BCS membership fights over direction

Professional organisation or not?

BCS members call for EGM to determine association's direction

A row about the future of IT professional organisation the BCS - The Chartered Institute for IT has culminated in an Emergency General Meeting to be held on 1 July.

The debate was kickstarted in March by a member, Len Keighley, writing in Computer Weekly, saying that the organisation had moved away from its brief as a professional organisation and that members had too little say in the direction of the BCS. "Over recent years, and more obviously over recent months, I have felt that there is a move away from the society I joined around 30 years ago to a form that is less focused on membership and more on income generation.," he said, before comparing the organisation to the AA as another body that had moved away from its original aims and objectives.

The process that he started then has no reached its culmination in the EGM to be held next month.

No-one at the BCS would comment on the call for the EGM or the issues being debated. A spokeswoman said that the organisation didn't want issues debated in the media, although an increasingly bad-tempered debate is already taking place on Twitter, where members are already complaining about the cost of sending out glossy leaflets and in the blogosphere where Keighley's blog is attracting support.

One member of the BCS, speaking anonymously said that it was good that there was a debate on membership, pointing out that the membership base had been expanded considerably in the past five years and the organisation had lost some of its professional impetus, however, he said it wasn't true that it had been taken in this direction by the board of trustees without members' say-so. "Everyone has a chance to vote at the AGM, the board can't act against the members' wishes."

This story, "BCS membership fights over direction" was originally published by Techworld.com.

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