Home Strategy Internet Australia changes AGM voting procedures
Internet Australia changes AGM voting procedures Pixabay

Internet Australia, which claims to represent its members and not the industry, has changed its voting procedures ahead of its annual general meeting which is scheduled to be held in either October or November.

Voting on any issues will not be done during the meeting or after board presentations, but rather online. They will have a cutoff time of 5pm the day before the meeting.

This could also mean that members have to vote before they know about that year's financials, though Roger Clarke, the current IA secretary, denied this would be the case.

A third implication of the change is that no issues can be raised during the AGM and be voted on. Thus if there issues of financial instability, for example, these could not be raised in person.

Clarke told iTWire in response to queries that the changes were meant to take advantage of available technology "and enable members who are remote from whichever location(s) we hold the physical meeting in to cast their votes without going through the 19th century ritual of appointing a proxy and hoping that the appointee attends".

He said the financials would be made public long before the AGM was held and questions could be asked before the vote closed.

"There's a minimum 21 days from Notice of Meeting to closing-time, and we're aiming to provide Notice somewhat further ahead of the meeting than that," he said.

"The reason for closing voting prior to the meeting is to ensure that the results are available in time to announce them during the meeting. Within-meeting voting by electronic means, inevitably over diverse channels, is a nightmare best avoided."

Asked what would happen if there was a positive vote on an issue and there was no quorum at the subsequent AGM, Clarke said: "All business would remain in limbo until a meeting is held at which a quorum is
present. Then all business would be transacted, including the announcement of the results of the votes.

"The Corporations Act and the law of meetings can be pretty hard reading at times, but the processes are fairly effective in enabling governance to be sustained but business to be done."

IA vice-chair Keith Besgrove told iTWire that arrangements for the voting and its timing would be discussed at a board meeting on 3 September and he expected arrangements for the AGM to be finalised that day.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the sitecame into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

 

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