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56

JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2017

|

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

AFSA NEWS

Proposed Bylaw Amendments for 2017

Attention AFSA Members:

The Governing Board

is proposing three bylaw

amendments to be voted on

during the 2017 AFSA Elec-

tions. The proposed bylaw

changes would:

(1) Make the Awards

and Plaques Committee a

permanent standing com-

mittee;

(2) Change the current

residency requirement for

serving on the AFSA Govern-

ing Board to a participation

requirement; and,

(3) Require that active-

duty members presenting

themselves as candidates

for AFSA president or vice

president hold an active

security clearance.

The changes would

become effective immedi-

ately if approved by two-

thirds of the valid votes

received from members.

Explanation of

Proposed Changes

1. Proposal to Make the

Awards and Plaques

Committee a Permanent

Standing Committee.

At its Aug. 3, 2016, meet-

ing, the AFSA Governing

Board voted to propose to

membership during the

election a bylaw amendment

to establish the Awards and

Plaques Committee as a

permanent standing com-

mittee. The Governing Board

recommends that members

support the amendment of

Article VI (Internal Organiza-

tion), Section 1 of the AFSA

bylaws by adding the follow-

ing language:

“(e) Awards and Plaques

Committee: The board shall

appoint and determine

the terms of the chair and

members of the Awards and

Plaques Committee who,

under the overall guidance

of the board, shall develop

criteria and make recom-

mendations for awards and

honors.”

Justification:

The Governing Board

believes that AFSA should

have a permanent Awards

and Plaques Committee

recognized in the bylaws as

a standing committee.

Under the current bylaws,

the Awards and Plaques

Committee is not a perma-

nent standing committee.

Rather, the Awards and

Plaques Committee has

operated as a “special com-

mittee” for more than 20

years. Under Roberts Rules

of Order Newly Revised

(which per the bylaws is

the parliamentary author-

ity of the association), the

committee is established

only for the duration of that

elected board. The commit-

tee (along with AFSA staff)

handles the annual AFSA

Awards Ceremony and the

AFSA Memorial Plaques,

which are ongoing undertak-

ings of the association. The

AFSA awards and plaques

program should be directed

by a permanent standing

committee, recognized as

such in the bylaws. The

AFSA awards and plaques

process requires sustained

research, vetting and analy-

sis, all of which take place

on a continuous timeline,

with recurring and firm

deadlines.

AFSA awards recognize

the important role of the

Foreign Service and honor

members of the Foreign Ser-

vice community. Additional

details on AFSA’s awards

and honors can be found

here:

www.afsa.org/awards.

2. Proposal to Change

the Current Residency

Requirement for Serving

on the AFSA Governing

Board to a Participation

Requirement.

At its Oct. 3, 2016, meet-

ing, the Governing Board

voted to propose to mem-

bership a bylaw amendment

to change the residency

requirement for serving on

the AFSA board to a partici-

pation requirement.

The Governing Board

recommends that members

support the amendment

of Article V (The Govern-

ing Board) Section 8 of the

AFSA bylaws by replacing

the current language with

the proposed language:

Current Language:

“Residency: Board mem-

bers shall be resident in the

Washington area within 60

days of taking office on July

15 or appointment to office

thereafter, and shall remain

resident in the Washington

area throughout their term

in office. Board members

who cease to be resident in

the Washington area during

their term shall submit their

resignations to the board.”

Proposed Language:

“Participation: Board

members shall participate

via in-person attendance at

regularly scheduled meet-

ings of the board within 60

days of taking office on July

15 or appointment to office

thereafter, and throughout

their term in office. Board

members who are unable

to participate via in-person

attendance at regularly

scheduled meetings of

the board, e.g., because of

transfer, shall submit their

resignations.

Board members may be

removed from office by a

majority vote of the board

after four absences in any

12-month period from regu-

larly scheduled meetings of

the board.”

Justification:

As originally written, the

bylaws recognize that mem-

bers of the Foreign Service

serve on a worldwide basis,

and require that Governing

Board members reside in

the Washington area. The

unintended consequence of

this phrasing favors Govern-

ing Board members who

reside in the Washington

area but do not necessar-