Dear Trustee Board and Chief Executive
5th May 2018
Dear Trustee Board and Chief Executive
We are deeply concerned by the lack of even-handedness in the way that preparations have been made for the Special Meeting on 21st May 2018.
This lack of even-handedness was evident in the meeting notice sent to members towards the end of April which included three pages of professionally prepared additional information to support the reactive motion but only three introductory paragraphs to the motions proposed by those members who had requisitioned the meeting with their letter of 29th March. The bias is also evident in the invitations recently issued to members to join webinars to hear more from yourselves on this matter. The encouragement of members to send in proxy votes when they had only the material in the notice, and the placement of the reactive motion ahead of the challenging motions are further instances of this.
We are Past Presidents of the Institution who are not signatories of the letter requisitioning the Special Meeting. We are very disappointed that these matters could not have been resolved without resort to a Special Meeting. Those of us who are able to attend the Special Meeting do not intend to vote on the motions until we have been appraised of the facts pertaining to all of them at that meeting.
We are concerned that members will have been misguided by your approach. We are also concerned it will damage the good name of the Institution in the minds of external bodies and individuals.
William Banks, Duncan Dowson, Bill Edgar, Denis Filer, Pam Liversidge, James McKnight, Chris Price, Tony Roche, John Spence, Chris Taylor, John Wood.
Letter to Trustee Board and Chief Executive
'Thank you for providing this information, I'm dismayed at the way the institution has responded to this scenario, I have had a feeling of unease about the operation of the IMechE for some time and it seems this was well founded.
I find it incredibly outdated that the roles of president and president elect are always unopposed. It's also clear that those taking on senior roles in the institution aren't given the training they need to keep the executives honest. I really hope that they can be made to see sense, but frankly at the moment I'm considering if I want to be associated with an institution which has so little regard for those affected by events of recent years. I'd have thought that the institution's first priority in the Amber Train fiasco would have been helping the apprentices complete their training. I'm shocked and extremely disappointed to hear that this wasn't the case.
Copy of a message sent to Mech Eng Matters from an IMechE member
'Subject: Concern about an organisation’s handling of personal information
I would like report my concern, as described in the attached information handling form, that the Institution of Mechanical Engineers is not using its membership data for the purpose declared in the Data Protection Register as shown at https://ico.org.uk/ESDWebPages/Entry/Z5656288. To illustrate my concern the following documents are attached.
Notice send to all IMechE members (around 60,000) on 26th March regarding a recent call for a special meeting and that the President is subject to an investigation
Information rights concern sent to the Institution’s Deputy Council Officer on 29th March to which no response was received
Advice from former past Presidents of the Institution explaining the background to this situation
A Special Meeting Notice dated 21st May 2018 which contains much information to support the Trustees position with only the letter asking for the meeting to support the opposite view. The notice also has a ballot paper on which the Trustee Board recommends a vote in favour of itself.
My concern is that those who have issued items 1 and 4 above have abused their control of the membership database to influence a vote in their favour. Furthermore, they used this control to have unnecessarily issue a notice that potentially harms the reputation of the Institution’s President.
I would therefore request that you investigate this concern,
Copy of letter from our member, David Shirres, to the Information Commissioner
I have today received the notice for the Special Meeting on 21st May.
My view is that the Trustee Board and the Executive have reacted to the call for the meeting in an unsatisfactory manner.
They have put their counter-motion in at Number 1, i.e. ahead of the challenging cutch of motions for consideration of which the meeting has been called.
Further, they have provided Additional Information in respect of their counter-motion, with the notice, while not enabling the proposers of the clutch of challenging motions to provide any additional information before the Special Meeting.
This is particularly significant in the light of the inclusion of a proxy form for use by members before the meeting.
Members can only fill this in with reference to the TB’s Additional Information and without the benefit of any equivalent information from the challengers.
It is not reasonable to assume that any proxy forms that are submitted before the meeting have been completed and signed with reasonable visibility of the facts and arguments supporting the motions.
I therefore contend that thy should not be treated as valid.
F Christopher Price OBE FREng FIMechE'