NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND OF THE UK
BRANCH SECRETARIES – BSEC-22-21
Evidence of use of the Campaigns Fund
From: Devaki Sivasubramanian, General Secretary
To: Branch Secretaries
Central Branch Members
Date: 23rd August 2022
Subject: Evidence of use of Campaigns Fund
Further to BSEC-22-19 from the President, the EC is now contacting you to elaborate on the evidence which we originally disseminated in November 2017 on the use of the Campaigns Fund. At that time, we issued a circular
(BSEC-17-13) which stated:
“We announce the setting up of the Campaigns Fund whose spending will be restricted to campaigning activity. If members and Branches, and indeed people outside of the Federation, want to support our campaigning, they should state this wish when they donate to the fund.
“We still have to run our office and produce our magazines and website so we need to source more funding for that too; but funds coming in for campaigning will help us to do what, surely, most of our members want us to do.
“We want members to be pleased to be part of NFBUK and we want to find ways of adding value to the work that Branches do. The demonstrable involvement of members will indicate to potential outside funders that we are worthy of their financial support.
“So, the EC has been backing campaigning since May and now is providing a fund to help finance it. We now ask you, members, for your support.”
It should be noted that there was an announcement in May 2018 in Fed News informing members of the setting up of the Campaigns Fund, together with the account number and sort code. Although the above extract, together with
some related articles which appeared in ‘Fed News’ before and after the issuing of that circular, proves we feel the intention of the EC at the time that the Campaigns Fund could be used for campaigning expenses, including
capital costs and phone bills, in all fairness to all those concerned in this issue, we feel that the EC needs to set up an independent panel of well-respected senior members to judge on the evidence. The panel will be tasked with examining the written evidence concerning the Campaign Fund and its management by our then Treasurer (who still acts in that capacity) and the EC’s role in the management of these funds. It will also judge on the validity of the accusations made during the presidential campaign and on the behaviour of the candidates in pursuance of their nomination. In pursuance of this aim, the panel will also be examining all documents, both formal and informal, concerning the management of the Fund and emails referring to the same circulated during the null and void presidential election. When this panel has come up with its verdict the EC will decide what action to take, after which point the presidential election will be re-convened.