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Kevin Bonham
08-06-2011, 04:37 PM
See post 6 for early history of this discussion


Still, makes no difference to my financial situation if Tornelo is banned or not.

I think anything to do with Tornelo could affect your financial situation in theory. Even if you are making nothing out of the program directly and never will, it is still good (or bad) publicity for you and hence for your chess business ventures.


Like Garvin Gray being Pres of CAQ and paid big arbiter fees for tnts.

I'd actually like to see independent confirmation of that one [edit: not so big even if correct, see #7] before commenting since the claimed minutes were posted by Amir who has spouted so much utter rubbish over there (mostly about me) that I do not completely trust him even when he is quoting from another source.


Like Sandler being Pres of CV and being paid organiser feed for tnts. Like Rogers being VP of AJCL and being paid as head coach. I'm not saying that they shouldn't be coach or arbiter....just it's a lot more direct financial benefit than me voting on Tornelo being banned or not.

I'd hope all these people at least abstain from voting on such matters. As I mentioned before the only fee I've taken in 15 years of doing stuff for the TCA was a modest one for the Aus Junior (considerably less than we paid the arbiters, and they were on a fairly modest sum compared with some events themselves).


I've just said I'd do it....I'm not paid by the hour, but on a results basis. For 15% of ACF revenue I will do all your jobs. It's an offer in writing...take me up on it if you like.

If you offered in writing to pay the ACF and do all its work for it, it would probably still be rejected. I'd be more interested to see if you can really prove your case about how little work the ACF is supposedly doing.

ChessGuru
08-06-2011, 06:07 PM
[QUOTE]I think anything to do with Tornelo could affect your financial situation in theory. Even if you are making nothing out of the program directly and never will, it is still good (or bad) publicity for you and hence for your chess business ventures.
I love it.... so now conflict of interest is anything that can reflect well on someone! But not Rogers being a paid coach of a World Junior Team or Ergas Squad...not Sandler displaying all over his website "CV President" as a marketing tool (plus cash payments), not Gray collecting arbiter fees...not Olympiad Captains getting a (subsidised) trip overseas....not committee members picking up 'opportunities' for paid work that others don't hear about because they're not on committee (or their ph# is on the website and other aren't), not Goldsmith running interschool events and getting coaching referrals from teams, not Jones getting promotion for his retail sales website through the GP, and I could go on... I'm not saying any of them shouldn't be doing what they're doing - I just think you need to get over the whole conflict of interest thing.

Better hope nobody intends to put "ACF Executive member" on their resume with the hope of financial gain (ie. getting a job)... And don't you have a conflict as well then? Because your personal reputation is enhanced by doing work for the ACF...being known for volunteering and working hard for a cause like chess will improve your 'personal brand'. Certainly I would choose you for paid arbiter work over someone who wasn't on the TCA or ACF.


If you offered in writing to pay the ACF and do all its work for it, it would probably still be rejected.
That's more like it!

Kevin Bonham
08-06-2011, 06:56 PM
I love it.... so now conflict of interest is anything that can reflect well on someone!

Only if they are active in chess business to the extent that there is a serious chance of it making a difference to them.


But not Rogers being a paid coach of a World Junior Team or Ergas Squad...not Sandler displaying all over his website "CV President" as a marketing tool (plus cash payments), not Gray collecting arbiter fees

[etc]

Most of these "but not"s are just complete misrepresentations of my position. I said all along that if someone on a committee receives a fee from that committee then that is COI and they should not be involved in the decision-making process. I'll add that if someone on a committee is effectively deriving their livelihood (or a large chunk of it) from that committee they should ideally resign and become an employee of that committee instead.

However, Sandler displaying his CV Presidency as a marketing tool in advertising his chess business is not COI in isolation. He is entitled to use his position as a selling point for his business if anyone wants to take it seriously as an argument. The more concerning thing with Sandler is that so many CV decisions could affect his business (and that he could feel pressured to vote for things that benefit his customers) that he seems to me to be too conflicted to hold the position; he should ideally abstain on nearly everything.


not committee members picking up 'opportunities' for paid work that others don't hear about because they're not on committee (or their ph# is on the website and other aren't),

This isn't COI either, in isolation. It just means their voluntary work gives them contacts. It could become COI though if a committee member was persistently getting work through another committee member (whether as an employer or simply as a go-between).


not Goldsmith running interschool events and getting coaching referrals from teams, not Jones getting promotion for his retail sales website through the GP, and I could go on... I'm not saying any of them shouldn't be doing what they're doing - I just think you need to get over the whole conflict of interest thing.

Well I'm not going to "get over it" and I know there are plenty on here who agree with me that dealing with COI acceptably is important in voluntary society and that the chess world has a way to go in this regard.

As for Brian while he is technically an ACF officebearer, the arrangement with him might best be thought of as an agreement in which he does an important job for us very well (one being done very haphazardly before he took it over) and in return he is permitted to advertise for free. Effectively an in-kind sponsorship. No evidence that it impacts on how he does his role in that position beyond what is effectively agreed to.


Better hope nobody intends to put "ACF Executive member" on their resume with the hope of financial gain (ie. getting a job)... And don't you have a conflict as well then? Because your personal reputation is enhanced by doing work for the ACF...being known for volunteering and working hard for a cause like chess will improve your 'personal brand'.

Not really a COI in most cases because when I am thinking about how to vote on a particular motion, my reputation for volunteering and working hard is the same whatever way I vote on it.

In the case of a motion to appoint me to a significant and major role that I think will significantly advance my standing in the chess community, I will abstain.

Grant Szuveges
08-06-2011, 07:13 PM
[QUOTE=Kevin Bonham]
I love it.... so now conflict of interest is anything that can reflect well on someone! But not Rogers being a paid coach of a World Junior Team or Ergas Squad...not Sandler displaying all over his website "CV President" as a marketing tool (plus cash payments), not Gray collecting arbiter fees...not Olympiad Captains getting a (subsidised) trip overseas....not committee members picking up 'opportunities' for paid work that others don't hear about because they're not on committee (or their ph# is on the website and other aren't), not Goldsmith running interschool events and getting coaching referrals from teams, not Jones getting promotion for his retail sales website through the GP, and I could go on... I'm not saying any of them shouldn't be doing what they're doing - I just think you need to get over the whole conflict of interest thing.

Better hope nobody intends to put "ACF Executive member" on their resume with the hope of financial gain (ie. getting a job)... And don't you have a conflict as well then? Because your personal reputation is enhanced by doing work for the ACF...being known for volunteering and working hard for a cause like chess will improve your 'personal brand'. Certainly I would choose you for paid arbiter work over someone who wasn't on the TCA or ACF.


That's more like it!

Its interesting that this has come up now. Just last weekend, I was having a discussion with someone at MCC about this very issue (not about David and the ACF, but about the whole generic Conflict of Interest concept).

While Ive never really had an enormous issue with COI, the more I think about it, the more I think that it is a non-issue (cases should of course be looked at on a case by case basis though).

For example, when having the chat, I pulled out my personalised MCC business cards which clearly state my name and my role there. That could certainly be seen as a COI - whenever I meet anyone anywhere (particularly people in high places) I just give them a business card and my own personal brand name is made to look a lot better due to my role at the oldest chess club in the southern hemisphere etc.

Our registrar, Simon Dale is involved with the AJCL, and his children are MCC members and are coached in school by Chess Ed - the same company which coaches at MCC. He could also be accused of having a COI.

Carl Gorka was our vice president in 2009 and secretary in 2010, he works for Chess Kids while Malcolm Pyke, our 2009 secretary works for Chess Ideas - they could also both be said to have a COI.

Anyone working on the MCC committee is able to put their MCC work in their resume and it will be looked upon favourably by potential employers - therefore we all could be deemed to have a COI (unless we are retired).

Its no different at any other chess club or chess organisation. Remember, this is voluntary work we are talking about here.

What all of this does show however, is that the people with COI are often the people who are actually more capable of doing a job. They have often proven this by doing a good job with their other hat on (the one in which they are accused of having a COI). If someone has brought success to one organisation, why wouldnt you want them to be part of your organisation? There are people involved with other chess organisations who arent with MCC - however if I heard that they left their other organisations, I would be on the phone with them straight away to see if we could get them involved at MCC in some way. A case in point is Andrew Saint - he moved over from South Australia with a lot of experience and know-how. We identified him quickly as a perfect replacement for our treasurer Pano Skiotis who would be overseas this year.

I believe that COI should no longer be considered a dirty word. In fact, I will even go out on a limb and argue the opposite! Anyone with a COI would actually want to do a really good job with their new organisation - because if they dont, then this will reflect badly on their other interest: For example, if David Cordover became ACF president and did a really good job and stayed in the job for 20 years, then this would look really good for him and he could use this to promote Chesskids (his company). However if he became ACF president, mucked everything up, created problems, sent the ACF broke etc, then this would certainly not look good for his company. So in fact, I think that people with a COI are actually more accountable in some ways than those without one.

One thing I will reiterate though, is that this shouldnt be completely black and white - I believe that these things should be looked at on a case by case basis. I also believe that people should be open about and declare any potential COI - its up to the people working with them whether they consider this to be an issue or not.

Im keen to hear more from others about this issue, so is there a generic "Conflit of Interest" thread on this forum? Lets move it there if there is one.

In the meantime, long live Conflict of Interest!!!

Kevin Bonham
08-06-2011, 10:19 PM
For example, when having the chat, I pulled out my personalised MCC business cards which clearly state my name and my role there. That could certainly be seen as a COI - whenever I meet anyone anywhere (particularly people in high places) I just give them a business card and my own personal brand name is made to look a lot better due to my role at the oldest chess club in the southern hemisphere etc.

Not COI.


Our registrar, Simon Dale is involved with the AJCL, and his children are MCC members and are coached in school by Chess Ed - the same company which coaches at MCC. He could also be accused of having a COI.

He should probably abstain from voting on matters involving awarding business to Chess Ed. But it will hardly affect his duties as registrar. COI yes, but one that is easily and trivially managed.


Carl Gorka was our vice president in 2009 and secretary in 2010, he works for Chess Kids while Malcolm Pyke, our 2009 secretary works for Chess Ideas - they could also both be said to have a COI.

If a motion comes up that benefits one of those companies they should abstain from it. If a decision comes up that affects those companies that they would personally make, they should defer to someone else. Again, COI but easily manageable.


Anyone working on the MCC committee is able to put their MCC work in their resume and it will be looked upon favourably by potential employers - therefore we all could be deemed to have a COI (unless we are retired).

Not COI. I addressed a similar example in reply to David.


What all of this does show however, is that the people with COI are often the people who are actually more capable of doing a job. They have often proven this by doing a good job with their other hat on (the one in which they are accused of having a COI).

People with a COI may well be highly skilled. But they can also be highly biased and that's what you need to be careful of - that fair decision making does not become tainted by commercial interests.


I believe that COI should no longer be considered a dirty word.

I think that you are overestimating the problem. The idea is not that you refuse to use anyone who has a COI in any way - if you did that most committees would be empty. The idea is that you manage the impact of COI on the integrity of your body's decision making.


So in fact, I think that people with a COI are actually more accountable in some ways than those without one.

That depends on whether knowledge of their performance is widespread. Usually it isn't. People will use positions they have held for self-promotion purposes and it will not be so widely known whether they did a great job or a terrible one.

I might move the COI posts if there is a clear point to split them off from.

Kevin Bonham
09-06-2011, 12:26 AM
These posts came from a discussion which started as follows:

I was suggesting that if a certain kind of person were to put their hand up to be on the ACF Exec it is possible someone would step aside for them rather than them having to face a contested election, and wrote:


Suppose further that such a person did not have an obviously massive conflict of interest that would make it hard to do their job properly.

reply:


The only people who will ever be that motivated to progress are those who have a vested interest in the success of chess. That vested interest might be financial, or it might be that their kids are good players, or that they are good players...whatever it is there is a conflict! I'd say Gletsos has a conflict of interest...not financial perhaps, but he's more interested in his personal power/control/status than development of chess. Wastell who's more interested in process than results. That's a conflict...it prevents them from making decisions which would improve CHESS because they prefer to choose a path that benefits THEM personally.

I don't think you can exclude anyone who makes any money from chess (coaching, events, retail or prizemoney) - there's too few people remaining. And if you're not also excluding people because of ego benefits then you still allowing conflicts.

Actually when you take a look most everyone is "conflicted" anyway, assuming the financial interest definition. Look at the CV executive, look at the organisers of the last 2 Aus Juniors, look at Brian Jones (OCC Pres, SIO, Grand Prix), look at the AJCL (Rogers, Zworestine, Zhao), the Doeberl Cup, SA Chess assn, SA junior chess.... Would you like all of those people to give up?

Reply:



The only people who will ever be that motivated to progress are those who have a vested interest in the success of chess.

Not the same as the kind of "obviously massive conflict of interest" I am talking about. Many people involved in chess admin have some degree of COI either from financial activities in chess or from the kind of player they are and it is manageable, usually by abstaining from decision-making on specific decisions that touch on that COI. Other people are so heavily financially involved in so many aspects of chess that it is doubtful whether they can ever manage that COI adequately since they have a financial interest in almost every decision taken.

Some decisions in theory affect everyone. But there's a well known principle that it's not COI when everyone has it. So for instance, any chessplayer has a vested interest in per-game fees being kept down, but that's not a reason for nobody on Council to vote on a motion to raise them.

Different styles of performing a position are not conflicts of interest; they are simply different approaches.

Reply:




Not the same as the kind of "obviously massive conflict of interest" I am talking about. Many people involved in chess admin have some degree of COI either from financial activities in chess or from the kind of player they are and it is manageable, usually by abstaining from decision-making on specific decisions that touch on that COI. Other people are so heavily financially involved in so many aspects of chess that it is doubtful whether they can ever manage that COI adequately since they have a financial interest in almost every decision taken.

I doubt that ANY decision made by the ACF in the past 10 years would have made any financial impact on me. (Perhaps the one where the Aus Junior changed to have 2 or 3 games per day - that lost me 80% of coaching revenue because nobody has time for coaching. But then I was pushing for that change 10 years before it actually happened!)

Yet I assume that you would think I had a conflict...

I don't believe you are naiive enough to believe that someone with a COI abstains that they don't still have influence? You don't think Rogers on the AJCL is going to influence the decision of the rest of the committee as to who they pick to be coach (paid) of Squads, World Jnr etc? The "vote" is irrelevant...the influence was much more powerful.

Reply:



I doubt that ANY decision made by the ACF in the past 10 years would have made any financial impact on me.

That is funny because over the last 4-5 years I have personally abstained on something like 20 motions precisely because it was obvious they could potentially impact on your business success and hence in theory indirectly impact on me on account of the work I had been doing. A recent case, ironically, was the decision to ban you from being mentioned in the ACF Newsletter until you remedied the wording on the Tornelo site. Now just imagine what would happen if you were on Council and a motion of that kind came up for voting. Would you try to argue that there was no problem with you voting on it?


I don't believe you are naiive enough to believe that someone with a COI abstains that they don't still have influence?

That influence can be minimised where necessary by not participating in the discussion and better still by not even observing it - the proverbial "leaving the room" standard. In severe cases (a recent example being the clocks mediation request) I have asked the rest of the Exec that I not even be copied on any discussion of a given matter.

Of course, strong influence will still exist despite the most stringent abstentions in some cases. For instance, a person who is doing excellent work on a committee stands to benefit financially from a decision by that committee. The committee may be inclined to appoint that person partly to avoid risk of losing their services. Still, the committee are not financial beneficiaries of that decision.


That's it isn't it...your definition of non-conflicted can be hazy enough to capture anyone that the existing club didn't like the sound of.

Only if someone's conception of COI is as hazy as mine isn't.

Reply:




A recent case, ironically, was the decision to ban you from being mentioned in the ACF Newsletter until you remedied the wording on the Tornelo site. Now just imagine what would happen if you were on Council and a motion of that kind came up for voting. Would you try to argue that there was no problem with you voting on it?

Still, makes no difference to my financial situation if Tornelo is banned or not.


Of course, strong influence will still exist despite the most stringent abstentions in some cases. For instance, a person who is doing excellent work on a committee stands to benefit financially from a decision by that committee. The committee may be inclined to appoint that person partly to avoid risk of losing their services. Still, the committee are not financial beneficiaries of that decision.

Like Garvin Gray being Pres of CAQ and paid big arbiter fees for tnts. Like Sandler being Pres of CV and being paid organiser feed for tnts. Like Rogers being VP of AJCL and being paid as head coach. I'm not saying that they shouldn't be coach or arbiter....just it's a lot more direct financial benefit than me voting on Tornelo being banned or not.

Kevin Bonham
09-06-2011, 12:33 AM
On Garvin's "big" arbiter fees if the bits published (leaked?) from CAQ minutes on the Toolbox by Amir are correct then they come out to $100-$120/day - doesn't seem all that high to me, except compared to my own rate for TCA of $0/day.

antichrist
09-06-2011, 12:35 AM
On Garvin's "big" arbiter fees if the bits published (leaked?) from CAQ minutes on the Toolbox by Amir are correct then they come out to $100-$120/day - doesn't seem all that high to me, except compared to my own rate for TCA of $0/day.

And an ex-oz champ did for SEC for $0/day as well

Kevin Bonham
09-06-2011, 12:38 AM
For anyone wanting to discuss arbiter fees in general, please do so at:

http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?t=2128

Also of interest:

http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?t=12111

Kevin Bonham
09-06-2011, 12:50 AM
There doesn't seem to have been a previous thread about COI except this short one (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?t=6647) which deals with COIs resulting from wearing multiple voluntary hats. However the concept has come up many times passingly in discussions.

ER
09-06-2011, 02:45 AM
There doesn't seem to have been a previous thread about COI except this short one (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?t=6647) which deals with COIs resulting from wearing multiple voluntary hats. However the concept has come up many times passingly in discussions.

Now I am lost!!! where is the one with Grant and the cop?
Was it in the ACF, or the ON THE MOVE thread?

Grant Szuveges
09-06-2011, 02:53 AM
Now I am lost!!! where is the one with Grant and the cop?
Was it in the ACF, or the ON THE MOVE thread?

That was in the "On the Move" thread - its after David Cordovers ideas about the Olympiad selectors and getting the players to register expressions of interest actually. Its post number 59 in that thread.

ER
09-06-2011, 03:00 AM
That was in the "On the Move" thread - its after David Cordovers ideas about the Olympiad selectors and getting the players to register expressions of interest actually. Its post number 59 in that thread.

Oh ok thanks, I think it's a classic! :) Geeez 3 am, I was preparing my luggage for Tassie and I forgot about going to bed!

antichrist
09-06-2011, 11:33 AM
Oh ok thanks, I think it's a classic! :) Geeez 3 am, I was preparing my luggage for Tassie and I forgot about going to bed!

thats why you all need wives or lovers