CIPS Governance changes – the argument against

We've featured the proposed changes to the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS ) governance here and here, and we're waiting for more detail to appear on the CIPS website. We offered the chance to people who want to argue for or against the changes - so here is an anonymous "comment" we received the other day that you may not have seen. It makes the argument against the changes very eloquently. We'd love to hear now from someone who is in favour - presumably there are 30+ Council members who voted "for" at the recent meeting? We'd love a couple of hundred words from any of you, anonymous if you prefer, either as a comment or send me an email. Here is "Phoenix" anyway...

I’m not sure what this change is really for, other than to put all the decision-making power into the hands of a very small number of trustees. In the past, CIPS’s Board of Management has been accused of being rather clique-y, this doesn’t do much to counter that view. CIPS’ secretariat, headed by CEO David Noble, whom I believe to be a decent and honest man, has decided that the Institute needs to be “agile” and make swifter decisions if it is to achieve its business target of £50m in five years. He needs to ‘modernise’ the Institute, apparently.

The point is that I would agree if the Institute’s primary aim was to make money. A 40-odd strong Council that meets three times yearly, approves the budget and the strategy, would not be the most efficient way to achieve that goal.

But surely CIPS has a higher purpose – vested in its Charter and in its charitable status – to further the cause of professional purchasing and supply for the public good? In that case, this change could be seen as undemocratic – the proposed Congress, meeting only once annually, has no executive authority, having only the power to elect members to the 12-’strong’ Board of Trustees, from a list of nominees approved by, er… the trustees.

CIPS Council has, surprisingly, voted itself out of existence. It’s known that some believe Council is only good for rubber-stamping and now this has been proved – by getting them to rubber-stamp this unlikely decision. I for one will mourn the passing of an Institute owned and led by its ordinary members.

I just hope they will think of something good to spend the £50m on…

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