Executive Committee Proposes a New Constitution

The TDWG Executive Committee commissioned a team (Authoring Team) of TDWG members to propose changes in the Constitution that aim to:

  • Improve operational effectiveness of the Executive Committee
  • Improve the level of engagement of TDWG membership in driving key parts of the organisation
  • Improve the capacity of the Executive Committee to address complex and diverse issues.

The changes that can be summarised most briefly as follows:

(a) Introduction of Functional Subcommittees (FS)

FSs are introduced to address ongoing and standing operational needs of the wider organisation, for example its web infrastructure, outreach activities, and managing annual conference hosting bids. 

(b) Changes in the term duration of the Executive Committee members 

To maintain continuity in the Executive Committee membership a new election model is proposed. This model extends the term of service for Executive Committee members from one to two years, and staggers terms and elections, whereby at most half of the Committee could turnover between years.

(c) Introduction of the role of deputy chair 

To further promote continuity in governance, the role of deputy chair is introduced. A person elected to become Chair of the Executive Committee will first serve a two-year term as Deputy Chair before serving the succeeding term as Chair. 

Review Package

[Note added Nov 11]

Late in the comment period we received several recommended additions from a consultant we engaged to help TDWG prepare its application for non-profit stats in the United States.  Those comments were incorporated into a final version of the proposal, superseding the version that was presented in the "Review Package."

In addition, because we have adopted GitHub as our platform for version management, and because our Constitution is something that needs to be version controlled, we moved the official version of the Constitution to a repository on GitHub.  Conveniently, GitHub includes some great tools for visualizing the differences between two documents.  The narrative describing the background and voting have been moved to companion documentation of the final proposed version.  

The earlier review package is provided below for completeness, even though the proposal version contained there has been superseded. 

Public consultation and voting procedures

The TDWG membership consultation process opened when the new proposal was published on the TDWG website (http://tdwg.org), 6 September, 2016. Comments received and procedures for additional feedback can be found as "Issues" on the GitHub site.

A link to an online ballot was emailed to each member in good standing on 11 November.  Votes must be registered within thirty (30) days, before the end of 11 December, 2016.  The link to register votes will be disabled 2016-12-12 00:00 UTC-6.  

Each member will be entitled to one vote (approve/disapprove), and majorities of both individual and institutional votes cast will be required to approve the proposal.

  Last Modified: 12 November 2016