A Plan for the Future
If you elect me as your President, I will be a Leader of all members, not a follower. At all times I shall consult widely with the members and other stakeholders. I intend to be a President for all members, not just a few.
I have positive proposals for the hobby. But as I am only one member of a seven member Board, I do need your overwhelming support at Congress so that I have the moral authority to advance my Agenda.
FIP Finances are not unlimited. In reality they are quite finite. The FIP sources of income are also very limited. Our income is derived from Membership Fees; Exhibitions Patronage and Recognition Fees; and Investment and Bank interest.
These are your funds and I intend to ensure that they are spent wisely and handled with discretion and honesty. In no circumstances would I wish to see the Capital of the organisation reduced to below 1,800,000CHF (Swiss Francs).
And as a Board we must look at and consider other sources of Income.
It is also my intention to submit an Investment Policy for the Board Approval. And hence provide additional transparency to the members regarding the funds that you have invested. I intend to provide a more detailed Financial Statement to the Congress and also to provide an annual financial statement to members.
My proposal is to prioritise spending on:
Juror Training; Apprentice Juror Training; Educational promotion; sponsoring Specialised and multilateral Exhibitions; improving the FIP Website and the Journal Flash; producing more educational seminars for Exhibitors and distributing these by You Tube or other modern delivery methods;
The FIP needs a Four Year Strategic Plan. This will take time and much consultation and debate. In the interim I propose that we construct a forward program with priorities, with Budget allocations and time lines to promote the hobby and progress the issues I have raised here.
The FIP has insufficient moneys to provide any meaningful financial support to major Exhinbitions. It can however make very substantial and important contributions to smaller specialised Exhibitions. I intend to propose that the FIP establish an annual Budget Item (Exhibition Grants Fund) for the promotion of Specialised Exhibitions; and for other innovative Exhibition concepts. The sum proposed is not less than 80,000CHF annually. Any payments would be subject to the submission of a prior Exhibition Budget and provide for a partial refund to FIP in the event of a surplus at the conclusion of the Exhibition.
Additionally I shall encourage the Board to consider the approval of a World One Frame Exhibition in 2019.
The current method of selection of Exhibition Juries is not broken and does not need “fixing”. I have been advised by two Jurors that the whole of the FIP Board ought not to be on every Jury. No member has made such a request or observation. However I recognise that this may be an issue for some members. The FIP Board meets at most FIP exhibitions and if the Board’s expenses (Travel and accommodation) are paid by the Exhibition Organising Committee, then there is just so much more left in the Kitty to spend on other endeavours. However I recognise the merit of this suggestion and will seek to implement it unless the members inform me to the contrary.
Ideally, Accredited FIP Jurors ought to exhibit a Multi Frame Exhibit in at least a National Exhibition not less than once every three years. This is not a radical proposal. Australia, and I’m sure many other Member Federations, already have such a Regulation. I would like it implemented not later than 2021.
Juror training commenced with Singapore 2015. Again it was trialed at Finlandia in Tampere in 2017.
On my initiative the Board approved the creation of the “FIP Jury Academy”. In March 2018 a “Train the Trainer “ Course was held for 2 days in Malmo, Sweden under the guidance of Lars Engelbrecht RDP (Denmark). In this he was ably assisted by LarsPeter Svendsen (Denmark). Jurors Charles Verge RDP (Canada), Dr Peter McCann RDP (USA), Peter Suhardolc (Slovenia) completed the course. Training rooms and facilities were generously provided by Postiljonen, Scandinavia’s leading Auction House. The first course of 15 Jurors will take place from 24 to 26 May in Jerusalem. Philately is indebted to Lars Engelbrecht for his foresight, tenacity, philatelic judging knowledge and training skills.
This is not an inexpensive exercise. However it will continue and I will continue to promote this so that a majority of active jurors receive such training within my term. I have been a vocal proponent of Jury training on the FIP Board for some years and I am pleased that this is now progressing so rapidly.
APPRENTICE JUROR TRAINING
I intend to submit a training program for budding Apprentice Jurors commencing in the year 2020. This “FIP Jury College” or such other name to be determined will have the benefit of the earlier FIP Jury Academy courses and the apprentice courses now operating in some member countries (e.g. Australia, Denmark, USA, Great Britain).
The cost of this program could be borne jointly by FIP, each of the Continental Federations, the Member Federations and the applicant apprentice.
National Commissioners are the unsung hereos of competitive Philately. Without their work and assistance there would be no Exhibitions. However many Commissioners are flying blind and acting without any training, mentoring or guidance. Commencing at Prague this August, the FIP Board have agreed to present the first Commissioners Information and Guidance Seminar. These will be rolled out over the coming years. The knowledge gained in these Sessions can be transfered into the Member Federations.
Assistant Commissioners need to be encouraged and I ask for your thoughts on this subject.
In addition (and subject to tapping into additional sources of funding) the Board should consider subsidising travel costs for Commissioners for whom Air Travel is a huge financial exercise. Some funds may be available from any excess in the Exhibition Grants Fund.
I regularly get requests for advice from Exhibitors. I am currently working on such a request from an exhibitor resident in the United Kingdom. I propose to establish a twinning programme to link novice exhibitors in one country with experienced exhibitors in another.
Frame Fees are expensive. I know that the cost to organise an Exhibition requires funds and the source of those funds is limited. However whilst Exhibitions are frequently over-subscribed, it seems we are disenfranchising many of our member’s exhibitors who simply cannot afford to exhibit at International Exhibitions.
I propose some radical changes. Where an Exhibition would operate at a loss with the reduction of Frame Fees the FIP will subsidise the Organising Committee with a grant to ensure it does not suffer a Deficit. Where the Exhibition operates at a surplus, the amount of the grant will be refundable to the FIP.
For Multi frame Exhibits, the Frame Fees shall have a ceiling of US$60 per Frame.
For Single frame Exhibits, the Frame Fees shall have a ceiling of US$70 per Frame.
For Multi frame and Single Frame Exhibits from a Novice Exhibitor, the Frame Fees shall have a ceiling of US$20 per Frame.
For Multi frame Exhibits that have only a Vermeil Medal at a prior FIP Exhibition (with FIP Patronage or Recognition) the Frame Fees shall have a ceiling of US$40 per Frame.
Any so called Entry or Registration Fee shall be included in the calculation of the total frame fees payable.
I will continue to work for an increased co-operation between the FIP Board and the Commission Bureaus by regular communication and debate. The Board has already instituted an annual debate in meetings between the Commissions themselves. This activity ought to be continued, improved and built upon so that the expertise and the knowledge of each Commission are properly harnessed.
I would like to see more prominent Links with the Commission websites and the FIP website. I do not endorse one monolithic Website for the FIP and the Commissions. This proposal in my view just stifles initiative and creativity.
Last year I proposed that the new Class of Picture Post Cards be introduced. I am pleased to inform you that in the FIP World Exhibition in China in 2019 this will be an Experimental Class. I would also seek to introduc a First Day Cover Class; and give consideration to other new Classes of exhibiting.
Open Philately is looking for a home. In my opinion it fits into neither the Thematic nor the Postal History Commissions. I propose that the Maximaphily Commission be converted into a Multi Class Commission with the inclusion of Open and Picture Post Cards. And effectively add two Vice Presidents, one for each new class.
The current Board has instigated dialogue with the Continental Federations like never before. I intend to continue this work. In addition I would like to see exchanges of dialogue between the Federations themselves including the exchange of training, promotional activities; and accredited jurors from one Federation being invited to judge at Exhibitions in another Federation.
All Seminars ought to be recorded and made available to all members via the Internet; and at no cost to the members. The preparations of additional Seminars will be encouraged from the Commissions and specialised Societies and distributed in the same way.
UPU and IFSDA
I intend to promote improved co-operation with the Universal Postal Union.
And to promote frequent consultation with the Trade on both a structured and an ad hoc basis; and especially with the Trade organisation, the International Federation of Stamp Dealers Association (IFSDA). This includes annual joint meetings of the two Boards with an agreed Agenda.
The FIP has neglected its relationships with both the UPU and IFSDA in recent years. My intention is to build a new relationship with these bodies.
AFRICA CONTINENTAL FEDERATION
The UPU has only this month discussed with me their desire to see the promotion of Philately on the African Continent. Additionally, a number of our members have informed the FIP Board that they see a need for an African Federation. I propose that the FIP appoint a Director to head a Committee to investigate all options and methodology for such promotion and the feasibility of another Continental Federation. The Committee would comprise our current African members*, UPU, IFSDA and other African Countries with a recognised collecting population#.
*South Africa, Egypt, Congo and Nigeria. # Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.
INTERNET AND FLASH PUBLICITY
Both the FIP Website and the Flash need improvement. However I do not wish to add to the current administrative burden, or financial expenditures. Hence expenditure in these areas must not be squandered but spent with wisdom. Both of these vehicles can be improved and my intention is to do just that.
I ask for your continued support to represent you in this wonderful world of philately. As you can see I have a wide range of both collecting and administrative activities over a great many years.
On 2 December 2018 I need your Vote to continue my work on the FIP Board.
26 April 2018.