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Q&A with CBF President Peter Batchelor

enadmin, 19th November 2014

The CBAA has interviewed the Community Broadcasting Foundation's President, Peter Batchelor to find out more about the CBF Structure & Governance review - including the CBF's position on the recommendations provided, how stations can have their voices heard and when we can expect to see changes implemented. 

First, some background:
In April 2014, the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF) appointed Nous Group to undertake an independent review of the Community Broadcasting Foundation's structure and governance. Based on this evaluation, the consultants have provided 34 recommendations for variation to the CBF’s current structure and governance, and the funding model that underpins them. 
The CBF has released this review. As a first step, the CBAA has put together a discussion paper and invited our members to provide feedback. Find out more here.

1. Why did the CBF decide to undertake this independent review?

After 30 years of operation, the CBF felt that it was time to critically examine its structure and governance, particularly given the strong growth and increasing diversity of the community broadcasting sector, and the progressive impact on it in recent years of the digital revolution and technological convergence.  Audience habits are changing, and distribution platforms are quickly evolving.  The CBF needs to make sure it can face these challenges head on, and have a structure and grants programs that can respond to the evolving nature of our sector.
The review is an opportunity to reflect on the inherent tensions that exist in providing funding support to a very diverse sector.  It grapples with questions around how funding support can be most effectively provided, where existing and new funding may be directed, and how and by whom funding decisions might be made. After extensive consultation, research and analysis the Nous Group have provided a very comprehensive and detailed view as to how the CBF might be restructured in a way that would allow it to better respond to changing sector needs in a more strategic way. 

2. What is the CBF’s position on the recommendations made in the review?

The Foundation has not as yet formed a position on the Nous Group’s recommendations for change.  A special CBF Board meeting on 6 December to consider the report’s recommendations together with sector feedback and comment.  
The review report has articulated some of the complex challenges that face the CBF and the sector, and it highlights a number of areas for the CBF to focus on to ensure we are administering the sector’s funds in the most effective way possible. It’s a thought provoking re-imagining of the CBF that we expect will invite a diverse range of responses.

3. What are the consultation processes in place? How and when can stations have their voices heard? 

The Nous Group report is available for download from the CBF website.  Comment on the report and its findings is invited from all interested parties by 24 November. I understand that the CBAA is seeking member feedback on their discussion paper in order to inform their final response to the review report’s recommendations. 
The Foundation consulted with the CBAA and other national sector representative organisations in finalising the terms of the consultancy prior to its public tender. Consultation processes were also a requirement of the review process. The Nous Group consulted with stations and sector organisations, as well as members of our Board and Grants Advisory Committees and a sample of experienced community broadcasters familiar with our structure and internal processes.  An online survey, telephone interviews and a workshop were the methods employed.
Any further opportunities for consultation will be determined by the CBF Board.  Our usual practice is to consult with national sector representative organisations, such as the CBAA, prior to making any major changes to grant policies and processes.  If you are interested in the review and would like to be kept in the loop on the outcomes, you can subscribe to the CBF Update newsletter

4.    When can the sector expect to see changes implemented?

The CBF is yet to determine what changes will be made, if any, and any timeframe for change that might apply.  The CBF Board will be thinking through the issues carefully before any changes are implemented.
We thank the CBAA and its members for engaging in the review process – broad sector participation ensures that a diverse range of opinion and perspective will be considered as we move forward.


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The CBF has published a consultation paper detailing a proposed new structure & governance model and is inviting comment and feedback on the proposed changes.


The Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF) has released the final results of its Structure and Governance Review.