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USA Cricket: USACA announces implementation committee. Some fear foot-dragging.
by DreamCricket USA
Nov 25, 2013

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By Venu Palaparthi

USA Cricket Association (USACA) announced on November 22, 2013 that it was 'pleased' to have completed the first phase of the governance review that commenced in September of 2012.

At USACA's AGM held on November 16, 2013, the Board was asked to form a Governance Implementation Committee along with written terms of reference.  USACA noted that it recognized that it needed to take a step forward.  "[...] now is the time to form a Governance Implementation Committee to take good governance practices and implement them at USACA," USACA President Gladstone Dainty is quoted as saying.   'It is planned that any changes requiring constitutional change will be ready by summer 2014,' the release noted.  

While USACA sought to put a positive spin on this development by headlining the release 'USACA acts on independent report,' many saw the announcement as an attempt to slow down the governance reforms.

In September 2013, USACA released a video in which the Chairman of USACA's Governance Review Committee said that USACA had begun developing the new governance model based on the recommendations from the independent consultant.   "As we rapidly progress towards the implementation of these recommendations, we will be maintaining an active dialog," Walters said.   In an update on his committee's work, Walters wrote that the member leagues would be able to vote on the governance model at the AGM.  

When the agenda for the AGM was published, it became clear USACA would not conduct a vote on the governance model at the AGM.   And the fears of USACA skeptics came true with the announcement of the implementation committee.  With USACA's latest announcement, it appears that it will be mid-2014 before constitutional changes are presented for ratification.  Given that the board's term expires early 2015,  many also feel that the board will be in no rush to conclude the governance process by the end of 2014.

In order to allay suspicions of deliberate procrastination, USACA must immediately present a clear timeline for change.   It can emulate NZC in this regard which implemented a complete overhaul of its own governance in one year.  Thirty Nine recommendations were made by Boardworks International in September 2012 following an independent review to improve NZC's governance.   NZC announced that it would make a written submission to its members concerning the recommendations.   This step was completed by December 2012.   By March 2013, the board had consulted members, discussed the feedback and the drafting committee began the process of drafting the constitution.  The draft constitution was distributed on April 5, 2013.  By May 2013, comments were collected and by July 2013, the constitution was adopted.  A process to transition the governance to the new constitution began that month.  By September 2013, the new NZC board was seated following an election.   If USACA can copy the NZC's one-year timeline, it will certainly win over some of the skeptics. 

More immediately, since it has chosen the committee approach to implementing the recommendations, USACA will win over skeptics if it appoints independent members to the committee and vests them with powers to effect meaningful change with a clear timeline. 

Instead, if the implementation committee is stacked with friends of entrenched interests, no meaningful change should be expected, especially in areas such as term limits, independent directors and inclusive representation.

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