The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) has cut back its secretariat from 16 employees to nine as part of a major review of the organisation's structure and governance.
Chief executive officer Suzanne Campbell told iTnews that the slimmed-down association had not cut back on the ICT programs it delivers.
She confirmed the "October  review" saw a "sharp reduction in ... operating costs" but would not disclose the number of positions reductions, saying only they were "substantial".
However a comparison of the AIIA’s secretariat at 16 February 2011 compared with the beginning of March this year reveals a 44 percent reduction in staffing year-on-year - in numerical terms, a cut from 16 to nine employees.
It's unclear how many of these reductions occurred on Campbell's watch. She became the AIIA's CEO in July 2011.
The truncated secretariat looks after day-to-day administrative tasks at the AIIA, coordinates events including the iAwards and industry summits, and handles government relations and policy meetings.
Campbell said the AIIA had not dropped the number of programs it ran prior to the personnel cuts.
She said the association would do less events but that they would be of "higher value" and "higher impact" than in years past.
She cited a recent cloud computing summit in Canberra that was organised in association with the US Government.
For the AIIA, she argues, she achieved a positive association and gave cloud policy more air time as well as engaging many of the association's members.
At the same time as the employee cutbacks, Campbell instituted more rigorous governance processes within the AIIA.
“When we start an activity, we are clear about our objectives, the resource requirements and the commercial margin for our member organisations," Campbell said.
Campbell implemented four objectives for the association.
These were to deliver “exceptional” membership value, pursue a strategy of industry growth, build a sustainable and agile association, and rework the operation as a high performance team.
Campbell is confident the association will continue to provide strong value to its members.
Like other associations such as the Australian Telecommunications User Group (ATUG) and the Internet Industry Association (IIA), the AIIA was facing a looming reduction in its membership and risked becoming irrelevant as an industry force.
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