Delayed AAD: Update

28 July 2005

Reasons for delaying conference


On 26 May 2004 the Executive Committee on hearing from the General Secretary and in the presence of all the full time officers, decided to delay the annual conference in the best interests of ASLEF and the membership. The delay is for the shortest time possible in the interests of the good governance of ASLEF.


It was not considered possible to comply with the obligations on the EC and officers to run the Annual Assembly of Delegates effectively.


The arrangements committee had required that the financial report be dealt with as first business and it is clear that the financial report is of great concern at this time. However, it was ascertained that the financial report had not been completed.


The finance department is clearly under great strain and lacking the organisation and staff required to run properly.


The General Secretary also had a duty under rule 6.2 (a) xvii and for ASLEF to comply with the law we are also obliged to send the financial statements to the Certification Officer, by the first of June. It was obvious we were not able to do that. We need to remedy this failure as soon as possible. The matter has now been discussed with the auditors, Hard Dowdy. Further information and assistance has now been given to them and we expect the necessary statements shortly.


Meanwhile, the report by Matthias Kelly QC was awaited. A substantial interim report could have been made available just before conference, but this would be incomplete and a reasonable time to assimilate the report would be suitable, before the AAD delegates and others could respond in an appropriate fashion.


In the event that the conference had proceeded on the basis of incomplete reports, it was felt that the significant expense of a further recall conference being needed was much more likely.


There is no question of anything other than working towards publishing the complete and unvarnished report as soon as possible.


There are obligations to run head office too, but it was realised this would be impossible given that 5 members of staff, mostly at senior level were suspended. Two people had been suspended without charge from the finance department for over 6 months.


Staff who had left were yet to be replaced. There was an inevitable strain on those remaining.


Further, it was reported that the policy department was behind in its work.


There have also been serious problems with IT at head office, which have hampered work there for months.


Under rule 6.2 (a) viii, the General Secretary shall attend conference, but whilst we have a General Secretary, he is currently under suspension pending investigation. On this basis it was not considered right to substitute him with the Acting General Secretary as no disciplinary action has been brought. Similarly we are obliged to have the President at conference.


To conclude in order to ensure that conference proceeds with delegates who are fully informed of the matters they should have at hand to most effectively to comply with rule 14 (a) to the effect that “ASLEF shall be under the control of the parliament body, the Annual Assembly of Delegates” the decision was taken to delay conference for the shortest period practicable.


EC Resolution 595/425


Consideration of a report of the Acting General Secretary, Vice President and ASLEF Legal Officer re 2004 Annual Assembly of Delegates


EC resolution 595/425

Proposed Walker

Seconded Wilkinson


That the report be adopted.


This EC will not tolerate delay to conference beyond that which is necessary. We recognise the need to comply with the rules in so far as is practicable bearing in mind the good governance of the union on behalf of the membership as a whole and taking account of our position as employers.


We will continue to work to assist and pressurise to produce the necessary reports and documents from:

The McColgan Enquiry

The Kelly Enquiry

Hard Dowdy and

The Acting General Secretary.


Indications are that the McColgan Enquiry has interviewed those it needs to and will produce a report within days and that the Kelly report will be available in full by the end of June. We are seeking a further meeting with Hard Dowdy.


Once the Kelly report is available it will be sent in its entirety to delegates to conference and every branch. Members will receive an executive summary and invited to contact their branch secretary to consider the full report, if they wish.


Given the time needed to assimilate the crucial Kelly report and the holiday period, during which many are unavailable to attend conference and the commitments of the venue, and taking account of TUC and Labour Party Conference, staffing issues and the logistics, we are able to announce that the first reasonable date is that of 25 September 2004.


All Branches and reps and Trustee’s be advised.



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