Decision to Host Virtual AGM – Questions & Answers

BWF hosted six regional video conferences from 6 – 10 July and these were attended by 115 Member Associations. This was an opportunity to discuss the agenda and the Council proposals. The questions and answers below relate to Agenda Item 2 – Decision to hold a decision-making Virtual AGM.

The company BWF has selected as the technology partner for the AGM 2020, Lumi Global (linked here), specialises in virtual AGMs for listed companies and international sports organisations, including the IOC. Lumi Global is ISO accredited and has ISO/IEC 27001 certification.

The voting platform is secure, results are verifiable, and can be audited by a BWF scrutineer (unless there is a secret ballot). Scrutineers, some of whom will be independent from the BWF, will review the data in the voting system database to ensure that all the registering delegates are entered in the system and that the voting strength for each member is correct.

It is. Neither the BWF nor its staff will have access to the outcome of any vote carried out as a secret ballot. The objective of the Virtual AGM is to follow as closely as possible the process that we would have during a traditional AGM – during which the votes for a secret ballot would not be known to anyone except for the person submitting the vote.

Yes. The AGM starts at 1900 Kuala Lumpur time on Saturday 18 July. For some delegates this will be very late at night (in Samoa it will be midnight on Saturday night) and for some, it will be very early on Saturday morning (in Peru, it will be 0600 AM).

So that is one reason why the meeting is a decision making (voting) meeting, with very little reporting so that it is not a six hour meeting as we usually have. This keeps the meeting as short as possible. Most of the reporting takes place before the meeting (see Council video reports and other material – linked here).

As a rule, only the Voting Delegate can vote on proposals. However, if the Voting Delegate has any problem and cannot attend, it will be possible for the relevant member association to transfer the voting right from the Voting Delegate to the Second Delegate. For this, contact Stuart Borrie [email protected]  as soon as possible, but latest, one hour before the meeting starts.

Yes, the BWF will provide simultaneous translation in French, Spanish, Russian and Arabic as we usually do for an AGM. When delegates log on, they will be asked to select a language.

The objective of the Voting Meeting of the Virtual AGM Process is to allow member associations to cast their votes for the 13 proposals. While questions are possible, we would like to minimize these if possible.

The objective of the regional discussions during the week of 6-10 July was to give members the opportunity to make comments, give opinions and ask questions before to the Voting Meeting. All questions and a summary of interventions are being shared with all participants who took part on one of the six sessions.

The decision to hold a Virtual AGM is made for 2020 because of the exceptional circumstances of Covid-19. It is hoped that we will be able to hold a traditional face-to-face AGM next year.

As part of its preparation for the AGM, the BWF has consulted with its continental confederations and member associations in order to identify those members that may need assistance to access the virtual meeting. Grants have been made to some members so they can secure stable and reliable connections for the meeting.

Delegates are asked to complete a test on Friday 17 July – between 1900 – 2000 Kuala Lumpur time (1300 – 1400 CET). Should there be a demonstrable issue with connectivity during the testing, members may ask for a special exemption to be able to vote by email.

There were three main reasons – 1) the size of the meeting would be too large, 2) the time zones to get everyone on at the same time for an extended time and 3) language.

BWF decided to have smaller regional meetings where individual members had more opportunity to speak and intervene, and where the information is better tailored to the audience, in terms of their language and local realities.

BWF is sharing all of the questions and answers here and in other communication so that everyone has access to the same information from all the sessions.

Governance is important to the BWF and many of the proposals are relate to improving the governance of the BWF.

Some of the proposals are important for the BWF elections in May 2021 (see items 5.4 and 5.5 on the agenda). If these are not decided this year, we would not be able to implement these until the elections in 2025.

The steps towards the AGM, including the videos on each of the Council proposals (in three languages) (in English / in Spanish / in French ) and the discussions during the regional video conferences (6 – 10 July) have assisted members to discuss these proposals and understand them better.

We have done all that is reasonably possible to ensure that the Virtual AGM experience is as close as possible to the procedure that we would follow during a traditional face-to-face AGM.

In particular, through the “integrated process”, we have tried to provide information in advance and to organise regional discussions in order to allow the members to share their concerns and ask their questions prior to the AGM voting session. This longer process allows for each region to discuss the proposals both at continental level and at world level. In addition, we have put in place Q&As on our website to share all the questions that were asked in the course of the regional discussion sessions.

The first reason is legal: article 15 of the BWF Constitution mandates that the AGM should take place before the 31 July of each year.

Furthermore, there is no guarantee that the COVID19 pandemic will have disappeared by the end of the year. While some countries may be considered as safe, there are still travel restrictions that apply and that would undoubtedly affect the travelling of some of our other members.

For those reasons, we decided to be proactive and organise the AGM virtually for this year as the BWF Council believes this best serves the interest of the Members.

We have done as much as we could in order to give the delegates the time to prepare: most of the AGM documentation was shared in early April 2020, i.e. 3 and a half months before the AGM. Furthermore, we shared the Chair video reports on 12 June 2020 and we provided explanatory videos about the various proposals. We trust that altogether, this information will allow delegates to be well prepared for the AGM voting session of 18 July 2020.