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Changing the BMC (Read 136202 times)

Teaboy

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#775 Re: Changing the BMC
November 02, 2023, 12:20:17 pm

Additionally grant money earmarked to cover shared administrative costs incurred by the BMC to support GBClimbing has been diverted to spend directly by GB Climbing.


Is this what the latest issue is? It struck me as odd that Andy Syme was saying £115k (?) of the grant funding for comps from UK Sport / England was an allocation for shared BMC costs but the annual report showed no such income for 'other' BMC and 100% of all grants going straight to GB Climbing. I assumed there was just not enough detail in the report and the transfer took place by some other means.

shark

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#776 Re: Changing the BMC
November 02, 2023, 08:36:40 pm
Is this what the latest issue is? It struck me as odd that Andy Syme was saying £115k (?) of the grant funding for comps from UK Sport / England was an allocation for shared BMC costs but the annual report showed no such income for 'other' BMC and 100% of all grants going straight to GB Climbing. I assumed there was just not enough detail in the report and the transfer took place by some other means.

The fact that the BMC has included an estimate of GBC’s shared costs (£115k) in the grant bid has only recently became more widely known. It makes a mockery of Paul Davies’ claim that the BMC never looked at GBC’s share of the admin costs. My assumption is that this has been treated as belonging to GBC rather than the BMC as the share of admin costs has been treated as an already sunk cost. My view is that this chunk of money (presumably 85% of £115k) isn’t for GBC to spend on its running costs but my assumption is the same as yours (based on the way the headline figures are presented in the annual report) that this has been the case, and probably for a number of years and another aspect that hides the real cost of GBC from the membership.

I don’t know whether this is the portion of grant money that has been double counted leading to the “budget error” - the cause and magnitude of which is still not public.

shark

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#777 Re: Changing the BMC
November 02, 2023, 08:51:03 pm

Based on the associated revelations around BMC (mis)management (especially on the comp side), I’d suggest that “strategy” in the above sentence would indicate a competence that was manifestly absent.

Well it is a strategy that a (former!) sporting body CEO might deploy to then be able to demonstrate to future employers how effective he was in bringing in huge amounts of grant money and professionalising and developing a fledgling Olympic sport

shark

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#778 Re: Changing the BMC
November 17, 2023, 05:01:23 pm
The Board met on the 1st November and Members Council met on Tuesday. As yet no further public communication regarding the budgeting error or the Board’s response to the “listening sessions” with the comps community which no doubt will have reinstated their no confidence in the leadership of GBClimbing.

Andy Say (recently appointed BMC Director) did have this to say on BMC Watch:

Quote
The problems around over-inflated membership income and the loss of a month's insurance sales are a matter of record. The issues around errors in estimation of funding for GBC are still being investigated. So, at this stage, there are no 'numbers' that can be shared; they haven't been bottomed out
It is intended that more information will be provided to members next week with an on-line open forum being planned where members can directly ask questions

To my knowledge the Board has not communicated with the comps community either about their intentions. Regarding the budgeting error from snippets I’ve picked up the ‘error’ could be in excess of £200k 🤯 If so this is scandalous and up there with Rheged and the Climb Britain rebrand as the the BMC’s biggest gaffs. Needless to say ‘course corrections’ (aka cuts) coming down the track will be substantial.

Who knows where this leaves the reserve at the end of the year but presumably significantly diminished. Fortunately the BMCs conservative policy of not forward booking Members subs should give sufficient breathing space to put the cost base back on a sustainable footing.

I’m told there have been 42 applications for the CEO role with shortlisted interviews due to take place. Before anyone asks I’m not one of them. Quite an agenda for him or her when they start.

shark

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#779 Re: Changing the BMC
November 24, 2023, 09:54:39 pm
November update out.

GBClimbing. Leadership issue swerved.

Quote
Over the past year, the Competition Climbing Performance Group (CCPG) has navigated challenging situations, which has seen them going beyond typical volunteer duties related to the oversight of GB Climbing (GBC).

Recognising the need for a deeper understanding, the CCPG members conducted 'listening sessions', engaging with key stakeholders as part of their role to check, challenge, champion and support the work of GBC. The CCPG were clear that the listening sessions were not aimed at public reporting but at understanding the concerns and opportunities in the summer competition climbing space.  They are now feeding back to all relevant staff and climbers.  They will provide a short overview to members on the themes once this work is completed.

Key recommendations to the Board were the refocusing and clear communication of a “Climber First” approach, including clarification of roles; improving communication and cooperation (with climbers, their personal coaches and Partners); implementing an athlete management system; and prioritising international training camps and other 'value add' activates that GBC can best deliver.  This has been agreed in principle by the Board, and GBC are working on providing a clearly documented delivery plan, matching the resources available and with oversight by CCPG, to implement the recommendations.  The first step being that the recommendations have already been worked into our initial Los Angeles 2028 Olympics (LA28) performance strategy and UKS LA28 cycle Investment submission.

The Board and CCPG recognise that significant work lays ahead of us as we evolve GBC as our performance department, and will prioritise transparent communication, rebuilding trust as we establish a world-class performance program.  Despite the challenges highlighted through this process, the CCPG remains optimistic on the future of competition climbing, including summer sport climbing, para, ice and ski-mo racing, within the BMC; drawing from universal positive feedback on operational coaching staff and a shared vision for an improved culture.

Finances. Scale of monumental budgetary error confirmed. Blame not apportioned.

Quote
2023 has, as for many organisations particularly in the outdoor community, been a challenging one for the BMC, coming through a period of economic uncertainty, resetting from the impacts of the pandemic and continuing our longer-term significant period of organisational change with the growth of sport (competition) climbing and our role as a National Governing Body. Throughout this period, we have also made significant changes within the finance function in the BMC including the introduction of a new accounting system.

Year-end target position:

The BMC had targeted a budget deficit of £72k in 2023. This plan included some ambitious membership growth targets with pre-set ‘course corrections’ planned if these growth targets were not being met.  It became clear at the end of Quarter 1 that we needed to trigger the ‘course correction’ process.  This took time to work through, these were agreed and implemented by July, with some additional planned activity removed and a small staff restructure.

Travel Insurance income reduction:

In July we also had to react to challenges with our travel insurance offer where, following compliance reviews of our delivery model, administration changes were required from our long-term underwriter. This resulted in a period of 4 weeks where we had to make updates to our travel insurance administration and were unable to offer our travel insurance policies to members.

While we worked hard to quickly address the issues and bring the scheme back on line, this occurred during one of the busiest months of the year and as a consequence we lost out on circa £45k of budgeted income. This period of uncertainty was a stark reminder of the value our members place in our market-leading travel insurance product; far from being a commodity it is a valued gateway to the world of adventure for our members.

As a consequence of limitations placed on us by our incumbent underwriter there are still some issues with more niche cover requirements (particularly expeditions over 4000m) and we are in the process of migrating our underwriter partner which will be implemented at the start of December with a wider policy coverage.

Income profiling error 2023:

As part of the routine financial reviews done in August a budgeting error was found which had overstated our grant income to GB Climbing (GBC) in 2023 by circa £200k. Consequently, we have incurred an overspend of the BMC contribution of circa £150k within the GB Climbing department across funded and non-funded activities.

The Finance and Audit Committee (FAC) have investigated the causes and impact of the error, and the key conclusions were:

This was a genuine error and the overstated grant income number went into the GBC budget.

The error was undiscovered because there were no specific checks by the staff, the FAC, CCPG or the Board to identify a grant income forecasting error of this type. 

The UK Sport (UKS) funding model is very complex and the knowledge of the funding system was not sufficiently widespread amongst staff and volunteers to enable them to identify the error in the budget.

The new accounting system had not been appropriately applied in GBC so not all budgets were being appropriately managed. We are still working through the impact of this with UKS due to the complex funding model with some ring-fenced income.

Impact on BMC deficit

As a result of the above points, the planned year-end deficit of £72k will increase by the overspend within the GB Climbing department, plus the insurance scheme projected income loss and some other smaller variances. Noting we still have two months remaining in the financial year the current projection will be a year-end deficit of circa £250-300k (£178-228k over budget), which is manageable within our reserves but will impact future budget planning.

As a result of the 2023 year-end deficit our long-term budget planning will be discussed and reviewed by the Board to decide on the 2024 budget after consultation with the Finance and Audit Committee.

GBC budget in 2024 and beyond

GBC is a department of the BMC with mixed funding, comprising grant funding from UKS and Sport England (SE), and direct BMC costs. To access UKS grant funding the BMC is required to contribute some funds to UKS programme of activities. The GBC department is also responsible for delivering non-funded activities across our domestic competitions and non-funded other discipline support (Para Climbing, Ice Climbing, Ski-Mo etc).

Domestic competitions comprise of our programme of grassroots competitions such as the Youth Climbing Series and our National Championships across multiple disciplines.

Expenditure within GBC department activities in 2024 will be clearly broken down by our funded activities and our non-funded activities (Domestic Competitions and other disciplines), and will require significant cost control and a net reduction in BMC funded expenditure versus 2023.  We are committed to developing our domestic competition infrastructure but must ensure we are doing this in a sustainable way, supporting participation in indoor climbing for the grassroots. We are working through this as we build the budget for 2024 and will be providing further updates on our plans for 2024 in December.

shark

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#780 Re: Changing the BMC
December 07, 2023, 02:15:06 pm
A Members Open Forum was announced in the November updateand takes place next weds 13th from 6.30pm. To register go here

“As part of our ongoing commitment in creating new opportunities for members to keep up to date with BMC news and activities our first Members Open Forum webinar will take place on Wednesday 13 December 2023 from 18:30-20:00. This webinar presents an opportunity to engage in a Q&A session with BMC President, Andy Syme, and Chair of the Board, Roger Murray.

To register for the Members Open Forum please click here.

Upon regstering you will be asked to enter:

First name
Surname
Email address
Membership Number

If you wish to submit questions in advance, please email events@thebmc.co.uk.The deadline for submitting questions is midnight on Monday 11 December. We strongly encourage submitting any questions you may have beforehand. This allows us to provide you with the most up-to-date information and helps us adhere to our schedule. Live Q&A will commence once all pre-submitted questions are addressed”

shark

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#781 Re: Changing the BMC
December 09, 2023, 11:27:14 am
Following the letter of no confidence from the Comps community and the subsequent “listening sessions” the response from the Board appears to have been nothing.

Carl Spencer, the former BMC Director who represented the Board on the CCPG (oversight body of GBClimbing), has spoken out on BMC Watch

Quote
I think it’s now time for a full on boycott of GB Climbing. It’s reached a point where every aspect of the community is against the strategy that GB Climbing are adopting and the board are fully aware of this but seem unable to deal with it.

Athletes, parents, partners, coaches, walls, members council and even core staff have all voiced their concerns.

We’re now 12 months on from the CCPG Review and 3 months on from the listening sessions and still no visible action.

I tried to tackle it from the inside but it rapidly became clear that certain key people were brazen enough to just ignore the board and pursue their own agenda.  Some of those people still remain and are continuing to pursue the same strategy.

This makes a complete mockery of the very governance structures that we were compelled to adopt in order to protect the organisation (and the tax payer).

The question now is which collapses first: GB Climbing or the board? Hopefully not the latter as I really do believe that they are trying but are probably overwhelmed by the combination of “corruption” and incompetence.

shark

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#782 Re: Changing the BMC
December 09, 2023, 06:34:28 pm
And…

Quote
Interesting feature on BBC News 24 Sport today explaining the growth in paddle tennis and mentions that the top 2 (might be more) GB players are funded by the UK Sport performance pathway to reside and train in Spain as, apparently their facilities are better. That’s worthy of a debate itself but the key point is that those athletes are directly funded despite the fact that paddle tennis is not an Olympic sport.

Meanwhile… in the world of climbing you have to be a serious contender for a medal before receiving any support and they certainly wouldn’t fund you to reside and train overseas.

It has become very clear that GB Climbing serves one purpose only and that is to keep the administrators in a job as well as fund their international jollies.

How we can go from supporting 163 athletes in 2022 to 117 in 2023 despite much additional funding is beyond me. That is not what the members voted for in 2017.

petejh

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#783 Re: Changing the BMC
December 10, 2023, 09:47:09 am
Charlie Munger died this week: ‘Show me the incentives and I’ll show you the outcomes’.

Been saying it for years, the incentives changed the day the BMC took the UK Sport funding path and set up GB Climbing in its current format.

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#784 Re: Changing the BMC
December 10, 2023, 01:46:03 pm
Charlie Munger died this week: ‘Show me the incentives and I’ll show you the outcomes’.

Been saying it for years, the incentives changed the day the BMC took the UK Sport funding path and set up GB Climbing in its current format.
Some sports bodies thrive with UK Sport funding don't they?
Are the incentives for GB Climbing different from those for cycling or swimming or whatever?
I am fully ignorant of all of this and keen to hear views about it.

I Googled and this blurb gives the impression that Sport England funding is for pretty much the whole scope of what the BMC might do. Apparently it is about facilitating everyone and anyone to adopt a more active lifestyle. https://www.thebmc.co.uk/sport-england-confirms-funding-bmc

shark

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#785 Re: Changing the BMC
December 10, 2023, 04:41:45 pm
There are two bodies namely Sport England and UK Sport.

Sport England’s funding is to increase participation in sport in the general population whilst UK Sport’s funding is to towards the elite getting Olympic medals.

stone

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#786 Re: Changing the BMC
December 10, 2023, 04:50:41 pm
There are two bodies namely Sport England and UK Sport.

Sport England’s funding is to increase participation in sport in the general population whilst UK Sport’s funding is to towards the elite getting Olympic medals.
Sorry and thanks for the explainer.
But I'm still puzzled as to how this incentivises BMC dysfunction in running competition climbing etc

shark

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#787 Re: Changing the BMC
December 10, 2023, 06:00:48 pm
Good point. I’ll ask Carl

stone

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#788 Re: Changing the BMC
December 10, 2023, 06:47:37 pm
Good point. I’ll ask Carl
PeteJH here was saying the incentives caused the situation.

shark

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#789 Re: Changing the BMC
December 10, 2023, 09:22:25 pm
Oh yes. Best let Pete answer it

shark

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#790 Re: Changing the BMC
December 14, 2023, 10:31:49 am
A Members Open Forum was announced in the November updateand takes place next weds 13th from 6.30pm. To register go here

“As part of our ongoing commitment in creating new opportunities for members to keep up to date with BMC news and activities our first Members Open Forum webinar will take place on Wednesday 13 December 2023 from 18:30-20:00. This webinar presents an opportunity to engage in a Q&A session with BMC President, Andy Syme, and Chair of the Board, Roger Murray.

To register for the Members Open Forum please click here.

Upon regstering you will be asked to enter:

First name
Surname
Email address
Membership Number

If you wish to submit questions in advance, please email events@thebmc.co.uk.The deadline for submitting questions is midnight on Monday 11 December. We strongly encourage submitting any questions you may have beforehand. This allows us to provide you with the most up-to-date information and helps us adhere to our schedule. Live Q&A will commence once all pre-submitted questions are addressed”

My summary of last night’s ‘open forum’:

There was a 100 in attendance and we were told a 100 questions sent in in advance. It was less ‘open’ than past open  forums as only the Directors were allowed to speak - the attendees were muted throughout and you couldn’t see who the other attendees where. Even the chat function was disabled. Questions could be sent in by attendees during the course of the meeting but only the Directors could see those questions. A lot of what was said by the Directors was scripted. The whole setup seemed somewhat over controlling to me and disengaging being talked at like this to say the least. Hopefully future forums will improve on this.

Three Directors spoke namely Andy Syme (President) Roger Murray (Chair) and Martin Hurn (Nominated Director). Of the three Roger was by far the most engaging and least scripted.

Andy Syme spoke the most. It wasn’t helped that his audio set up was echoey and picked up whispering of others in the room. The content largely reiterated what had already been sent out in updates so was superfluous and time could have been used better elsewhere. The lengthy listing of competition successes would be a complete turn-off to an attendee who had no interest in this facet of climbing and reinforced the notion that rather too much of the BMC’s attention was in this area.

Roger addressed my question at length (which I’m sure had been posed by others) on the £200k+ budgeting error. How this came about has obviously been looked at in great detail. The description of the UK Sport funding (which is markedly  different, more complex, more constrained and contractually obscure than Sport England funding that the BMC is more familiar with) was illuminating. Despite his comforting bedside manner the more I have subsequently thought about his answer on this the less reassured I am and don’t feel the full story is known or has been relayed.

WRT to the former Head of Finance Roger said she resigned having implemented a new Sage system which he describes as great success believing that she had left the BMC finances in a steady state unaware of the £200k+ inclusion of non existent grant funding.

In terms of the deficit for the year Roger says this is now likely to be £300-350k as opposed to the £250-300k cited in the November update which was published only three weeks ago! He says he has been assured by Ian Dickinson the Head if the Finance Committee that the reserve limit of £500k won’t be breached this year. On this note I have heard rumours that some spending that truly belongs in this year is being pushed into next year maybe to avoid this breach. If true that is disappointing as it is another example of a dishonest accounting sleight of hand putting wool over the eyes of the membership.

Martin Hurn held forth on the GBClimbing issues. He seemed irked by claims that the Board was seemingly not doing anything and went on to explain what they had been doing. I’ll leave it to others closer to GBC to comment on how satisfied they were with the answer. The no confidence letter was mentioned but the leadership issue was not in anyway addressed. They have a consultant (Jo Coates?) described as a force of nature working with GBC and are waiting on her report which rather sounds like a stalling tactic given the amount of info already supplied by the CCPG report and listening sessions.

The CEO recruitment is down to two candidates who Roger was clearly excited about as he described them as fantastic with either capable of doing the job and doing it well albeit both would approach the role in very different ways.

There was passing mention of a restructure in the new year. No doubt this would be led by the new CEO.

The Open Forum has worked well previously and I was disappointed it wasn’t continued. The intention is to continue it now and I hope that becomes embedded this time. The dates for the next ones are 13 Mar, 22 May, 11 Sept and 11 Dec - some possibly to be held in person. There should be a survey sent to attendees to provide feedback which is also a welcome initiative.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2023, 10:53:21 am by shark »

mrjonathanr

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#791 Re: Changing the BMC
December 14, 2023, 11:47:31 am
Thanks Shark, your efforts to inform on this are very much appreciated.

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#792 Re: Changing the BMC
December 14, 2023, 11:58:30 am

How this came about has obviously been looked at in great detail.

So how did it come about?

shark

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#793 Re: Changing the BMC
December 14, 2023, 12:17:26 pm
Thanks Shark, your efforts to inform on this are very much appreciated.

Thanks Jon.

Carl Spencer has set down a more robust (for want of a better word) summary on BMC Watch

Quote
In summary; it was a complete waste of time and a whitewash event. No new information and no new plans. Limited time for answering questions and many of the embarrassing questions not answered and not published.

They’re clearly waiting for a robust CEO to fix it for them. That might be possible but based on the capabilities of the previous CEO that is a very high risk strategy.

The section covering GB Climbing was a complete joke with the board doubling down on what they know is a complete mess. Martyn clearly reading verbatim from what had been put in front of him and probably supplied by the very people that are failing. Within some of his statements their were clear untruths backed up by some highly dubious statistics.

It is then interesting that the listening sessions produced a consistent theme but if it was that “consistent” then why not deal with that single issue now?

It is now only a matter of time before there is a MONC. When the wider membership wake up to the fact that they have been defrauded of £300k in favour of a strategy for GB Climbing that is not working and has never shown any sign of working with every aspect of the competitions community voicing their concerns and now 3(?) letters of concern it will be a complete mess ahead of the AGM.

These open forums are far from “open” and fully intended to avoid the need for an open face to face AGM like this year which became deeply embarrassing.

The President and the ultimate members champion is defending the indefensible and has to go now.

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#794 Re: Changing the BMC
December 14, 2023, 01:26:49 pm
Thanks Shark, interesting stuff, just checking MONC =?

shark

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#795 Re: Changing the BMC
December 14, 2023, 01:45:19 pm
Thanks Shark, interesting stuff, just checking MONC =?

Motion of No Confidence. There was one tabled at the 2017 AGM by Bob Pettigrew. If it had been passed the expectation is that the entire Board steps down so if something like that is tabled it’s enormously disruptive and the Boards energies will be focussed for weeks on dealing and refuting it.

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#796 Re: Changing the BMC
December 14, 2023, 03:31:04 pm
Thanks, should have known.

shark

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#797 Re: Changing the BMC
December 14, 2023, 05:33:22 pm

How this came about has obviously been looked at in great detail.

So how did it come about?

He didn’t specifically say but painted a picture of the confusion and misunderstandings that surrounding the UK Sport grant.

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#799 Re: Changing the BMC
December 22, 2023, 01:39:20 pm
https://thebmc.co.uk/bmc-appoint-new-ceo

Paul Ratcliffe is the new CEO. Currently CCPG Chair so has taken the same route in to the BMC and has same type of background as Paul Davies.

He says: “I now intend to lead this wonderful organisation with those same core values and with my philosophy of putting members right at the heart of the BMC.”


« Last Edit: December 22, 2023, 02:06:02 pm by shark »

 

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