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Should the FIT-IFT judge the corporate ethics of its member associations?
Thread poster: traductorchile

traductorchile  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 00:17
English to Spanish
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Mar 19, 2012

Do you think that the FIT-IFT should accept as member associations or terminate membership of those associations that have a corrupt Board of Directors?

If one of the purposes of the FIT-IFT is to define the common policy for the associations in each country shouldn't that cover how those organisations are administered?

Does the Corporate Ethics of an association of translators affect the reputation of the translator’s profession?


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Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 11:17
Chinese to English
Yes, yes, and yes Mar 19, 2012

That is absolutely what an industry association should do.

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Petro2  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:17
Afrikaans to English
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I agree Mar 19, 2012

Yes, I think FIT-IFT and other organisations like them should keep an eye on the ethics of its member associations. That would be a HUGE help to the rest of us!

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traductorchile  Identity Verified
Chile
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English to Spanish
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TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Mar 22, 2012

Thanks Phil & Petro 2 for your answers, its nice to know I'm not the only one that believes that quality has a similar (or higher) importance than quantity. The more translators represented by FIT organisations should give the FIT more power for lobbing or convincing authorities for the best interest of the profession, but if some are not adequate that can be a sticky interference.

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traductorchile  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 00:17
English to Spanish
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TOPIC STARTER
Silence gives consent Sep 3, 2012

In most professional venues, either online or offline (i.e. Linkedin, proz.com, a company’s offices, a college Faculty, a scientific meeting, the cafeteria of the University of Oxford, or a football match, etc.), where alleged professionals meet or work, violence is not allowed, either physical, verbal, psychological or emotional. This includes all forms and levels of violence not only those that can have judicial consequences. In most of these venues violent activities usually are sanctioned according to written measures established beforehand by some sort of bylaws (Code of Ethics, Terms of Use, TOS, T&C, Code of Behaviour, Campus policy, Code of Discipline, etc.) with the intention of maintaining a high level of equity and trust among the members or users. In the least cases bad behaviour is controlled by informal rules applied according to each particular case following common law. But in no case is behaviour controlled, and trust protected, by no rule at all or no judgment at all, except maybe in some immature children’s playground (until some problem arises). And this is particularly demanding in an environment of professionals, where a certain level of education is expected.
However, when sectoral interests, financial interests, religious interests or political interests take control and supersede over the rule of law (i.e. a certain group of members, either a minority or not, are protected by those appointed to administer the law), and injustice or inequity becomes the rule, then we can clearly speak of corruption, and such an organisation cannot be trusted.
Furthermore, when a person demands that the rules should be enforced by those appointed to enforce them, and he/she is permanently ignored, then one should consider that not only corruption is in place, but also bullying (see: http://www.bullyonline.org/workbully/amibeing.htm; http://www.iosh.co.uk/news_and_events/connect/45_bullying_at_work.aspx; http://www.workcommunication.co.uk/understanding-workplace-bullying.html; etc.), because ignoring is a form of inflicting humiliation, not only avoiding accountability.

This is the case I put on the desk of the Executive Director and the President of the FIT/IFT:

An association of translators (the Chilean “Colegio de Traductores e Intérpretes de Chile”), member of the FIT/IFT, where one member was verbally abused by a group of other members, and after 600 days (to date) the complainant has not received a satisfactory resolution (nor an unsatisfactory one, be the case) from the translators/Board of Directors in charge of such a judgement process.

Furthermore, 4 months have gone by since the last message I received from the FIT/IFT:

“A brief message from Buenos Aires to let you know that at the FIT Council meeting, which ended here a couple of days ago, your complaint was handed to two Council members to look into and advise on further action.”

It seems that the FIT/IFT either:

- Is incapable of any action, that is, fell asleep, or

- Proactively ignores any complaint against certain interests.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:17
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
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No Sep 3, 2012

traductorchile wrote:
Do you think that the FIT-IFT should accept as member associations or terminate membership of those associations that have a corrupt Board of Directors?


Define "corrupt".

If one of the purposes of the FIT-IFT is to define the common policy for the associations in each country shouldn't that cover how those organisations are administered?


Is that truly one of FIT's purposes? Do you have a URL for that?

Does the Corporate Ethics of an association of translators affect the reputation of the translator’s profession?


Not necessarily. It depends to what extend the public associates translators with the translator association.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:17
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
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Complain to UNESCO Sep 3, 2012

traductorchile wrote:
[At] an association of translators (the Chilean “Colegio de Traductores e Intérpretes de Chile”), ... one member was verbally abused by a group of other members, and after 600 days (to date) the complainant has not received a satisfactory resolution ...


My understanding is that translator associations typically don't have the resources to deal with such matters.

[T]he last message I received from the FIT/IFT [was]: “A brief message from Buenos Aires to let you know that at the FIT Council meeting, which ended here a couple of days ago, your complaint was handed to two Council members to look into and advise on further action.”


How often does the FIT council meet?

If FIT is also corrupt, complain to the next higher level, which would be UNESCO. Just remember, the higher up you go, the more likely your complaint will be ignored.


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traductorchile  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 00:17
English to Spanish
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TOPIC STARTER
Yes Sep 3, 2012

[quote]Samuel Murray wrote:

Define "corrupt".

Good question, because it has many answers.
In this case "corruption" is what deviates from agreed/established procedures due to the actions or inactions of the person or people in charge of implementing said procedures. Corruption as a crime can only be established by a judge so what I speak of here is presumable corruption.


Is that truly one of FIT's purposes? Do you have a URL for that?

You'll find it in FIT/IFT documents/website. I don't have it at hand.


Not necessarily. It depends to what extend the public associates translators with the translator association.


If someone told you he belonges to the Cossa Nostra, and he knows what that is all about, which would be your judgement? He's a policeman in disguise?


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traductorchile  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 00:17
English to Spanish
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Timely answers show interest Sep 3, 2012

[quote]Samuel Murray wrote:

My understanding is that translator associations typically don't have the resources to deal with such matters.

They have the faculties and they don't need more resources than a PC, printer and using their brain.


If FIT is also corrupt, complain to the next higher level, which would be UNESCO. Just remember, the higher up you go, the more likely your complaint will be ignored.


I don't say FIT/IFT is corrupt, or presumably, what I say regarding FIT/IFT is that its priorities don't consider Ethical/Good Practices issues as worthwhile considering in due time. 4 months is not due time to me.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:17
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
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Comments Sep 3, 2012

traductorchile wrote:
Samuel wrote:
Is that truly one of FIT's purposes? Do you have a URL for that?

You'll find it in FIT/IFT documents/website. I don't have it at hand.


I did look at FIT's web site before I posted the comment, but I could not find any useful information relating to this specific presumed purpose of FIT. In fact, I'm not really sure what the purpose of FIT is.

I think that if you suspect corruption in your local translation association, FIT is not a suitable avenue to combat it.

Not necessarily. It depends to what extend the public associates translators with the translator association.

If someone told you he belonges to the Cossa Nostra, and he knows what that is all about, which would be your judgement? He's a policeman in disguise?


I don't understand your answer to my comment. Let me rephrase my comment: if you were to tell someone who is not a translator that you are a translator, will their first thought be "aah, if he's a translator, then he must be a member of Cossa Nostra"? If not, then Cossa Nostra's profile in your country is not that high, and a translator's reputation will not suffer just because of something that happened with Cossa Nostra.

==

traductorchile wrote:
Samuel Murray wrote:
My understanding is that translator associations typically don't have the resources to deal with such matters.

They have the faculties and they don't need more resources than a PC, printer and using their brain.


Investigating a claim of abuse (particularly if nothing is written down) is a resource intensive operation. A computer, a printer and one brain won't suffice. The executive would have to investigate to see if there is potentially a valid complaint, chase down participants and witnesses to get their statements and testimony, evaluate the evidence to determine the best course of action, attempt to facilitate reconciliation between the parties (which isn't done overnight), and if that breaks down vote on potential sanctions if the parties are guilty, and get members' agreement for the proposed punishments, and then launch a fuller investigation, which would end in a conviction or acquittal. And all this time they have to consult with attorneys to ensure that they do not accidentially commit slander against the parties involved, etc. No... investigating a claim of verbal abuse is not a simple thing. And don't forget the appeal process.

What I say regarding FIT/IFT is that its priorities don't consider Ethical/Good Practices issues as worthwhile considering in due time. 4 months is not due time to me.


Well, follow up. Ask the FIT member who told you that the matter is investigated to tell you who had investigated it. Ask the secretary for minutes of the meetings.


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traductorchile  Identity Verified
Chile
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English to Spanish
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Just to be brief Sep 3, 2012

[quote]Samuel Murray wrote:

Samuel Murray wrote:
My understanding is that translator associations typically don't have the resources to deal with such matters.
They have the faculties and they don't need more resources than a PC, printer and using their brain.


It was all in writing, documented evidence was on the table. There was no follow-up. There were obstructions to the usual procedures. There has never been an answer of any kind. As it was a violation of the Code of Ethics, there was no need to call for reconciliation but simply to apply the Code administratively, as happens here in proz.com for example. Very straight forward without my intervention.


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traductorchile  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 00:17
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Follow-up Sep 14, 2012

I was just contacted by someone from FIT/IFT, informing the process was still underway, but that the FIT/IFT is not the cause of the delay.

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traductorchile  Identity Verified
Chile
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English to Spanish
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FIT/IFT can’t rise to the challenge Oct 27, 2012

After receiving the commented information from FIT/IFT, I sincerely believed they were taking good practices seriously, and one could expect a straightforward and transparent resolution and statement regarding this kind of topics. The full letter by Dr. Henry Liu was:


“Dear Mr Pérez,
I am writing on behalf of FIT to keep you up-to-date regarding the investigation of your complaint. As VP and Chair of the Complaints Committee, I have been appointed by FIT Council along with my fellow VP and President of LatAM to investigate your complaint. We do take your complaint very seriously and are in the process of obtaining information from COTICH. However, this process has regrettably taken much much longer than we anticipated. I therefore ask you for further patience. You have our reassurance that we will keep you informed as soon as we can proceed to the next step of our complaints handling process.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any further assistance or if you have any information which you would like to draw my attention to.
Yours sincerely,
Dr Henry Liu
Vice President
Chair of Committee for the International Database of Complaints and Disciplinary Decisions
International Federation of Translators (FIT)



The above letter received from FIT/IFT’s representative Henry Liu triggers the logical question: How long will this patience be?

I have worded my question as follows:


“Dear Mr. Liu:
I would be grateful if you inform me how long will the committee wait for an answer from the COTICH before taking a decision, and what would be the possible decisions in case the COTICH never answers. I suppose that the committee, following common law procedures, would consider failure to respond as contempt to the attributions of the committee, and this in a specific time span. Can you give me an overview of the complaints handling process?
With my Best Regards,”



Clearly, eternal patience is a blank check for impunity. Legal courts don’t give out blank checks, they establish limits to respond to a court order or subpoena requiring attendance. It is considered contempt of court as it tends to interfere or interrupt the due course of a proceeding. Blank checks usually are related to cheating, deceiving and fraud. You can trust someone, but formality is bound by deadlines. Stretching deadlines eternally is the means by which crooks try to get away with their crookedness.

As two weeks have gone by since I asked Mr. Henry Liu to define which is the limit for FIT/IFTs patience, or in other words, which is the deadline for receiving a response from COTICH (as well as an overview of the “Complaints handling process”), and I have received no response, I can only suppose there is none (deadline/process), the FIT/IFT is in part a cause of the delay or I am being ignored/fooled (as well as you, because I imagine Dr. Liu's answer would be the same to anyone who asks the same questions). A second email with the same questions and the same non-response, just confirms what can be expected.
These are the kind of situations which justify the belief that an organisation is not trustworthy nor is it interested in promoting good practices. Clear, timely and comprehensive communication is basic for good practices in any organisation. Unless Dr. Liu had a heart attack or something (hopefully not), he surely keeps an eye on his emails.

Dear reader, make your own conclusions.


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BeaDeer  Identity Verified
English to Slovenian
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Oct 29, 2012



[Edited at 2012-10-29 11:31 GMT]


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BeaDeer  Identity Verified
English to Slovenian
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true Oct 29, 2012

traductorchile wrote:

Clearly, eternal patience is a blank check for impunity. Legal courts don’t give out blank checks, they establish limits to respond to a court order or subpoena requiring attendance. It is considered contempt of court as it tends to interfere or interrupt the due course of a proceeding. Blank checks usually are related to cheating, deceiving and fraud. You can trust someone, but formality is bound by deadlines. Stretching deadlines eternally is the means by which crooks try to get away with their crookedness.





[Edited at 2012-10-29 11:25 GMT]


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