Held at the San Gorg Corinthia Hotel, St Julians, on Tuesday, 01 February 2011.
Mr Ian Scicluna was entrusted with the taking of the minutes at this AGM, this was accepted by all present.
As a quorum was not reached, fifteen minutes adjournment as per statute was given. The meeting was opened at 20:15 by the Hon. President, Mr Kevin Casha who started by outlining the proceedings of the AGM and reading out of the agenda, as follows:
Secretary General’s report
The Secretary General proceeded to read out his report for the year 2010, a copy of which was emailed to all members some weeks prior to the AGM. Highlights for the year were pointed out, among which the SWPP seminars, the trip to Italy and twinning with the Valle di Ledro photo association, the lectures by MIPP members at the annual SWPP convention in London, the new MIPP website, and various other activities.
It was also announced that the MIPP’s application for NGO status, discussed during last year’s AGM, was finally approved by the authorities and the MIPP is now officially an NGO. In reply to a question by Mr Ian Scicluna, the committee replied that the main advantages when having this status is that our Institute is now eligible for various government, EU benefits and funds that are only applicable to NGOs.
Contacts were also made with the Malta Qualifications Council (MQC) with a view of further officiating the qualifications issued by the MIPP to successful candidates when presenting their work during the annual MIPP/SWPP convention. In a reply to a question by Mr John Ambrogio, the Secretary General gave details of meetings that are to be held in the very near future with members of MQC. The names of Dr James Calleja and Mr Richard Curmi were mentioned as the persons with whom discussions are being made. The way that these qualifications will be implemented is not as yet very clear as details are still being discussed with the persons and entities concerned. What was sure is that the present “Trading Licenses” will be eliminated and could be substituted by said qualifications. The next meeting between Mr Charles Calleja and MQC staff is set for next Thursday 10th February.
The Secretary General’s Report was proposed by Mr Domenic Aquilina, seconded by Mr Colin Pilling.
It was approved unanimously.
The 2010 Financial Report was read out by the Hon. Treasurer. Approval proposed by Mr Ian Scicluna, seconded by Mr John Ambrogio. It was approved unanimously. A copy of this report was also previously mailed to all members in good time for review before the AGM.
The Institute’s income for the year amounted to €18,312.59, against an amount of €11,684.23 for expenses. This resulted in a surplus of €6,628.36. Net assets as at 31 December 2010 stood at €52,517.41.
It was pointed out by The President that, although the assets of the MIPP seemed quite substantial, the executive committee’s wish has always been to someday acquire, through outright purchase or yearly lease, a property to be used as the MIPP’s permanent headquarters and offices. The MIPP has for the past seven years been asking the government for a suitable place, but this has never materialised. Once a premises is acquired, the surplus, as it starts accumulating again, will be used to further enhance the services offered to the Institute’s members.
Amendments to the Statute were then proposed, as follows:
Clause 3 (c) referring to subscription fees.
The overseas member subscription, presently at €55 per annum, was proposed to be reduced to €35 per annum bringing this in line with local members’ fees. This reduction was deemed necessary especially since we are no longer sending newsletters and other documents by normal mail, all is done via e-mail and the internet. Apart from the fact that being out of the country one cannot take full advantage of the facilities offered by the Institute. The proposal was taken to a vote and passed unanimously.
The following paragraph was also added to Clause 3: “Membership in the MIPP signifies the acceptance and adherence to the Institute’s Code of Ethics, Rules and Regulations as well as the Official Statute.” This amendment was also passed unanimously by the members present.
Clause 2 (i) regarding the Income Tax laws will be amended as once we are an NGO our accounts need no longer be undersigned by a Certified Public Accountant . It will only be necessary for the annual accounts to be approved by a majority vote in committee, and subsequently at the AGM. The NGO department will only need a copy of the accounts signed and approved by two MIPP Committee members. Any anomalies in the presentation of the accounts or contents therein will then be pointed out by the department responsible should this become necessary. This amendment was approved unanimously.
Clause 3 (b) will be removed completely as it was counter-productive. It will from now on not be necessary for new members to be seconded or recommended by an existing member for their application to be accepted. The Executive Committee reserved the right however to refuse any application or terminate the membership of any individual should it feel that this is in the interest of the Institute, without having to give justification. Passed unanimously.
Mr John Ambrogio suggested a “Disciplinary Committee” to decide on members not adhering to the MIPP statute through their behaviour, but this is already covered by clause 4a wherein it is laid down that any disciplinary action needs to be approved by a 2/3 majority vote in committee.
The MIPP code of conduct (including some amendments) was read in full by the President for any comments or suggestions by members.
Mr Steven Muliett asked for Clause 1 to be re-read. He objected to the mention of the words “personal appearance” when speaking of photographers in general, and said that this was very subjective. There was some disagreement regarding the appearance or “dress code” that one should adhere to when on assignment, and it was finally decided to remove the reference to appearance in the first sentence of the clause, adding the words “His/her personal appearance to be appropriate to the occasion” was added. Voted and approved unanimously.
At this point Mr Kevin Casha mentioned the fact that there would not be a need for an election during today’s AGM as there was only one resignation and one application for committee membership.
Therefore the new committee will be made up of:
Kevin Casha, Charles Calleja, Sergio Muscat, Trevor Sollars, Johann Cardona-Schranz, Therese Debono and Martin Agius.
Mr John Ambrogio said that it might be wise, given that we are disposing of an Accountant to approve the annual accounts, to appoint an internal auditor to vet the Financial Statements before submittal to the NGO authorities. Mr Charles Calleja said that this was tried once but without much success, as in any case any member had a right to examine all MIPP documents, including the accounts. Mr Martin Agius said the accounts will automatically be vetted by the NGO authorities and they will report any bad practice in any case. The suggestion was therefore dropped with reservation; the appointment of an internal auditor might be made in the future.
Mr John Ambrogio passed a motion of thanks to the outgoing committee for their sterling work.
Meeting adjourned 21:22.