The Council of Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) says it is well aware of concerns expressed by some members about a lack of transparency, and revealed that its decision not to proceed with its annual general meeting, scheduled for June 24, “was taken on legal advice”.
An online petition calling for an extraordinary general meeting has put pressure on Gem-A’s board, but has been rejected in favour of a rescheduled AGM in July.
The introduction to the petition states: “There have been concerns raised that the charity trustees are not fulfilling the charity’s aims and objectives, and that the charity is not being administered and governed effectively and professionally. At the EGM members will seek full and transparent explanations from the charity trustees for their recent actions and governance of the organisation. In order to formally request the Board of Trustees to call an EGM, 5% of members are required to request such a meeting. (This means in excess of 100 signatures)”.
Today, the petition has 174 signatures and 50 comments.
“Proper notice will be given shortly for an AGM to be held in July, well before any EGM could properly be called and held,” Gem-A said in an official statement.
“Members with concerns are urged to raise them direct with the board at firstname.lastname@example.org rather than in public forums, so that the board can respond to them at the AGM,” the statement continued.
The chair need not be surprised by the list of concerns, since the online petition lists them as:
- Postponement of the annual general meeting (AGM) without explanation or an alternative date
- All staff members instructed to have no contact with the CEO, without explanation
- Withdrawal of Corporate Social Responsibility programme from recent prospectus and website, without explanation (note CSR/ ethics and sustainability are core to the Charity’s Aims and Objectives detailed in its Charity Commissions document
- Alleged resignation of the Chairman, without formal announcement or explanation
- Board has been non-responsive to formal enquiries and concerns, resulting in a lack of transparency and communication
- Lack of treasurer in recent months
- Alleged refusal by the board to sign Conflict of Interest forms
- Staff have repeatedly asked for decisions to be explained and evidenced in writing and have been repeatedly ignored. Board have dictated action without due explanation
- Alleged coercion of staff members
- The dismissal of the Human Resources manager. The replacement (brought in by the board) has not been properly introduced to all staff.