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Mike Scott Wrote:Andy B.,
I guess my fear is that if the AGM (or directors) can refer matters back to SC then it could be used to put pressure on the SC to come to a particular decision or to, in some way, harass people by having instances re-investigated.

If there were a mechanism in place to carefully define what can be referred to the SC and on what grounds then it might be an option to consider.

I agree Mike - I do have a sinking feeling though that even if such a process were in place and incidents were fully investigated/adjudicated on/appealed and then re-raised, it might not be the end of the matter where some people are concerned Sad

Regarding the original incident/SC appeal/ I said in my last post the bad feeling/unhappiness with decisions & process/etc. isn't just going to disappear.

What are CS going to do about it?

Nothing isn't an option - silence before (or possibly during) the AGM isn't going to help appease or resolve matters. Even a statement on here from CS president/director(s) indicating that the matter is under discussion would be a start.

Quote:If you do not like the process of how Chess Scotland manage incidents and feel so strongly about it then you should spend this time instead looking at ways to improve the process. - David Grant
This in part echoes my own post of a few days ago. I was rather hoping that the motion raiser and others involved would find a more positive way of addressing their dissatisfaction - but they have chosen not to and we have to now work from this position towards a resolution. Sad
There are two separate motions here although they are linked.

The Standards Committee never looked at the question of the role that alcohol played in this incident. The reason for this is no one interviewed the victims who would have alleged that alcohol was involved. As an organisation we need to know if alcohol played a role so that in future a Head of Delegation can be given advice on whether or not alcohol should be permitted. If the Standards Committee decides that alcohol played no role then fine I will quite happily accept those findings. If on the other hand it played a significant role we as an organisation have to address that.

Before I answer the question on “public lynching” and I will, I have some questions for those of you who oppose these motions.
1.What duty of care does Chess Scotland have to the victims.
2.Do you believe that someone who's PVG cleared coaching status has been suspended should still be able to act in the way I have alleged. If you think his behaviour is acceptable then we do have a disagreement. If you think it is wrong how would you address it.

I look forward to your replies.
Ok, I feel the need to comment on this as it all leads back to an incident which although I did not witness, I believe was blown completely out of proportion (only those involved can tell you their true agenda).

The individual involved was a very enthusiastic HOD and did a lot of great work on the various trips I attended with him. He makes one small slip (with good intentions) and all of a sudden a witch hunt ensues. Most of the 'adults' at Slovenia were drinking often - in all honesty these events are seen more and more as a kind of holiday/party for the parents and in Slovenia this was particularly true.

The only junior competition I ever attended was a team event in the South of France in the early nineties. There were 4 juniors in total ranging roughly from ages 11- 15, and one coach - Mark Condie. We were pretty much left to our own devices and it is one of my best memories of my life and in chess. Note that no parents were present. Now every parent wants to go with their child and this is the sort of bull^$*£ that happens. What a huge drama over basically nothing.

Duncan if you go for president you have my vote.
Here is a recent report from the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries as to how they deal with misconduct. The respondent is always named in its findings and the report is published online and in the magazine. There is no lynching or emotion in the report and the report is produced purely for information purposes.

Determination Report for Adjudication Panel
29 May 2013
Mr. Nishanthan Gunasingam FIA, (the Respondent)
On 29 May 2013 the Adjudication Panel considered a complaint that the Respondent, being at the material time a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries:
1. On 9 March 2012 was charged with the offence of outraging public decency, contrary to common law, for which he pled guilty at the City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
2. In failing to disclose this conviction to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries failed to fulfil his duty under Rule 1.19 of the Disciplinary Scheme
And in his actions above failed to maintain and observe the standards of conduct expected of a Member, in breach of Principle 1 of the Actuaries’ Code and, in any event, constituting misconduct in terms of Rule 1.6 of the Disciplinary Scheme of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, being conduct falling below the standards of behaviour, integrity, competence or professional judgement which other Members or the public might reasonably expect of a Member.
Having considered the case report and the appendices submitted by the Investigation Actuary, the Panel determined that the case report disclosed a prima facie case of Misconduct and in accordance with Rule 4.4(a) that the Respondent should be invited to accept that there has been Misconduct and the following sanctions:
• A reprimand; and
• A fine of £1,000.
The Panel’s reasons were as follows:
1. The circumstances of the offence is that the Respondent, between 31 August 2011 and 26 September 2011, on the London Underground, committed an act outraging public decency by behaving in an indecent manner namely filming up females’ skirts.
2. The Disciplinary Scheme states at Rule 1.12 that
“For the purposes of this Scheme it shall amount to prima facie evidence of Misconduct that:

(b) a Respondent, has before a Court of competent jurisdiction in the United Kingdom, been convicted of an indictable offence”
The Adjudication Panel saw no evidence in the Case Report that persuaded them that they should depart from the Disciplinary Scheme. Consequently they unanimously concluded that the allegations, which are not disputed by the Respondent, amounted to a prima facie case of Misconduct.
3. The Panel, by majority, determined that the sanctions available to them were sufficient to deal with this case and therefore decided not to refer the matter to a Tribunal. In considering which sanctions were appropriate the Panel had regard to the Disciplinary Board guidance and as such they took into consideration the sanctions which had previously been imposed by Westminster Magistrates’ Court in relation to allegation 1 above.
4. The Panel considered the actions of the Respondent to be reprehensible and that they are not befitting of a member of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA). Nevertheless the relevant authorities have sanctioned the Respondent for the criminal offence and the Panel concluded that it would not be appropriate to punish the Respondent twice for the same offence by way of a further fine. On that basis the Panel determined that a reprimand was the appropriate sanction in relation to allegation 1 above.
5. The Panel noted the considerable amount of mitigation that the Respondent provided detailing his personal situation at the time, including a number of character references. The Panel accepted that the behaviour was out of character and may have been influenced by a number of other factors in the Respondent’s personal life. However the Panel did not feel that this was sufficient to negate the need for a reprimand.
6. In relation to allegation 2 above the Panel accepted the Respondent’s explanation that he was not familiar with his professional obligations and that he was required to disclose details of his conviction. However Rule 1.19 of the Disciplinary Scheme requires that a member disclose this promptly and Rule 1.22 states that “The failure of a Member to comply with Rule 1.18 and/or Rule 1.19 shall amount to prima facie evidence of Misconduct.”
7. The Panel again saw no reason to depart from the rules of the Disciplinary Scheme and again unanimously concluded that allegation 2 above amounted to a prima facie case of Misconduct.
8. It is a Member’s responsibility to ensure they are familiar with their professional obligations. The Panel determined that notwithstanding that the Respondent was unaware of his obligations prior to his conviction, the fact that he had received a conviction should have led
him to enquiring about any obligation to disclose that conviction. The Respondent failed to do so, and had it not been for the Complainant drawing the matter to the IFoA’s attention it would not have been disclosed.
9. It is in the public interest that any convictions are made known to the IFoA. It is a serious offence to fail to disclose a conviction and the Panel concluded that the Respondent should be invited to accept a fine of £1,000.
Mike Shelley (Chairman), Richard Briden, Pamela Charlwood
Jonathan Harvey (Legal Advisor)
Yes Alan I am well aware of the past misdemeanour's of Scottish Chess when it comes to sending juniors abroad. We even sent someone to, I believe it was Columbia, when several other European nations including the English didn't attend due to the high levels of crime and violence there. This person was able to write a nice report for the magazine about how the Germans got held up at gunpoint and robbed in the foyer of the hotel ah the good old days. I am also aware under previous regimes that we sent juniors abroad without telling parents that we weren't covering travel insurance and they would have to make their own arrangements. So we should think ourselves lucky in this age of the softies and all this PGV nonsense, just get on with it and stop witch hunting this poor individual. However, perhaps I should be more sympathetic to your point of view, it is closer to the official view of Chess Scotland than you might think.

When I posted the motions I gave 5 reasons why I wanted the person named so far the only response I have had to the 5 reasons is I want to “publicly lynch” him. So is it the case that these are not my reasons and I have a hidden agenda to publicly lynch him,

The reasons I have given are in line with PVG guidance. The starting point is the protection of the vulnerable group, in this case a child NOT the protection of the adult. PVG is first and foremost about protection of the vulnerable. By keeping this individual's name secret we are failing as an organisation in our duty of care to the victim and the parent.

I raised the question in the supporting statement about whether the suspension was merely to placate the parent. If this was not the case what was it meant to achieve? Certainly he shouldn't be coaching junior members which is in line with the suspension. If this is the sum total of what we are doing as an organisation then we are leaving him free to contact juniors either directly or through parents/guardians or other coaches. He is driving a coach and horses through the action we have taken against him or is he?

Chess Scotland officials have been given evidence of his activity and will only give one of two responses. “The matter is closed” from the Chair of the Standards Committee or to quote The President in an email to the parent who informed him that the suspended individual was in possession of information he shouldn't in their opinion have

:”The restriction arising from deletion of XXXX from the Chess Scotland
list of Registered Coaches applies only to prevent him undertaking regulated
work in a CS capacity. As you may know, 'regulated work' is a defined term.
The removal from the list is not, and indeed cannot be, any attempt to
restrict normal freedom of speech, general interest in chess and
so on.”
So the President of Chess Scotland views this person 1.Contacting juniors. 2.Knowing about juniors involvement in tournaments beyond a level that someone who was not directly involved would normally be expected to have. As doing nothing more than carrying out his right to free speech and having a general interest in chess and so on.

Now given this definition by the President who we now know is aware that this person's is contacting others and has detailed knowledge coming from somewhere about junior teams I ask again why was this person suspended.

Are we truly saying that as long as he doesn't coach any junior member he can do what he likes. He can seek information, talk to them advise them about Congresses and “so on”. Is this what a suspension entails. So, when I said that Chess Scotland is doing absolutely nothing about his transgressions am I wrong. Clearly I am if we accept the President's definition of a suspension.

The whole intention of someone having their PVG cleared coaches status suspended is to keep him/her away from junior members during the period of the suspension. If the President views this persons current activities as free speech and general chess interest then we have to ask do we have a PVG policy worthy of the name. I think not.

So at the risk of leading a lynch mob I want the person named to protect junior members in line with a PVG policy we should be operating not the one we seem to be operating. It is not the role of the PVG policy to protect the guilty at the expense of the victims.

As I said Alan your view may be closer to the official Chess Scotland policy than mine in which case it is a sad indictment of the state of Scottish Chess.
Quote:I want to “publicly lynch” him. So is it the case that these are not my reasons and I have a hidden agenda to publicly lynch him,

Just to clarify/apologies - I did not intend to imply that was your personal intention or desire, rather that it seemed to be the most likely outcome, based on the past history of this notice board. Having re-read the post I would like to edit it to make that clear but there is no option to edit it.

With regards the points you raised I do not feel able to comment. I do not know anything about the terms of his suspension nor if the allegations you make are true. If they are true and they do breech the terms of the suspension then perhaps you have a point. If you feel you do then can you not go to the SC with a complaint?

Bottom line I am willing to accept the judgement of the SC. Given the obvious seriousness that child protection is taken and the possible consequences if an incorrect or unreasonable decision is taken, it seems unlikely that an independent body like the SC would deliberately come to a false conclusion. You do not need to be a lawyer to realize the potential consequences of doing so.

I think a better make this my last post on the subject.
Mike I don't take offence at your comments, unfortunately I realise this is how some people see the issue. As far as referring to the Standards Committee well to quote the Chair "The issue is closed".
I wasn’t reassured by your posts in support of your motions Robert, as they contain a lot of accusations and/or innuendo that you don’t substantiate.

Your question 2 above says “Do you believe that someone who's PVG cleared coaching status has been suspended should still be able to act in the way I have alleged. If you think his behaviour is acceptable then we do have a disagreement. If you think it is wrong how would you address it.”

That’s a very loaded question, given that you have not presented the behaviour that you allege in a way that could be queried, but you nevertheless want us to accept it as fact.

Also, as you will be aware, a motion preventing any involvement of suspended coaches in junior chess – i.e. precisely what you claim is necessary – is going before the AGM. Unless this motion is incompetent, there is not an existing bar on ALL involvement in junior chess. As far as I can tell, you are not alleging that improper contact by the suspended coach has been made with any juniors. So surely it would be completely wrong for any formal action to be taken in order to address behaviour that is alleged informally by you, behaviour which even if confirmed would not break any rules?
I can’t see how your line of argument supports naming at all.

Four of your five reasons for naming concern the need to protect various people or organizations by naming the suspended coach. This seems tantamount to asking CS to ignore the ruling of the Standards Committee, and treat the incident now as it were more serious than they did then. I think this would undermine the SC; it’s like saying if we get flak over the SC’s recommendations, we can find ways to beef them up.

Also, the other reason you gave argues that it doesn’t matter much if the child’s name thereby becomes known because the parents accept this risk. Together, these seem contradictary to me. If there has been such a serious incident at the hands of a man so dangerous that all the children, parents, guardians, coaches (and Chess Scotland too) need protecting from him, then how can it at the same time be OK for the child’s name to become known?

Regarding the second motion, if your concern is the issue of adults drinking while attending junior chess events, again you could raise that as a general issue at the AGM. You haven’t alleged that the coach was drinking excessively; so why should this personal angle be the subject of such scrutiny? Your explanation was

“to clarify how much alcohol played a role in this incident as it could have a baring on the instructions we as an organisation give to adults participating on Chess Scotland delegations at international events”

Are you seriously proposing that the Standards Committee, for the good of Chess Scotland, should conduct alcohol research; research that however consists only of one occasion and one person, and who it just so happens you insist must also be named just beforehand?

It does look to me like the benefit that you allege to Chess Scotland of such a pointless investigation is a contrived device to maintain focus on the individual concerned.

Does this criticism not also apply to your arguments about naming, too? For example, you say naming would ‘defend the reputation of the two other Chess Scotland officials present in Slovenia at the time’. But you seem remarkably unconcerned about completely dragging the other Chess Scotland official’s name through the mud.
Walter, the report of the Standards Committee is incomplete. Robert's motion simply completes the investigation. As a result of this omission, the respondent is allowed to be brazen. He sent the following email to Hamish and Andy Howie about me:

As you know I had to resign this season from my role as acting International Junior Director with ChessScotland. I felt this was the only route possible for me as parents need to have complete confidence in me. With the Standards Committee investigation pending, that parental confidence could not be complete.
Regarding recent noticeboard postings and reactions of members, I feel it is clear that you also need to seriously consider your position.
For the good of ChessScotland (CS) you may consider it a good idea to resign from your directorship as CS members clearly have no confidence in you. A simple message wishing your successor and ChessScotland progress in the future would be helpful.
I hope if you consider this appropriate, you may feel that you will be able to support ChessScotland (as I do) in any way possible in the future.
Having a personal dispute with the person is usually regarded as a conflict of interest Andy. Robert at least remembered to argue it was for the benefit of Chess Scotland.
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