Dear GA member,
We kindly need your feedback on the proposed changes to the EASPD governing documents! Your contribution will guide the further work of the Constitutional Review Group (CRG).
Please note that the text below is just a summary of proposed Articles & Standing Orders & Annexes. You are encouraged to read the complete documents available online at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/1eeb6xtmxqft721/AAA_KKFwj011VseCSyDio-Lra?dl=0
The deadline for the completing the survey has been extended until 2nd August.
Should you have any questions, please free to contact the CRG chair James Churchill: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your valuable contribution!
We are proposing an update regarding the purpose of EASPD:
Purpose of EASPD - an International Non-Profit Association (INPA) which exists to: a) i. to promote/ support (by bringing service providers together) the provision of good quality services and to stimulate innovation to meet changing needs of people with disabilities
ii. to promote equality of opportunity and the full and equal enjoyment of rights for persons with disability in line with the principles enshrined in UNCRPD
b) To create a shared vision within the Association of how these principles work in practice
c) to promote, support and represent the collective membership of the Association. .
d) To influence the development of policy at European and international level.
Extra info: There is no major change. We inserted reference to UNCRPD and deleted the previous reference to "social firms". INPA is the legal status of EASPD under Belgian law. A new law has just been introduced covering INPA's and the final version will reference this following legal advice. We also included a reference "to equality of opportunity".
The bodies of the Association are: General Assembly (GA), Board, Executive Committee, Members Forums and other committees established by GA, Secretariat
Candidate Observers are eligible agencies who are considering becoming full members of EASPD. They may be Candidate Observers for six months, with a possible extension for a further six months, after which they must opt for full membership or leave.
Approved Observers are organisations not eligible for membership, but who wish to support the work of EASPD. Approved Observer status lasts for the four year length of the Board cycle, but may be renewed by the new Board for the next cycle if appropriate, for as long as both parties continue to consider it to be appropriate.
The membership year shall run from 1st January. The membership fee shall be due on 1st January of the membership year unless notice of intention to leave has been given to the Secretariat before that date.
The code of conduct references our collective and personal commitment to UNCRPD, to equal opportunity, rights based approach to disability, and covers with how we deal with conflicts of interest, promote and expect financial integrity, legal obligations etc in EASPD.
Remark: This is 100% new, yet also it contains nothing new- just a commitment to 'do things right.' It is both (in places) a 'hearts and minds' document and list of things members must do.
The complaints procedure sets up a 3 person Independent Complaints Committee (ICC) - Open selection process by Board, approved candidates voted on by GA. Serve 4 years. 4th 'reserve' ICC member to ensure gender balance in all its work. Reccommendations go to Board and then to GA. ICC has significant mediation role. CP has informal and then formal steps. Conditions for ICC members are not Board, not EASPD staff and s/he must be Nominated Representative of member organisation.
Terminating membership -when contested by member - GA has final say needing a 66% vote to remove a member at a GA. Board may recommend (but does not have to)
Explanation: It used to be 75%. Fair hearing & reasons given conditions attached in Standing Orders (SO).
General Assembly (GA) is the highest body in EASPD, receives reports from Board, Executive Committee and Members Forums. Approves plans for future & monitors progress on them. Takes 'big' decisions, such as future long & short term strategy, elects board, approves ICC, admits/expels members, approves audited accounts and budget, acts on ICC reccommendations, creates/dissolves Members Forums, changes Articles or SO's, dissolves EASPD).
Board - elected every four years by vote in GA. Board reports to GA, gets reports from Ex Com, monitors progress against objectives in long & short term strategy, budget, ensures EASPD fulfill statutory responsibilities, gets ICC reports. Proposes plans/budgets/changes to Articles & SO's to GA.
Extra info: The Board does everything that the GA is not specifically told it must do by the Articles. A Board member is not allowed to hold more than one proxy vote.
Size of Board 21 (max)- currently made up as follows: 1 president , 3 Vice presidents, Treasurer, 9 directly elected Board members, up to 7 co-options. This size of Board is necessary in an international association like EASPD in order to be representative of the varied membership.
Extra info: This includes (optional) co-options to help cover all the elements in EASPD, gender balance, locations, old/new Europe, minority interest groups etc which get overlooked in elections. The board recommends no change in size.
President - chairs Ex-com, Board & GA meetings, represents EASPD to third parties, cheque signatory, supports SG and does SG's Annual Appraisal, has role in Complaints Procedure, works with SG & Treasurer to optimise funding opportunities for EASPD in line with Strategic Plan .
Extra info: restrictions on President's post. Must be the Nominated Representative of an UMO.
Vice Presidents (x3) - steps in for President when needed eg, chairs meetings, speaks for EASPD & any other Presidential duty as needed plus normal duties of Ex-com and Board member
Extra info: all 3 VP's must be of different nationality and cannot be of same nationaity as President.
Treasurer- oversight of all financial dealings, bank account signatory, presents audited accounts & budgets to Ex-Com, Board & to GA for approval, updates GA on financial progress in year, certifies annually to GA that Financial procedures are robust & sufficient for coming year, produces budget for coming year.
Extra info: Treasurer cannot be of same nationaiity as President or 3 Vice Presidents.
ALL Board members & Ex-com: ensure EASPD has clear direction & purpose, operates legally, finances are well managed, contributes to setting & monitoring of annual and long-term strategic plans to go to GA, ensure good governance, compliance with Articles & SO's, workplan is commensurate with resources.
Extra info: upward accountability to GA now assured through link of all activities to the Strategic Plan & via reporting to GA of all Member Forum actvities (new)
Chairs of SG and IG (might become Member Forums): must be a Board member, chairs Forum and reports annual to GA on work of Forum in past year
Approved Financial Procedures (Annex A) sets out EASPD's internal financial procedures, checks and balances in systems, approved by External Accountant.
Extra info: This is in annex to Standing Orders & is amended on advice of External accountant (eg recent change over VAT)
EASPD Approved Operational Practices (Annexe B), covers how to deal with gifts in kind, hospitality, legacies, awarding of Tenders & contracts, working with & paying member organisations
Extra info: This is 100% new & codifies best practice in these difficult areas. Following it protects staff, members and EASPD.
Job Description for post of EASPD Secretary General/ Director (Annex C)-details main responsibilities of role and qualities needed in this post.