BCS members apologise to vice-president Ken Olisa

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BCS members apologise to vice-president Ken Olisa

Bill Goodwin

Members of the BCS behind calls for an Extraordinary General Meeting on 1 July, have issued an apology to trustee and BCS vice-president Ken Olisa.

The move comes after Ken Olisa, recently awarded an OBE for his charitable work, threatened the group with legal action over a manifesto published on the internet. criticising the BCS leadership, which Olisa said questioned the probity of his work as a member of the BCS governing board of trustees. 

In a statement five BCS members who co-authored the manifesto said that they had removed sections of their document at Olisa's request.

"In accordance with Mr Ken Olisa's wishes, we have removed these words from the message on our website, which did not then - and does not now - refer to Mr Ken Olisa individually," said the statement.

The apology comes as the BCS is gearing up to hear motions of no-confidence in its board of trustees and chief executive, and questions over its £5 million rebranding programme at an extraordinary general meeting in its London office in Southampton Street.

The BCS said it would not allow members of the press to attend the meeting to report on the debate, but planned to issue statements immediately afterward.

Olisa sent a strongly worded e-mail to Rajan Anketell, one of the five BCS EGM supporters who co-authored the manifesto, and around 60 members of the BCS Council on 8th June, complaining that the manifesto appeared to call into question the probity of the BCS trustees, which include Olisa.

"Let me be clear. I have worked diligently and, I believe, effectively for the BCS since being honoured with my appointment as a Vice President and Trustee. During that time and as a willing volunteer I have sought fully to discharge my responsibilities under the Charter of the BCS and the laws of the land," he said.

"I take my reputation very seriously and will have no hesitation in pursuing you and your co-signatories in the Courts unless I receive an unequivocal apology.

"I would add, in closing, that my determination to seek satisfaction will increase substantially if your entirely baseless attack on my probity appears in the public media," he wrote.

Olisa had previously told Computer Weekly an apology would be a gentlemanly response to the manifesto statement.

"I think a fundamental principle of professional life is only to say things that are accurate. If someone makes a statement that is inaccurate, then an apology is appropriate," he said.

Olisa said in a statement today: " I'm content that we have arrived finally at a point which enables final resolution of this issue to be handled internally within the BCS according to our clearly defined procedures."


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