The full report can be downloaded as a Word document here, but a few quotes will convey the gist, particularly regarding the Sheffield fiasco. Truran concludes that "...controls over sponsorship-related income and expenditure for the 2011 British Championships were wholly inadequate". He also confirms that "...the ECF's own Bye Law requirements in respect of sponsorship arrangements have not been adhered to", and states that there has been a "...failure to draw a clear line between sponsorship arrangements that are managed and accounted for by the ECF and sponsorship arranged on a private basis with which the ECF has no involvement".
The details of this shambles get worse and worse. Truran describes invoices issued without even bearing dates, and which do not distinguish VAT amounts separately. As a direct result, the Federation is some 9 months late accounting to HMRC for £2,600 of VAT, relating to the Darwin sponsorship money. In a masterpiece of understatement, Truran observes that "None of this is likely to go down well should the ECF have a VAT inspection at any point". In fact, it will almost certainly result in interest and penalties being imposed.
Truran's report also confirms that CJ de Mooi submitted an invoice for £12,600 sponsorship expenses paid directly by him. "No documentation was provided with this invoice to support this invoice (sic), nor was the invoice reviewed and countersigned by another ECF Director. Nonetheless, the invoice was paid without question". The invoice was also submitted without any VAT. As a result, the ECF has failed to reclaim any deductible input VAT that may have been incurred on the relevant expenses, money which, as Alex McFarlane points out, could have gone towards the 2012 event.
And so it goes on. Of course, much of this was first revealed on the present blog. Indeed, Alex raises the pertinent question of when the Finance Director first became aware of all this, and whether the concerns which had been raised by the Congress Managers were ignored, until publicly revealed by the present blog.
But perhaps the bit that stunned me the most was Truran's recommendation that "...as a matter of urgency, the Board develops a properly documented set of expense authorisation procedures...". Er, sorry?? You mean that no such procedures exist?? This is a body which has been in existence for 108 years, yet it seems it still has no properly documented set of procedures for reimbursing Board members' expenses! And let's be clear about this - we are talking here about YOUR money. When these appalling people get their way (as I am sure they will), from within a matter of months, every chessplayer in this country is likely to find himself forced to subsidise them, via compulsory membership, even if one's chess is limited to a few club and league games in one's local area.
"The ECF want me to devise new accounting procedures for them, Betty!" (photo: tee2i.org)
Even on the most generous interpretation of events, it is clear that the leadership of the Egregious Chess Federation have elevated administrative incompetence to an art form. The words "piss-up" and "brewery" may not actually appear in Truran's report, but they echo resoundingly through every sentence. If chess in this country is ever to recover from its present nadir, de Mooi and his bunch of useless, malignant hangers-on have to go, lock, stock and barrel.