Dear members of the Board,
With less than 18 hours before the beginning of the electronic consultation, we are still to receive the necessary information to reassure parents on the smooth process, whichever way they decide to vote. The choice we are about to make will drive FIS’s future for years to come and will be irreversible if partnership is adopted. For the stability and the future of the school, it is crucial that the result of this consultation can be recognised and accepted by everyone.
The Board campaigned with conviction but without granting time parents who wanted a constructive dialog and a bilateral debate. On multiple occasions, the Board rejected the principle to promote dialog: tentative to block the meeting at BPR on May 2nd, refusal to participate despite a sincere invitation, refusal to distribute the minutes of this meeting, pressure on the relay parents not to distribute information, denigration of the results of the teachers’ poll.
The Board uses the communication tools from FIS for its campaign whose spending would already be close to HKD 500,000. If it is legitimate that the Board communicates via Engage and email, it would have been normal to expect a minimum of reciprocity and respect of the democratic rules.
After having tried to decide unilaterally on the subject, the Board has continued to deprive the members of their rightly debate and direct decision by implementing a binding consultation on one of the most important decision of the last 20 years for the school and FIS.
In its mail from May 7th and during the webinar from May 9th, the Board explains that this consultation does not fit within a legal framework. Let’s not forget that it will have legal consequences as the Board will ratify the result on May 16th.
Therefore, it is imperative that the process is irreproachable. To this day, nothing has been communicated on the procedure and the code of consultation which is normally attached to any significant vote.
We are requesting the distribution of the consultation rules and at least, the following guarantees in order that everyone is sure that the process will be implemented properly:
- Auditor’s name
- Communication by the auditor of the measures taken to guarantee a vote following democratic principles
- What aspects of the consultation will be validated? The results? The process? The following points?
- Who will be the true operator of the consultation?
- How do you guarantee that everyone can vote. Some parents have yet to receive information.
- Random generation of a password guaranteeing that only the recipient of the email can vote.
- Setup of a hotline in case of technical difficulty on the consultation
- Management of debentures numbers errors.
- Explicit agreement that there will not be a campaign organised by the Board (via emails or Engage) during the consultation
- Prohibition that the Board interacts with the voters during the consultation
- Prohibition that the Board members use social networks on the consultation topic
- No information on the current results can be communicated to any party (Board, teachers, AEFE, headmaster, consul…) during the voting period and until the final results.
- Guarantee of anonymity to the voters
- Starting Time and End time of the consultations
- Independant and accredited observers
- What are the measures to guarantee the proper counting?
- Presence of a bailiff
- Exact communication on the date and time of the results publications.
- Confirmation they will be announced by the auditor.
- How will they be presented? Number of registered voters? Cast vote? Null Vote (is it possible)? – Vote for the new convention – vote for partnership?
- Will results be also reported by Section (French, International) and by debentures nature (Corporate or private)
- Will this information be made public?
All these questions were asked directly or indirectly during the two webinars and during Saturday morning meeting in Jardine’s without satisfying answers. There is still time, but soon running out, to guarantee that everyone can vote in the best conditions.
This letter was signed by 12 parents and sent by email to the board