Committee and Task Force Guidelines

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FIT Task Force and Standing Committee Guidelines

as approved by the FIT Council in August 2015

Objective
Task Forces and Standing Committees serve as the foundation for much of the Federation's efforts on behalf of its members. Task Force and Standing Committee members are volunteers with special skills and/or interests who have agreed to contribute time and energy for the benefit of FIT. The objective of these guidelines is to facilitate and harmonize the work and working modes of FIT Task Forces and Standing Committees.

General Provisions
Task Forces and Standing Committees are governed by the provisions of Section VI, Articles 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77 of the Rules of Procedure of FIT, and in the spirit of the recommendations of the 2014 Statutory Congress (see annexure 1).

In addition to the Rules of Procedure, the following Task Force and Standing Committee Guidelines provide the governance structure and framework for the internal work of FIT Task Forces and Standing Committees.

Questions and issues concerning a Task Force or a Standing Committee are to be submitted to the chairperson. Should the chairperson not be able to assist, the Council Member in the Task Force may put the question to Council.

I — FIT TASK FORCES

Creation of a Task Force
The establishing body, which by convention is usually either the Statutory Congress or the Council, commissions a Task Force to meet identified needs of the Federation and/or its member associations. The establishing body will provide Terms of Reference and may nominate members to serve on the Task Force.

It is important that each Task Force incorporates expertise and experience from the wider FIT membership. A call for nominations will be issued. Apart from exceptional circumstances, for example a short term Task Force with a very specific objective, the establishing body must issue a general call for nominations. Once nominations are closed, the Council should ratify the Task Force members within a period of two weeks.
Once ratified, the Task Force is deemed established and will elect a Chair from within its members, no later than two weeks after establishment. No later than four weeks after his or her election, the Task Force Chair must submit a Task Force Proposal to Council for consideration. Based on the Terms of Reference set out by the establishing body, this Proposal will contain the work plan, a proposed timeline for the term of office and a budget. Council must communicate its decision on the Task Force Proposal within a period of two weeks.

Eligibility and Term
Any member of a FIT member association in good standing is eligible to serve on a FIT Task Force, provided he or she has the support of his or her association and the necessary skill, knowledge and interest.

The Task Force’s mandate is defined by the Council in conjunction with its establishment, based on the timeline and term of office submitted by the Chair.

Notwithstanding that a renewal of the term of office shall only be granted under exceptional circumstances (vide infra), the members of the Task Force shall be appointed for a maximum of three consecutive terms of office. Members shall not be eligible to be nominated to any Task Force or Standing Committee of a similar nature until a three-year hiatus has lapsed.

Election of Task Force Chair
The Task Force Chair is elected by the Task Force members by open majority vote. At the request of any member of the Task Force, voting for the chairperson shall be secret. In such case, FIT Council will designate a person to organize the election of the Task Force Chair by secret ballot.

Council Liaison Observer
The Task Force must have at least one Council Member. Where there is no current Council Member included in the Task Force, a dedicated Council member should be appointed as an observer member of the e-group to act as liaison to the Council. This Council Liaison Observer shall participate in all activities of the Task Force except voting, as the observer has no voting rights. This Council Liaison Observer shall inform the Task Force if any FIT Council decision affects the work of the Task Force.

Members’ Engagement
All members must participate regularly and in a positive way in the e-group discussion to help facilitate the work. Task Force Members must respect the confidentiality of discussion details and conclusions and support the results of these discussions. Regular virtual meetings are encouraged and should be held to advance the work of the Task Force.

The Chair is responsible for the general progress of the work. For all meetings, an agenda is prepared and distributed ten working days in advance; minutes are taken and, after approval by the Task Force, sent to the FIT Council for information.

Any Member who fails to attend three consecutive virtual meetings without having an apology accepted for all of those meetings shall be deemed to have vacated his or her position on the Task Force.

Voting
Task Force decisions shall be taken by a simple majority of the Task Force members, in accordance with the principles outlined in Sections 34, 35 and 36 of the FIT Rules of Procedure.

Renewal of Term of Office
Requests for an extension of the term of office of the Task Force should be exceptional. It is important that sufficient time has been allocated in the work plan from the beginning and that the work plan is respected. If the Task Force needs more time to accomplish its task(s), additional time is to be requested in the final report with all necessary details. Additionally, the FIT Council can arrange to hear the Chair’s reasons. All renewal request approvals shall be at the discretion of the FIT Council, and the FIT Council’s decision is final.

Facilities and Support
In recognition of the important role Task Forces play, FIT provides the following facilities and support.

a. e-Group
For all Task Force internal communication, a Yahoo e-group will be automatically set up by the FIT Secretary General as soon as the Task Force has been created. This e-group shall be used for the purpose of voting for the Task Force Chair and all other subsequent communication. This constitutes a record for FIT.

b. Virtual Meetings
Virtual Meetings may be very useful to help the Task Force accomplish its work, and are encouraged. The Task Force may use any software for this purpose, including GoToMeeting, for which FIT has a licence.

c. Web Page
A dedicated web page may be created on the FIT website for the Task Force. The Task Force will decide which of its members will have access to maintain and add content to its page, which will be created by the FIT webmaster or any other FIT website administrator. The purpose of this web page is to inform the public about the mandate, the work plan and the results, in form of reports. The Task Force may publish any other information in compliance with the FIT By-laws or Rules of Procedure.

d. Survey Tools
Surveys may be very useful to help the Task Force accomplish its work, and are encouraged. The Task Force should submit the survey questions to Council for approval and the FIT Secretary General will set up the survey on the FIT template of the survey system normally used by FIT.

Reports + Translatio
The Task Force will present a mid-term report, or at least one report annually to Council for consideration at the next FIT Council Meeting. The report must be approved by the Task Force members. In the case of non consensus, the voting procedure for Council votes given in Article 36 of the Rules of Procedure applies. The report must be sent to Council at least three weeks in advance of the Council Meeting. The final report shall be submitted at the end of the defined term of office.

The Task Force is encouraged to disseminate its progress, garner member support or publicise its activities through all of the FIT communication channels, especially Translatio.

Budget and Payments
As outlined earlier, a budget is submitted as part of the Task Force Proposal to the FIT Council for approval within six weeks of the establishment of the Task Force.

Requests for refunds or payments must be submitted to the FIT Treasurer via the FIT Secretariat at secretariat@fit-ift.org, and must be within the previously agreed budget, using the FIT reimbursement form and attaching all corresponding original invoices. Requests for reimbursement have to be sent within three months from the date of the expenditure.

Dispute Resolution
In an event where the collaborative working environment breaks down within the Task Force, or where there is evidence of misconduct, Task Force member(s) must inform the FIT Council, which has the responsibility to investigate and to act within its power to resolve the matter. FIT Council decisions are final.

I — FIT STANDING COMMITTEES

Objective
After the creation of the FIT Task Force entity by the Statutory Congress 2014 in Berlin, Standing Committees have mainly an internal function, helping the FIT Council carry out specific areas of work.

Mandate and Budget
The mandate of a FIT Standing Committee is defined by the establishing body, i.e. the Statutory Congress or the FIT Council. The work plan is drafted by the Standing Committee and approved by the Council.

Under exceptional circumstances and only with prior authorization from Council, a Standing Committee may claim reimbursement of expenditures made in carrying out its work. Requests for refunds or payments must be submitted to the FIT Treasurer via the FIT Secretariat at secretariat@fit-ift.org, using the FIT reimbursement form and attaching all corresponding original invoices. Requests for reimbursement have to be sent within three months from the date of the expenditure.

Eligibility and Term
The body establishing a new Standing Committee, which is usually either the Statutory Congress or the Council, shall appoint at least three members to it, who shall elect a chairperson from among their own number.

Any member of a FIT member association in good standing is eligible to serve on a FIT Standing Committee, provided he or she has the support of his or her association and the necessary skill, knowledge and interest.

A Standing Committee mandate ends at the next Statutory Congress.

Chairpersons and other members of Standing Committees shall be appointed for a maximum of three consecutive terms of office.

Election of Standing Committee Chair
Standing Committee Chairs are elected by the Standing Committee members by open majority vote. At the request of any member, voting for the chairperson shall be secret. In such case FIT Council will designate a person to organize the election of the Standing Committee chairperson by secret ballot.

Council Liaison Observer
The Standing Committee must have at least one Council Member. Where there is no current Council Member included in the Standing Committee, a dedicated Council member should be appointed as an observer member of the e-group, to act as liaison to the Council. This Council Liaison Observer shall participate in all activities of the Standing Committee except voting, as the observer has no voting rights. This Council Liaison Observer shall inform the Standing Committee if any FIT Council decision affects the work of the Standing Committee.

Members’ Engagement
All members must participate regularly and in a positive way in the e-group discussion to help the progress of the work. Standing Committee Members must respect the confidentiality of discussion details, but support its conclusions and results. Regular virtual meetings are encouraged and should be held to advance the work of the Standing Committee.

The chairperson is responsible for the general progress of the work. For all meetings, an agenda must be prepared and distributed ten working days in advance; minutes are taken and, after approval by the Standing Committee, sent for information to Council.
Any member who fails to attend three consecutive virtual meetings without having an apology accepted for all of those meetings shall be deemed to have vacated his or her position on the Standing Committee.

Voting
Standing Committee decisions shall be taken by a simple majority of the Standing Committee members, in accordance with the principles outlined in Sections 34, 35 and 36 of the FIT Rules of Procedure.

Facilities and Support
In recognition of the important role Standing Committees play, FIT provides the following facilities and support.

a. e-Group
For all Standing Committee internal communication, a Yahoo e-group will be automatically set up by the FIT Secretary General as soon as the Standing Committee has been created. This e-group shall be used for the purposes of voting for the Standing Committee Chair and all other subsequent communication. This constitutes a record for the Federation.

b. Virtual Meetings
Virtual Meetings may be very useful to help the Standing Committee accomplish its work, and are encouraged. Standing Committees may use any software for this purpose, including GoToMeeting, for which FIT has a licence.

c. Web page
A dedicated web page may be created on the FIT website for the Standing Committee. The Standing Committee will decide which of its members will have access to maintain and add content to its page, which will be created by the FIT webmaster or any other FIT website administrator. The purpose of this web page is to inform the public about the mandate, the work plan and results, in the form of reports. The Standing Committee may publish any other information in compliance with the FIT By-laws or Rules of Procedure.

d. Survey Tools
Surveys may be very useful to help the Standing Committee accomplish its work, and are encouraged. The Standing Committee should submit the survey questions to Council for approval and the FIT Secretary General will set up the survey on the FIT template on the survey system normally used by FIT.

Reports + Translatio
Reports have to be approved by the Standing Committee and shall reflect possible differences in the points of view inside the Standing Committee. In the case of non consensus, the voting procedure for Council votes given in Article 36 of the Rules of Procedure applies. Reports shall be submitted three weeks before a Council Meeting and at any time the Council requests information.
The Standing Committee is encouraged to disseminate its progress, garner member support and publicise its activities through all of the FIT communication channels, especially Translatio.

Dispute Resolution
In an event where the collaborative working environment breaks down within the Standing Committee, or where there is evidence of misconduct, Standing Committee member(s) must inform the FIT Council, which has the responsibility to investigate and to act within its power to resolve the matter. FIT Council decisions are final.

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Annexure 1: Extract of the Congress minutes 2014

Item 11.3.7: It was explained that standing committees had mainly internal functions necessary for the Council to enhance its work, e.g. matters such as admissions or investment. The task forces would have shorter mandates, generally 6-12 months in length. If there was a need for a longer mandate, this could be decided by Council. Task forces could receive funds, while committees could not. Reiner Heard explained that this restructuring was needed. This matter was given much consideration. Article 70 still contained the term ‘committees’, which should be changed to ‘task forces’. The standing committees served the needs of the Council. One committee was very concerned about the short time frame. Some task forces were very active while others were not. A task force could have a mandate of up to three years, but this would be at the discretion of Council.

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