Strategy Advisory Committee Update
Strategy Advisory Committee
During the Annual General Meeting on the Gold Coast on the 19th of May, 2018 a series of Open Forum reports regarding the performance of various WIA committees were tabled for discussion.
It has come to light that the report presented by the Strategy Advisory Committee (SAC) contains factual errors and misleading statements that relate to the Publications Committee and AR magazine.
The Open Forum Report for 2017/2018 has been withdrawn from the WIA website while an alternate version is submitted and approved by the Board.
This communication seeks to outline the issues with the report:
* Forward Looking Statements: The SAC has been discussing internally a number of possible strategies for improving the performance of AR magazine in terms of its circulation and audience with a view to developing strategies to make AR a financially independent publication that is able to respond to the changing needs of the existing and future amateur radio communities. A number of the statements in the SAC report discuss changes that "may help" improve AR magazine, these statements are forward looking statements that relate to the body of work that is being undertaken to develop future strategies. The strategies being considered by SAC will in time evolve into a discussion paper for consideration by the PubCom and the broader amateur community.
* Editorial Quality: Since inception AR magazine has encouraged contribution from members of the amateur community and AR's success has relied on these articles. The SAC report makes several sweeping statements regarding improvements to editorial quality which, as a result of the way in which these statements are made, materially devalues the tireless effort of the Publications Committee (PubCom) and the contributors of articles to AR Magazine.
* AR magazine Revitalisation Project: It can be inferred from the report that there is a broader AR revitalisation project that has received Board assent. This is in error. There is no WIA AR revitalisation project currently approved by the Board for execution - there is, however, as discussed above, internal discussion within SAC.
* Financial Performance of AR magazine: The SAC report refers to the costs associated with AR magazine "spiralling out of control". This statement is factually incorrect. The Publications Committee have successfully maintained cost increases associated with the production and distribution or AR magazine to a level below that of CPI. What has transpired over a period of time is the underlying revenue from advertising in AR magazine has reduced resulting in an increase in the level to which members fund the production and distribution of AR magazine.
It should be noted that at this time accountability for advertising revenue rests with the Board and as such PubCom is not accountable for this challenge and should be commended for their success in managing the production costs associated with AR magazine.
* AR magazine - WIA's biggest spend: The SAC report states that AR magazine (which, in itself, consists of a number of smaller expenses) is the WIA biggest spend. Like many things, understanding what the "biggest spend" really is depends how the situation is perceived. It could be argued that running the office is the biggest expense. (Noting that the office expenses include the necessary expenses associated with supporting the ACMA deed, and essential functions for the operation of the WIA). It is accurate to state that the nett cost of AR magazine and general membership services are the two largest single costs to members and this reflects the importance of these services to the WIA membership.
* Policy on Publication of Contentious Materials: The SAC report infers that the SAC was instrumental in the creation of this policy. This policy was developed in consultation between PubCom and the 2016-2017 Board. The role of SAC in 2017 was to broaden the scope of application of the policy to include all publications, print and/or electronic.
The strategy advisory committee is committed to ensuring that reporting regarding its activities is both accurate and not open to misinterpretation.
In order to ensure that this is the case SAC will:
* limit its end of year report to governance matters and board accepted proposals.
* Prepare and distribute discussion papers on an (approximately) 6 monthly basis and garner feedback:
* Initially from the WIA team or teams that are impacted by the thought bubbles in the discussion paper; then
* from the membership and the broader amateur community.
* Ensure that feedback from the discussion paper is consolidated and reviewed by key stakeholders and affected parties prior to being presented to the board as a proposal for adoption.
The Strategy Advisory Committee sincerely apologises to the Publications Committee, its members and contributors for the errors in this report that have disrespected their tireless contribution and have potentially led to misinforming the broader amateur community.
Page Last Updated: Friday 22 June 2018 at 17:54 hours by Justin Giles-clark
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