Bullying furore cost AOC about $1.6m
Posted on 12/17/18 5:03 PM
The n Olympic Committee hierarchy has had to deal with some cultural issues of concern.The n Olympic Committee’s bullying furore cost the organisation about $1.6 million.
The AOC last year spent the money, mostly on legal costs, as former media director Mike Tancred faced five separate bullying allegations.
Tancred received a payout of more than half a million dollars when he left the organisation in September last year.
His 18-year tenure with the AOC ended despite being cleared of all bullying accusations.
One of the claims was made by ex-AOC chief executive Fiona de Jong, who left the organisation in late 2016.
Tancred was cleared of bullying by an independent committee established by the AOC, but was severely reprimanded for abusing de Jong in a phone call in late 2016.
Separately, the committee of former judges also heard four other bullying claims against Tancred — three from former AOC staffers and another from a person outside the peak Olympic organisation.
The AOC’s annual report, released on Thursday, reveals legal and dispute resolution costs amounting to $1,064,034 in 2017.
The breakdown of that sum was $377,341 in costs to establish the independent committee which heard the cases; $278,466 to indemnify Tancred and de Jong of costs and; a further $408,227 which the AOC spent in relation to the complaints and employment advice.
Tancred himself received a total of $533,986 from the AOC when he left, excluding his $203,863 salary for the nine months he worked for the organisation last year.
His payout included a retirement benefit of $494,529 and superannuation of $26,927.
The bullying claims came amid a bitter campaign for the AOC presidency, which John Coates retained after a challenge from Olympic hockey gold medallist Danni Roche.
The presidency battle prompted a cultural review of the AOC’s workplace practices, performed by the Ethics Centre.
The review found a dysfunctional workplace with staffers detailing a hostile toxic environment of senior leaders undermining each other; widespread concerns about favouritism; a lack of transparency in decision-making and poor communication.
“The trials and challenges of last year were an opportunity to push the ‘reset button’,” the AOC’s new chief executive Matt Carroll wrote in the annual report.