FIT Rules of Procedure
as last amended by the XXth Statutory Congress in Berlin, August 2014
I — THE CONGRESS
The following schedule shall apply to organisation of the Congress:
(a) Twelve months prior to Congress date:
(i) Call for expressions of interest for hosting the next Congress, to be submitted within two months
(b) Eight months prior to Congress date:
(i) Circulate first convening letter, containing details of the Congress date and venue, the schedule below and details of where Congress documentation will be made available
(ii) Inform candidate hosts of the next Congress of the result of the due diligence investigation
(c) Five months prior to Congress date:
(i) Call to members for proposals for items for the Congress agenda, to be submitted within two months, with full motivation
(ii) Call for nominations for Council, to be submitted within two months
(iii) Invite members to submit activity reports within two months
(d) Three months prior to Congress date:
(i) Circulate second convening letter, including draft agenda
(e) Two months prior to Congress date:
(i) Open registration for Statutory Congress and submission of proxies
(ii) Publish final agenda, lists of candidate members and proposed terminations, all reports, financial statements, proposed constitutional amendments, details of the candidate hosts of the next congress, member activity reports and other documentation related to the Statutory Congress
(iii) Publish nominations for Council
(f) One month prior to Congress date:
(i) Close registration for Statutory Congress and submission of proxies
DELEGATIONS AND CREDENTIALS
2. Each regular member taking part in the Congress shall submit to the Secretariat a list of names of its delegates designating the head of its delegation.
3. A delegation shall not include more than three delegates; it may be accompanied by not more than two observers.
4. The vote shall be cast by the head of the delegation or, in his or her absence, by one of the other delegates in the order in which their names appear on the list.
5. A regular member not represented at the Congress may assign its proxy, in writing, to another regular member in good standing.
6. Prior to the Congress, a Credentials Committee made up of the Secretary General and the Treasurer or their nominees shall review proxies and determine whether members wishing to participate directly or by proxy in decisions made by the Congress are in good standing. The Credentials Committee shall report continuously to the Congress on the number of members present or represented by proxy who are authorised to vote. The Congress may, at any time and for good reason, dissolve this committee and appoint a new Credentials Committee that may overrule the previous committee conclusions.
CONGRESS VOTING PROCEDURE
7. Votes on business shall normally be taken openly and, unless otherwise provided in the By-laws, by a simple majority of votes cast by the regular members present or represented by proxy; abstentions shall be recorded but not counted. Voting may be electronic or manual or by any other appropriate means, as decided on by the Council in view of the resources available.
8. In the event of objections or doubt, the Chairperson may proceed to take a second vote, either by open voting, the vote cast by each voter being disclosed during voting, or by secret voting.
9. At the request of one delegation and seconded by another, a request for a secret ballot may be voted upon and resolved before the matter under discussion is actually put to the vote. A decision to take a secret vote shall be adopted by a simple majority of the votes cast.
[Moved to Council Elections]
10. The Congress shall appoint three scrutineers who shall monitor the voting. A scrutineer who is a candidate for a position being voted upon shall be replaced by another scrutineer appointed by the Congress.
PROCEDURE DURING DEBATES
11. The Congress shall be chaired by the President of FIT or a Vice-President appointed by the President. The Congress may however at any time decide by vote to dismiss the chairperson and to appoint a successor, who shall assume the chair immediately.
12. Meetings of the Congress shall be conducted in accordance with rules generally accepted for deliberative assemblies.
13. The chairperson, or any regular member seconded by another regular member, may propose that time limits be set for discussions.
14. Any duly represented regular member may submit a motion related to the agenda item under discussion.
Before it may be discussed, such a motion must be seconded by another delegation.
15. In addition to associate and observer members, candidate members may be represented by observers. The chairperson shall grant reasonable speaking time to such observers when their admission to full membership is being discussed.
16. The observers referred to in the previous section shall receive the same documents as regular members.
17. The Council and/or the Executive Committee may invite observers to a congress, indicating the items on the agenda for which such observers may be admitted.
18. The Congress may at any time invite an observer to attend one or more of its sessions.
It may also request an observer to refrain from attending certain sessions.
19. Observers invited under either of the two preceding articles may receive documents within the limits laid down by the body that invited them.
20. Nominations to Council shall be made in the format determined by the Council.
21. The Council shall decide on an appropriate system for voting in accordance with available technologies and the Federation’s resources.
22. A secret ballot shall be the rule for elections to Council.
II — THE COUNCIL
23. The first meeting of the newly elected Council shall take place immediately after the Congress. The outgoing President chairs until the new Executive Committee is elected. The Secretary General also remains in office until the new Executive Committee is elected.
24. At the time of this first meeting, the members of Council elected shall first of all proceed to the cooption laid down in article 30 of the By-laws.
25. At its first meeting the Council shall elect from among its members the Executive Committee; the vote shall be taken by secret ballot, each name to be submitted separately.
26. Any vacancy on the Executive Committee shall be filled by Council using the same voting procedure.
27. Attendance by at least half the members of the Council shall constitute a quorum.
28. The date and place of the next meeting shall be determined by the Council.
DEPUTIES, EXPERTS AND OBSERVERS
29. Any Council member may nominate a deputy to replace him or her at a Council meeting; such nomination shall be in writing and addressed to the President or the Chairperson of that meeting, as the case may be. A person designated as a deputy must be a member of a regular member of FIT in good standing at the time of the nomination.
30. A Council member who wishes to be supported by an expert must have the permission of the President or Chairperson of the Meeting in advance; such permission may be granted subject to ratification by the Council at the opening of the meeting.
31. Chairpersons of regional centres, task forces, or standing committees, special delegates and representatives of member organisations may attend Council meetings as observers.
32. The Council may invite other observers.
33. (a) The Council may decide to hold part of a meeting without the presence of experts and observers.
(b) The Council may decide to approve online participation in its physical meetings.
COUNCIL VOTING PROCEDURE
34. Except for decisions pursuant to article 18 of the By-laws or to article 38 of these Rules of Procedure, Council decisions shall be taken by a simple majority of the members attending or represented by a deputy.
If there is a tie, the chairperson shall have a casting vote.
35. Except for the co-option of Council members and election to the Executive Committee, decisions shall be taken by open voting.
On the motion of the chairperson, or another member of Council seconded by another member, Council may however decide to use a secret ballot.
36. Between Council meetings, decisions may be taken by online discussion and voting. A decision shall be considered to have been taken as soon as a motion has been approved or rejected by a majority. The results of the vote shall be communicated immediately to the Council members by the Secretary General or Secretariat.
REPORTS TO COUNCIL
37. At each of its annual physical meetings, the Council shall hear reports from the President, the Secretary General, the Treasurer, the FIT Secretariat, the Director of BABEL, the Managing Editor of Translatio – FIT Newsletter, the chairs of task forces and standing committees, Regional Centres, and special delegates.
38. If the Council, by a two-thirds majority vote of all Council members, refuses to accept a report presented by a member of the Executive Committee, the member in question shall be required to relinquish his or her duties and an election to replace him or her shall be held before the end of the meeting. In any event, he or she will retain his or her functions as a member of the Council. Such a rejection shall be effective only as a result of a vote taken at a physical meeting of the Council at which the member in question may render an account and state his or her views. No decision of this nature shall be taken by correspondence or online voting.
AUTHORITY AND DUTIES OF COUNCIL
39. The management and administration of FIT shall be vested in the Council. The latter may exercise all powers and perform all such acts as may be lawfully done and performed by FIT within the scope of its By-laws and these Rules of Procedure.
40. Without prejudice to the general powers of the Council as described above, it is expressly declared that the Council shall have the following special powers and/or obligations:
(a) to purchase and lease property;
(b) to institute, conduct, defend, assist in or abandon any legal proceedings by or against FIT or its officers or Members, or otherwise concerning the By-laws or interests of FIT;
(c) to authorise payments incidental to the development of FIT;
(d) to appropriate, allocate and apply the funds of FIT to any of the objectives of FIT and, if necessary, to raise funds by any available legal means;
(e) to keep minutes of all meetings, which shall be approved at the next meeting.
Once approved by Council, the minutes shall be made available as soon as possible to members.
III — THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
41. The Executive Committee shall meet whenever convened by the President or by the Executive Committee member empowered to exercise the President's duties.
42. The Executive Committee shall also meet whenever a meeting is requested by any two of its members. The meeting shall then be convened within a month.
43. The format of the meetings shall be as the Executive Committee shall determine.
44. Attendance by at least half of the members of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum.
45. Votes shall always be taken openly and recorded by name.
46. In the event there are particularly important matters to be dealt with, those members of the Executive Committee who are unable to attend the meeting shall be consulted in writing and shall be allowed to vote by correspondence or online.
47. In case of a tie, the chairperson shall have a casting vote.
48. The Executive Committee may invite observers or experts to its meetings.
PRESIDENT AND VICE-PRESIDENTS
49. The President shall be the highest ranking officer and spokesperson for FIT. The President shall chair the Congress, subject to Article 12 of these Rules of Procedures, as well as Council and Executive Committee meetings. He or she shall be an ex officio member of all task forces and standing committees.
50. The Vice-Presidents shall assist the President. Should the President be prevented from discharging his or her duties, such functions shall be taken over by the Vice-President appointed by the Executive Committee at its discretion and without delay.
51. The Secretary General shall be responsible for organising Council and Executive Committee meetings and seeing to it that the notices of meetings, proposed agendas and relevant documents are received in time by those concerned.
52. The Secretary General shall be responsible for keeping the minutes of the Congress and of Council and Executive Committee meetings.
53. Correspondence shall be received and dispatched by the Secretary General, the President being constantly kept informed.
54. If the Secretary General is unable to attend a meeting, his or her functions shall be taken over by another member appointed by the Executive Committee.
55. With the permission of the Executive Committee and on his or her own personal responsibility, the Secretary General may be assisted by an assistant who may attend meetings of the Executive Committee at the discretion of the Executive Committee.
56. The responsibilities of the Treasurer are described in Articles 43, 44 and 45 of the By-laws.
57. With the permission of the Executive Committee and on his or her own personal responsibility, the Treasurer may be assisted by an assistant who may attend meetings of the Executive Committee at the discretion of the Executive Committee.
AUTHORITY AND DUTIES OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
58. Subject to ratification at the subsequent meeting of the Council, the Executive Committee shall have the following powers:
(a) to carry out the instructions specifically given to it by the Council or Congress, and to carry on the routine business of FIT in accordance with standing or prior instructions;
(b) to appoint and, at its sole discretion, to remove or suspend any secretary, clerk, agent or servant, to or from permanent, temporary or special employment or service, and to determine their duties and fix their salaries or emoluments, as the case may be;
(c) to let FIT property as may be required for the purposes of the Federation;
(d) to pay all sums of money incidental to the development of FIT, in implementation of the budget for the current year as adopted by the Council;
(e) to refer to the Council or Congress all matters for which specific instructions have not been received or for which there is no precedent, except that in an emergency the Executive Committee may act on its own initiative, informing the Council immediately of what it has done;
(f) to recommend rules of procedure for the Council and the Executive Committee that ensure smooth and efficient operation of and interaction between these two bodies.
59. The Executive Committee shall keep minutes of all meetings. Once the minutes have been approved, they shall be released to the members of the Council and all member associations and organisations.
IV — ADMISSIONS, SUSPENSIONS, AND TERMINATIONS OF MEMBERSHIP
60. Before being submitted to Council pursuant to Article 11 of the By-laws, applications for membership shall be submitted to the Executive Committee by the Secretary General, together with the relevant documentation that shall necessarily include the total number of members in the association. The Executive Committee acting alone or with the assistance of persons appointed for that purpose shall examine the acceptability of applications and submit them to the Council together with its recommendations for a decision. In the course of its examination, the Executive Committee may confidentially consult member organisations likely to provide informed advice on the acceptability of the application. However, neither the Executive Committee nor the Council shall be bound by such advice.
The Secretary General shall notify the applicant as soon as possible of the decision taken. Should an application be rejected, the applicant shall be given the option of presenting their case to the next Statutory Congress.
61. A list of candidate members recommended to the Congress for admission to full membership shall be sent to member organisations at least two months prior to the Congress
62. A member suspended pursuant to Article 18 of the By-laws shall be immediately informed of such decision by the Secretary General by way of a letter sent first by e-mail and then, if no acknowledgement is received within seven working days, by registered post sent to the last known address of the member. The letter shall specify the conditions to be met for the suspension to be reversed and shall remind the member of the provisions for termination of membership in Article 18 of the By-laws.
63. Decisions of Council on the admission of a candidate member or an observer member, or on the suspension of a regular or associate member or on the striking off of an observer member shall be taken behind closed doors and in the absence of the member whose case is under consideration.
64. Decisions of Congress on the admission to full membership of a candidate member or on the expulsion of a regular or associate member shall be taken behind closed doors and in the absence of the member whose case is under consideration.
65. Newly admitted regular members may be recognised as voting members right away; they may not vote however on the admission of other members.
66. In addition to the right to send observers to the Congress, associate members may participate in any activities that FIT may undertake. They can send observers to Council and Executive Committee meetings upon the written invitation of those bodies.
67. Associate members shall invite FIT to be represented by observers at their own meetings and activities to the extent they judge appropriate.
V — LANGUAGES
68. The official languages of FIT shall be French and English. Other languages may be admitted as working languages on an ad hoc basis.
69. At Congress, Council and Executive Committee meetings, delegates shall have the right to speak in the language of their choice. It will be the responsibility of the delegate concerned to provide his or her own interpreter.
VI — FIT TASK FORCES AND STANDING COMMITTEES
70. Task forces with a defined objective may be established at any time by either the Statutory Congress or the Council, at their own initiative or at the request of three or more regular members. The body establishing a new task force shall appoint three members to it, who shall elect a chairperson from among their own number.
71. The task force shall be free to appoint additional members with the agreement of the Council and of the associations to which the new members belong. All task force members shall have a mandate from their association.
72. The term of office of a task force shall be defined on its establishment. It may be renewed more than once by a Council decision.
73. Each task force shall draw up a programme of work indicating how the task it has been given is to be achieved. Half-way through its term of office the task force shall inform the Council of the progress made.
74. Each task force shall submit a budget together with its programme of work; the Council shall grant funds and authorise their release in accordance with the budget and after consulting the FIT Treasurer.
75. The Statutory Congress or the Council may establish a limited number of standing committees, especially for Admissions, the Solidarity Fund and to oversee the FIT investments. Standing committees shall not have any budget and shall hold virtual meetings.
76. The FIT annual budget and accounts submitted to all member organisations in terms of Articles 45 and 46 of the By-laws shall include an item “FIT Task Forces/Standing Committees”.
77. Chairpersons and other members of task forces/standing committees shall be appointed to these bodies for a maximum of three consecutive terms of office.
VII — PUBLICATIONS
78. FIT shall publish a quarterly scholarly journal Babel devoted to information, development and research in translation, interpreting and related fields.
79. The Editor of Babel shall be appointed by the Council, upon the recommendation of the Executive Committee, on the basis of competence and qualifications.
80. The Editor of Babel may attend Congresses and Council and Executive Committee meetings as an observer. He or she shall submit a report to the Council annually or to any meeting of the Executive Committee at the latter's request.
81. The rights and obligations as well as the duties of the Editor of Babel shall be determined by contract. The contract shall be signed and executed in the name of FIT by the President of FIT after consultation with the Council.
TRANSLATIO – FIT NEWSLETTER
82. FIT shall publish an official information bulletin Translatio – FIT Newsletter. This quarterly bulletin shall keep readers informed of FIT activities, such as symposia and the work of task forces, and convey information about member organisations. It shall also provide relevant general information.
83. The Editor of Translatio – FIT Newsletter shall be appointed by the Council upon the recommendation of the Executive Committee.
84. The Editor of Translatio – FIT Newsletter may attend Congresses and Council and Executive Committee meetings as an observer. He or she shall submit reports regularly to the Council or to the Executive Committee at the latter's request.
85. The rights and obligations as well as the duties of the Editor of Translatio – FIT Newsletter shall be determined by contract signed for FIT by the President of FIT acting on behalf of Council.