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Old May 23rd 04, 10:36 PM
ASCACHESS
 
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Default Will They or Won't They?

The Executive Board, meeting this weekend, has been given direct evidence of
suspicious purchases made by USCF which seem to be entirely out of the normal
range of costs.

It appears someone may have been on the receiving end of numerous sweetheart
deals.
Even if we exclude Frank Camaratta, any legitimate board would want to know why
we paid double the going rate for USCF pencils and quadruple the going rate for
Hall of Fame polo shirts. Is there any example in nature for a $25 wholesale
cost for polo shirts? There are many other examples, but this is a good
starting place.

If the board will find out who the beneficiaries are for these two, then we
will know much more than we do now.

If the board takes no action when the evidence of overpayments continues
unexplained, then the assumption must be that USCF politics has taken over and
the board is engaged in protecting others in the USCF insiders group. If no
action is taken then we can be fully justified in believing we are witnessing
yet another coverup.
Let's hope that is not the case and we can get to the bottom of this.

Richard Peterson
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Old May 24th 04, 12:33 AM
Ron Suarez
 
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Default Will They or Won't They?

On 23 May 2004 21:36:10 GMT, (ASCACHESS) wrote:

The Executive Board, meeting this weekend, has been given direct evidence of
suspicious purchases made by USCF which seem to be entirely out of the normal
range of costs.

It appears someone may have been on the receiving end of numerous sweetheart
deals.
Even if we exclude Frank Camaratta, any legitimate board would want to know why
we paid double the going rate for USCF pencils and quadruple the going rate for
Hall of Fame polo shirts. Is there any example in nature for a $25 wholesale
cost for polo shirts? There are many other examples, but this is a good
starting place.

If the board will find out who the beneficiaries are for these two, then we
will know much more than we do now.

If the board takes no action when the evidence of overpayments continues
unexplained, then the assumption must be that USCF politics has taken over and
the board is engaged in protecting others in the USCF insiders group. If no
action is taken then we can be fully justified in believing we are witnessing
yet another coverup.
Let's hope that is not the case and we can get to the bottom of this.

Richard Peterson


Richard,

How will we know if the correct actions have been taken? Who can we
trust on the board to be honest? Does the board have the ability to
actually investigate?

I agree that "there is something wrong in Denmark". The B & E, by all
rights, should have consistently brought in a sizable profit instead
of being a financial albatross. Sure, the antiquated computer
ordering system, along with the sales system not being efficient is a
cause for loss of profits, but that much?

This is a finite system where everything should be accounted. If
someonte would look deep enough they will have to find where the
profits went.

I wonder if the board will find it "necessary" to spend energy looking
for the source or sources of the losses. They may very well rather
put their time and energy into building from where they are, taking
into account that the B & E is totally out of the control of the USCF
directly for a few years now.

I think that the system of the B & E should be evaluated. If crime
and corruptness are involved, then the individuals involved in it
should be made to make reparations.to the USCF. If it is total
ineptness then that should be identified also.

Ron Suarez
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Old May 24th 04, 02:53 PM
Tim Hanke
 
Posts: n/a
Default Will They or Won't They?

Ron Suarez wrote in message . ..
On 23 May 2004 21:36:10 GMT, (ASCACHESS) wrote:

The Executive Board, meeting this weekend, has been given direct evidence of
suspicious purchases made by USCF which seem to be entirely out of the normal
range of costs.

It appears someone may have been on the receiving end of numerous sweetheart
deals.
Even if we exclude Frank Camaratta, any legitimate board would want to know why
we paid double the going rate for USCF pencils and quadruple the going rate for
Hall of Fame polo shirts. Is there any example in nature for a $25 wholesale
cost for polo shirts? There are many other examples, but this is a good
starting place.

If the board will find out who the beneficiaries are for these two, then we
will know much more than we do now.

If the board takes no action when the evidence of overpayments continues
unexplained, then the assumption must be that USCF politics has taken over and
the board is engaged in protecting others in the USCF insiders group. If no
action is taken then we can be fully justified in believing we are witnessing
yet another coverup.
Let's hope that is not the case and we can get to the bottom of this.

Richard Peterson


Richard,

How will we know if the correct actions have been taken? Who can we
trust on the board to be honest? Does the board have the ability to
actually investigate?

I agree that "there is something wrong in Denmark". The B & E, by all
rights, should have consistently brought in a sizable profit instead
of being a financial albatross. Sure, the antiquated computer
ordering system, along with the sales system not being efficient is a
cause for loss of profits, but that much?

This is a finite system where everything should be accounted. If
someonte would look deep enough they will have to find where the
profits went.

I wonder if the board will find it "necessary" to spend energy looking
for the source or sources of the losses. They may very well rather
put their time and energy into building from where they are, taking
into account that the B & E is totally out of the control of the USCF
directly for a few years now.

I think that the system of the B & E should be evaluated. If crime
and corruptness are involved, then the individuals involved in it
should be made to make reparations.to the USCF. If it is total
ineptness then that should be identified also.

Ron Suarez


You guys are a little behind the curve. Last August Beatriz and I
visited New Windsor, found massive evidence of mismanagement, and I
posted about it in detail on this newsgroup. Subsequently the board
voted to outsource the books & equipment business. The outsourcing has
been completed. Now USCF is getting a tidy monthly profit from B&E,
rather than a hefty annual loss. Try to keep up.

Tim Hanke
USCF Vice President of Finance
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Old May 24th 04, 08:09 PM
The Masked Bishop
 
Posts: n/a
Default Will They or Won't They?

Tim Hanke wrote:

Last August Beatriz and I
visited New Windsor, found massive evidence of mismanagement


Yes, but was there also malfeasance? Has anyone been held to accounts
for all this mismanagement? Or are some of them still employed by the
USCF, or sitting on the Board?

TMB

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Old May 24th 04, 08:41 PM
Bill Wong
 
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Default Will They or Won't They?

The Masked Bishop wrote:
Tim Hanke wrote:


Last August Beatriz and I
visited New Windsor, found massive evidence of mismanagement



Yes, but was there also malfeasance? Has anyone been held to accounts
for all this mismanagement? Or are some of them still employed by the
USCF, or sitting on the Board?

TMB


Without proper governance structures in place, on what grounds and by
what methods would you have them expelled? If USCF adopts a more
professional governance system, it would go a long way towards
preventing wrong doing, and make it easier to get rid of people who
engage in such activities.

I really don't understand why better governance cant get any traction.
It is a very positive change that would cost next to nothing to
implement. It's simply a matter of policy.-- Bill Wong


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Old May 24th 04, 09:02 PM
Louis Blair
 
Posts: n/a
Default Will They or Won't They?

Tim Hanke wrote:

Last August Beatriz and I visited New Windsor,
found massive evidence of mismanagement, and I
posted about it in detail on this newsgroup.
Subsequently the board voted to outsource the
books & equipment business. The outsourcing has
been completed. Now USCF is getting a tidy
monthly profit from B&E, rather than a hefty
annual loss.


_
Timothy Hanke is leaving out an earlier part of
the story:

"present trends suggest we can
make money on B&E in the near future.
Why wouldn't we want an extra
half-million dollars of income?"
- Timothy Hanke (2003-07-27
12:47:08 PST)

When asked about this in August, Timothy Hanke
referred to "fresh data". I still do not think
I have seen Timothy Hanke identify the specific
"fresh data" that pertained to the changed
perception of B&E "trends".

One subject that Timothy Hanke did dwell on
at length was "several pallets loaded down with
5,000 copies of the second edition of a book by
Danny Kopec." (StanB later referred to the books
sitting "on a pallet or two.") Timothy Hanke
complained about how long it would take to sell
ALL of the books, but I did not see him consider
the question of the number of copies that had
to be sold in order to break even.

"I think we had large B & E losses in only
two fiscal years- 2001-2002 when "reduction
to basic items" killed sales with not much
payroll reduction, and 2003-2004 when the
summer catalog was printed and not mailed as
there was no money for postage and the
holiday catalog was late." - Bill Goichberg
(2004-05-16 15:27:51 PST)
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Old May 24th 04, 11:10 PM
Bill Brock
 
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Default Will They or Won't They?

(Tim Hanke) wrote in message . com...
Ron Suarez wrote in message . ..
On 23 May 2004 21:36:10 GMT,
(ASCACHESS) wrote:

The Executive Board, meeting this weekend, has been given direct evidence of
suspicious purchases made by USCF which seem to be entirely out of the normal
range of costs.

It appears someone may have been on the receiving end of numerous sweetheart
deals.
Even if we exclude Frank Camaratta, any legitimate board would want to know why
we paid double the going rate for USCF pencils and quadruple the going rate for
Hall of Fame polo shirts. Is there any example in nature for a $25 wholesale
cost for polo shirts? There are many other examples, but this is a good
starting place.

If the board will find out who the beneficiaries are for these two, then we
will know much more than we do now.

If the board takes no action when the evidence of overpayments continues
unexplained, then the assumption must be that USCF politics has taken over and
the board is engaged in protecting others in the USCF insiders group. If no
action is taken then we can be fully justified in believing we are witnessing
yet another coverup.
Let's hope that is not the case and we can get to the bottom of this.

Richard Peterson


Richard,

How will we know if the correct actions have been taken? Who can we
trust on the board to be honest? Does the board have the ability to
actually investigate?

I agree that "there is something wrong in Denmark". The B & E, by all
rights, should have consistently brought in a sizable profit instead
of being a financial albatross. Sure, the antiquated computer
ordering system, along with the sales system not being efficient is a
cause for loss of profits, but that much?

This is a finite system where everything should be accounted. If
someonte would look deep enough they will have to find where the
profits went.

I wonder if the board will find it "necessary" to spend energy looking
for the source or sources of the losses. They may very well rather
put their time and energy into building from where they are, taking
into account that the B & E is totally out of the control of the USCF
directly for a few years now.

I think that the system of the B & E should be evaluated. If crime
and corruptness are involved, then the individuals involved in it
should be made to make reparations.to the USCF. If it is total
ineptness then that should be identified also.

Ron Suarez


You guys are a little behind the curve. Last August Beatriz and I
visited New Windsor, found massive evidence of mismanagement, and I
posted about it in detail on this newsgroup. Subsequently the board
voted to outsource the books & equipment business. The outsourcing has
been completed. Now USCF is getting a tidy monthly profit from B&E,
rather than a hefty annual loss. Try to keep up.

Tim Hanke
USCF Vice President of Finance




What's the true cost of shutting down B&E? Depends on the cost
methodology, but obviously overhead was allocable to B&E & is now in
excess of current needs. So is there *really* a tidy monthly profit
yet? Not disagreeing with the outsourcing, just doing a reality
check.



More broadly: what's the "cost" to USCF of letting a board member
profit from self-dealing?

Again, I think that the deal was a good one for USCF, and I have high
hopes that ChessCafe will turn out to be a excellent partner for USCF.
But the HoS angle, and the collective shrug from the Board (as if
ethical conduct were too much to expect)--oy.
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Old May 25th 04, 12:07 AM
Mike Nolan
 
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Default Will They or Won't They?

(Bill Brock) writes:

What's the true cost of shutting down B&E? Depends on the cost
methodology, but obviously overhead was allocable to B&E & is now in
excess of current needs. So is there *really* a tidy monthly profit
yet? Not disagreeing with the outsourcing, just doing a reality
check.


I'll be interested to see how the USCF treats the land in Tennessee.
Technically that's a donation so it would probably have to show as
income for the month of July 2003, even if they have to give it back
at some point. Stan, do you know how they're treating it?

I think the Board is (correctly) focusing on cash flow. If that's
positive for the summer, the USCF will be in pretty good shape going
into the fall, far better than the doom-and-gloom folks want to believe.

However, I don't know what you mean by 'in excess of current needs'.

For the most part, overhead items are things that don't change easily.
Just because they aren't doing B&E, that doesn't change the property
taxes, utilities, etc.

The other thing to keep in mind is that the sales staff handled most of
the phone calls, including memberships sold over the phone. (Since March
16th over 1300 memberships have been sold over the phone.) The shipping
department staff handled getting and sorting the mail plus metering
outbound mail, now someone else has to do those tasks.

I'm glad to hear the Board has given Bill some payroll flexibility to
help work through the backlog.
--
Mike Nolan
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Old May 25th 04, 01:36 AM
ASCACHESS
 
Posts: n/a
Default Will They or Won't They?

One subject that Timothy Hanke did dwell on
at length was "several pallets loaded down with
5,000 copies of the second edition of a book by
Danny Kopec." (StanB later referred to the books
sitting "on a pallet or two.") Timothy Hanke
complained about how long it would take to sell
ALL of the books, but I did not see him consider
the question of the number of copies that had
to be sold in order to break even.



The cost of these books is listed on their internal documents as $7.49 (if
memory serves, I don't have it in front of me and am out of town).
So, 5000 times roughly 7.99 is a whole bunch ($39,950) and we have many
thousands of these books left (about 3500).
Once more the skim principle was available.
Don Schultz could tell you that these books could have been published for
around $4 each, yet like those of our scholastic friend from Oregon, Jim Mitch,
the best deal was not found by anyone's imagination.
So someone made about $20K on this deal over the best available.

Richard Peterson
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Old May 25th 04, 01:53 AM
Tim Hanke
 
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Default Will They or Won't They?

"The Masked Bishop" wrote ...
Tim Hanke wrote:

Last August Beatriz and I
visited New Windsor, found massive evidence of mismanagement


Yes, but was there also malfeasance? Has anyone been held to accounts
for all this mismanagement? Or are some of them still employed by the
USCF, or sitting on the Board?

TMB


Sometimes it's hard to distinguish actual malfeasance from extreme
ineptitude. In such ambiguous situations, it's hard to prosecute.

Tim Hanke


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