23rd FIG General Assembly, Prague 2000


Task Force on the Future Governance of FIG

Frequently Asked Questions

In order to deal with a number of questions which have been made by members since the distribution of the Task Force paper, the following list of frequently asked questions has been produced. The responses are for guidance only and have been drafted by the Chair of the Task Force. Given the limited time for consultation they should not necessarily be taken as the views of the Bureau.

1. Financial impact

1.1 What financial impacts will the new governance structure have to FIG and how will the new costs be paid?

It is difficult to define in precise terms the extent of any additional costs arising from the proposed new structure. Any additional costs could relate to travel and accommodation. However in view of the establishment of the FIG office in Copenhagen the need for meetings more than 3 times/year is unlikely. This in addition to the reducing cost of air travel from many parts of the world suggests that it should be possible to ensure that the proportion of the budget which is provided for travel and accommodation should not increase substantially above the existing level.

1.2 Regarding election of Vice Presidents, is the member association responsible for the travel expenses of the Vice President once elected, or is FIG responsible?

An open elected Council means that FIG is responsible for the travel expenses and costs occurred when travelling on FIG business.

It is of course possible that some Member Associations might feel able to provide supplementary assistance to their elected members, so providing some indirect financial support to the FIG.

2. Questions on the recommendations
2.1 Terminology

2.1.1 Why is the administrative board called Council instead of the Bureau or Management Board?

The intent in the use of the term Council was to indicate the democratic nature of the body. Whilst it is intended that the Council will act in a business like manner and exhibit all of the features of a commercial Management Board, it was felt that Management Board may have implied a body which was not based on democratic elections. It was also felt that the term Bureau was less commonly used today. Finally it was felt that it was important to change the name to symbolically indicate the change in emphasis of the body.

2.2 Members of the Council

2.2.1 Shall the President have any experience on FIG before being elected e.g. being a Vice President?

It is not a pre-requisite of being put forward for the position of President that the individual should have had previous experience as a Vice President. In practice it is anticipated that many of the candidates will have previous experience, however, it was felt that if a particularly well qualified and experienced candidate was willing to stand for election they should not be deemed unable because they ha not previously held an office within the FIG.

2.2.2 Since the roles of Secretary General and Treasurer are no longer needed based on establishing a permanent office and appointment of a Director, why weren't these posts just eliminated? Why convert them to Vice Presidents?

There is still need for strategic and financial planning at the Bureau level. Also the aim that all major regions have representation in the Council supports the principle that there should not be a reduction on the number of members in the Council. One of the Vice Presidents should focus on the fund raising issues and financial strategies. There will be also a better possibility to use the Vice Presidents in tasks that have now been done by the temporary task forces. In the future one of the Vice Presidents could also been responsible for strategic relations of an external nature.

2.2.3 What geographical regions should the Vice Presidents have responsibility? Can those regions be considered as a recommendation for the election of the Vice Presidents from different parts of the world?

How will the regional representation be guaranteed in the elections?

The recommendation is based on the concept that the Statues should not specifically define the regional representation of the Vice Presidents. The scheme suggested should be sufficiently flexible to ensure that there should always be the possibility to elect the best candidates for the every post. The global representation is however extremely important for the future of the Federation. The members will therefore be encouraged to keep the regional representation in mind when electing the Vice Presidents.

3. Non-Voting Members of the Council

3.1 Should the representative of Commissions (Council Member nominated by ACCO) be a member of ACCO, one of the Chairs or possibly a Vice Chair? Or can this representative be e.g. a past chair or other additional member to ACCO?

In drafting this recommendation the Task Force would wish ACCO to have maximum flexibility to select from either of the categories identified in the question.

3.2 What is the role of this Council Member in relation to ACCO, will he/she be the chair of ACCO or who will be the Chair? Are all Vice Presidents members of ACCO also in the future?

Given the critical importance of ACCO to the future strategy of FIG it is felt that the Chair should be the President. Vice Presidents will normally attend part of the ACCO meeting relating to their own areas of responsibility.

4. General Terms of Appointment

4.1 Will the elected people be able to attend the Council meetings before their term of office starts?

Yes, it is felt this would assist with the process of continuity planning, particularly the President who should be involved immediately in the management and also the Vice Presidents especially if they do not have previous experience in FIG.

5. Hosting of Congresses

5.1 Are joint bids to host Congresses acceptable?

Several member associations can make a joint bid and they can also be from different countries. It is also possible to host the Congress in a different country than the one where the association is registered. However in that case it should be either a joint bid or organised in a country where FIG does not have a member association.

6. Election procedure

6.1 Will the Vice Presidents be elected one by one or will it be one election? If two Vice Presidents are elected at the same time it is possible that from 8-10 candidates nobody gets the majority. What happens if two candidates who get most of the votes for Vice Presidents are representing the same region?

The details of the election process will be developed after the next GA and circulated well in advance of the first election process in Korea. It is likely that the election processes will be based on a one-by-one basis.

Dr. Tom Kennie
Vice President of FIG
Chair of the Task Force on the Future Governance of FIG

14 March 2000

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