28 February 2000


Thank you for your letter of 24th February.

In line with previous years, I would wish to have my election address published in full and without any part of it deleted or censored. However,  to enable me to respond to your points I would be very grateful for the information that I have previously requested.

Once again it would be helpful to place the matters in perspective.

1. The general notice to prospective election candidates as published in Accounting & Business does not say that candidates cannot mention web site addresses in their election address. Neither the Council’s Code of Practice nor any other publicly available document prohibits it. The same is not mentioned in the package that accompanied your letter of 7th February 2000. Your equivalent package for 1999 does not mention anything about the web site addresses either. The first time any mention of any problems with the mention of the web site address is in your letter of 7th February, written after seeing my election address. You referred to some previous legal opinion, but have not  provided any details.
2. I have requested a copy of the relevant council minute(s) but so far you have failed to provide me with one. I must once again request a copy so that I can fully understand ACCA policy.
3. I have spoken to a current council member (Mr. Ray Gardiner) who has informed me that he does not recollect any council discussion or decision which prohibited the election candidates from the mention of web site addresses in their election address. The same was confirmed by another council member attending the EGM on 17th February. So I must once again request a sight of the relevant council minute(s).
4. It is reasonable to assume that in the interest of fairness, ACCA should communicate the same exact instructions to all election candidates. I have now been in touch with two other (UK based) council election candidates. Neither have been informed of any restrictions on the mention of web site addresses in their council election addresses. The circumstances suggest that the ACCA is operating a discriminatory policy.  I am sure you would agree that it is totally unfair to communicate one set of policies to a non-white candidate and another set to other candidates. Can you please confirm that all UK-based ACCA council election candidates have been told that they cannot mention web site addresses in their election addresses. If so, when were they told this and what form it took?
5. I have further examined recent council election addresses. It is clear that a number of candidates have referred to committees and policies that encourage the reader to go beyond the election address and refer to additional information, including information held on the ACCA web site. In the light of this, it is difficult to understand the objections to the mention of a web site address in my election address.
6. Then there is another aspect of ACCA policy. At numerous meetings, ACCA spokespersons assert that the ‘delegated proxy voting system’ is necessary because members do not have an opportunity to obtain information about a candidate’s policies and outlook. But when such an opportunity is offered rules are being invented to prevent people from exercising their democratic judgements. This appears to be contrary to any principle of democratic participation.
7. I note that ‘List of Members’ contains members’ telephone number and e-mail addresses. From this, one might conclude that ACCA officials would not object to the mention of e-mail addresses in the election address. I would be very grateful for a clarification of this point.

Yours sincerely

Prem Sikka