ARRL Suspends Controversial Director Confidentiality Requirements

At its January 18 meeting, ARRL suspended some of the controversial director confidentiality requirements. These requirements first made news when ARRL publicly censured director Richard Norton N6AA, apparently for publicly discussing at an ARRL conference the requirements themselves and the board’s handling of the matter.

The board resolved that:
The entire Code of Conduct must be reviewed by the ARRL Officers, Directors and Vice Directors with a deadline for completion of a final draft version 60 days in advance of the July 2018 meeting of the ARRL Board of Directors and be reported at that meeting.


So, we will need to move in the upcoming month to inform ARRL directors of our sentiments regarding the code of conduct, while this draft is being created.


The board moved to delete one section of the existing code of conduct and suspend another:

1. Confidentiality 6. C. delete the following sentence: “A Board member may not, in disclosing anything about the Board’s deliberations, discuss or disclose the votes of the Board or of individual Board members (including his/her own) unless the Board has previously made the votes public”.
2. Suspend all of Section 8. “Support of Board Decisions.”


The action by the board was much better than the previous rather unresponsive A Note to Members from ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR. Roderick didn’t venture to apologize in any way for the new code of conduct and its application to Director Norton, which at least some of the members found disturbing. One would hope that Roderick, re-elected as president at the same meeting, could man up and say “I’m sorry”, since the board did indeed look into the issue and take action just days after his unresponsive editorial, and must have already had the item in its agenda as Roderick wrote his piece.


These are the sections that are deleted or suspended:
6(c)A Board member may not, in disclosing anything about the Board’s deliberations, discuss or disclose the votes of the Board or of individual Board members (including his/ her own) unless the Board has previously made the votes public. Nor shall any Board member falsely characterize the positions, policies or decisions of the Board or the points of view taken by any member of the Board with respect to them.
8. SUPPORT OF BOARD DECISIONS: A Board member must accept and publicly support Board decisions.
a. A Board member, as a leader in Amateur Radio, is encouraged to be an ambassador and an advocate for ARRL and, subject to the Confidentiality Standard of this Code of Conduct, to publicly promote the activities and actions of the organization with the ARRL membership. In doing so, a Board member must act at all times faithfully to the intent of the Board as expressed in its official statements, and should not reinterpret or re-characterize the Board’s actions to reflect his/her own view or the views of any other Board Member.
b. While having the right and responsibility to exercise independent judgment and to express dissenting opinions during Board deliberations, a Board member also has the obligation outside the Boardroom to respect and support final decisions of the Board, even when the Board member dissented from the majority view.
c. A Board member who does not support a Board decision may express his/her opposition within the Board in an appropriate manner.
d. A Board member must not take actions publicly or with respect to the ARRL membership that have the purpose or effect of undermining or discrediting the decisions or actions of the Board.
e. If a Board member is ultimately unable to accept a Board decision and is unable to influence a change, the Board member should consider voluntarily resigning his/her position on the Board.
f. A Board member may not publicly oppose a Board action prior to the effective date of his or her resignation from the Board.