AGM 2014 - highlights
The 21st Annual General Meeting of UCISA took place during the UCISA14 Conference in Brighton on 27 March. The AGM offered the opportunity to reflect on the past year’s activities and to look forward to the coming year. Many of the activities carried out in 2013 have already been detailed in the Annual Report and the more formal Trustees Report
The 2013 AGM recognised that the Association’s Constitution prevented UCISA from expanding its range of activities and encouraged the Trustees to investigate ways of addressing both this issue and a number of potential liabilities to the Association and Trustees. The Trustees have taken advice from the Association’s accountants and legal advisors and there has been considerable progress in addressing these issues and moving the Association forward. The modifications to the Constitution approved at the Special General Meeting held in November 2013 paved the way for a number of changes.
Firstly, a new trading company, UCISA Services Limited (USL), has been established and is now in a position to trade. The main reasons for setting the trading company up are to give the Association the potential to increase the range of services we offer our members and to allow the Association to operate in a more tax efficient way. Income from UCISA’s events and sale of publications will be channelled through USL from the start of the tax year with any surpluses being donated back to the charity.
There remains much to do – the next steps were outlined at the AGM and the meeting endorsed a proposal to empower the Executive to change the Association’s charitable status and to review and modify the charitable objects and constitution as appropriate.
The rationale is that the Trustees and Executive have received professional advice that the current status of UCISA – as a charitable trust – is inappropriate for the volume and range of activities the Association is currently delivering. It is recommended that UCISA becomes a charitable company limited by guarantee (CCLG). Aligned with this activity, the Trustees and the Executive believe that the time is right to review the charitable object of the Association and, in keeping with the core purpose of UCISA, the Trustees will be looking to establish a new charitable object that is both sufficiently broad in scope and meaningful. The move to an incorporated status also gives an opportunity to review the modus operandi of the Association and it is intended to modernise the Constitution and to make it less restrictive. Once UCISA is established as a CCLG, ownership of UCISA Services Limited will be transferred to the new organisation. Currently the shares for USL are held by the four Trustees of the Charity in trust.
The Executive plan was presented at the meeting but the Executive are currently surveying the membership on what activities UCISA should deliver in 2014 and 2015. The results will be discussed at the Committee’s annual planning meeting in May.
The meeting in May will be the first of the new Executive. John Cartwright was re-elected as Chair at the AGM as were Heidi Fraser-Krauss (Vice Chair) and Adrian Ellison (Secretary). Colin Addy continues as Treasurer. Fiona Strawbridge and Mark Ritchie were elected as Chairs of the Digital Skills and Development Group and Project and Change Management Groups respectively. Finally Graham Hill and Dean Phillips joined the Executive as Elected Members. We welcome Fiona, Mark, Graham and Dean to the Executive. New arrivals mean that others have left and we would like to thank Jim Nottingham, John Townsend and Laura Gibbs for their contributions.