Executive Committee Guidance on the procedure to be followed in generating proposals for the election of Guild Vice-Presidents
This paper sets out detailed guidance from the Executive Committee on the practical implementation of the Rules of the Guild for the time being. In the event of any perceived conflict the Rules take precedence over this guidance.
1. Purpose and principles
Rule 26 states that:
- 26. Vice-Presidents may be elected only at general meetings of the Guild and only following proposals from the Executive Committee.
The purpose of this guidance paper is to provide the required direction from the Executive Committee (EC) on the procedure which it and future ECs must follow when generating proposals for the election of Guild Vice-Presidents. The guidance paper comes about following the EC’s unanimous acceptance of recommendations made to it at its meeting on October 22nd 2016 by a sub-committee appointed for the purpose. The underlying principle of the guidance paper is that the procedure to be followed should be as simple and straightforward as possible compatible with:
a) in the first instance requiring suggestions rather than formal proposals in respect of particular possible candidates;
b) the use of an initial “filtering” process intended to try to weed out suggestions which might be considered unsuitable;
c) allowing time for the EC to think carefully about any suggestions; and
d) generating and agreeing a written case to support any eventual proposal to an AGM.
2. Procedure Stage 1 – New Suggestions
Any person, whether or not a member of the EC, wishing to promote a candidate for a Vice Presidency must submit an informal suggestion (not a formal proposal) accompanied by an initial written case to the Guild Secretary for the attention of the Guild officers. The initial written case must, as a minimum, detail what outstanding service(s) the person concerned has rendered to the Guild, and for how long.
3. Procedure Stage 2 – Initial Filtering
The Guild officers must then form an opinion about the suitability of the informal suggestion and of the initial written case, and communicate that opinion to the person submitting the informal suggestion, normally within 4 weeks. Discussion may then take place, or not, at the sole discretion of that person.
The person submitting the informal suggestion may then withdraw it, in which case no further action will be required, or decide to continue with it accompanied by an initial written case in either original or modified form as they may decide. The Guild Secretary must then circulate the informal suggestion and initial written case to the members of the EC, in confidence, for consideration at least two weeks before an EC meeting and place an item “To consider a suggestion for the election of a Vice-President” on the agenda for that meeting.
4. Procedure Stage 3 – Executive Committee Decisions
Under the agenda item the EC must decide either:
a) that it does not consider it appropriate to adopt the informal suggestion in which case the Guild Secretary will immediately inform the person making the suggestion of this decision; or
b) that it will take the suggestion to the final stage of the process. In this case it will adopt the initial written case or modify it as thought necessary. At this point the informal suggestion and written case become the “property” of the EC as a whole.
5. Procedure Stage 4 – Formal Proposals
The Guild Secretary will circulate the final written case to the members of the EC, normally within 2 weeks, and will place an item “To give final consideration to a suggestion for the election of a Vice-President” on the agenda for the next EC meeting.
Under the agenda item the Chairman will invite a formal proposal that “A motion to elect X as a Vice-President be put to the next Annual General Meeting of the Guild”. If such a formal proposal is made the Chairman will invite discussion and then put the matter to the vote. For the proposal to be approved votes in favour must be cast by at least 80% of those present (ie the number of those present voting in favour must be at least 4 times the number of those voting against or abstaining).
If a formal proposal is made and approved the EC must then decide who will present the motion to the next AGM on its behalf.
6.1 Under 4 a) above the EC may not consider it appropriate to adopt an informal suggestion for a number of reasons. For example
a) there may be no vacancy for a Vice-President; or
b) the suggested candidate may not be considered deserving of a Vice-Presidency at the moment.
6.2 Under 4 b) above any significant modification of the initial written case would probably best be done out of Committee.
6.3 On the assumption that there will continue to be 4 EC meetings per year, in February, April, July, and October, it will be necessary for the Guild Secretary to receive informal suggestions and initial written cases well before the October meeting, and preferably before the July meeting, for any eventual motion to be put to the next AGM.
6.3 The EC should not feel obliged to propose new Vice-Presidents simply because vacancies exist.
Approved by the Executive Committee on 25th April 2017