OPERATING POLICIES February, 2016
Article 1: Name
The name of the organization is the Alberta Forest Genetic Resources Council
Article 2: Mandate
The Alberta Forest Genetic Resources Council is a multi-stakeholder advisory organization
formed to provide advice to the Government of Alberta, industry and other members of the forest
community, to ensure there is a solid foundation for the sustainable management and
conservation of forest genetic resources in Alberta. The Council provides advice and
recommendations on policies, standards and regulations and addresses current and emerging
issues. It fosters communication, dialogue and technology transfer among stakeholders and
participants in forest genetics research and operations, and encourages an inter-disciplinary
approach to forest genetic resource management.
Article 3: Council Membership
Sector Representation: the Council includes stakeholder representatives from various sectors of Alberta’s forest community, with the following structure:
- Four members from the Government of Alberta appointed for a five year term.
- Four members from industry appointed for a five year term, with two representatives from the hardwood sector and two representatives from the softwood sector.
- Three members from research institutions, appointed for a five year term.
- Four representatives from other interests: with two members appointed for a five year term in the fields of conservation biology and land reclamation; and two members appointed for a two year term in various fields at the discretion of Council (for example, forest growth and yield and forest nurseries.)
- One position on the Council is allocated to the Chair. The Chair is appointed by the Government of Alberta on a contractual basis with term.
Article 3.2: Nomination Process:
Council members are officially appointed to the Council by the Government of Alberta – by the Executive Director of Forest Management Branch. At the conclusion of each 5 year term, or in the event of a resignation, each sector within Council,consults with their sector for a suitable replacement. It then recommends to Council their candidate, and if all Council members support the candidate, the Council recommends the appointment of the individual by the Government of Alberta.
Article 4: Council Member Terms
Council membership is either for a two-year term or a five-year term, as noted in Structure (above). Terms are staggered for new appointments within the five year period, in the interests of maintaining continuity within Council.
Article 5: Alternates
Council members will nominate an alternate member and advise Council of their alternative.
Article 6: Attendance
Council members missing more than two consecutive meetings without confirming an alternate are subject to removal from the Council. The Chair will send a letter to a council member after missing two consecutive meetings.
Article 7: Appointment of the Chair
The Chair of Council is appointed by the Government of Alberta. The Chair is responsible for preparing agendas, convening of meetings and ensuring preparation of Council reports. The Chair will prioritize agenda items, set the meeting length, and solicit agenda items from members; ensure agenda items are addressed in a manner that focuses on an outcome and allows adequate discussion on each item.
Article 8: Frequency of Regular Sessions of Council
The Council will meet convene three regular sessions each year. Additional sessions may be held as needed.
Article 8.1: Special sessions of Council can be called by the Chair, or by the Chair at the request of a Council member. Such sessions might be convened by telephone conference or e-mail conference, and shall focus on for the issue or subject for which the meeting was called.
Special sessions of Council can be called by the Chair, or by the Chair at the request of a Council member. Such sessions might be convened by telephone conference or e-mail conference, and shall focus on for the issue or subject for which the meeting was called.
Article 9: Quorum
For the purpose of convening a regular session of the Council or conducting official Council business, quorum will be 50 percent of the membership, with at least one Council member participating from the government, forest industry and research institutions sectors.
Article 10: Decision Making
Article 10.1 Consensus Decision Making
Council decisions will normally be consensus based. The requirement of consensus is acceptability not total agreement. Consensus decision-making seeks consent, not necessarily complete agreement of participants and the resolution of objections. Consensus ensures all members can live with the decision.
Article 10.2 Voting
When consensus is not achieved, Council will vote to adopt decisions and resolutions based on a simple majority, more than half the votes received by individual entitled to vote. Two-thirds of Council member support is required to change articles of the policies of Council, including articles of these operating policies. Council members or their designated alternates are eligible to vote. Where quorum is not met, and a motion has been moved and seconded, the Chair may proceed with voting by email. Also, if there is a need to introduce a motion outside of a Council meeting, the Chair may secure a mover and a seconder and proceed to vote through e-mail. Dissenting votes will be noted in the minutes. The Chair does not normally participate in voting, but will be eligible to vote by ballot only, or if needed to change the result of a vote. Council members who cannot attend a meeting may give their proxy to another member of the Council, including the Chair, if the Chair is notified in advance of the meeting by email or by telephone.
Article 11: Secretariat
The Government of Alberta will provide secretariat support necessary for the operation of Council.
Article 12: The Agenda for Regular Sessions of Council
The agenda for Council sessions will be prepared by the Chair and distributed by e-mail to all Council members approximately two weeks in advance of each meeting. The agenda may be made available to interested persons or organizations, at the discretion of the Chair and other Council members.
Article 13: Observers and Invited Guest
Observers are welcome to attend portions of Council meetings, with the consent of Council. The Chair or Council members may invite guest to Council and invite speakers to address particular topics.
Article 14: Council Reports and Website
Article 14.1: Council Regular Session Reports – Minutes
The Chair, with support by the Secretariat, will produce a draft Council report (minutes) of each regular session of Council. The draft report will be circulated to Council members following the meeting. Council members may propose amendments prior to or at the next regular session of Council, and the report is officially adopted at that session of Council. The report is then transmitted by the Chair to the Executive Director of Forest Management Branch. Council meeting reports are not confidential and may be made available to interested persons at the discretion of Council members. Council members may request confidentiality for some discussions or decisions.
Article 14.2: Biennial Reports
The Council will produce a biennial report highlighting activities and major accomplishments.
Article 14.3 Council Strategic Plan
The Council will prepare and maintain a Strategic Plan that will guide the activities of Council and be used to communicate the work of the Council to stakeholders. The Strategic Plan will contain a vision statement, goals, strategic priorities, and will describe the organizational framework of the Council.
Article 14.4 Other Reports and Communication Products
Other reports and communication products will be produced at the discretion of the Council. This may include; Council Position Papers, fact sheets and brochures, and other educational information.
Article 14.5. Council Website
The Council may maintain a website (www.abtreegene.com) and will periodically post and update information and reports on the website.
Article 15: Council Committees
The Council will establish as needed, a Communication Committee and other Subcommittees, Technical Advisory Committees and Ad hoc Committees to support the work of the Council.
Article 16: Terms of Reference for Technical Advisory Committees and Ad Hoc Committees
The Council has developed the following generic terms of reference to guide the work of Technical Advisory and Ad Hoc Committees.
Article 16.1: Purpose:
The Council will establish Technical Advisory Committees and Ad Hoc Committees in strategic priority areas. The main purpose for such committees is to: assess the current situation and issues in relation to their fields of expertise; assess progress being made to address issues and improve management practices; and report to Council providing specific advice and recommendations. Such reports will assist Council in fulfilling its mandate to provide sound advice to the Government of Alberta and forest community stakeholders.
Article 16.2: Guiding Principles for Technical Advisory Committees
The following guiding principles are intended to ensure that experts participating in committees understand their roles and expectations.
- Members of committees will work together and provide clear advice to the Council.
- Members of committees will accept responsibility for decisions and recommendations they provide to the Council. Advice should be presented as agreed outcomes with recommendations to the Council being made on a consensus basis as much as possible. Areas of disagreement should also be made clear to the Council.
- The Chair or Co-Chairs or others members of the committees will provide advice only to the Council in the form of written and oral reports. Recommendations and reports prepared by committees can be made public with consent of the Council.
- Committee members will promote and maintain a professional working environment which demonstrates trust, honesty, respect and accountability. Opinions of all members of the Committees are to be valued and considered equal.
- Committees will strive to ensure that the processes used to conduct its business is clearly defined, acknowledged, understood and followed by all members.
- Committee members will participate in the committee as experts in their field, and are not expected to be representatives of organizations or institutions.
Article 16.3: Structure and Operating Policy
Members of committees will include representatives from various sectors of Alberta’s forest community. Experts from outside Alberta will also be considered when necessary.
Article 16.4: Chair or Co-Chairs
Committees will be guided by a Chair or Co-Chairs appointed by the Council.
The Chairs – Co-Chairs is/are responsible for preparing agendas, convening of meetings and ensuring preparation of reports for submission to the Council. The Chairs – Co-Chairs will:
- Prioritize agenda items, set the meeting length, and solicit agenda items from members.
- Ensure agenda items are addressed in a manner that focuses on an outcome and allows adequate discussion / resolution on each item.
- Invite observers and respond to requests from members of the committee to invite observers.
- Distribute meeting materials to all meeting attendees at least 5 working days prior to meetings.
- Ensure that decisions and recommendations are documented and submitted to the Chair of the Council.
Article 16.5: Membership, Term and Responsibilities
Members of committees are nominated by the Council and appointed on behalf of the Council, by the Chair of the Council in writing. The composition of all committees will be based on the required expertise. Members of committees can make recommendations to the Council on their membership to ensure adequate expertise. Members of Technical Advisory Committees are nominated for a two-year term and can be reappointed. At the conclusion of the term, or in the event of a resignation, the Council will provide nominations for the ensuing term or for the balance of the term remaining. Members of Ad Hoc Committee will not be appointed to a specific term, but will continue until they have concluded their deliberations.
- Provide advice and develop recommendations to support the work of the Council, and in doing so, observe the principles of mutual respect, collaboration and communication.
- Lead, coordinate or participate on specific initiatives as necessary.
- Provide agenda items and briefing material to the committee Co-Chairs as required, at least 5 working days prior to meetings.
- Be well prepared for all meetings and be able to speak to agenda items.
- Contribute to committee reports to the Council providing clear recommendations and advice, and assist the Co-Chairs in preparing such reports as required.
- Review committee reports in a timely manner, prior to the Co-Chairs of the committee submitting reports to the Council.
- Maintain confidentiality. Recommendations, products, and deliverables will not be distributed outside of the committees without the consent of the committee and the Council.
- Technical Advisory Committees should annually review their terms of reference and make suggestions to enhance the work of the Committee.
Article 16.6: Committee Observers
Observers are welcome to attend meetings of committees, with the consent of the committee members. Member requests for observer participation in committee meetings should be made to the Chair or Co-Chairs of the committee at least 5 days in advance of the meeting.
Article 16.7: Frequency of Meetings
Committees determine the frequency of their meetings. It is anticipated that committees will meet 2-3 times each year. Additional meetings may be held as needed. Conference calls and other means of communication are encouraged.
Article 16.8: Recommendations and Reports
Committees will produce reports highlighting activities and major recommendations, and provide their reports to the Council at intervals determined by the Council. The Chair or Co- Chairs should ensure all committee members have reviewed their reports before submission to Council.
Article 16.9: Attendance
Committees should determine the minimum number of members that shall be in attendance for meetings to be convened. A minimum of 50 percent of members being available is suggested, otherwise that meeting shall be postponed/deferred.
Article 16.10: Secretariat and Expenses
As resources allow, the Government of Alberta will provide logistic support for the convening of meetings of committees. Travel costs associated with participation in committees will be borne by each member of the committee.
Article 16.11: Decision Making
To the greatest extent possible, committees will function on a consensus basis. The Council should also be advised on issues where consensus is not achieved. The nature of the dissent should be reflected in committee reports to the Council. In general, voting is not recommended for Committees.
Article 17. Other Committees
Other committees will be established as necessary by the Council
Article 18. Robert’s Rules of Order
The Council shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order when they are applicable and not inconsistent with these operating policies and any other special rules that Council shall adopt. inconsistent with these operating policies and any other special rules that Council shall adopt.
Article 19: Amendments of the Operation Policy of Council
The operating policies of Council may be amended by a two-thirds vote of Council.