Executive Committee Special Meeting

08 March 2005

On Friday 26th March 2004, there was a special session of the Executive Committee and the following resolution was passed. Please bring the contents of this resolution to the attention of members as quickly as possible

319/424 
“That the report be rejected, due to inaccuracies and discrepancies contained within the draft report, and P Blagbrough's letter dated 21.03.04.

Further that this EC of ASLEF is appalled at the recent press speculation and erroneous comments by the press and other certain misinformed individuals over allegations of financial irregularities and other matters relating to the running and stewardship of ASLEF.

We believe as an EC that ASLEF good name has been besmirched and dragged through the gutter over the last few months, in particular the recent press and other articles over an inaccurate draft financial report, that has not been presented formally before this EC until today. Such report was also reported to the police by the President as stolen, and as such an investigation is now taking place into the person who committed the theft.

This EC of ASLEF, believes that a full, independent examination is required on all matters relating to the operation of the union from 1st January 1994 to close of EC business on the 26th March 2004.

This EC of ASLEF therefore appoints Mr Mathias John Kelly QC, former Chairman of the Bar Council of England and Wales 2003 to head this independent inquiry. Mr Kelly QC is a leading and eminent person in his profession, and one whom this EC believes will give a true and totally independent report.

Mr Kelly QC will be given the opportunity to appoint his team of professionals, which will probably include a junior barrister, a forensic IT specialist and forensic finance specialist, needed to help him do a full and thorough investigation into all of ASLEF operations, activities, and decisions since 1st January 1994 to Friday 26th March 2004. However, who Mr Kelly appoints will be a matter for Mr Kelly QC.

Mr Kelly QC will be given terms of reference that will produce a totally independent report and will be given a letter of indemnity.

This EC of ASLEF instructs that Mr Kelly QC will report his findings to the President and the Executive Committee only. And any points of further reference, clarification or any other information required will be done through the President.

Mr Kelly QC will be allowed, full and uninterrupted access without notice and at his convenience to, all and every piece of information as he determines.

Mr Kelly QC may at his request interview, take evidence, or call for such at his discretion, any person connected with the running of ASLEF operations, such as Officers, EC members, staff, trustees, office bearers, appropriate members, including past and present or retired, and such other persons as appropriate, including current and former ASLEF service providers, past or present servants, agents or contractors.

Further

This EC instructs the General Secretary, and all other Officers, Trustees, staff members and any previous occupiers of these positions, along with appropriate members to fully cooperate without hindrance whatsoever with this investigation. Failure to comply may result in any appropriate action being taken by this EC.

Further

From the passing of this resolution, dated 26th March 2004 number 319/424 whilst this investigation takes place the EC will be in full time session overseeing the operation and organisation of the union. The General Secretary, Assistant General Secretary and National Organiser are instructed to list every matter, requiring approval in consideration of the running of ASLEF operations, and organisation, including circulars, press and media, finance, legal matters, equipment renewal, building works and renewals, etc.

Further

No EC member, Officer, or other employee(s), advisors, consultants or other persons including members connected with ASLEF are allowed to destroy, tamper, falsify, or remove any files, documentation, or equipment in electronic or other format, from the offices of ASLEF or remote location offices connected with ASLEF, without first presenting a written report with explanations to this EC. Failure to comply with this instruction may lead to appropriate action being taken by this EC.

This EC views very seriously what has been reported in the press and other mediums, and the situation that the union is now placed in. This EC believes in open government and proper conduct and accountability on all ASLEF operations. We trust members and branches will appreciate the need for a proper investigation of this magnitude, and any findings will be acted upon as appropriate, and will be published to members via the official ASLEF website, www.aslef.org.uk, and EC circular, along with a special publication of the Locomotive Journal, the official organ and voice of ASLEF. Plus special District Council and other meetings will be officially convened by the EC.

No other communication, verbal, or written on this matter may be entered into without the authority and sanction of this EC, until the report has been completed and presented to the EC.


Mr Kelly QC terms of reference are,

“Dear Mr Kelly,

TERMS OF REFERENCE INDEPENDENT INQUIRY INTO THE FINANCIAL AND RELATED AFFAIRS AND OPERATIONS OF ASLEF.

On behalf of my Executive Committee, I have been instructed to place the following terms of reference before you, in establishing and obtaining from you a detailed, thorough, and independent report.

1) To conduct an independent inquiry into the financial, operational and other related affairs of ASLEF for the period 1st January 1994 to 26th March 2004 or such later date that shall appear to him convenient, and to report to the President and the Executive Committee with such recommendations as he considers appropriate.
2) Other matters may also be considered appropriate or desirable in the independent report in order to present a full, fair and thorough report to the Executive Committee of ASLEF.
3) Mr Kelly QC shall at the expense of ASLEF have the power to instruct forensic accountants and forensic IT specialists and such other experts as he shall think necessary to assist him, and shall be assisted by junior council of his choice.
4) Mr Kelly QC shall engage such secretarial and administrative assistance as he regards necessary.
5) Any other points of reference, clarification or any other information required will be done through the President.
6) Mr Kelly will be allowed full and uninterrupted access without notice and at his convenience, to all and every piece of information, evidence or witnesses as he so determines. If at any time Mr Kelly feels impeded in his investigations he will consult with the President to remedy such matters, and also present such matters in his report.
7) ASLEF will pay the full costs of such report and inquiry, and any other related costs arising from these terms of reference.
8) ASLEF will provide Mr Kelly QC with a letter of indemnity, on agreed terms and will reimburse all his reasonable expenses and will pay fees to be agreed, with the President of the Executive Committee.
9) All past and present, employee, official, office bearer, trustee, executive committee member, past or present servant or agent, contractors, or advisers, thereof, of ASLEF is hereby instructed to provide Mr Kelly QC with all cooperation, assistance and information within his or her power, and to answer any such questions put by Mr Kelly QC on his behalf, and as soon as practicable, also they shall provide, all records and documents whether electronic or other form, within his or her power, possession or control, which may be relevant or which is sought by Mr Kelly QC.

I would be grateful if you would communicate and meet at your earliest convenience to discuss the start and completion date of the inquiry, and your charges for doing same.

Yours Sincerely


Martin Samways
President of the Executive Committee”



Also

Letter of indemnity to Mr Kelly QC,

“Dear Mr Kelly,

INQUIRY INTO THE FINANCIAL AND RELATED AFFAIRS AND OPERATIONS OF ASLEF.

ASLEF will indemnify Mathias Kelly QC for the recovery of damages in respect of any injury, loss or damage, to persons or bodies alleged to have been caused by or contributed to by reason of, or arising from the discharge of any of his functions and whilst undertaking an inquiry into the financial and related affairs and operations of ASLEF, except in the case of wilful neglect, default or malice of Mr Mathias Kelly QC, his servants or agents.

Yours Sincerely


Martin Samways
President of the Executive Committee”



Further

All ASLEF individual members (and retired), ASLEF Branches, District Councils, All Consultative Committees, Full Time Officials, ASLEF employees and their representatives, the TUC, TUC affiliated unions, the certification officer, auditors, Thompsons, Financial advisors on ASLEF investments, Financial advisors on the ASLEF Pension scheme, be issued with either of the following; circular, via letter format, circular format, placing on the web site and a prominent position in the Locomotive Journal.

Mr Mathias Kelly QC, c.v. and Mr P Blagbrough letter of the 21.03.04 will also be attached as an appendix to the issued circulars, letter format, circular format, ASLEF web site, and Locomotive Journal.

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