Logo Assembly Logo Hemicycle

Working towards a framework for modern sports governance

Addendum to the report | Doc. 14464 Add. | 23 January 2018

Committee
Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media
Rapporteur :
Mr Mogens JENSEN, Denmark, SOC
Origin
Approved by the committee on 23 January 2018. 2018 - First part-session

1 Introduction

1. The lack of universally accepted standards or common criteria on good governance in sport is often referred to as being one of the key obstacles to bringing a modern governance culture of transparency, democracy, accountability and responsibility into the sports world. In addition, this deficiency hinders finding efficient solutions for developing universal professional tools for compliance assessment, monitoring and assistance.
2. The 2016 Budapest Ministerial Conference called “to implement high standards of transparency and good governance in sport that could, inter alia, allow for recognition by governments and the sports movement of common benchmarks on good governance in sport”.Note The Council of Europe has underscored that “what governments and sports organisations need to do is to agree to recognise one common benchmark, encompassing shared principles, concrete measures to achieve them, and a set of indicators by which we can measure the implementation”.Note
3. Considering the above and the needs for the basis for introducing an ISO certification standard on sports governance and the sports ethics rating system, I commissioned in July 2017 a comparative study of 15 existing codes and principles in order to compare their convergence and to explore the possibility to elaborate a common benchmark on those grounds.
4. The limited format of this addendum allows me only to present the key recommendations of the detailed study, which I recommend to be continued and further developed for the sake of future discussions. However, I wish to make two general observations:
  • the different codes, standards and principles elaborated since 2005 are largely complementary, with every new initiative building up on the previous ones;
  • there are certainly variations in the criteria and the way to measure them, but overall it is easy to extract a number of core common criteria that could form the agreed benchmark.
5. This paper aspires in no way to present the “finish line” or to make any conclusive recommendations. It simply proposes a common starting point from where to launch a multi-stakeholder dialogue for identifying the core common criteria of good governance in sport and the new challenges, which could then serve as a harmonised basis for updating the IOC Basic Universal Principles, elaborating a Council of Europe convention on good governance in sport, introducing an ISO certification standard for sports governance, feeding into sports ethics rating algorithms, or for preparing guidelines for sports federations and national governments looking to introduce their own modern governance frameworks as indicated in paragraphs 71-74 of the report.

2 Scope and methodology of the study

6. The comparative study in question is a desk-top analysis that covers a cross section of regulations introduced by the sports movement (IOC,Note ASOIF,Note FIFA,Note UEFA,Note IAAFNote), international organisations (Council of Europe,Note European Union (EU principlesNote and the EU Good Governance in Grassroots Sport project” (GGGS),Note UNESCONote), national and regional governments (United Kingdom,Note Australia,Note FlandersNote), NGOs (Play the Game/Danish Institute for Sports Studies Action for Good Governance in International Sport – AGGIS – and Sports Governance Observer – SGO,Note Sport Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA),Note) and academic research institutions (Institut de hautes études en administration publique of the University of Lausanne (Basic Indicators for Better Governance in International Sport – BIBGISNote).
7. The recommendations presented in the next chapter have been derived from the sports governance criteria showing a high and middle degree of convergence in the reviewed 15 sets of regulations and by-laws. They should be able to apply to any sports organisations independently of their size or legal status.
8. The study identifies four thematic clusters or dimensions: 1) transparency; 2) democracy; 3) integrity; and 4) development and responsibility, which contain 20 core criteria and 54 indicators (Appendix 1).
9. There is no value judgment or any kind of ranking attached to the documents compared in the table. The various codes have evolved over time and each has its own merits that serve the purposes of the sports organisation or national or international body that have elaborated them. Likewise, it is important to underscore that a missing cross in a box does not necessarily mean that the organisation is not observing the criteria in practice. The table presented is therefore only indicative, based on the official publicly available regulations and by-laws enlisted in the Glossary of the Appendix. It is for further discussions to establish which other criteria might be included within the core of good governance. Also, it is possible that some inaccuracies are still there, for which I ask indulgence to partners.
10. The advantage of establishing harmonised core criteria or a common benchmark is that it does not necessitate legislative changes or require any organisation to abandon their existing regulative frameworks. Governance criteria are not set in stone; they are in constant evolution and need to preserve this flexibility to keep pace with modern evolutions. It would therefore also be necessary to reflect on a multi-stakeholder setting for observing the evolutions and updating the core criteria and on possible creation of an international clearinghouse for sports information and knowledge sharing.

3 Proposed recommendations

11. Sports organisations at local, national and international level are called upon to:
Concerning transparency

  • make public their vision/mission/values and a strategy plan that specifies how to achieve them;
  • make public their statute, rules and regulations on their website;
  • make public the list of members and the basic information of their officials;
  • make public the agenda and minutes of the their General Assembly meetings;
  • make public reports/decisions taken by executive bodies and commissions;
  • make public an annual general activity report on their websites;
  • make public an annual financial report, externally audited according to recognised international standards, including compensation, benefits and/or salary of its president, board members, executive staff and senior officials (where applicable).

Concerning democracy

  • hold regular, transparent, free and fair elections of the governing bodies. These have to be based on a detailed electoral regulation, including secret ballots, term limits, eligibility check carried out by a specific independent committee, opportunities for the candidates to present their programme/manifesto, guarantees for gender equality on the board and with regard to the leading officials;
  • ensure that the distribution of representative positions in governing bodies reflects gender balance and encourages, to the extent possible, diversity and fair geographical representation;
  • put in place a clear governance structure, taking into account the principle of separation of powers;
  • establish procedural guarantees for a democratic decision-making process: meeting of their General Assembly at least once a year; meeting of the governing bodies on a regular basis; written reports on the basis of the bodies’ decisions, with sound regulations for open or secret ballots be used depending on the need either to ensure higher transparency or to safeguards anonymity of choices;
  • set up guarantees for an efficient decision-making process: clear and auditable separation of functions between executive, administrative and commercial activities; appointment of the management (for example directors and top officials) on the basis of objective criteria (integrity, relevant knowledge, skills and experience) and an impeccable professional history; internal management communication and co-ordination;
  • develop external co-operation with governments, the Olympic movement, international and non-governmental agencies on integrity issues.

Concerning integrity

  • set up independent audit and compliance committees responsible for: ensuring the adequacy of the organisation’s financial reporting and the integrity of the organisation’s financial statement; assisting the board for the compensation of company executives in the absence of a remuneration committee; checking the organisation’s nominations and appointments and carrying out the eligibility check for the elective offices in the absence of a nomination committee; elaborating risk management strategy and processes;
  • conduct an ethical and disciplinary control based on: ethics/integrity code, inspired by the IOC Code of Ethics; clear rules on conflicts of interests; disciplinary rules to combat match-fixing and doping; independent bodies (Ethics and Disciplinary Committees) and a mechanism to manage comments and allegations by whistle-blowers;
  • ensure internal appeal mechanisms and external channel of complaint and dispute resolutions.

Concerning development and responsibility

  • adopt a financial redistribution policy and programmes for their main stakeholders;
  • allocate resources in declared non-profit objectives, in particular in grassroots activities;
  • set up an environmental and social responsibility strategy or programme(s), including social and sporting legacy requirements for those (countries, cities, communities) hosting all their events and a close co-operation with governmental and non-governmental agencies on social responsibility issues;
  • elaborate an athletes’ policy comprising: a clear anti-discrimination policy; education programmes and assistance during and after career; specific actions to promote health and safety, in accordance with the relevant regulations on the protection of the athletes, spectators, workers, children, youth and other vulnerable groups.

12. Sport has other specific sides that need to be taken into consideration when developing proactive policies and regulatory frameworks. These concern ensuring:
  • a level playing field and protection of athletes, including against doping, match-fixing, illegal betting, abuse or trafficking; minimum requirements for athletes’ contracts; youth development in sport;
  • the integrity of sports events, including bidding processes and selection of event hosts, ticket pricing and distribution, selection of sponsors, granting media broadcasting rights, building event infrastructure for major events, respect of the bidder and its commercial partners to human rights and labour standards.
13. Following in the steps of the new 2016 IOC Code of Ethics, the core criteria of good governance in sport should explicitly refer to the respect for international conventions on protecting human rights, notably but not exclusively as regards the respect of human dignity, rejection of discrimination of any kind on whatever grounds and rejection of all forms of harassment, be it physical, professional or sexual, and any physical or mental injuries.
14. When elaborating the core criteria of good governance in sport, convergence should also be sought with the United Nations Convention against Corruption, the Council of Europe conventions on corruption [the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption (ETS No. 173), the Civil Law Convention on Corruption (ETS No. 174), the Additional Protocol to the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption (ETS No. 191)] as well as with the G20/OECD Principles of Corporate Governance.

Appendix – The core common criteria of good governance in sport

Summary

1. Transparency

1.1. Make public vision, mission, values and strategic objectives

1.2. Make public Statutes, Rules and Regulations

1.3. Make public the list of the members and officials of the Organisation

1.4. Open the activity of legislative bodies to the public

1.5. Make public the reports/decisions taken by executive bodies and commissions

1.6. Make public annual activity reports

1.7. Make public annual financial reports following external audit

2. Democracy

2.1. Regular elections of the governing bodies

2.2. Representation of members and stakeholders

2.3. Separation of powers

2.4. Democratic decision-making

2.5. Efficient decision-making

2.6. External co-operation

3. Integrity

3.1. Internal audit & Compliance Committees

3.2. Ethical & disciplinary control

3.3. Procedural guarantees

4. Development and responsibility

4.1. Distribution of resources

4.2. Allocation of resources in declared non-profit objectives

4.3. Environmental and social responsibility

4.4. Athletes’ involvement, participation and care

* Not explicitly encoded in the regulations of the organisation enlisted in the Glossary but included in other internal documents and/or implemented in practice

Glossary

Inter-governmental, international and non-governmental organisations

Council of Europe Committee of Minister’s recommendation CM Rec (2005) 8 on “The principles of good governance in sport”

2005

CoE

CM Rec. (92)14 Rev on the Code of Sport Ethics

2010

PACE Res. 1875 (2012) on “Good governance and Ethics in sport”

2012

PACE Res. 2053 (2015) on “The reform of football governance”

2015

IOC Basic Universal Principles of Good Governance of the Olympic and Sports Movement

2008

IOC

IOC Code of Ethics

2016

Statutes of the IOC Ethics Commission

2017

EU Guidelines for Good Governance in Grassroots Sport

2011

GGGS

EU 2013 Principles of Good Governance of Sport

2013

EU

ASOIF Key Governance Principles and Basic Indicators

2016

ASOIF

SIGA Good governance universal standards

2016

SIGA

UNESCO International Charter of Physical Education, Physical activity and Sport

2015

UNESCO

MINEPS VI, Kazan Action Plan

2017

Academic research and NGOs

Basic Indicators for Better Governance in International Sport (BIBGIS)

2013

BIBGIS

Play the Game

Action for Good Governance in International Sport (AGGIS)

2013

PTG

Sports Governance Observer 2015 (SGO 2015)

2015

National codes

Sports Governance Principles (Australia)

2012

AUS

Code for Sports Governance (United Kingdom)

2016

UK

Code of Good Governance in Flemish sports federations

2017

FLANDERS

International Federations

FIFA Code of ethics

Statutes of FIFA

FIFA Governance Regulations

2012

2016

2016

FIFA

UEFA Statutes

UEFA Organisational Regulations

UEFA Disciplinary Regulations

2017

2017

2017

UEFA

IAAF Code of ethics

IAAF Constitution (2019)

IAAF Integrity Code of Conduct

Final Proposal for Governance Structure Reform of the IAAF “Time for change”

2015

2017

2017

2017

IAAF

Theme

Criterion

Elements to be considered

COE

IOC

GGGS

EU

ASOIF

SIGA

UNES-CO

BIBGIS

PTG

AUS

UK

FLAN-DERS

FIFA

UEFA

IAAF

1.

T

r

a

n

s

p

a

r

e

n

c

y

1.1. Make public vision, mission, values and strategic objectives

The Organisation publishes its vision/mission/values and strategic objectives

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

1.2. Make public Statutes, Rules and Regulations

The Organisation publishes its statutes, by-laws, sports rules and organisation chart

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

1.3. Make public the list of the members and officials of the Organisation

The Organisation publishes list, basic and biographical information about its board members and senior officials

       

X

X

 

X

X

   

X

X

X

X

1.4. Open the activity of legislative body to the public

The Organisation publishes the agenda and minutes of its general assembly

   

X

X

X

X

 

X

X

   

X

X

X

X

1.5. Make public reports/decisions taken by executive bodies and commissions

The Organisation publishes reports of its standing committees, decisions taken at its executive body meetings

       

X

 

X

X

X

   

X

X

X

X

1.6. Make public an annual activity report

The Organisation publishes its annual general activity report and main event reports with detailed and relevant information on its website

     

X

X

   

X

X

X

 

X

X

X

X

1.7. Make public an annual financial report following external audit

The Organisation publishes its annual financial report following external audit

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

The Organisation annually publishes compensation benefits and/or salary of its president, board members, executive staff and senior officials

X

X

   

X

X

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Theme

Criterion

Elements to be considered

COE

IOC

GGGS

EU

ASOIF

SIGA

UNES-CO

BIBGIS

PTG

AUS

UK

FLAN-DERS

FIFA

UEFA

IAAF

2.

D

e

m

o

c

r

a

c

y

2.1. Regular elections of the governing bodies

Election of the President and the majority of members of all executive bodies

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Term limits for elected officials

X

X

 

X

X

X

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

The Organisation has detailed regulation for all open positions for elections and appointments including the process for candidates

X

X

   

X

X

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

The Organisation offers to the candidates standing for election opportunities to present their programme/manifesto

       

X

X

   

X

     

X

X

X

Elections are held on the basis of secret ballots

       

X

X

 

X

 

X

   

X

X

X

The Organisation encourages gender equity with regard to its leading functions

X

 

X

X

X

X

 

X

X

 

X

X

X

X

X

Eligibility checks

         

X

           

X

 

X

2.2. Representation of members and stakeholders

Members of the Organisation and key stakeholders, e.g. active athletes, are represented in governing bodies

X

X

   

X

X

 

X

X

   

X

X

X

X

Obligation to involve the stakeholders in the Organisation’s operations

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Protection and representation of minority groups

 

X

     

X

       

X

X

     

2.3. Separation of powers

A clear separation of power between organisational bodies with regulatory/supervisory, executive, and disciplinary responsibilities

X

X

 

X

 

X

         

X

X

X

X

 

2.4. Democratic decision-making

The Organisation’s general assembly meets at least once a year

 

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

X

X

   

X

X

X

Governing bodies meet regularly

 

X

X

X

X

   

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Main decisions are taken on basis of written reports supported by criteria

 

X

X

X

X

   

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

2.5. Efficient decision-making

Competence of the members of the executive body

X

X

 

X

 

X

     

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

An elected independent member sits on the Organisation’s Executive body

     

X

 

X

 

X

   

X

 

X

 

X

Appointment of senior officials via open procedures and on the basis of objective criteria

X

X

 

X

 

X

     

X

X

X

X

X

X

Separation of functions

X

       

X

 

X

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

Internal management, communication and co-ordination

 

X

 

X

         

X

X

 

X*

X

 

2.6. External co-operation

Cooperation with governments and intergovernmental organisations

X

X

     

X

           

X*

X*

X*

Cooperation with the Olympic Movement and other sports organisations

 

X

     

X

           

X*

X*

X*

Cooperation with relevant national and international authorities on integrity (doping, match-fixing) issues

X

X*

   

X

X

 

X

       

X*

X*

X*

Theme

Criterion

Elements to be considered

COE

IOC

GGGS

EU

ASOIF

SIGA

UNES-CO

BIBGIS

PTG

AUS

UK

FLAN-DERS

FIFA

UEFA

IAAF

3.

I

n

t

e

g

r

i

t

y

3.1. Audit & Compliance committees

Audit & compliance committee

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Control of the financial processes

X

X

 

X

X

X

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

External and independent control

X

X

   

X

     

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Remuneration committee

             

X

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

Nomination committee

         

X

     

X

X

X

X

 

X

Risk management system

 

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Independence of the audit and compliance committee

 

X

   

X

X

     

X

X

X

X

X

X

3.2. Ethical & disciplinary control

Ethics/Integrity Code for all members and officials

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Rules on conflicts of interest

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Fight against doping and adoption of World Anti-doping Code

X

X

 

X

X

 

X

 

X

 

X

X

X

X

X

Fight against match-fixing

X

X

 

X

X

 

X

 

X

   

X

X

X

X

Ethics and Disciplinary Committees

       

X

X

 

X

X

     

X

X

X

Make public all decisions of disciplinary bodies and related sanctions

X

     

X

X

           

X

 

X

Mechanisms for whistle-blower protection

X

     

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

 

X

X

 

3.3. Procedural guarantees

Internal appeal mechanisms

X

X

 

X

X

X

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

The Court of Arbitration for sport (or similar) as an external channel of complaint and dispute resolutions

       

X

   

X

X

     

X

X

X

Theme

Criterion

Elements to be considered

COE

IOC

GGGS

EU

ASOIF

SIGA

UNES-CO

BIBGIS

PTG

AUS

UK

FLAN-DERS

FIFA

UEFA

IAAF

4.

D

e

v

e

l

o

p

m

t

&

r

e

s

p

o

n

s

i

b

i

l

i

t

y

4.1. Distribution of resources

Financial redistribution policy and programmes

X

X

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

     

X

X

X

4.2. Allocation of resources in declared non -profit objectives

Allocation of resources in grassroots activities

   

X

X

X

 

X

X

X

     

X

X

X

4.3. Environmental and social responsibility

The Organisation has an environmental and social responsibility policy and programmes in place

   

X

 

X

X

X

X

X

   

X

X

X

 

The Organisation has legacy requirements for communities in which its events are hosted

X

     

X

X

X

X

X

     

X

X

 

Cooperation with relevant public authorities on social responsibility issues

       

X

X

 

X

       

X

X

 

4.4. Athletes’ involvement, participation and care

The Organisation has clear anti-discrimination regulation and policy

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

 

X

X

X

X

X

Education programmes and assistance to athletes during and after career

X

X

X

 

X

X

X

X

         

X

 

Regulation on the protection of the athletes

X

X

     

X

X

     

X

X

X

X

X

;