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CONCACAF Announces Massive Reforms

The regional governing body seems to be getting serious

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, CONCACAF announced massive reforms to the way it governs itself in the wake of the ongoing world soccer corruption scandal.  From the official press release from CONCACAF detailing the reforms and changes that will be occurring at our regional soccer governing body:

Governance: The establishment of the CONCACAF Council to replace the current Executive Committee. The CONCACAF Council will consist of up to fifteen members with representation from each of CONCACAF's three geographic Unions, including a proposal to require three members to be independent.

Independent Committees: The creation of a Compensation Committee, Governance Committee, Audit and Compliance Committee, and Finance Committee. The Compensation and Audit and Compliance Committees are to be comprised entirely of independent members. The Governance and Finance Committees are to be chaired by and comprised of a number of independent members.

Ethics: A requirement for all candidates for the CONCACAF Council, CONCACAF President, standing committee members, members of judicial bodies, and senior Confederation officials to undergo eligibility checks to be conducted by an independent Ethics Committee.

Term Limits: The introduction of term limits of twelve years (consecutive or non-consecutive) for CONCACAF Council members and members of independent committees.

Transparency: The Congress is given authority to review and approve on an annual basis, upon the recommendation of the independent Compensation Committee, the remuneration and other compensation of CONCACAF Council members, CONCACAF representatives before FIFA, the chairpersons of the Audit and Compliance Committee, Finance Committee, Compensation Committee and the Governance Committee, and senior officials including the General Secretary, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Legal Officer and Chief Compliance Officer.

Accountability: The right of CONCACAF to audit any Member Association or Union receiving CONCACAF funds for a specific purpose to ensure that such funds are being used for said purpose.

According to CONCACAF those reforms go hand in hand with the changes that have been implemented since last summer including:

1)  The implementation of a "pre-approved" vendor system for all contracts with CONCACAF, including credit and background checks for all vendors.

2)  The enactment of a new process to for negotiating and approving all vendor contracts, including sports marketing and sponsor contracts, and new requirements that all contracts pass a conflict-of-interest check, which ensures that no vendor has personal ties to a CONCACAF employee.

3)  The adoption of new protocols so that no single employee of CONCACAF has final say over approving vendors or awarding contracts. All contracts are now required to go through CONCACAF's operations, legal, and finance departments before approval.

4)  The implementation of standard policies to manage and control cash inflows and outflows to ensure proper controls and transparency.

5)  The introduction of a Partner Code of Conduct to govern partner relations in accordance with the highest standards of ethical conduct, social and environmental responsibility, and compliance with applicable laws.

6)  The introduction of a comprehensive RFP process and hiring of independent consultants to oversee the bidding for the Confederation's commercial rights, audit counterparties for bribery and fraud, and review internal controls.

I am a bit skeptical that any soccer governing body can truly reform itself, but I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.  For now.  But this does appear to be a big step forward and may be the real beginning to the end of the corruption that has plagued this sport.