District Director's Reports

George Retek

District 1 Director

BACK TO THE DARK AGES

I do not usually report on items that have been passed by the board.The Spring 2011 Board meetings unfortunately demanded an exception that you will see more fully described later.

MAJOR DECISIONS BY THE BOARD

I.                    FINANCE

1.†††††††† The 2011 Budget projecting a net revenue of $ 140,880 (that was immediately revised to $ 116,880) was approved by a vote of 22:1.The capital budget that had been revised in the last minute from $ 81,000 to $ 681,000 was also approved by the same margin.

†††††††††††† I had casted the only negative vote.(More on this later).

2.†††††††† I am not a member of the Audit Committee this year.The existing committee presented a report to the Board, neglecting to mention that they investigated a serious break in our financial policy and found a discrepancy.The audited 2010 financial statements were not presented but were promised for later delivery.

3.†††††††† During the past two years, I became aware that certain important financial information was not made available to all board members.Since Board members on non-profit organizations have the obligation to regularly review the activities of the organization, safeguard its assets and ensure that transparency exists concerning the affairs of the organization.I have proposed a motion to ensure important documents should be available for review by board members, unless they are deemed to be confidential by the President and the Treasure.In that case, the Board members should be provided with a summary of the information contained in that document, excluding the confidential details.

†††††††††††† My motion was defeated.The prevailing curtain to hide information will continue.Who benefits from it?I do not know.All I know is that the funds of our membership suffers.

Few cases to illustrate existing situations:

a)†††††††† The 2011 budget for capital expenditures was listed as $ 81,000 in November 2010.By March 2011, this figure was revised to $ 681,000 for additional software.Neither details nor quotes were provided.However we were assured that the confidential bidding policy procedure will be followed (just by the way it was not followed for the previous project)

b)††††††† We have made our largest expenditure in our history when we negotiated the purchase of our new headquarters in 2009 (we were told approximately 6 million, but final figures still have not been published yet).†† Is there a conceivable reason why access to this document was denied to the Board?Now arriving at the Spring meeting, we have learned that our new property that was supposed to be exempt from municipal taxes from the beginning, actually incurred a huge tax cost.In late November we were advised the tax will cost $ 42,352.Suddenly by December 31, 2010 it was finalized at $ 146,724.The 2011 figure budgeted for this expense as presented to us on March 7, 2011 was $ 250.Two days later it was revised to $ 24,000.Is there a connection somewhere?We do not know because documentation is kept away from us.Does anybody care?I do and I am frustrated.

c)†††††††† It is customary to obtain an actuary report prior to the finalization of the audited financial statements.For the 2009 year ACBL obtained two actuary reports, that is highly unusual.My request to see these reports (without confidential information, if any) has been denied up to this day.

How long will our membership accept these sometimes unauthorized or undocumented expenditures?

Many of our ACBL Board members are honest, hard working individuals with limited financial background and little interest in financial affairs.It is truly unfortunate that there is such a limited understanding of the need for better controls.I am deeply concerned about our financial controls and lack of disclosure of unfavourable activities.

I.                    TOUNAMENTS AND CLUBS

1.       A player may not enter more than two ACBL sanctioned online games of any hind in any 60 minute period.

2.       Currently the month of February (Junior), April (Charity) and September (International) are designated as special fund game months.ACBL wide special games may not be conducted during these months.

3.       On an experimental basis, there was a slight change made in the seeding point allocation formula for NABC + KO events.

II.                  POT POURRI

1.       Bill Cook was elected Treasurer for a 1 year term from May 1, 2011.

2.       Cheers to ex-Montrealer Erick Kokish, who was deservedly selected to the Bridge Hall of Fame.

3.       An application for readmission to the ABCL membership was denied to M. Lanzarotti and A. Buratti.

4.       As a housekeeping item; a Certificate of Amendment of the incorporation of the ACBL is submitted for approval at the 2011 annual membership meeting.

5.       Electronic voting on an ACBL motion is now allowed, when the result is unanimous.Each memberís vote must contain a fax or e-mail copy of the voterís signature to be valid.

6.       ACBL membership in 2011 so far indicates a slight decline.

7.       There is some consideration going on to divide the Junior Fund in another way that we will learn at a later time.

8.       ACBL is looking for new CEO.I encourage players to apply who have a solid financial background and good organizational skills.

IMPORTANT CHANGE

The GNT District Final was originally scheduled for Quebec City in May.Due to the revised CNTC dates in Regina, District President, Peter Clark has rescheduled this event to April 3, during the CBF Regional in Montreal.

CELEBRATION

After many years of neglect, the Summer NABC returns to Canada in July.

Hope to see you all in Toronto.