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ADMINISTRATIVE GUIDELINES

For affiliated organisations

International Association for History and Computing

Version 2000 / 1

 

What is the purpose of this document? *

Who is this document aimed at? *

What are affiliated organisations? *

What are the legislative bodies of the AHC? *

What are the duties and responsibilities of the officers of the Association (the Board)? *

What are the responsibilities of affiliated organisations? *

What happens at the AGM? *

How do I become a member of the AHC? *

 

What is the purpose of this document?

This document sets out the key administrative procedures related to the work of the international Association for History and Computing (AHC). In particular it describes the new arrangements that have been established following the revision of the Associations Constitution that was passed at the 1999 AGM held in London. As such it replaces all previous administrative guidelines issued by the AHC. The document seeks to clarify many of the more detailed points of the new Constitution, and at the same time provide further information on where and with whom responsibilities lie within the AHC organisation.

Who is this document aimed at?

This document is available to all members of the AHC via the Associations web pages. However, it is primarily intended for serving officers of the AHCs affiliated organisations in that it sets out the administrative relationships between such affiliated organisations and the central organisation of the AHC.

What are affiliated organisations?

The international AHC is essentially a federal organisation with several affiliated member organisations. The majority of these affiliated organisations are in effect national branches of the AHC. Some, however are supra-national branches, such as the Nordic Branch (incorporating Denmark, Norway, and Sweden) and the VGI or Low Countries Branch (incorporating Belgium and the Netherlands). Others are perhaps discipline orientated organisations or societies, such as the Working Group for Quantitative History. For an existing organisation to become affiliated to the AHC it simply needs to be accepted by the Association's Council. A prospective affiliated organisation should send a letter to the Secretary General, giving details of the organisation: its aims and objectives, its administrative structure, and the size of its membership. Affiliated organisations may have their own constitutions and can levy they own subscription rates.

What are the legislative bodies of the AHC?

The AHC has two main legislative bodies: the Board and the Council. The Board consists of the he elected officers of the Association, namely the President, the Secretary-General, the Membership Secretary, the Treasurer, the Editor of the Associations journal, Editor of the Associations electronic Journal, the Editor of the Associations e-mail list, the Manager of the Associations WebPages, plus any members that the Board decides to co-opt for special tasks. The Council is composed of the Board, plus nominated representatives of the Associations affiliated organisations. Each affiliated organisation, regardless of size, appoints one representative on Council; however, only those affiliated organisations with a membership of more than 20 Association members are entitled to vote. Council members can be represented and shall be entitled to vote at Council meeting by proxy. Proxy representation is, however, only recognised as a result of prior written nomination to the Secretary-General.

The AHC Board is responsible for the management and control of all of the administrative functions and business affairs of the Association. In particular, it is responsible for implementing the Associations policies and activities in relation to its stated aims and objectives namely to encourage and maintain interest in the application of Information Technology and Information Communication Technology in all branches of historical study. It is responsible for the appointment of the Editor of the Associations journal and the Editor of the Associations electronic journal. It also determines the time and place of the conference of the Association and the time and place of the Annual General Meeting (AGM). The Board is also charged with maintaining liaison with other professional bodies in associated fields and also elects representatives to appropriate councils or meetings. Lastly, the Board has the power to establish and accept proposals from the Associations membership for the creation of special work groups.

The Board is required to meet at least once a year (and traditionally does so shortly before the AGM), but additional meeting can, and normally are, convened by the President, or at the request of at least three other Board members.

The Council is in effect an advisory body for the Board, and advises on all aspects of the Associations activities, including its relations with external organisations. The Council also explicitly recommends and decides on the admission of organisations wishing to become affiliated with the Association. The Council is also required to meet at least once a year. A quorum of five Council members, among them at least three representatives of affiliated organisations, is required at Council meetings. If the quorum is not reached, the Secretary-General will arrange a new Council Meeting to be held within two months. For this extra-ordinary meeting, a quorum of any five Council members is required.

Both the meetings of the Board and of the Council are chaired by the Associations President (or by his or her nominated representative). The President also has the casting vote in any in the situation of a tied vote.

What are the duties and responsibilities of the officers of the Association (the Board)?

The President acts as the chief executive officer of the Association. He or she is responsible for the strategic planning and overall policies of the Association and is responsible for representing the Association in any external activities. The President is also an ex-officio member of all the workshops of the Association. It is the Presidents duty to chair all meetings of the Board, the Council, as well as the Associations AGM, at which he/she is required to present an annual report on the Associations activities. The President also has the casting vote in any in the situation of a tied vote, within the Board, Council, or at the AGM.

The Secretary-General is responsible for the co-ordination of the internal activities of the Association. In particular the Secretary-General is responsible for liasing with affiliated organisations and with the membership in general, as well as any additional publicity. In this regard, it is the Secretary-Generals duty to arrange Board meetings, Council meetings and the AGM, and to notify affiliated organisations of Council meetings and the AHC membership of the time and place of the AGM, as well as to draw-up its agenda. It is also his/her duty to conducting any ballots of the membership required by the Association. ;

The Treasurer is responsible for the overall financial arrangements of the Association. This includes maintaining accurate accounts of the Associations income and expenditure; the safekeeping of all documents relating to the financial affairs of the Association and the banking of all of the Associations monetary assets. Likewise, the Treasurer is responsible for authorising any payments made by the Association and the proper disbursement of any charges made against the Association. The Treasurer is also responsible for any liaison with the AHC membership and the Associations affiliated organisations concerning financial matters. It is also the Treasurers duty to present an audited version of the accounts for the previous financial year to the AGM.

The Membership Secretary is responsible for maintaining the list of members and passing such relevant information to both the Treasurer and the Manager of the Associations Web pages. In order to accomplish this task it is vital that each affiliated organisation of the AHC informs the Membership Secretary of its membership details. The Membership Secretary is also responsible for informing affiliated organisations about members who would like to join any such affiliated organisations.

The Editor of the Associations journal is appointed by the Board and is responsible for all editorial activities concerning the journal. The Editor has the powers to form an Editorial Board to assist in the publication of the journal.

The Editor of the Associations electronic journal is appointed by the Board and is responsible for all editorial activities concerning the electronic journal.

The Manager of the Associations Web pages is responsible for the maintenance and updating of the Associations official Web pages.

The Manager of the Associations e-mail list is responsible for the dissemination of information via the official Associations e-mail list.

In addition to these specific officers, three ordinary members can be elected to the Board by the AGM. The Board may also chose to co-opt addition members to the Board as it views appropriate.

All officers of the Board, with the exception of the Editor of the Associations journal and the Editor of the Associations electronic Journal, are elected at the AGM by the membership. The election and retirement of officers shall be in rotation with no more than three officers retiring in any one year. The Secretary-General shall announce vacancies and invite nominations at least three months before the AGM. Nominations for officers must have the written support of at least five members of the Association, and must be received by the Secretary-General at least two months before the AGM. The President may not be re-elected: the other officers may be re-elected only once. An ex-officer may be elected to a different position of office after an interval of four years. No co-opted member is allowed to serve for more than two years un-elected.

Both the Editor of the Associations journal and the Editor of the Associations electronic journal are un-elected posts, being nominated by the Board for an unfixed period.

What are the responsibilities of affiliated organisations?

The AHC can only be effective as an international body if there is regular and reciprocal communication between the Board, the Council and the various affiliated organisations. In order to facilitate this, affiliated bodies are required under the Constitution to send details of their members, officers and nominated representative by 1st April each year. Affiliated organisations are also liable to pay a membership due currently set at the equivalent of two pounds (sterling) for each of its AHC members. Payment can be made by sending a cheque to the Associations Treasurer or by direct payment into the Associations designated bank account. This annual subscription should be made by 1st April each year, and should be accompanied by a statement of the size of the current membership including each members name, postal and electronic address. Details of members should be sent to the Associations Membership Secretary. Details of the affiliated organisations officers and nominated representative to Council should be sent to the Associations Secretary-General, these details should include, names, addresses, e-mail, as well as telephone and FAX contact details. Any affiliated organisation failing to comply with these requirements shall have its representation on Council revoked for the calendar year following 1st April. Lastly, affiliated organisations are required to send an annual report to Secretary-General at least one week in advance of the Associations AGM.

What happens at the AGM?

The Association is required to hold an Annual General Meeting once a year, at a time and place fixed by the Secretary-General. In years that an international AHC conference is held, it is normal practise to hold the AGM in conjunction with the conference. If no conference is held in a given year, the AGM is held by special arrangement, in a different country from that of the previous year. It is the duty of the Secretary-General to notify the membership of the venue and timing of the AGM. This is normally done via the affiliated organisations.

The AGM is open to all those who are current members of the AHC, in other words, all those whose annual subscription has been paid in full and accepted. A total of fifteen members is required to form a quorum. If the quorum is not reached, the Secretary-General will arrange for a new AGM to be held within two months. For this second meeting, a quorum of only five members is necessary.

One of the principal requirements of the AGM is to decide the level of the forthcoming years subscription rates for membership of the AHC. If no decision is made, then the previous years rates will apply. The AGM is also the only body that can approve changes to the AHCs Constitution. Proposals for amendments to the Constitution must be made in writing to the Secretary-General six months in advance of the AGM, and any such proposals must be supported by at least five members in writing. The Secretary-General must publish the proposals received at least three months before the AGM. Any proposed amendments to the Constitution that have previously been endorsed by AHCs Council only require the support of a majority of those present at the AGM and voting. All other proposed amendments require the support of at least two thirds of those present and voting.

The Secretary-General is responsible for drawing-up the agenda for the AGM and circulating this to the membership at the start of the meeting. The Secretary-General must receive items for the agenda of the AGM within one month of the date of the meeting.

How do I become a member of the AHC?

There are two basic types of AHC member, so-called direct members, and in-direct members. Direct members join the Association by contacting the Member Secretary directly providing details including their name, address and e-mail address, and by providing the designated annual membership fee, paid either by cheque in dollars or pounds (sterling), or by direct payment into an AHC bank account. In-direct members join the AHC via an affiliated organisation, providing the affiliated organisation with personal details (name, address and e-mail) and making the payment of the annual membership fee to the affiliated organisation. The affiliated organisation is then responsible for passing on this information and the appropriate membership fee to the Associations Membership Secretary and Treasurer, as specified above.

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