BFI Member Governor Election 2015

Ballot copyright free.

Readers will include members of the BFI and subscribers to Sight & Sound who have an entitlement to vote for a representative on the Board of Governors of this institution. They should have received an electronic communication regarding this event and there is a page on the BFI website: it is not clear if any communication has been sent out in other formats. Some of you, like myself, may be confused as to what exactly is taking place. In earlier posts I have drawn attention to the vacant post for a national representative and added to this the extension of the regional representative post without any consultation or discussion. Which is on offer here is a moot point?

” One BFI Governor is elected to serve a four-year term in office by BFI Membership and Sight & Sound subscribers. Due to an upcoming vacancy, we’re seeking nominations for candidates for a Governor Election.”

If you follow on and reads the Rules for Electing … you find,

“Where one member Governor is ordinarily resident in London and the southeast, to be eligible for the vacant post members must be ordinarily resident outside that region (‘ordinarily resident’ means both their primary residence and their usual place of business or employment, if any). Where two member Governor posts are simultaneously vacant, one of them must be reserved for candidates ordinarily resident outside London and the southeast. A member Governor originally ordinarily resident in one region may be considered ordinarily resident in another if in the opinion of the Board Secretary the facts justify such a change.”

Thanks to the indefatigable Mark Newell I have found out that buried in the BFI Annual Report and Financial Statements for 2014 – 2015 [on page 52] is what appears to be a change to Member representation:

“The Board of Governors reserves one place on the Board for a Member Governor. The Member Governor is nominated and voted for by the BFI membership throughout the United Kingdom. This appointment is also subject to approval by the Board of Governors.”

The Board and the BFI seem to have been careful not to draw attention to this change or to the extension from three to four year service. There are no relevant minutes available that record either the discussion or the agreed changes.

Of course, this is ‘par for the course’ for the way the Board addresses representation of the ordinary members and readers who not only actually use the BFI but also pay for it. Presumably the Board feel that the low turnout in recent elections means they can carry on in this cavalier fashion.

A week of daily emails to the Board Offices and staff have failed to elicit a single word of explanation. I wonder if this is witting or unwitting?

Interested parties should note another Rule for the Election:

“Balloting shall be by freephone or internet voting. The failure of a small number of candidates to receive balloting materials shall not invalidate the election. Solely at the Board Secretary’s discretion, a replacement ballot may be issued (e.g. to an elector who presents a signed statement that they have not received the original ballot) but they may at their discretion decline to issue a replacement ballot once the total number of replacement ballots issued is, in their judgement, in danger of becoming significant in the context of the total number of ballots likely to be cast.”


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