STANSW Constitutional Change
Constitutional Feedback Required
The draft constitution has been updated as 6th April. Feedback has been extended
Linked below are copies of the current constitution and proposed draft, that has been adjusted based on feedback by email, forms and the members forum, to strengthen the controls on the appointed member and to ensure STANSW is representative of the whole state.
Feedback is welcome before council produces a proposed constitution. Feedback needs to be submitted by April 24th
Feedback may be submitted by email, including marked up versions of the draft constitution to firstname.lastname@example.org
On reviewing the constitutions it will be noted that a lot of procedural matters and names of organizations have been removed from the constitution.
Procedural matters have been removed from the constitution as these are considered best to appear in council by-laws. These include what publications ballot papers need to be published with and the setting of fees, enabling Council to work in a more flexible manner. This will enable council at times to offer discounts, then return the fees to the normal level without taking the vote to council meetings.
Names of organizations have been removed due to changes in names of external organizations requiring constitutional change. The reorganization of the Institute of Teachers and the Board of Studies is an example of this.
In 2013, the STANSW Council agreed to undergo a review of the current STANSW Rules and a Task Force was formed for this purpose. Associations Forum was engaged as external consultants to assist with the review. The current Rules are too rigid in some ways and out of date in others. We are developing a document to explain why we believe the changes need to occur. Once consultation occurs and feedback has been received, a revised set of Rules will be developed and also circulated.
The Rules are being designed to enable STANSW to be more responsive to the members and representative of the members. The structures will allow STANSW to have a governance system that reflects modern day practice and meets all legislative requirements. The process enables STANSW to utilise electronic communication methods, with the hope of allowing country members to join council in an economic manner.
The main areas of review are:
1. Size of Council
The current Council size of twenty reflects the volunteer origins of STANSW. The Council has been set up with role of Council to carry out the volunteer functions of the association and executive having the governance functions. Legally this position has changed, with all Council members holding the same legal responsibilities for governance. This requires full council votes on business, financial and strategic decisions. This requirement often means votes are delayed as a quorum needs to found in person.
The proposal is Council will be reduced to nine members of which eight are elected. This will enable a more efficient decision making process that can be made in person or using electronic meeting processes. This increases the representation of members as it is hoped that elections will be required on a more regular basis.
The ninth member of council will be appointed by council. This is to allow council to bring in an expert member to assist in the council. This may be due to missing expertise within the council or to lead projects that Council proposes. An example of this would have been to identify a person who is expert in constitutional matters to advise council
2. Executive Structure
The current executive structures of President, two Vice Presidents, Secretary and Treasurer provides a committee structure that enables discussion but has no legal standing in terms of governance and legal responsibility. The current election process has resulted in a delay in forming council due to the failure of nominations for some executive positions. It is proposed the executive be reduced to President, Vice President and Treasurer. These positions would be elected annually at the first council meeting of the year.
3. Election Processes
The current election process only enables members to being involved in council elections biennially. This restricts the ability for members to vote or indicate to the Council their opinion every second year. The full election of a council every two years leaves a transition period over the Christmas period between the two councils between the last council meeting and new council induction.
The proposal is for half the Councillors to stand for election annually. This enables members to express their opinions each year and trained Councillors always being available for governance matters.
Currently Branches are a compulsory part of STANSW. Financial liability, accounts and legal responsibility is held by the Councillors of STANSW. There have been a number of cases of organisations claiming to be branches of STANSW that have had no communication with STANSW over the last ten years. The current processes are onerous of the branches to maintain being “part of” STANSW and are often not met, leaving the Councillors at risk. It is proposed the current disbandment of branches. A new branch structure may be set up, that will have a centralised management structure.