by Mark Wicks
Major concerns have been expressed regarding the content of a document that Karting Australia has distributed to its clubs during the week.
It’s a contract that facilitates the move of a club’s timing system to the new KA-financed MyLaps timing system, as per KA’s press release earlier this month (read that HERE).
The document is setting off alarm bells for those who’ve read it.
Basically, in exchange for the new timing system, KA is requesting clubs sign a contract to lock them in exclusively to Karting Australia for a period of ten years.
Now, from Karting Australia’s perspective, there are some valid and logical reasons for this.
Firstly, if the governing body is financing the new system (though one must remember these finances have come from the karters in the first place…), KA wants a commitment from the clubs they will stay on-board.
Secondly, if KA has financed the system, why should a ‘rival’ organisation that has invested nothing into it, be able to benefit?
The project includes the recalling of equipment previously supplied by the AKA (which, according to the document, remains the property of Karting Australia) to be replaced with MYLAPS X2 Decoders and Servers and MYLAPS Orbits 5 Timing Software.
The current timing functionality will be removed from the existing CMS, however the CMS would remain in operation for all licencing, race entry and stewarding requirements.
Much of the content in the document is standard fare from a legal perspective, ensuring all parties are clear about their obligations etc.
However, some of the conditions in the contract include:
- The club must maintain its affiliation solely with Karting Australia and a State Association
- A club must not permit its circuit be used for karting (whether competitive in nature or not) other than events sanctioned by Karting Australia without first having obtained approval in writing from Karting Australia
- If a club affiliates with “a similar organisation to Karting Australia and/or the State Association”, or uses the new timing system for a non-KA approved event, it will be determined to have defaulted on the Agreement (ie, breach of contract)
- The club must “upon reasonable notice” provide Karting Australia with access at any reasonable time to its premises, financial records, documents, equipment and other property “for the purpose of audit and inspection by Karting Australia” to verify compliance with the contract.
Some on social media and other places have already scolded KA, accusing the governing body of manipulating the clubs to ensure they can never run karting events outside of Karting Australia sanctioning.
However, Schedule 4 of the contract is an ‘Application for Consent Form’ specifically for clubs to apply for an exemption to run a non-KA sanctioned event.
Of course, the big issue here is there is no way to tell how stringent or flexible KA will be with these approvals.
Plus, there’s the quite reasonable argument that if a kart club wants to run an event that’s got nothing to do with Karting Australia and utilises no KA resources or IP, why is that any business of Karting Australia?
To enable the configuration of the new timing system, Karting Australia requires its clubs submit details no later than September 1st 2017.