The BHETA board has taken issue with comments made by Charles Harrison on HousewaresLive.net yesterday, and in particular his claim that the election for association president is not being conducted fairly.
It has also defended its refusal to disclose details of a £70,000 item in its financial projections.
“All candidates will be issued with an information pack which needs to be returned by April 30,” the board said in a statement today. “This includes financial information, memorandum and articles, details of the committee structures and a questionnaire to allow them to indentify the skills and experience that they will bring to the role.
“On May 4 AGM packs will be issued to voting members which will include like-for-like candidate profiles based on the questionnaire.
“Members will be able to vote in person at the AGM or by proxy prior to the AGM itself.
“The board sees this as the correct way to conduct the elections in a democratic and impartial manner,” it added.
The board said the association had also offered Harrison the opportunity to post his proposals on the members-only BHETA website so that members could have an early announcement of his plans for the future of BHETA. It said the offer had to date been declined.
The statement also answered Harrison’s assertion that the board was guilty of a lack of transparency by not naming the recipient of £70,000 listed in its financial projections as “compromise agreements”.
“The association is being as transparent as it can be without failing in its legal duties to maintain confidentiality where it has a duty to do so,” it said. “This would include the compromise agreements referred to by Charles. To suggest that complying with these legal duties is hiding some improper financial dealings is disappointing given the fact that the board has its hands tied on this issue.
“It is clearly defined in the Companies Act 2006 that the board has a fiduciary duty to the company to take such action as is necessary to ensure the wellbeing of the company for the future. This has been confirmed to the board as a result of recent advice from the company’s lawyers.
“In that regard the sector directors are making themselves available to members who require any assistance in making their decision for the forthcoming vote. This does not imply that they will be biased to one candidate or another.”
The board added that “it would help the process if Charles Harrison would publish his thoughts on the future of the association along with his proposed team so that a balanced judgement can be made”.
Both Harrison and John Newcomb are standing for the role of president at the AGM on June 3.