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My Full Responses to CIPFA's Replies to My CIPFA Concerns - All CIPFA Members must Read This!


I am now in a position to reveal CIPFA's replies to my questions


My initial October 2023 questions weren't fully answered


My additional 9 questions were selectively answered


No response to my request for an independent inquiry into CIPFA'S future


There are now an additional 10 questions relating to the failure of the CIPFA Connect project.


I have asked that CIPFA responds in writing to all its members and discusses these serious issues at the forthcoming CIPFA AGM.


Will CIPFA do anything about my concerns especially the will the new Chief Executive act?


That remains to be seen!


. ............................. ................................


Hi Trish ( CIPFA Governance Contact)


I have eventually received your reply to my 34 questions and my request for an independent inquiry into CIPFA'S future.


Frankly, I am deeply disappointed in what you have sent me.


In general your replies have been inadequate due to them being incomplete and selective.


This simply will not do!


The initial 25 questions posed to CIPFA in October 2023 deserved a full, frank, detailed and individualised reply which I asked you to make public to all CIPFA members.


You haven't done this


These 25 questions covered the role of the departing Chief Executive, the actions of the Chief Operating Officer and the role of CIPFA Corporate Governance.


You have not provided this and I would urge you to address the 25 questions in the manner in which I originally requested you to do so.


You have made some generalised statements on the role of the Departing Chief Executive and the CIPFA Corporate Governance structure which are very odd yet you have deliberately missed out replies to a significant number of the 25 questions I have asked.


I will comment on the vague and generalised statements you have on my 25 initial questions as follows;


1. Criticisms of CIPFA Replies to My Initial 25 Questions Posed to CIPFA in October 3023.

The involvement of our Chief Executive as chair of a a Health Trust is beneficial to CIPFA?


The CEO of CIPFA is a full time position not a traineeship and spending 2 to 3 days a week as Chair of a Health authority clearly detracts from his primary CIPFA role. This is not a beneficial position for CIPFA infact it is certainly not Beneficial for CIPFA members.


The CIPFA CEO must have CIPFA as his prime focus and responsibility not NED posts or Chair of a Health Authority!


There are at least 3 other External NED posts which he has been involved with which have clearly been lost in your reply to me!


Aren't these roles also important for you to consider?


Why didn't you comment on them?


He has earned at least circa £100k from these external involvements.


You were asked to confirm this but did not bother to reply?


Did the CIPFA Council agree to him taking on all these external roles?


Please respond to this?


One of these external involvements was that he was the Head of his own management consultancy Company Lilliput Advisory Ltd.


Can you describe the process for CIPFA agreeing to the CIPFA CEO setting up his own management consultancy company and the approval of assignments he was paid for privately?


Who was it that approved this process?


I am deeply worried that the CEO of CIPFA is simultaneously Head of his own management consultancy.


This is unprecedented!


I know of no other instance where the CEO of a major organisation is at the same time head of his own management consultancy.


This is a recipe for conflicts of interest and confused responsibilities.


This is clearly unethical and should never have happened!


Do you agree this was a huge error of judgement by the CIPFA Corporate Governance section and the departing Chief Executive?


If the CIPFA Corporate Governance Process allowed this to happen then it is also culpable and those individuals involved must consider their own positions!


When I was at CIPFA I was prohibited from setting up a business whilst working there and was not allowed to set up any similar business within 12 months of leaving CIPFA. Surely the same conditions must apply to our departing Chief Execitive?


Can you confirm this is the case?


Please ensure you do so and report back to me and the wider CIPFA membership on what is going on here?


You have conveniently forgotten to respond to the fact that the Chief Executive owns his own management consultancy which is remiss of you and in my opinion is a significant failure of weak CIPFA Corporate Governance.


This is a clear indication of Chief Executive Overstretch which has had consequences for CIPFA and I will return to this later.


Incidentally you did not mention my points on Chief Executive Overstretch in any of your replies to me or the balance of time and effort the Chief executive takes between his CIPFA and non CIPFA roles.


I specifically addressed these matters in my 25 questions to you but you haven't replied to them.


You have not disclosed how and if his time allocation between his CIPFA and non CIPFA roles is measured and whether it his own time, CIPFA time or a combination of both that is applied to his external roles?


I asked for this split of his time allocation but you never provided it!


Please ensure you do this!


Does the CIPFA Corporate Governance structure have any real idea where the CIPFA Chief Executive spends his time?


I believe it doesn't and this heralds another failure of the CIPFA Corporate Governance Process.


There are now strong suspicions emerging that the departing Chief Executive has been preparing himself for a portfolio NED career post CIPFA whilst still being the CIPFA CEO.


The accumulation of external non executive posts including his own management consultancy under his own name provide strong evidence of this.


If this is true then it is totally unacceptable!


You state that there are strong defences against conflicts of interest in CIPFA and that the CIPFA Chief Executive recuses himself from crucial meetings where conflicts of interest may occur.


Given the depth and breadth of his external involvements I.e management consultancy, property and public facilities I sense that the CEO would have to recuse himself from practically all critical meetings!


How many meetings has the Chief Executive recused himself from?


You have stated that the Chief Executive and CIPFA Board members must register all interests they have and must ask permission to apply for any posts?


You state that you are an open and transparent organisation but I have tried to find any evidence of these records of Board members' interests and job applications.


Unfortunately I haven't been able to find any!


They do not appear in the CIPFA annual report and as CIPFA doesn't publish any minutes of its meetings I can't find them there either.


Please provide a full list of all CIPFA Director's interests and jobs?


Please give a commitment that you will publish this information for all CIPFA members to review?


Please publish a copy of CIPFA's plconflict of interest policy for all CIPFA's members to review?


Please provide information on when this conflict of interest policy was last updated and revised?


The situation concerning CIPFA's departing Chief Executive and the effectiveness of CIPFA's Corporate Governance is now critical for the future of the Institute


I am calling on the new Chief Executive to act immediately!


All 25 questions must be fully answered in detail.


I also asked questions about the role and actions of the CIPFA Chief Operating Officer (COO) but again you did not reply!


I understand that along with the Departing Chief Executive, the COO is also leaving CIPFA.


Any reasons for this?


2. Criticisms of the CIPFA replies to my Additional Questions A1 to A9


I am replying to the CIPFA responses to my additional questions.


Firstly CIPFA's refusal to publish the Sinclair Report on the 2019 £3.7m write down has fallen apart like a cheap suit.


This is because CIPFA has suffered yet another Corporate failure in terms of the CIPFA Connect Digital Service which closed at the end of December 2023.


This was never supposed to happen again and yet here we are!


This is truly shocking and I am calling on the new CIPFA Chief Executive to publish the Sinclair report immediately and any related communications that CIPFA has had with the Charity Commission on the write down issue.


CIPFA members must know what is going on!


If the Institute is committed to truth and integrity it will follow this path!


It has been confirmed that the CIPFA Connect project has closed its doors at the end of 2023. This is the second significant CIPFA Corporate project failure in recent years and sadly I will devote a separate section to this failure in the forthcoming paragraphs.


In terms of the CIPFA world tour of the CIPFA Board which took place in January 2024;


1 How much did it cost?


2 What was the business case for it?


3.What new opportunities did it generate?


4.Did the valuation of the business opportunities outweigh the costs of the trip?


5.Why would a departing Chief Executive lead it when a new CIPFA Chief Executive is waiting to come in?


6. How many representatives of CIPFA were on it?


When Local Government is under extreme financial pressure the optics of such a trip are very poor.


Local Government officers won't reflect too kindly on CIPFA's Board members sending posts from exotic places whilst they themselves are struggling to avoid section 114 notices!


Intmfact many CIPFA members have let me know of their displeasure at what happened. It was frankly grossly insensitive.


CIPFA seems to be dis-connected from reality here and many CIPFA members have said this to me.


CIPFA needs to be far more sensitive here!!!


In terms of double jobbing for 2 months between the old and New CIPFA Chief Executive. I have estimated this will cost CIPFA just over £40k.


I have asked you to confirm this cost to me but you have chosen not to do so. Why?


Will the centralisation of CIPFA services from ICAEW hq result in any CIPFA staff redundancies?


You haven't answered this question?


3. Closure of the CIPFA Digital Connect Project at the end of 2023


This is very sad news and reflects a second major CIPFA project failure in recent years.


CC1. How much did the project cost to deliver?


CC2.Who instigated the project?


CC3.Was there a business case for the project?


CC4.Why did the project fail?


CC5.Did the project Board consist of the same individuals who managed the London Counter Fraud Hub debacle?


CC6.Will the project be written off in the forthcoming CIPFA accounts as a defunct project cost?


CC7.Has the project failure been reported to the Charity Commission as a "major incident"?


CC8.Which Corporate Governance element of CIPFA was overseeing this project?


CC9. When was the decision taken to wind up this project and by ehom?

.

CC10. Perhaps if the departing CIPFA CEO didn't have so many external distractions he could have mitigated or even avoided the losses resulting from the closure of this project?


I am now formally requesting that the new Chief Executive instigates an immediate open, transparent and independent investigation into why the CIPFA Connect Project failed and what needs to be done to improve the position of our Institute.


We cannot relive the previous history where the full Sinclair Report on the 2019 CIPFA write down was hidden from CIPFA members.


That can't happen again!!


4. An examination of the future of the Institute


Few can argue that in the light of issues raised here concerning the role of the Departing Chief Executive, the weakness of CIPFA Corporate Governance and the failure of significant CIPFA projects that an inquiry into CIPFA'S long-term future is now imperative!!


I have already set the terms of reference for such an independent inquiry which should report back to all CIPFA members by the end if January 2925.


I am now formally requesting the new Chief Executive to instigate this independent inquiry and look forward to a positive response.


5. CIPFA'S Response to my Questions


I believe that CIPFA should respond formally to all its members in writing answering all the questions I have raised in a full, detailed and sequential manner, on a prescribed date before the next CIPFA AGM.


Please treat this as a formal request.


After publication it would be prudent for CIPFA to include these issues on the agenda of its forthcoming AGM.


Hopefully there would then be a full and free debate on the future direction our Institute should take.


Last time I wanted to include a CIPFA AGM agenda item relating to the 2019 CIPFA write-down the CIPFA Council voted unanimously to reject my proposal.


Frankly, this was an insult to those CIPFA members who wanted this issue to be fully considered in an open and honest way.


The inclusion of this on the CIPFA AGM agenda would demonstrate to me and other CIPFA members that CIPFA is genuinely committed to our interests and wishes to resolve deep seated problems.


Let's be optimistic that the new Chief Executive will have the courage to take the crucial step to change our Institute for the better and discuss these matters openly and honestly at the forthcoming CIPFA AGM?


Regards


Roman Haluszczak


..............................................................



----- Forwarded message -----

From: "CIPFA Governance" <cipfagovernance@cipfa.org>

To: "roman.haluszczak@yahoo.co.uk" <roman.haluszczak@yahoo.co.uk>

Cc: "CIPFA Governance" <cipfagovernance@cipfa.org>

Sent: Thu, 2 May 2024 at 16:10

Subject: RE: The Future of CIPFA as an Institute


Dear Roman,



We appreciate your patience in awaiting our response to the concerns you have raised. With reference to your original 25 questions:



It is common for senior executives to assume NED roles. Internal procedures were followed, and our governance and management provided oversight of Rob Whiteman's NED roles. Importantly, Rob has diligently fulfilled his CEO duties at CIPFA, contributing significantly to our operations.



We are aware that chairing an NHS Foundation Trust requires the highest time commitment for a NED role. However, this responsibility is highly relevant to Rob’s CIPFA duties. CIPFA endorses the Chief Executive holding the position of NHS Trust Chair, as it provides a valuable public service to the NHS and ensures that the Institute stays updated on current issues related to the NHS and Integrated Care Systems.



CIPFA has established robust protocols and guidelines to mitigate any potential conflicts that may arise within the CEO role. We are committed to full transparency regarding any potential conflicts of interest that may arise. Our CEO and all staff are required to complete an annual register of interest form, which includes interests, relationships, or affiliations that could pose a conflict of interest. Any potential and actual conflicts of interest are managed through our standard governance procedures. This is a reassuring but general statement - can you inform me of the process for agreeing to the CEO setting up his own consultancy company and approval of assignments he was paid for privately? Who was it that approved such work?




All CIPFA employees are required to declare any employment, whether paid or voluntary, before taking up an additional role (or before joining CIPFA for new employees), and any arrangements are monitored on an ongoing basis as part of our appraisal process. Our policies and procedures are subject to regular review and updates to ensure they remain current and effective in addressing potential conflicts of interest. Can you send me a copy of the Conflict of Interest policy and advise when it was last reviewed andupdated for its effectiveness?



In cases where a conflict of interest is identified, the CEO is required to recuse himself from any decision-making process related to the matter.



CIPFA's CEO is supported in his role by the CIPFA Management Board (CMB), comprising the Chief Operating Officer, Director of Public Financial Management, Director of Education and Membership, Director of International, Director of Finance, Head of People and Culture and the Company Secretary. CMB plays a crucial role in helping the CEO achieve CIPFA's strategic objectives and ensuring the smooth operation of the organisation.



The Institute remains committed to maintaining the trust and integrity of our organisation. Under Rob's leadership, the organisation has undergone a significant transformation; he will leave CIPFA in a much stronger position than when he took on the role.



A1. Can CIPFA give an unequivocal guarantee that the independent report on the 2019, £3.7m CIPFA write down will be finally published for all CIPFA members to see?


As communicated previously, the independent report on the 2019 £3.7m CIPFA write-down will remain unpublished. The recommendations of the independent report were published; the 2020 annual report included the outcomes, which were covered in presentations at the 2021 AGM, along with an update on progress. In the 2021 annual report, we have referenced the findings of the follow-up report.



The Sinclair report was commissioned for an internal audience, and there is insufficient reason to overturn the original decisions made by both the Board and Council.


A2. There are rumors circulating that the "CIPFA Connect" digital strategy has been unsuccessful. Can CIPFA confirm or deny this and explain what it is going to do about it?


The CIPFA Connect project was closed at the end of 2023. While CIPFA Connect has been formally closed as a project, work continues to deliver a modernised and streamlined subscription offer for customers of CIPFA's publications, networks, and TIS online services. What was the cost of the CIPFA Connect project and what incme was received as a resut of the project?


A3. Can the CIPFA Council ensure that the new CIPFA Chief Executive has no external non CIPFA roles which could engender a conflict of interests and detract from his role as the Chief Executive of our Institute?


A4. Can the CIPFA President ensure that any time spent on various external non CIPFA tasks by the new CIPFA Chief Executive is properly recorded and authorised by CIPFA?


A5. Can CIPFA Council formally authorise all external involvements of the New Chief Executive ensuring that the likelihood of conflicts of interest is negated?


Any external appointments undertaken by the incoming CEO will be discussed and agreed upon by CIPFA's President and Chair of CIPFA Board in line with our current protocols, outlined above.

A6. Will the new Chief Executive institute an immediate independent external inquiry on CIPFA's Corporate Governance structure ensuring that previous lax Corporate Governance performance is never repeated with such an inquiry reporting to all CIPFA members publicly by the end of January 2025?


The new Chief Executive will be made aware of the concerns you have raised and will make a decision on whether an independent inquiry into CIPFA's corporate governance will be commissioned.


A7. Can the new CIPFA Chief Executive confirm or deny rumours that Mansell Street will be wound down and disposed of, that most future CIPFA operations will be delivered from ICAEW HQ and that redundancies of CIPFA staff will ensue?


CIPFA owns the freehold of Mansell Street and will continue to use the building for Institute purposes as well as leasing vacant floors to appropriate parties in order to maximize the assets’ return to our Trustees.


A8. The current departing Chief Executive has recently undertaken a visit to Australia, Japan and other countries along with colleagues.


Who went on this trip, how much did it cost, what was the business case for such a trip and were all the participants on this trip bona fide representatives of CIPFA?

Were their travelling and subsistence expenses all paid for by CIPFA (including all cost reimbursements)?

What did this trip cost CIPFA in total?

In January 2024, CIPFA's CEO embarked on international visits to Japan, New Zealand, and Australia. The purpose of these trips and meetings was to support business development, stakeholder engagement, and international relationship building. The work trip was very successful and in line with our priorities. What was the cost of these visits and what were the specific benefits to CIPFA? Rob appropriately covered the costs of his partner on the work part of his overseas trip.


A9. Why has CIPFA embarked on a process where it will in essence have 2 Chief Executive's for a period of time and how much will that cost the Institute?


As previously disclosed, given the importance of the role of the CEO, it is common practice to have a transition period, and the CIPFA Board has agreed on these timings.


Rob Whiteman and Steve Freer overlapped by one month for transition in 2013, and the present transition is the best arrangement for an orderly transition and briefing on CIPFA's breadth and complexity.



Kind regards,



Trish



From: roman.haluszczak@yahoo.co.uk <roman.haluszczak@yahoo.co.uk>

Sent: Tuesday, April 2, 2024 4:32 PM

To: CIPFA Governance <cipfagovernance@cipfa.org>

Subject: Re: The Future of CIPFA as an Institute



Dear Trish



Many thanks for such a prompt reply.



I look forward to the CIPFA President and the Chief Executive Elect replying to my concerns not just to me but the whole CIPFA membership at large.



There are very serious issues which must be considered here. I have raised some of them with CIPFA before but not received a reply.



Hopefully CIPFA will respond in this instance.



If CIPFA is serious about its desire for continuous improvement it must strive to be open, inclusive and democratic acting always in the best interests of its members.



The CIPFA members have an absolute right to know what is happening with their Institute and CIPFA must comply with this.



There really is no other way.



Regards



Roman Haluszczak



Yahoo Mail: Search, organise, conquer



On Tue, 2 Apr 2024 at 14:55, CIPFA Governance


<cipfagovernance@cipfa.org> wrote:


Dear Roman



I confirm receipt of your email dated 30 March.



The contents of the email will be passed to the CIPFA President to decide how to deal with a reply, and the CEO Designate when he is in post as requested by you.



We will ensure that your concerns are reviewed and addressed appropriately.




Kind regards


Trish



Patricia Milopoulos


Interim Company Secretary




77 Mansell Street,


London E1 8AN















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The information contained in this communication from the sender is confidential. It is intended solely for use by the recipient and others authorized to receive it. If you are not the recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution or taking action in relation of the contents of this information is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful.


This email has been scanned for viruses and malware, and may have been automatically archived by Mimecast, a leader in email security and cyber resilience. Mimecast integrates email defenses with brand protection, security awareness training, web security, compliance and other essential capabilities. Mimecast helps protect large and small organizations from malicious activity, human error and technology failure; and to lead the movement toward building a more resilient world. To find out more, visit our website.

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