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 2004 AGM
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Chairman's Report for 2003-2004

While we have not organised any events beyond the AGM during this session we have tried to raise the profile of Fortran and increase awareness of the publication of the Fortran 2003 standard this autumn. John Kavanagh, a freelance journalist who works with the BCS, wrote an article based on input from the Group Committee which was published in the March 2004 issue of The Computer Bulletin. An abbreviated version of the article also appeared in Computer Weekly at the end of February.

Members of the Group have continued to play a major role in UK participation in the Fortran standardisation process, as you will see from John Reid's and David Muxworthy's reports later today, and I should like to take this opportunity to formally thank them all on behalf of the Fortran user community.

I have made extensive use of the new BCS Connect facilities during this session to inform members of matters of interest relating to the Group, the Society and the IT community in general. I sent eight messages to between 169 and 181 members between May and December 2003 and twelve messages to between 178 and 184 members between January and May 2004. I hope David Brigg's report on our membership position will tell us if we have had that size of change in the number of members or if it is that more members have registered their e-mail addresses with BCS Connect. If you have not yet registered with BCS Connect I would urge you to do so.

The biggest event for the Society in this session was the EGM vote at which the new governance and membership structure was approved. These changes took effect from the beginning of May 2004. A change which could affect the Group is the introduction of a new grade of membership, SG Affiliate. This is defined as those who are in paying membership of a specialist group and not otherwise BCS members or affiliates. There are currently around 1000 SG Affiliates.

Other changes which affect the Group are related to changes in the Society's structure and how that is reflected in the Group's Constitution. One proposed change is listed on the agenda while I propose also that the existing section on Finances is replaced by the following, taken from the Model SG Constitution:

6. Finances
  1. The Treasurer shall keep proper Records of Account and shall present the accounts audited up to the last day of April each year to the AGM next following the end of the financial year to which the accounts relate.
  2. The financial year of the Group shall commence on the first day of May each year.
  3. The funds of the Group shall be under the control of the Committee.
  4. The annual subscription shall be such amounts as the Committee may from time to time decide.
  5. The subscription shall become due on the First of May each year or on admission.
  6. All membership fees and any surplus arising from the activities of the Group shall be managed in accordance with the financial guidelines agreed by the BCS.

I wish to thank all the members of the Committee for their assistance in the smooth running of the Group over the last year, especially Alistair Mills, who is standing down at this meeting after just one year as our Treasurer. He assures me that it is his new job which has forced his resignation, not the pressures of being FSG Treasurer!

I must also correct an oversight in my report to last year's AGM. At that meeting Chris Lazou stood down after years of service on the Committee including two terms as Chairman. I apologise for the delay but on behalf of the Group I wish to thank Chris for all his hard work and his assistance to me as Vice-Chairman during my first year as Chairman.

If anyone reading this report has any comments or suggestions relating to the Group and its activities please let me know, we will be very happy to invite you to join the Committee so you can help us put your ideas into effect!

Finally I will remind you of our presentations this afternoon, when John Reid will update us on the final steps in the production of the Fortran 2003 standard, David Muxworthy will report on what is being considered for the next version of Fortran and Alistair Mills will describe his experiences of developing in Fortran on the Wintel platform.

Peter Crouch
18th May 2004

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