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There has been much discussion about one of the motions to be discussed but very little on the other.

I am a strong supporter of the Standards Code. Those who are aware of the difficulties I have had with the ECF Board will be aware of my reasons for this support.

I cannot claim that the code is perfect but I have real concerns that the proposed amendments are too drastic and will make the Code effectively toothless.

No-one wants Chess Scotland to be dictating to leagues or congresses but an independent body which looks at genuine concerns (only after local procedures have been exhausted) is a necessary tool.

As has been seen on the grandparents’ thread there is a danger of democracy via the proxy vote being diluted. Unless people try to gather proxy votes for both sides then the matter is won by the more active side rather than the more beneficial.

I would therefore urge people to read ALL motions for the EGM and either turn up and vote or give your proxy to someone. Such proxies can indicate the way you want to vote or give freedom of choice to your nominated proxy. If you are indicating the way you want to vote then you can do so by letting Andy Howie know. This must be done at least 7 days in advance of the meeting.

Since it came into existence I know of no case which the Standards Committee has had to investigate but it is good to know that it is there. I’m not totally sure of the legal position but I have real concerns that the proposals made could cause Chess Scotland’s ability to apply for PGV disclosures to be removed. I do know that despite volunteers being checked for free there can still be an administration fee charged. It costs the ECF £60 to have volunteer arbiters checked.

This issue is too important to let apathy win. Please make sure you exercise your right to vote.
As I am doing the Durham Congress on the day I will be giving my proxy.
Alex, I'm afraid your posting is particularly misleading on the intentions of the Ayrshire Chess Association.

A bit of history is required:
This issue has rumbled on for over three years (that I can recall) and CS has done nothing about it. Simply stalled for time again, again and again. Had the Ayrshire Chess Association wanted to push the proposal through it could have done so at the last AGM. Ayrshire had the proxy votes to do it but didn't. You seem to be suggesting that pushing through this proposal is the ACA's aim. The Association has tried to work with CS to reach consensus and I believe Donald Wilson has met with representatives of the ACA to reach a solution on this issue.

The position of the ACA is clear. As it currently stands the Standards Code is badly written and not fit for purpose. The Ayrshire amendments fix this. The Ayrshire Association has its own Standards Code and should be the authority for resolving disputes pertaining to Ayrshire Chess. However, on matters such as PVG legislation CS retains its authority. I don't see why there is an issue with this.

I accept that a Standards Code is needed but the current one is not fit for purpose. It even breaches its own terms as it has never actually met and is supposed to meet annually. However, CS is great at breaching its own terms and directives including a commitment to hold this EGM within three months as stated at the last AGM and it didn't happen. It makes CS look particularly unprofessional in its administration of chess in Scotland.
I'm going to be honest here - I'd like to have an opinion on this, but I simply don't know anything about this issue. Would it be possible for people - Alex and David perhaps - to explain exactly what they believe is good, or undesirable, about these changes? I've read them, but I don't really speak regulationese, so I'm unsure about their practical implications.

Thanks for any explanations.
Hugh, I am by no means an expert on the history of this but I will try and get John Montgomery to post as he is best placed within the Ayrshire Chess Association to give the details of this. However, he is extremely busy. I will see him tomorrow night in person at the Ayrshire Championships and will ask him to post more about the purpose of these changes and the benefits. I have just given my high level view and some history of this.

In truth, knowing the practical implications is difficult as neither body (CS or ACA) has ever had a complaint referred to either standard code. (As far as I’m aware)

There has been a suggestion by CS officials that there are some implications regarding PVG legislation. This was brought up at the last AGM (approximately six months ago) and my understanding is that CS was supposed to look at these implications within three months and reach some kind of consensus on this proposal and hold an EGM. I have not been privy to what has actually happened and I don’t wish to speculate. In any case, the proposal is quite clear that matters pertaining to PVG are still under CS's jurisdiction.

Sorry I could not provide any more clarity but I have not been involved in this from the outset.
Looking at this fresh as I have not been previously involved in this, I would make the following comments, which may prompt discussion:

Section 1 second paragraph - Personally I don't believe that this is needed given the jurisdiction detailed in paragraph 4.

Section 1- Last paragraph. It seems to be saying that the Standards Committee only has primary jurisdiction on PVG if it is not covered by associations and leagues. Is that the intention? What is the purpose of the mention of PVG?

Section 5 - "received within ten days" - within 10 days of what? There are a number of different options. I presume it is within 10 days of the complaint being made if by email.

Section 6 - I don't like the deletion of the word "normally". If an issue is serious enough to be raised at this level then I as a complainant would like the ability to take it straight to the top and not waste time with other routes. However I guess the word "appropriate" gives some wiggle room, but who decides on what is appropriate or not?

Section 6 - if other routes take more than 42 days to exhaust then the complainant would normally not be able to raise the issue with the Standards Committee? That does not seem correct. Should it be changed to "Complaints which refer to an incident which occurred more than 42 days before receipt of the complaint or 42 days after other routes have been exhausted will normally be time-barred."?
Derek, I'll take each of your points in turn:

Section 1 second paragraph
I wasn’t involved in the drafting of this but my guess would be it is in Section 1 as that is the governing principle of the standards code. Thus, it goes to the very core of what the Standards Committee is for. Perhaps it should be in section 4 but it doesn’t say anywhere explicity (in Section 4 currently) that it does not replace existing league/association dispute resolution processes. I believe that is an important distinction and goes to the core of the amendment. However, you could propose an amendment to the motion to change the wording or move it to Section 4 at the SGM.

Section 1- Last paragraph
I believe this was added to appease those who highlighted the issue that Alex raised in his initial post and that was raised at the last AGM. Making it clear that the on matters pertaining to PVG that CS retains authority.

Section 5
Derek I believe it is within 10 days of the complaint being received and think that is clear but you can always propose an amendment at the SGM. Or even take it out as it wasn't in before. Best practice in texts like these is usually to specify the period in which the payment should be made. However, I accept this document is some way from best practice.

Section 6 - deletion of the word "normally"
I disagree the deletion of the word normally is correct. Who determines when a complaint is normal or not? Its a silly generalisation to have in a Standards Code. On appropriateness I believe this would be determined by the Committee as the supposed ‘normalness’ of a complaint was from my interpretation of the original text.

Section 6 - if other routes take more than 42 days
I agree with you there. Although, that was part of the original text and is just one of the many poorly worded parts of this document. I just wish members had actually read this text in the first place instead of blindly passing this code as it is riddled with sentences overcomplicating matters and using 20 words where 5 words would do.

There are clearly some details that need to be examined carefully here. There is no disrespect meant whatsoever to the previous contributors on this thread but it would be of interest to hear the opinions of persons such as Steve Mannion, Dick Heathwood and George Murphy on this important topic. Hugh Brechin's opinions are also always of interest.

David, thanks for your reply

Section 1 second paragraph
I don't see why it needs to be said. I'm not looking for a reply on this, just offering my opinion. I can't see why there should not be some flexibility on it, particularly if there are so few cases.

Section 1 Last paragraph
You have not addressed my point that the proposed wording does not actually say what you are saying it should.

Section 5
We appear to agree that the proposed wording could be improved.

Section 6
My main point is that the complainant should have the ability to raise the issue directly with the Standards Committee if they wish and if it is correct for them to do so. If the case is serious enough then it should be allowed and the amendment prohibits it.
"No-one wants Chess Scotland to be dictating to leagues or congresses but an independent body which looks at genuine concerns (only after local procedures have been exhausted) is a necessary tool."

The standards committee is not in my understanding an independent body. when there are 2 directors sitting on the committee. That in itself makes it a non independent body.
I agree that there is a need for such a committee but not in its current form. I opposed there being CS Directors sitting on this body then and I still oppose that now. This body needs changing.
Em, am I missing something? I clicked on the link to the standards code and got "Standards Committee - Operating Procedures".

So I'm wondering where the actual standards are?

As for the Operating Procedures - what version am I reading - the original draft, the amended draft? What is the proposal from Ayrshire Chess Association that is to be voted on at the AGM? Is it the document brought up by the link?

"It is hoped that promulgation of these standards throughout the game will be even more effective (than imposing penalties) in reducing the incidence of undisciplined and inappropriate behaviour."

I had to look up promulgation - you learn something every day.

Can you reduce the incidence of undisciplined and inappropriate behaviour, if it's at zero?
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