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Old May 26th 05, 11:51 AM
WPraeder
 
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Default More Principled USCF?

For your information, the following is a copy of the code of ethics
passed by the PB in May '95.


Creed for U.S. Chess Federation Policy Board Members


Preface:

The United States Chess Federation (USCF) derives its authority
from its membership and exercises that authority solely for the
promotion of chess. The membership has entrusted officers of the USCF
with the operation of the USCF and the stewardship of its resources. It
is essential that both policies and processes for making policy
decisions be of the highest ethical standards. Officers are,
therefore, obligated to treat their elected volunteerism as a public
trust, using their official powers and duties, and the resources of the
USCF, only to advance the interest of the membership and the role of
chess in American society.

Honesty is the foundation of all our other values and it must
be the foundation of any company culture we aspire to. We respect the
dignity of others. We know that continuous learning and improvement
are obligations that apply to each of us individually, collectively as
a team, and as a company. We recognize that the USCF exists to serve
our customers with integrity and to deliver quality products and
services.

We understand that the USCF has special social responsibilities
to the community. We expect every person in leadership of the USCF to
conduct themselves in a manner that inspires pride in ownership.


Policy Board Members have an obligation to:


1. Make the promotion of the game of chess in the United States their
first priority in all decisions they make as an officer of the U.S.
Chess Federation.

2. Treat all individuals with whom they interact while representing the
USCF with respect. Respect the importance of USCF ideals, principles,
and ethical conduct in the performance of their duties. Loyalty should
be to the cause of advancing the role of chess in American society
above loyalty to individual members or committees.

3. Never discriminate unfairly by dispensing special favors or
privileges to anyone. Represent and work for the common good of the
USCF and not for private interest. Practice fair and equal treatment
of all persons, claims, and transactions coming before them in their
official capacity.

4. Refrain from accepting gifts, favors, or promises of future benefit
which might compromise, or even appear to compromise, or tend to impair
their independence of judgment or action as a PB member.

5. Learn the background and purposes of motions before voting.

6. Faithfully perform their duties as Policy Board members by attending
all sessions of the Policy Board and maintaining communications with
the committees to which they serve as liaison, unless unable to do so
for some compelling reason or disability.

7. Conduct themselves in a responsible manner at all meetings, open or
closed, of the Policy Board and wherever they are representing the
USCF.

8. Help the Policy Board maintain the highest standards of ethical
conduct by refusing to approve breaches of public trust or improper
attempts to influence decisions and by voting to censure or otherwise
discipline any Policy Board member who willfully violates the duly
established rules of conduct.

9. Disclose any private interest they may have in legislation before
the Policy Board, and abstain from voting when such interest is in
substantial conflict with their duties.

10. With the exception of advisors, refrain from disclosing
confidential information concerning the USCF. Never use information
gained confidentially in the performance of their duties as a means of
gaining a political advantage or making a personal profit.

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Old May 26th 05, 12:50 PM
Chess One
 
Posts: n/a
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Wayne, thank you for posting this material. I think a score card pass/fail
on the list of 10 items will reveal the current ethical 'temperature'. Phil
Innes

"WPraeder" wrote in message
oups.com...
For your information, the following is a copy of the code of ethics
passed by the PB in May '95.


Creed for U.S. Chess Federation Policy Board Members


Preface:

The United States Chess Federation (USCF) derives its authority
from its membership and exercises that authority solely for the
promotion of chess. The membership has entrusted officers of the USCF
with the operation of the USCF and the stewardship of its resources. It
is essential that both policies and processes for making policy
decisions be of the highest ethical standards. Officers are,
therefore, obligated to treat their elected volunteerism as a public
trust, using their official powers and duties, and the resources of the
USCF, only to advance the interest of the membership and the role of
chess in American society.

Honesty is the foundation of all our other values and it must
be the foundation of any company culture we aspire to. We respect the
dignity of others. We know that continuous learning and improvement
are obligations that apply to each of us individually, collectively as
a team, and as a company. We recognize that the USCF exists to serve
our customers with integrity and to deliver quality products and
services.

We understand that the USCF has special social responsibilities
to the community. We expect every person in leadership of the USCF to
conduct themselves in a manner that inspires pride in ownership.


Policy Board Members have an obligation to:


1. Make the promotion of the game of chess in the United States their
first priority in all decisions they make as an officer of the U.S.
Chess Federation.

2. Treat all individuals with whom they interact while representing the
USCF with respect. Respect the importance of USCF ideals, principles,
and ethical conduct in the performance of their duties. Loyalty should
be to the cause of advancing the role of chess in American society
above loyalty to individual members or committees.

3. Never discriminate unfairly by dispensing special favors or
privileges to anyone. Represent and work for the common good of the
USCF and not for private interest. Practice fair and equal treatment
of all persons, claims, and transactions coming before them in their
official capacity.

4. Refrain from accepting gifts, favors, or promises of future benefit
which might compromise, or even appear to compromise, or tend to impair
their independence of judgment or action as a PB member.

5. Learn the background and purposes of motions before voting.

6. Faithfully perform their duties as Policy Board members by attending
all sessions of the Policy Board and maintaining communications with
the committees to which they serve as liaison, unless unable to do so
for some compelling reason or disability.

7. Conduct themselves in a responsible manner at all meetings, open or
closed, of the Policy Board and wherever they are representing the
USCF.

8. Help the Policy Board maintain the highest standards of ethical
conduct by refusing to approve breaches of public trust or improper
attempts to influence decisions and by voting to censure or otherwise
discipline any Policy Board member who willfully violates the duly
established rules of conduct.

9. Disclose any private interest they may have in legislation before
the Policy Board, and abstain from voting when such interest is in
substantial conflict with their duties.

10. With the exception of advisors, refrain from disclosing
confidential information concerning the USCF. Never use information
gained confidentially in the performance of their duties as a means of
gaining a political advantage or making a personal profit.



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Old May 27th 05, 03:34 AM
George John
 
Posts: n/a
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Wayne,

Thank you for posting this. In some ways I prefer it to the current
"Standards of Conduct". Perhaps the two should be folded together?

Needless to say, the gap between the principles found in this document
and actual practice has been unacceptably wide. If elected to the USCF
Executive Board, I will steadfastly follow the principles in this
document as well as those in the "Standards of Conduct".

Best regards,

George John

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Old May 27th 05, 09:19 AM
WPraeder
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Proceedings of the April 2-3, 2005, USCF Executive Board Meeting-
Berkeley, CA


President Beatriz Marinello read a letter from Tim Sawmiller, President
of the Michigan Chess Association, to the Board. The letter took issue
with motion EB 05-27, which was worded as follows:

---------------

EB 05-27 (Hanke) Based on the advice of legal counsel, the Executive
Board reserves the right to comment in Chess Life on the suitability of
a candidate for the Executive Board. Such action would require 2/3
support of the Executive Board and would have to be approved by legal
counsel. PASSED 7-0 Brady voted via telephone

----------------

Mr. Sawmiller requested that the motion be rescinded and believes that
while individual Board members can express their opinions the Board as
a whole should not. The Board members agreed with Mr. Sawmiller but
decided to defer action until the May meeting when the maker of the
motion Tim Hanke would be present.


http://groups-beta.google.com/group/...1d12b2b6?hl=en

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Old May 27th 05, 09:44 AM
WPraeder
 
Posts: n/a
Default

George John wrote:
Wayne,

Thank you for posting this. In some ways I prefer it to the current
"Standards of Conduct". Perhaps the two should be folded together?

Needless to say, the gap between the principles found in this document
and actual practice has been unacceptably wide. If elected to the USCF
Executive Board, I will steadfastly follow the principles in this
document as well as those in the "Standards of Conduct".

Best regards,

George John



George,

I wonder if any of the other candidates, or current board members, are
willing to make a similar commitment?

I'm not sure too many may care, but thank you. Even though we recognize
the usual special interest infighting, it does appear most of the
public wrangling this last couple of years has been over disagreements
in direction or behavior.

Regards,
Wayne Praeder



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Old May 27th 05, 08:42 PM
Greg Shahade
 
Posts: n/a
Default


The code of ethics you listed seems so obvious to me that I didn't
think it necessary to come out and say that I won't cheat or be an
unethical person. If the gap between the principles in this document
and the actual behavior is as wide as Mr. John claims, then we have a
serious problem, because everything listed above just seems like common
sense to me, and anyone who breaks some of the above rules has no
business having such an important position within the USCF.

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Old May 27th 05, 10:29 PM
Chess One
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Greg Shahade" wrote in message
oups.com...

The code of ethics you listed seems so obvious to me that I didn't
think it necessary to come out and say that I won't cheat or be an
unethical person. If the gap between the principles in this document
and the actual behavior is as wide as Mr. John claims, then we have a
serious problem, because everything listed above just seems like common
sense to me, and anyone who breaks some of the above rules has no
business having such an important position within the USCF.


The best score we achieved elsewhere was 2 out of 10 which is not a gap, but
a chasm. Phil


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Old May 28th 05, 12:51 AM
WPraeder
 
Posts: n/a
Default


Greg Shahade wrote:
The code of ethics you listed seems so obvious to me that I didn't
think it necessary to come out and say that I won't cheat or be an
unethical person. If the gap between the principles in this document
and the actual behavior is as wide as Mr. John claims, then we have a
serious problem, because everything listed above just seems like common
sense to me, and anyone who breaks some of the above rules has no
business having such an important position within the USCF.


Greg,

I would agree those who break the above rules have no business having
such an important position within the USCF. We do have a serious
problem.

I believe the intent sometimes is not to be unethical even though the
behavior would be the same if they were intending to do so. You can
tell when this is happening by individuals claiming they are doing what
they have decided is best for the organization or what others have
done. The problem comes down to individuals who confuse or put what
they think is best before their fiduciary duty or the interests of the
organization and membership. It really does not matter if it is on
purpose or not as the outcomes and impacts are often the same.

Regards,
Wayne Praeder

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Old May 28th 05, 06:27 AM
WPraeder
 
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Default

Dear USCF Members:


Conflicts of interest undermine ones ability to make impartial
decisions. Such conflicts can damage ones reputation as well as the
reputation of our organization. Perceptions of conflict of interest can
be just as damaging as actual conflicts because they undermine the
membership's confidence in the organization. A conflict of interest
occurs when an Executive Board member has a private interest that may
compete with the discharge of his or her duties. Those interests may
impair ones ability to conduct the corporation's business with
impartial and independent judgment.

The bylaws of the US Chess Federation Article IX Section 15 designate
Robert's Rules of Order as the organization's parliamentary authority
that shall be used at all meetings and in all cases to which they are
applicable. Since the USCF Secretary has been given the duty by the
bylaws to preside over Federation elections he must be consistent with
such rules and be absolutely impartial in the discharge of these
duties.

To publicly support another's campaign or to campaign against others
is not being impartial. To be a campaign manager for another member is
also not being impartial. Such partisan activity by the USCF Secretary,
an individual charged with presiding over Federation elections, can be
perceived as representing a fundamental conflict of interest that may
prevent the USCF Secretary from ensuring a fair and accurate election.
It can be viewed by others that this conflict impedes the duty of USCF
Secretary to preside over Federation elections, undermines the
integrity of Federation elections, and diminishes the membership's
confidence in our electoral system by casting doubt on the results of
Federation elections.

Some may consider such a lack of impartiality by the USCF Secretary
represents a violation of the Standards of Conduct for the USCF
Executive Board which states "Any potential conflict of interest,
whether due to financial, political, personal, geographical,
organizational, familial, or other considerations, must be prevented
from affecting any Board member in the discharge of his or her
duties." It is however up to the Ethics Committee to decide if there
is such a violation.

A few individuals may regard the impartiality rules for a presiding
officer as an infringement on their rights of freedom of speech and
association. However, it is generally accepted in a rational philosophy
of life that with every benefit there is a corresponding burden.
Accordingly, one who accepts Office must sacrifice some of the freedom
in political and personal matters that otherwise he might enjoy. When
he accepts an Officer position, ex necessitate rei, he thereby
voluntarily places certain well recognized limitations upon his
activities for the greater good of the organization.

It has been argued that the actions of the USCF Secretary have been
consistent with other organizations such as the US Government. Evidence
given concerns the 2000 election where Florida Secretary of State
Katherine Harris served as co-chair of President Bush's Florida
campaign as well as the 2004 Presidential election where Ohio Secretary
of State Ken Blackwell was co-chairman of Bush/Cheney '04 in Ohio.

Since the USCF and the US Government resemble each other only in that
they both have elections, no inference should be drawn concerning the
claim at issue. In this regard, it is important to note that the USCF
is a not-for-profit corporation and not a part of the US Government.
Also the USCF Secretary is not a Secretary of State. Regardless no one
has argued that the above actions by a Secretary of State do not
represent a potential conflict of interest by the referenced parties,
only such actions were legal and not a violation of any existing
standards or codes. Even that soon may change as the Federal Election
Integrity Act (FEIA) of 2005 currently being considered in the US
Congress would make such actions unlawful.

Moreover it has been argued that past USCF Secretaries have not been
impartial regarding Federation elections. Thus it is claimed that such
practice is acceptable due to tradition. However, no evidence has been
presented that a previous USCF Secretary has been a campaign manager
for another member. It appears, however, that no complaint was
submitted to the Ethics Committee regarding a public endorsement of a
candidate by the USCF Secretary during the 2003 Executive Board
election as the USCF Secretary only had a month left in his term of
office.

The Standards of Conduct for the USCF Executive Board were adopted in
1997 and the first Ethics Committee appointed by the Delegates with the
authority to oversee such standards was in 1998. Any behavior that is
found to be in violation of the Executive Board standards of conduct is
misconduct. If the current standards of conduct are in conflict with
past practice then there is a good reason for changing that particular
practice. The claim "that is how we have done it in the past" does not
make it right or make it consistent with the current application of the
standards of conduct. Further, defending a particular wrongdoing by
drawing attention to another instance of the same behavior that
apparently went unchallenged is not relevant. Few people would defend,
in principle, the view that a violation of the standards of conduct by
one person justifies similar behavior by another.

The members of the USCF have a right to trust that an Executive Board
Officer will conduct the organization's business without any
conflicts of interest. Unresolved conflicts of interest should no
longer be tolerated in our Federation. The existing laws and standards
governing fiduciaries already explicitly require that they maintain
undivided allegiance to the interests of their organization. But these
laws or standards have not been enforced, nor have there been penalties
for inaction.

The issue at hand is if the perceived lack of impartiality by the USCF
Secretary is at odds with the Standards of Conduct for the USCF
Executive Board. Nothing more.


Regards,
Wayne Praeder
http://members.aol.com/wpraeder/stop.htm

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Old May 28th 05, 05:59 PM
George John
 
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Wayne,

Thank you for posting this. I find what you have written thoughtful,
and well-reasoned. IMO, USCF Executive Board have had serious problems
with the appearance of conflict of interest and/or actual conflicts of
interest. All members of the USCF Executive Board are required to
avoid such conflicts for both themselves and their fellow board
members.

If elected to the USCF Executive Board, I pledge to remain free of all
conflicts, and will do my very best to help my follow board members
remain free of conflicts, too. Should a board member choose to become
or remain conflicted, I will take all reasonable and necessary action
to eliminate the conflict.

Since neither my wife nor I make any money on chess, and own no stake
in any chess related business, and have no plans to do so in the
future, it may be considerably easier for me to remain free of
conflicts than some of those who are currently running for the board.
Given the past history, as I know it, and the current reputation of the
USCF, I think conflict of issue issues are significant both as an
election issue and for the continued success of the organization.

Best regards,

George John

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