The Australian Rogaining Association is made up of state and territory associations that are separated physically by large distances. This makes it difficult for delegates from all states to travel to Annual General Meetings or come together at any other time of year to conduct business.
Under section 9(ii) of the ARA constitution: “Notification of matters requiring consideration by the Council shall be at a duly constituted meeting of the Council or in writing to all members of the Council”. The Council being “two delegates from each Member, one of whom shall be the President of the Member or his representative, and the other of whom shall be elected at a general meeting of the Member” and “the immediate outgoing President of the Association as an ex officio member, and the President, Secretary and Treasurer of the Association for the duration of their term of office”.
Communication and voting by electronic mail (as a form of writing) is therefore constitutionally valid and will allow ARA business to be resolved quickly, efficiently and with far wider discussion.
To facilitate this:
- The ARA secretary will maintain a list of the name and email addresses of Council members on a secure web site.
- It is the responsibility of each State to inform the ARA secretary of any changes to their ARA delegates or their contact details.
Procedures are as follows:
- A member of the Council proposing to move a motion should email the draft wording to the ARA Secretary. The proposed seconder should be cc'd in this message.
- The motion will be briefly circulated amongst the ARA Executive who will determine the suitability and timing of putting the motion to the Council. In circumstances where a subcommittee has already been formed, for example, to consider the topic in question, the motion may be referred to them for approval first. The Executive may also recommend changes to the wording for clarification or to improve the process of implementing the proposal.
- The ARA Secretary will then distribute the approved draft wording to the Council along with a proposed date that the motion will be formally put for a vote. This date should give sufficient time for Councillors to refer the issue to their state committees and/or members, as appropriate. Discussion can take place by further email between Councillors.
- If requested by a minimum of four Council members the Executive shall arrange a telephone hook-up of Council to discuss the motion prior to the motion being formally moved.
- Based on the electronic discussion, the mover or the seconder of the motion (cc'ing the other) may email amendments to the ARA Secretary, or withdraw the motion, prior to being formally moved.
- On the appointed date, the ARA Secretary will distribute the final wording of the motion to the Council and nominate the date and time by which votes should be cast. This date will be set so that “Votes to be valid must be received by the Secretary within twenty one days of notification.”
- “All members of the Council” .. “may exercise one vote and voting shall be by simple majority of votes cast.”
- "On all motions" the ARA President "shall have both a deliberative and a casting vote." To be eligible, votes should be emailed to ARA Secretary (cc to the ARA President) unless other returning officers are specified.
- Proxies may be advised by email to the ARA Secretary (cc to the ARA President).
- ARA Councillors who are registered with the ARA Secretary (as per the details on the secure web site) as holding office at the time a draft motion is distributed by the ARA Secretary are required to place the final vote, even if they vacate office or notify a change of office before voting is completed.
- Quorum – “ a decision on a motion is deemed to be valid“ .. “if sixty percent of Delegates either vote or indicate an intention to abstain from voting on that motion”. With a President, Secretary, Treasurer, Immediate Past President and 8x2 delegates, there is a total of 20 eligible voters. This requires 12 responses to reach a quorum.
- Amendments to motions will not be permitted (other than by the mover as specified above).
- As soon as possible after the conclusion of the vote the returning officers shall ratify the vote, to enable the ARA Secretary to advise all Councillors of the outcome and votes cast.