Germany's largest motorists' club, the ADAC has approved a package of major reforms designed to win back public trust. The ADAC was rocked by a series of controversies early this year.
The approximately 200 delegates voted unanimously to approve the package of reforms put forward at the ADAC's extraordinary general meeting in Munich on Saturday.
The reforms will see the ADAC restructured into three divisions, a move designed in part to help the organization retain its tax-saving status as a club.
The division, which will remain a motorists' club is to focus more strictly on serving its members, as it currently does through things like its roadside assistance service for breakdowns.
The second division is to be an incorporated company which will focus on the ADAC's for profit financial activities. The third is to be a foundation in which its charitable activities are to be bundled.
Apart from retaining the ADAC's status as a club, the reforms are meant to eliminate any scope for conflicts of interest by clearly separating its for-profit activities from its not-for-profit endeavors.
The process of implementing the reforms is to begin in January and is expected to take at least a year to complete.
The delegates elected August Markl as the ADAC's new president. Markl had held the post in an interim basis, since the ADAC's last elected president, Peter Meyer stepped down back in February.
Controversy-filled start to 2014
The impetus for reform came early this year, when Germany's biggest motorists' club was in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Among the most damaging controversies was themanipulation of a vote on Germany's "favorite car" for 2013. The ADAC admitted to inflating the numbers of its favorite car poll, the "Yellow Angel" award, named after the ADAC's prime color, to suggest that considerably more of its members had participated in the vote than actually was the case.
The club's image was also damaged by revelations thatADAC officials used emergency rescue helicopters for other purposes on around 30 occasions. This led the organization to commission an independent report on its problems. Business consultancy Deloitte submitted its findings directly to the ADAC.
The ADAC is the world's second largest motorists' club after AAA in the United States with around 19 million members.
pfd/bk (dpa, AFP)