Open Letter to CAMS clubs
Shane Rogers, a former CAMS employee, has written a letter to all CAMS affiliated clubs regarding the state of affairs within CAMS. Shane has allowed Conrod to reproduce the letter here
as well as speaking to us to explain the reason behind his actions.
Michael Shaw: Why have you written this letter to all of the CAMS affiliated clubs?
Shane Rogers: This is not something one does for ideal amusement. I wouldn't have done this if I didn't believe this is an issue that is worth
of consideration for all CAMS club, competitors and officials.
MS: What was the trigger for the writing of the letter?
SR: Any administration accountable to a large group of members should be
efficient and more importantly, transparent. Unfortunately the situation
that is happening now is when performance decreases the administration hides
the problems, rather than making a concious decision address the problem.
MS: Does this mean you think CAMS, as a whole, is going the wrong way?
SR: I think, in general, CAMS is heading in the right direction
consitiutionally. My concern is they're not holding onto staff right now,
and they are losing are the good ones; the ones with the experience to pull
off the restructure.
The Board should be disgusted that the administration is not only performing
badly, but also not being transparent in its dealings with the membership.
I'm hoping this will prompt some sort of action from the Board, but it will
require the state councils to take action.
MS: You used to work at CAMS...
SR: I'm aware that this could come off as a disgruntled ex-employee bitching
because he's not there anymore. I don't think i'd volunteer my time on a
national committee if I was a disgruntled ex-employee, and I frankly don't
think CAMS would have allowed the appointment if they thought that either.
MS: What's wrong with centralising permits?
SR: The key problem with nationalising
functions in Melbourne is they always try cash in the people saving straight
away. If it takes five people to run it being managed from 6 locations,
it's still going to take 5 people to run it in one location, unless you
improve processes or technology. They've done neither, and that's why it
MS: Where do you think CAMS should go from here?
SR: I don't think any organisation, which isn't expanding or contracting, should
be in a position where they need to hire 20% of their staff at once.
Restructure or no restructure, it's bad man management. The sad part is
we're hiring good people a majority of the time, they just get in the
building, get frustruated with management and leave. They have no direction
there at the moment, there's no sign of any direction, and unless the board
implores the CEO to give the administration better direction with more
detailed position descriptions and better processes, it's not going to get
I am writing to you regarding an issue that is of fundamental importance to the future of
Australian motor sport at all levels, in all categories.
Unfortunately for Australian motor sport, the governing body CAMS, is presently being managed
to within an inch of its administrative life, by elements of senior management that have no
understanding of the disastrous consequences of doing so.
During their respective tenures, the current CEO, Mr Graham Fountain, and CAMS Finance
Manager, Ms Sandra Lordanic, have with the complicity of elements of the Board, led CAMS
into the administrative decline in the past two years, with that decline accelerating gravely in the
past ten months.
Evidence of that decline is manifest throughout the entire organisation:
CAMS is in the process of an organisational review which for the first time focuses on issues of
governance, organisational design/restructure and consultation with members. In the big picture,
this is a much needed restructure. My concern is that there may not be any people of sufficient
skill left within the CAMS administration to manage the process once the restructure is complete.
- This year to date, the Member Services (Licensing) department have failed to meet their
acceptable service targets every month. In the first three months, it was less than 70%
when compared to the benchmark 95%. In April, it was 35%. This is because the
department has been starved of resources and technology to the point where they are not
equipped to process the number of licences required in the most critical time of the year
for new competitors. The alarming 35% figure was due to the Finance Manager electing
not to replace a key staff member on leave. The response to the issue was to avoid
accountability by suppressing the publication of service results on the CAMS website.
- A centralisation of the Event Permit application process to the National Office this year
has been so badly project managed that CAMS had to resort to a media communication
on the 15th of April to placate valid concerns of event organisers.
- A CEO-led restructure of the CAMS communication department has facilitated the
decline in quality of CAMS’ public communications to the point where the incredibly
"The feedback from those that have already had the opportunity to see the
proposal is that, it makes a lot of sense; is nothing that wasn’t expected from
such a review; and it is obvious the Board have put a lot of thought into it."
is apparently acceptable in a communication about the governance restructure; one of the
most important communications to the membership in recent history.
- There have been no significant computer system upgrades that contribute to productivity
improvement since 2006, due to an apparent cost driven strategic outsourcing strategy.
While key licensing systems that were previously stable crash daily, the IT consultants
are still getting paid. An IT strategic plan developed over 12 months ago, has made no
- A strategic planning process underway announced no administrative initiatives other than
the proposed governance restructure. Consequently, no significant objectives have been
achieved. The contrast in progress to the last strategic plan at the same stage is stark.
- Key staff members with significant accumulated experience and specialist ability have
been lost, frustrated by a lack of resources and support from the CEO. Less than a third
of the staff that worked at the CAMS national office two years ago remain today, a
significant loss of corporate memory. Their replacements are largely unfamiliar with the
industry and ill-equipped to do the job they were hired to do.
Nine vacancies were advertised on the CAMS website at the same time earlier this year,
18% of the current staff. And that does not include three managers (two senior) who
have left since, leaving further critical roles vacant.
CAMS has approached a critical time in its 54 year history. A time, which if not handled
correctly, will impact on the viability and operation of motor sport in this country for many years
CAMS desperately needs strong, effective administrative leadership to guide it through these
tumultuous times. Unfortunately all that the current leadership is delivering is an administration
so ill-equipped to achieve its objectives, that before too long, not even a newly restructured Board
will be able to repair the damage being caused.
One of the responsibilities required of a board is responsible stewardship: If the CAMS Board
wish to fulfil this responsibility effectively then they must take immediate action and address the
complete failure of the CEO and Finance Manager to manage the CAMS administration and halt
the downward spiral.
The time to fix this is now, and the responsibility lies with the current CAMS Board, to ensure the
future of Australian motor sport.
Member – CAMS National Track Safety Committee
CAMS Information Technology Manager, 2003-2005