There are a number of Directors on the current auDA Board (as well as the “newish” CEO) that take great delight in disparaging the previous regime under CEO Chris Disspain – as well as some of his senior management. The common mantra from the new administration is that they had to take control of our members organisation in order to save it from the sins and mistakes of the past.
This sort of talk is straight out of “Politics 101” – blame the previous administration for all the supposed woes – and promise to do whatever it takes to get the house back in order. Given there are 3 staunch Liberals at the helm of auDA (Chair – Stuart Benjamin; Deputy Chair Erhan Karabardak; and CEO Cameron Boardman), it’s not surprising to me that this tactic is in play.
The brain drain and knowledge base at auDA has been eroded in a controlled explosion over the past 12 to 16 months. The human cost has also been staggering as this article indicates.
But It’s Far Worse Than That
Some fairly serious accusations have been made (snidely, but not publicly) about possible financial irregularities and lack of proper corporate governance in the past. I’ve been told to my face that there were / are forensic accounting reports being conducted into the financial affairs of auDA during the period that Chris Disspain was CEO. If this is the case, are they also implying that the former Chair (The Hon. Tony Staley AO) was complicit in this? Former Directors? Previous senior management? Accountants, auditors and legal representation? Previous Company Secretary?
The current Chair of auDA recently wrote to me in response to various emails and letters I had sent him about certain matters. There was one particular quote that stood out. This is what Stuart Benjamin said (bolding is mine; spelling and grammar mistakes are his):
“Since becoming Chairman of the board of auDA, it has been my specific and dedicated commitment to improve the governance, professionalism and performance of the organisation. Compared to what I inherited, the organisation is now meeting it (sic) legislative and governmental obligations and the commitment to ongoing reform has been discussed publically (sic) many times.”
Putting aside the supposed “financial irregularities”, this a serious accusation that Benjamin now raises – specifically, a failure of previous Boards / management to meet legislative and governmental obligations.
Time To Put Up Or Shut Up
Now it’s fair to say that I wasn’t a fan of Chris Disspain – but I think it extremely unfair for this sort of innuendo to be floating around. It potentially affects the credibility of many decent and honest people – including past Directors and staff.
It’s one thing to say that Disspain was profligate in his spending habits whilst at the helm of auDA – it’s another to imply “irregularities and lack of governance”. So please – show us the proof – or get off the bandwagon once and for all.
Speaking of spending habits, I’d love to see who from auDA has made trips to where in the past 18 months so we can do a comparison. Sadly, that information is not available to members due to a lack of communication and transparency. But Twitter and Facebook give some serious clues. Perhaps a case of the pot calling the kettle black?
If auDA was a mess before, well I prefer that to the current situation! At least you knew there was proper process being followed when it came to policy development and procedures. As they say, you don’t appreciate what you had until it has gone.
The buck stops with you Mr Benjamin – you’re the Chair; and this has all happened on your watch. You need to reign in your CEO – in the opinion of many, he’s the one responsible for the current level of angst amongst both Supply and Demand members. When “thought bubbles” can become policy after little scrutiny, then you know there is a serious problem.
In my opinion of course.
Ned O’Meara – 13th July 2017