A message from the General Secretary:
As many of you are aware, the Constitutional Review Committee has been working over the last two years to review the ICS and Conticom-ICS governing documents and the overall structure of the group. We are very pleased to confirm that the Special Resolution presented to the membership at the AGM in Cairo was passed with an overwhelming majority: 96.11% (321 in favour, 13 against). In addition, the ordinary resolution to pass the bylaws was also approved by the membership: 95% (315 in favour, 17 against). All the new Articles and Bylaws can be found in the documents section of the ICS website. So what does this mean for the membership?
Changes to Structure
The Advisory Board has been dissolved and a larger Board of Trustees, all elected by the membership at the Cairo AGM, now holds all decision-making powers. This Board of Trustees will be a true representation of the membership and will inform the membership continuously about all plans and decisions. Among the Trustees, there is a small Executive Committee that will deal with the day-today management of the ICS in conjunction with the ICS office, and will have to report to the Board of Trustees continuously.
Terms of Office
The terms of office are now in line with your feedback. The General Secretary will be appointed for three years only. The Treasurer will also have a three year term, but can be re-elected for a further three years. All Trustees will have three year terms, but it is up to the membership to re-appoint via election every three years, those whom they think serve best. This is to allow for member influence, but also for continuation of management of the ICS and also to allow good, active Trustees to remain in post, particularly when we may have other professionals, such as lawyers as future Trustees. Differently from the past, every person who has not served as General Secretary can also be elected after having served in any other office, i.e. also our previous Trustees.
Changes in Company and Charity Law
The Articles now look very different due to the major changes that have occurred in the UK with regard to the new Company Act 2006 and the new Charity Act 2006. These new Acts are very significant and have updated and modernised how Charities and Companies can run themselves. As the ICS is both a Charity and Company, we have to take into consideration both Acts. There are several changes that do not affect the Articles directly, but will have an impact on how the ICS must report to the governing institutions.
We are sure that there will be some slight changes needed to the Articles and Bylaws over the coming years, once we have worked with them in practice. We will ensure that the membership is kept informed of any changes that are needed and will always ask for feedback on drafts. But for now we can concentrate on the ICS and on science.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees