Skip to Content
11 Feb 2022

Trust to correct Trustee election results for 2021

The John Muir Trust has today announced that it has had to correct the results of its Trustee election for 2021 having uncovered a manifest error in the analysis and reporting of the results of its 2021 election conducted by Civica Election Services (CES).

Having run an anonymised check of its 2021 Trustee election results as part of the due-diligence in introducing its new Articles of Association, the Trust identified what it believed was an error in how votes had been processed.

In sharing its concerns with CES, the voting services provider confirmed, following its own investigation, that it had incorrectly reported the 2021 Trustee election results to the Trust. CES concluded this was caused by a manual error in inputting candidate details and a subsequent failure to spot the error when verifying the results to the Trust.

Simon Hearn, Managing Director of Civica Election Services said: ‘We offer an unreserved apology to the Trust for the error and the impact it has on the Trust’s governance. In 28 years of administering elections we cannot recall a similar error occurring. We are committed to working with the Trust to resolve this error and support it in addressing any concerns this raises regarding our voting services.”

As a result of CES providing information that was incorrect, the Trust’s last Trustee election was reported incorrectly and subsequently the order and selection of those who joined the Board of Trustees was in turn incorrect. This means that at the Trust’s AGM in 2021 two Members who should have been elected Trustees were not, while two who were elected should not have been. At the same time two Members had the length of their term incorrectly reported. One Member serving a three year term should have been appointed to serve for one year and vice versa.

The Trust has checked that this is an isolated case. An analysis of the data it holds for the Members’ Ballots held in 2018 and 2020 indicates no errors. No Members’ Ballot was held in 2017 and 2019 as the number of candidates did not exceed the number of  Trustee vacancies.

David Balharry, the Trust’s Chief Executive, said: “Our priority is addressing the impact caused to those Trust Members directly affected by this. We’ve discussed in person what has happened with everyone who stood for election in the 2021 Members’ Ballot. We’ve confirmed with them changes we need to make to correct the result and have done this with immediate effect. We will write to all our Members to keep them informed and further outline the steps taken to correct the error.”

Under the terms of article 12.7.1 within the Trust’s Articles of Association the error has no impact on decisions made by the board of Trustees since the 2021 AGM.

The Trust has produced FAQs with further information. Read the FAQs here.