Page 42 - FSJ_May12

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F OR E I GN S E R V I C E J OU R N A L / MA Y 2 0 1 2
he Governing Board has conduct-
ed a review of AFSA’s bylaws and
is proposing a number of bylaw
amendments. The process of amending
the association’s bylaws requires notifi-
cation to the AFSAmembership, a 45-day
period for submission of statements in
opposition, a vote of themembership and
two-thirds approval of those voting.
The full process is found in Article IX
of the AFSA bylaws at
afsa_bylaws. It is the responsibility of the
AFSACommittee on Elections to conduct
polling. This schedule has been set:
May 1:
Proposed amendments an-
nounced to membership.
June 14:
Deadline for statements in
opposition to proposed changes.
Sending of ballots, togeth-
er with any statements for or against the
proposed amendments, by mail and e-
Sept. 5:
Governing Board endorses
results of bylaw poll reported by the
Committee on Elections.
Statements in opposition to any of the
proposed amendmentsmust be signed by
no fewer than 10AFSAmembers in good
standing and must be received by close
of business on June 14, 2012, by George
Jones, Chair, AFSA Committee on
Elections, 2101 E Street NW,Washington
DC 20037; fax (202) 338-6820; or e-mail
Explanation of Proposed Changes
from the Governing Board
The Governing Board has identified
two areas of the AFSA bylaws requiring
amendment: 1) online voting and 2) eli-
gibility criteria. There is also one tech-
nical amendment proposed to change the
name of the Committee on Education to
the Scholarship Committee. All three
items were approved by the Governing
Board at its April 4, 2012, meeting. The
Governing Board recommends that
members support the amendments as
The current bylaws state that ballots
will bemailed to themembership for pur-
poses of elections. With the advent of the
Internet and the fact that the majority of
the membership is dispersed around the
world, online voting is more efficient and
cost-effective than traditional mail ballots.
Moreover, enabling online voting should
increase voter participation and decrease
election length. The surveys conducted
of ourmembership indicate that enabling
the option for online voting is a key goal,
and the Governing Board would like to
have that capability in place for the 2013
election cycle.
This would require amending Article
VII, Section 2, to enable electronic vot-
ing, specifically includingmention of elec-
tronic distribution and the option of a
third-party vendor. Suggested changes to
language are in
Section 2. Procedures:
(e) The committee shall
e-mail instruc-
tions on how to vote online and/or mail
official ballot bearing the names of all
qualified candidates, slate identifications
when applicable and voting instructions
to each regular member no less than 45
days before the counting of the ballots.
(g) The committee shall ensure the
secrecy of eachmember’s vote.
The com-
mittee may hire a third-party vendor to
facilitate the election and ensure the
integrity of the process.
Former Member —Tenure Requirement
The current bylaws allowany “former”
member of the Foreign Service to run for
positions on the Governing Board. There
is the possibility that a career candidate,
or a limited non-career appointment, who
had been in the Service for only one year,
thus meeting the definition of a “former
member,” would be eligible to run for
election. The Governing Board recom-
mends defining a formermember as a for-
mer “tenured” member.
This would require amending Article
III to include language definingwhat con-
stitutes a “former tenuredmember” of the
Service. Former tenuredmembers would
be considered part of the “retiree con-
Term Limits
The Governing Board would like to
ensure that the composition of the board
maintains its fluidity and proposes to limit
officers to no more than four full con-
secutive terms (i.e., eight consecutive
years) in any one position on the
Governing Board.
The main changes to the bylaws
would have to occur in Article V.
Proposed changes are in
Section 2.
RegularMembers: Regular
membership is limited to current or for-
mer members of the Foreign Service as
defined by Sections 103 (paragraphs 1 to
5) and 202 of the Foreign Service Act of
1980, or successor legislation. Individuals
eligible for regular membership may be
so admitted upon application and pay-
ment of dues, and shall be permitted to
maintain theirmembership as long as they
remain eligible andmaintain current dues
payments. Only regular members may
vote, hold office or exercise other rights
regarding the conduct of the affairs of the
Only former tenured mem-
bers are eligible to hold office.
Proposed Amendments to AFSA’s Bylaws
Continued on page 44