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27 Oct 2017

IFs discuss governance reforms at dedicated ASOIF workshop

More than 50 representatives from Summer and Winter Olympic International Federations gathered in Lausanne, Switzerland, on 26 October 2017 to address the next steps in the pressing topic of governance during a dedicated workshop, organised by ASOIF’s Governance Task Force (GTF). The event followed-up on the first governance review of all 28 ASOIF member International Federations (IFs), published in April this year and subsequent individual meetings with the IFs to review their respective governance assessments.

ASOIF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said during his opening remarks:  “Today’s event forms part of a long-term process we have initiated to improve governance within IF structures. It is an opportunity to learn from each other, assess progress and address remaining challenges. We will also discuss next steps, which include the possible creation of a dedicated monitoring body, especially in regard to the enforcement of certain standards and the financial analysis of IFs.”

The workshop, targeted at identified governance contacts of each IF, featured interesting IF case studies of recent governance reforms and lively panel discussions focused on IF best practice. Participants also received a list featuring more than 100 examples of good governance practice in specific areas from 20 IFs.

Ingmar de Vos, FEI President and GTF member, spoke about the importance of good governance and told the participants: “Good governance is more than just ticking boxes and complying with rules or recommendations that are valid today. It has to be a permanent and dynamic process which is an integral part of our organisational culture and an automatism in everything we do so that good governance can filter from top to bottom.”

The event also provided ASOIF with the opportunity to set out the process for the next stage of the IF assessment process as governance remains a top priority. During recent months, ASOIF’s GTF revised the questionnaire, taking into account feedback. The updated questionnaire will be sent out to all IFs in November for completion. The second governance review of all 28 member federations will then enable ASOIF to objectively measure progress made since the first assessment. The report will be presented during the ASOIF General Assembly in April 2018.

Background information
This comprehensive project has been driven by ASOIF’s GTF, mandated to help IFs promote and ensure a culture of better governance within their structures by the ASOIF General Assembly. In 2016, the GTF developed five governance principles and 50 measurable indicators, tailored to the characteristics and needs of sport organisations, which it then incorporated in an assisted self-assessment questionnaire. All 28 Summer IFs responded and completed the first edition of the questionnaire. ASOIF appointed sports governance consultancy "I Trust Sport" to review the questionnaire responses and moderate scores for consistency. When necessary, scores were adjusted up or down and additional evidence was sought.