ACCA's 1999 AGM took place on 6th May 1999. It was attended by around 70 members. These included 36 Council members, ACCA staff and around 12 outsiders. So out of 67,000 members only 70 (mainly insiders were present). Sparse attendance suits the leadership. In this atmosphere anyone speaking for the establishment is applauded and anyone asking uncomfortable questions is barely tolerated. To prevent any dialogue, the President allows people only 2-3 minutes (compared to his 30-35) to speak. There is no bye-law which enable him to act in this way, but ACCA leadership has never worried about the bye-laws.
As exclusively revealed by AABA, the shadowy 'inner council' made up of the former Presidents and Michael Foulds moved a motion of 'no confidence' in Ray Gardiner at 9.30 am. It was seconded by Ms Philomena Leung, from Australia.
At the AGM, the outgoing President Michael Foulds gave his usual speech about the year under review. After more than half an hour he sat down without saying a single word about the events of the morning. Apparently, the review of the year did not cover the impeachment of the President-elect. Mr. Foulds and his colleagues had all developed collective amnesia.
Eventually, Prem Sikka asked a question about the morning's events. ACCA President would give no details, but would only way that Council had voted 25-10 in favour of impeaching Ray Gardiner. What were the reasons for this unprecedented motion? Why was the motion left until literally minutes before the AGM? Foulds gave no replies.
Former Council member Anthony Thomas also spoke about the deeply ingrained corruption within the Association and demanded a statement about the ousting of Ray Gardiner. No replies were given.
Gardiner, it is understood, had planned to bring the Association closer to its members. He planned to make it more open, democratic and accountable and also curb the powers of the chief executive. This was considered to be threatening by the Chief Executive (just received a 21% salary increase) and the 'inner council' which routinely exercises patronage by "appointing" (not electing) council members. The officeholders also take their spouses with them all over the world and charge the cost (£50,000 per annum) to ACCA members without any transparency and accountability.
The coup against Ray Gardiner took place on his 64th birthday. Gardiner gave 16 years of faithful and flawless service to ACCA. He has been rewarded with a stab in the back. The coup was organised some two weeks before the May 6th meeting. Gardiner (and other council members) only became aware of the motion of 'no confidence' when he received the agenda papers for the meeting. President Michael Foulds did not even have the courtesy to phone and tell Gardiner anything about it. Meanwhile, the 'inner Council' went about phoning and meeting other Council members, urging them to impeach Gardiner with promises of "we will look after you".
It is understood that most of the overseas Council members voted against the motion, as they were sickened by the corruption at the ACCA HQ and the petty attitude of the 'inner council'. Indeed, one ordinary member referred to ACCA "a mickeymouse organisation".
At the AGM, Michael Foulds was asked to make a statement to members about the debacle and take questions. He refused but indicated that there would be a press release. What comes first - accountability to members and answering questions from them or 'spinning' for the press? Foulds would not make any statement to members and no courage or decency to face members.
It is clear that
By the evening of 6th May, ACCA had not put any statement to explain
the impeachment. Lawyers were said to be pouring over the fine detail.
ACCA does not want Gardiner to speak and will no doubt will tyry to make
a deal. ACCA news managers prefer that the statement was not issued until
late on Friday, thus preventing any daily newspaper from picking up the
Sensible people at the Association would argue that secrecy and cesnorship always creates problems, so the proper thing to do is to embrace 'openness', but the control freaks running the Association prefer secrecy and silence.
The ACCA media machine has not been slow to act. Immediately after the AGM, it issued a press release listing the candidates who have been successful for Council elections. Of the twenty candidates contesting ten seats, ten were unsuccessful. However, ACCA press release only says that "Among those unsuccessful this year was long standing candidate Professor Prem Sikka .... ". No other unsuccessful candidate is mentioned by name. The reasons for the ACCA's petty conduct are clear to all.
Previously, the ACCA Chief Executive has engaged in pretty unethical
conduct. For example,