changes are not sufficient to make BCS "relevant". If a proportion of the members are not convinced what chance is there of convincing industry as a whole. I presume there was not a large increase in membership numbers or that would have been mentioned. On a whole what are the tangible benefits of this £5 million programme and what are the measeures (all set before delivery)- have these been met? No one knows.

    The tone of there messages very much tell it all, is that tone, along with the lack of transparency going to take the BCS where it needs to be?

  10. Dr Peter Bloodsworth MBCS CITP3 June 2010 at 12:41

    To be honest I thought this was a bit of a storm in a teacup and although I had sympathy for the EGM supporters I was going to vote with the management. That was until I received a quite pathetically biased and utterly vacuous glossy leaflet in the post which told me nothing about the issues that were being raised. If the current BCS management feel that they can waste the member's money in such a way, then I must conclude there is a big problem after all. I shall now be voting accordingly.

  11. David A finn MBCS CITP3 June 2010 at 19:40

    I knew nothing about an EGM until today when I received a letter on the matter from the BCS President. The President is meant to represent the interests of all the members, even those who do not agree with the direction the Society is taking. In my opinion the letter was biased in favour of the current Board and the "Transition Programme", and in many rsspects was a PR disaster as it is likely to make many members wonder a) why the Board wants to frame the Society's Bye-Laws to make any dissention virtually impossible, and b) why the Board objects to full open and transparent disclosure of the finances relating to this programme. Surely, as an advocate of proper professional standards, the Board should be in favour of a review that accounts for expenditure, measures the benefits delivered by the programme to date, and estimates whether or not further expenditure will deliver future benefits ?

    Isn't this exactly what a Gateway review of a project or programme would do? I am left with the feeling that the Board resents any attempt to make them accountable and is willing to spend members' money in promoting their case and talking down their opponents.
    I must thank the BCS President for bringing the situation to my attention, as without her sterling efforts I would have carried on assuming that all was well. I too shall be voting accordingly

  12. Jim Reeves MBCS3 June 2010 at 20:02

    I read with interest the original post and some of the comments posted here.

    Trying to remain objective, as another Member who has only recently become aware of this issue, I can see bother merit and fault in the submissions by both parties.

    I agree with John Palmer above that the letter appeared to belittle the motion and I would even go so far as to say it served to cloud the issue. Similarly, Duncan Kimpton correctly pointed out that there doesn't appear to be an alternative proposal to the current direction.

    I am glad that an EGM has been called, simply because I prefer problems of this nature to be seen to be publicly acknowledged and dealt with in a democratic way, my concerns regarding the EGM are that it provides an opportunity to sneak in changes to the Bye-Laws (changing the vote from 50 people to 2% is a grave concern to me - if 50 Members were required when this Bye-Law was introduced, what percentage of the Membership at that time did it equate to?).

    With regards to the activities and posturing on both sides, I have greater concerns that the overall reputation of the BCS could be tarnished through no reason other than both the Society and those requesting the EGM seem to be publicly maligning each other in an attempt to prove a point or to discredit the position of the other on this matter.

    My only hope is that all involved will recognise this failing in themselves rather than use the knowledge to further their attack on the other and will privately berate themselves for behaving in this way. We all want the same thing, a strong Society, respected worldwide for the skills and furtherance of the IT community and profession.

    Let's have the EGM but please, let's keep an eye on the end-game and show the world how we deal with such matters, professionally with a considered approach.

  13. re: Dr Peter Bloodsworth MBCS CITP

    How appropriate. You just said what was on my mind. I think the glossy 'dumbed down' leaflet I received as well is a BIG PR mistake. Not only it is biased, furthermore it treats BCS members like complete idiots incapable of making an informed decision by themselves. "Your Board of Trustees recommends you AGREE / DISAGREE with these motions:..." What is this 1984 by Orwell?

  14. Bill Doody MBCS4 June 2010 at 06:21

    I agree with a lot of the comments above. The glossy leaflet is a waste of our money and it biased.

    I have just spent an hour informing myself of the issues that the leaflet should have informed me about so I could get up to speed with the real issues.

    I agree we should always seek to change with the times when necessary but not at the expense of closing our ears to voices of dissent. In my experience there is normally a wider felt message trying to get out by the few willing to stick their head above the parapet and we should always treat those voices with caution and respect and I do not see that happening here.

    I have stuck a note in my calendar of the voting day to make sure that I add my voice to the debate when it matters.

  15. Dr Paul Ducksbury4 June 2010 at 08:15

    I agree with the previous comments having received the glossy yesterday. I was also annoyed to find the third option of removing the right to call an EGM with 50 (or so members) and making it 2% of members included. This to me is a separate issue and shouldnt be thrown in with the no confidence vote.

  16. I agree 50 members becoming 2% to call an EGM is a completely separate issue.

    The bias presentation in favour of the current regime suggests that something is broken.

    "BCS chief executive David Clarke and president Elizabeth Sparrow have sent a letter to the motion's backers, setting out detailed arguments against the EGM, which they warn will cost the organisation a minimum of £100,000."
    Given the free nature of publication on the internet I am a bit puzzled where the £100,000+ is going let alone the £5m.

    I too will vote accordingly.

  17. I have real issues over BCS rhetoric in all forms of communicae. Mr Len Keighley et al, you all know you have my vote.

    Russell Fleming

  18. Gordon Foulger9 June 2010 at 11:08

    I am concerned that the "Quick Vote" includes the Special Resolution and is biased towards the Trustees. This immediately weights the voting against the callers of the EGM. It also makes it less likely that a member would vote generally for the Trustees but against the Special Resolution.

  19. Russell Fleming MCMI MBCS CITP MIAP9 June 2010 at 14:02

    Exactly Gordon. All BCS members should want a professional organisation. I know I do. That it why I am voting with the EGM motions.

    Professionalism starts with a fundamental psychology "to be better than other's, to act more appropriately, engage and debate". I term this the "psychology of change".

    So what we are all seeing speaks volumes.

    Certain member's of the BCS would like to have kept this debate within BCS bounds and away from the public domain. Unfortunately for these certain member's, they should have allowed for an even playing field. To berate after the fact rubs salt into the wounds. Stones and glass houses, you understand.