David Ward, who is standing against Jean Todt as FIA president in elections on December 6, has published his manifesto, billed as an “Agenda for Change”.
This is a significant moment for F1, as the series is the crown jewel of the federation’s sporting properties and generates the bulk of its income.
Todt has negotiated a significant increase in annual fees from Bernie Ecclestone to €25 million (as well as €15 million from the teams as a licencing fee) and Ward wants to continue with that and keep the money within the sport, to continue the programme of professionalising smaller clubs in countries new to motor sport, training marshals and volunteers. This has hitherto been paid for by the $100 million McLaren fine from “Spygate” in 2007, but that money will run out soon.
Ward wants the FIA to appoint a CEO, to keep the FIA based in Paris, rather than Geneva, where Todt wants to build a new headquarters and he wants the FIA to be fully financially transparent, so members and the public can look online at where the money is spent in motorsport.
Today’s document – and recent briefings – reveals that Ward’s candidacy is serious and that he intends to see it through.
His manifesto has 20 points and accompanies a letter to the member clubs around the world that make up the worldwide federation, asking them to nominate him as a candidate, to encourage an open debate on reform to FIA governance. It is these clubs that will elect the president in early December. Todt is seeking a second term in office.
Ward has stated his preference for a the president of one of the national clubs to serve as FIA president, “I have been approached by a wide range of FIA stakeholders encouraging me to be a candidate. The role of President of the FIA has not been something I have wanted or envisaged for myself. It has been a long time since a club leader has also led the FIA,” he writes. “However, in the absence of another candidate I am standing to promote an agenda of further governance reform.”
There is some speculation in the Monza paddock as to whether that suggests that he is a “stalking horse” for a club president who may enter the election in the near future, but Ward’s briefing appears to suggest otherwise.
Ward was in Milan yesterday evening on a quick visit where he held a small dinner briefing with a handful of British and German journalists.
The 20 point manifesto is as follows:
Agenda for Change: 20 FIA Governance Reforms
Presidency, Management, and Location
1. Allow the FIA President the possibility to serve in a non-executive role
2. Appoint a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) on a fixed term contract hired by open recruitment
3. Create a Management Board (with representation from each World Council, and chaired by the FIA President) responsible for budget matters, contract and due diligence supervision, and implementation of a multi-year Strategic Plan developed with the World Councils for approval by the General Assembly
4. Convert the Senate into a Supervisory Board (following modern corporate practice of a two tier board structure)
5. Appoint Commissioners for each FIA World Championship responsible to the World Motor Sport Council for day to day management and supervision of the championship
6. Retain Paris headquarters as main administration office and locus of the sporting power and all major contractual agreements
Resources and Club Support
7. At a time of austerity aim to reduce overheads, avoid waste, and reduce travel expenditure
8. Use all the revenue in excess of regulatory costs of the F1 Championship arising from the new Concorde agreement for investment in motor sport safety, sustainability, solidarity funding of ASN development programmes, and for training of officials and volunteers
9. Avoid duplicating the work of the FIA Foundation and the FIA Institute and concentrate FIA activities on priorities that are beyond these organisations’ mandates
10. Use any overall operating surpluses to fund development grants for clubs in low and middle income countries
Transparency and Good Governance
11. Publish annual accounts that conform to International Accounting Standards and include a narrative from the President and CEO explaining the overall performance of the FIA, key developments of the year, any relevant issues or related party transactions and future plans
12. Amend the Ethics Code so that it is fully consistent with the 2001 Statement on Good Governance Principles developed by the FIA and the International Olympic Committee
13. Adopt a policy against bribery and corruption to the latest international standards and amend the Ethics Code accordingly
14. Ensure that due diligence is carried out on all external contracts to ensure that they are consistent with competition policies and avoid commercial conflicts of interest
Elections, Eligibility and Procedures
15. Restrict eligibility for FIA Presidential election to Club Presidents or Senior Office Holders nominated by their clubs
16. Restore the Presidential term limit to two periods of four years not three as at present
17. Reduce the nominating threshold to three clubs (one from each member category)
18. Reduce the Presidential list to three: a President and two Deputies for Sport and Mobility
19. Elect the Senate President (future Supervisory Board) separately from the Presidential list
20. Ensure equal treatment to all candidates and ban any pre-election period support letters