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Kuala Lumpur: The AFC Governance Reform Task Force met on October 18 in Kuala Lumpur to finalise a list of recommendations to the AFC Executive Committee.

The raft of new governance recommendations currently being finalised include, notably: 
-    the introduction of an AFC whistleblower policy
-    policies and procedures against bribery and corruption
-    commercial strategy paper for future rights sales

The task force’s Chair, HRH Prince Abdullah Ibni Sultan Ahmad Shah, said after the meeting: “The AFC has come a long way over recent years to modernise its governance structures. In line with the AFC Vision and Mission, the AFC is now finalising and implementing many recommendations that are raising its governance framework to the top level amongst international sports organisations.”

The task force also reviewed the status of the reforms currently being implemented by FIFA in order to implement or adapt those that are not already in place in the AFC. Such reforms include: 
-    introduction of term limits for Executive Committee members (three terms of four years maximum)
-    publication of the AFC’s financial statements, including compensation 
-    fully independent judicial bodies, as well as the possible creation of a new judicial body to deal with club eligibility matters
-    preparation of a detailed AFC Ethics and Compliance Training Programme for all employees, officers and committee members to be implemented in 2017 

Finally, the task force also reviewed several other governance issues, including: 
-    planned increased controls on financial assistance to AFC Member Associations
-    three internal audits that have been conducted into the HR, finance and procurement functions inside the AFC
-    double-checking that several of the non-priority recommendations from the 2012 PricewaterhouseCoopers Governance Report have been implemented, including:
o    faster preparation and reporting of the annual accounts 
o    more detailed Terms of Reference for AFC committees 
o    Limits of Authority policy 
o    clarity of strategic objectives and targets 
o    amendments to the AFC staff benefits and entitlements 
o    Code of Ethics for staff
o    expansion of Finance Committee role regarding Executive Committee and standing committee member benefits
o    improvements to the AFC staff performance appraisal framework 

The work of the task force is an ongoing process and further review of policies will be undertaken.

Photo: AFC