Ward publishes manifesto in bid for FIA presidency
MONZA, Italy (AP) — David Ward stepped up his bid to become FIA president by proposing a range of reforms aimed at strengthening the “effectiveness and accountability” of motorsport’s governing body.
After recently resigning from his longstanding position as director general of the FIA foundation, Ward announced last month that he will challenge current president Jean Todt in the December election in Paris.
Todt has been president since 2009 and has until late October to officially confirm he will stand for a new four-year term.
Ward has sent a letter to the presidents of all the FIA member clubs, and proposed 20 reforms to FIA in his manifesto entitled “Agenda for Change” — published on Friday on his campaign website.
“Jean Todt’s presidency has solid achievements to highlight and I am still proud to have played a key role in his successful 2009 election,” Ward said. “However, that does not mean that further change isn’t necessary to ensure that the FIA develops a governance system that meets global best practices.”
The proposed reforms include appointing a chief executive — hired through an open recruitment policy and on a fixed-term contract — and setting up a new management board and a supervisory board.
The 56-year-old Briton also suggests limiting the term of the FIA president to two terms as well as introducing cost controls to enable higher levels of investment.
Ward says Todt has “fallen short” on what he proposed in his election manifesto from four years ago, and that there is still “work to be done” to make the organization more accountable.
“The FIA can give the impression of being antiquated and autocratic. The powers of the presidency are too wide to be effective or fully accountable. In some areas the trend for reform has been reversed,” Ward said. “For example, the maximum possible period in office for the president has been extended from eight years to 12. The threshold for nominations for presidential candidates has been set high which favors the incumbent and deters other candidates.”
If elected, Ward pledges to “ensure equal treatment to all candidates and ban any pre-election period support letters.”
Under his stewardship, Ward continues, he would aim to “reduce overheads, avoid waste, and reduce travel expenditure” and “adopt a policy against bribery and corruption to the latest international standards and amend the ethics code accordingly”.
Ward was formerly an aide to former president Max Mosley and worked as an adviser to former Labour Party leader John Smith. He is also the executive secretary of the independent Commission for Global Road Safety and represents FIA in the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration.