Roma 2003 | Intersteno Italy | Internet contest
 
 


Statute - Comments after Prague 2007

Italian proposals Jan. 2006

Final proposal 27/03/03

Synopsis of Proposals

Proposal for a new Statute

Considerations on the Statute

Constitution Roma 2003


Proposal of the New Statutes - Draft prepared by the Commission headed by Doctor Cees van Burden according to the decisions and discussions made in Madrid on September 2002


 The Hague, 27/03/03    

LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION 

 

To the members of the Central Committee of Intersteno. 

In the 5th session of the meeting of the Central Committee in Madrid we discussed the future of the International Federation Intersteno. Everybody agreed that modernizing our organization is necessary to secure its future. Therefore our Constitution (so far called the Articles of Association) has to be modified.

Our president, Fausto Ramondelli, had proposed that a restructuring leading to an organization based on individual members (with the possibility for individual members from one country to form a group) should take place and that a board of directors should be formed. The Dutch National Group had presented a discussion paper in which it argued that the National Groups should stay the backbone of the Federation, but that the Federation needs a permanent executive committee as policy making body. It presented a first draft for a new Constitution. Other National Groups made their comments. As a result it was decided, that the modernization of the Federation should go along the lines indicated by the Dutch National Group. 

In the following working session Fausto Ramondelli argued that the circumstances in which the Federation has to function rapidly change, that it is of vital importance for the future of the Federation that more professionals can become interested in the Federation and that internationally working firms in the field of ICT can become an individual member of the Federation. He was strongly supported by Jari Niittuinper√§, who also pleaded for an organization that could operate professionally and that had aims and a vision responding to the modern world. Gregor Keller feared that the admission of individual members from countries where a National Group already exists, could harm the interests of the National Group in question. It was decided that a working group, consisting of Fausto Ramondelli, Gregor Keller, Jean-Charles Le Masson, Jari Niittuinper√§ and Cees van Beurden (as coordinator), should prepare an new Constitution, in which the ideas of Fausto Ramondelli and the Dutch group should be brought together and the fear that the admission of individual members can harm a National Group could be dispelled. Of course the working group has worked in close contact with our secretary-general, Danny Devriendt. 

A Constitution is not written forever. It can be modified. But modifications of the Constitution should be rare, because the Constitution lays down the fundamental rules of the organization. Therefore a majority of two-thirds of the votes in a meeting of the General Assembly in which at least three-quarters of the National Groups and the individual members is represented, is required for a modification of the Constitution. Because it will take two or three years before the next meeting of the General Assembly in which a proposal to modify the Constitution can be put to the vote again if a majority of  the National Groups and the individual members is not represented, a supplementary ruling is necessary. Therefore in that case a new meeting of the General Assembly will be called as soon as possible and in that meeting the decision can be taken with a majority of two-thirds of the votes regardless the number of National Groups and individual members represented. 

On the other hand there was a plea for flexible rules. Flexibility is necessary because of the rapid changes in our world, technical as well as social and economical. For that reason for the first time in our organization By-Laws (so far called internal rules) will be formulated. The By-Laws are a clarification and interpretation of the rules in the Constitution. They can never be adverse to the rules of the Constitution, but as they are more specific and in a way an interpretation of these rules, they offer the flexibility which is needed, because the By-Laws can be modified much more easily than the Constitution when changing circumstances compel to do so. Only a majority of the votes in the General Assembly is necessary for their adoption and modification. 

A first draft of these By-Laws has already been formulated, but the working group has come to the conclusion that first of all the new Constitution should be adopted and that the By-Laws can be adopted in the next meeting of the General Assembly. When the new fundamental rules of the organization have been settled, the working group can prepare a well-considered proposal for the adoption of the By-Laws. 

The working group has deliberated several months about the new Constitution. A lot of useful suggestions were adopted, other suggestions were rejected. As the official seat of the Federation is in Germany, the Constitution has also to comply with the German law.

Hereby I present to you the text of the new Constitution to be adopted by the General Assembly in July in Rome. Although not every idea of every member of the working group could be incorporated, I am convinced that this proposed Constitution can serve the Federation for many years to come and gives it the opportunity for further development into a modern worldwide organization.  In accordance with our secretary-general, Danny Devriendt, I ask you, members of the Central Committee, to agree with the proposed Constitution. Danny Devriendt will put this proposal on the agenda for the meeting of the General Assembly in Rome.

The Central Committee has to decide in its preceding meeting. Danny Devriendt will however appreciate it very much, if you will let him know your opinion long before that meeting, in fact as soon as possible, by e-mail. I send you now the English version of the proposed Constitution. Translations in German and French will be made and sent to you as soon as possible. When necessary little changes in the text will be made later, but these changes can concern only linguistic improvements and juridical terms, not the content. 

Hereafter I give you the motivation for a number of important rules in the draft of the new Constitution. 

  • The aims of the Federation and its future role. 
The meaning of the words "information processing" in the name of the Federation and the domains of activity of the Federation are explained in article 2.2. of the Constitution. It is a definition that can serve us for many years to come. In the articles 2.3. and 2.5. the aims, connected to these words in the name of the Federation, are specified and worded in such a way that if new social, economical and technological developments in the world gives the opportunity to broaden the field of activity of the Federation, it is possible to grab these opportunities. 

  • The members of the Federation. 
Members of the Federation are National Groups and individual members. The present situation is that individual members can only be admitted, if there is no National Group in their country. National Groups are and must stay the backbone of the Federation. For a long time no new National Groups have been admitted. Therefore the Federation has to try to enlarge the number of National Groups. A National Group should at least represent professionals and teachers in one of the domains of activity of the Federation. It will now be made possible that organizations from a country where a National Group already exists, representing another domain of activity or not wishing to join the National Group in question (e.g. big internationally working firms, whose membership can be of great importance for the Federation) become an individual member of the Federation. The basic assumption in such cases is, that the admission of individual members may not harm the interests of the National Group in question. The fact that the National Groups have three to twelve votes in the General Assembly and individual members only one prevents, that National Groups are overruled in the General Assembly. 

  • The composition of the Board and its tasks.
 To become a professionally working international organization, the Federation has to have an executive consisting of more than one person. Therefore the new Constitution provides for a permanent executive committee (the Board) consisting of five persons (an uneven number). The Board is not only the permanent executive committee, but also the policy making body of the Federation and the body that must ensure its continued existence. The president, the vice-president and the secretary-treasurer have to play an important role, because they also have to look after the day-to-day management of the Federation. These tasks need their full attention. Therefore in the future the president must not be hampered in his/her functioning, which should be the case if he/she is as a rule also the president of the next congress. Moreover the president must be able to serve the Federation for a longer period than the period between two congresses. The vice-president must be able to take over temporarily the function of the president or the function of the secretary-treasurer when necessary. The secretary-treasurer has a huge task, like before. It is clear that these three officials have to cooperate closely. They are nominated by the General Assembly. 

The cooperator of the Jury has to bring forward and defend in the Board the opinions of the Jury about the international contests, which contests always were and will be of great importance for the existence of the Federation. The task of the cooperator of the Scientific Committee is to present to the Board the ideas and proposals of this committee concerning scientific and technological developments in the domains of activity of the Federation and its findings about the possibilities for the formation of new National Groups and for the admittance of new individual members who can contribute to the aims of the Federation. In short, the Board is very important for the functioning of the Federation as a worldwide organization. The two coordinators are nominated by the Central Committee. Therefore they are ex officio members of the Board. 

 

4       .The Jury for international contests.

 

 The reason for having only one representative of the Jury in the Board is not only to limit the number of boardmembers to five. Intentionally the Constitution does not provide for two juries, as exist now, but for one, because the Jury has to be considered as one body of the Federation. However, the intention is not to form one big jury, dealing with all the international contests. That should lead to an impossible situation in actual practice. Therefore the Constitution determines, that there are two jurypresidents, each dealing with a number of coherent contests. That is also the present situation. The jurypresidents have a specific task, namely to deal with two different series of coherent contests. Being a member of the Board, the permanent executive committee, is another task. Therefore the Constitution determines, that the jurypresidents nominate one of them as coordinator, who is member of the Board. This coordinator has a double task: directing his/her own section and being the representative of the Jury as a body of the Federation in the Board. 

 

5. The Scientific Committee.

 

  This committee has to play an important role. Its members have to follow the scientific and technological developments in the domains of activity of the Federation. They have to approach experts and firms and keep in touch with them. But they also have to establish contacts with persons and professional groups in countries where no National Group exists in order to promote the formation of new National Groups. Moreover they must try to establish contacts with firms and organizations in member-countries as well as other countries, who can contribute as individual members to the aims of the Federation. When establishing all those contacts they have to be aware of the fact that in one country cultures and values can differ highly from another country and they have to take these differences into consideration. The findings of the scientific committee will be very important for the role the Board has to play as the policy making organ of the Federation. These findings must enable the Board to outline a strategy for the future. 

 

6. The costs.

 

  Establishing a Board of five persons does not mean, that this body will lead to high expenses. Its members can communicate with each other and with other officials of the Federation by e-mail. All members of the Board will meet in person at the occasion of the yearly meetings of the Central Committee. In between a personal meeting of one or two boardmembers with other officials can be necessary, but this also happens nowadays. When the secretary-general pays a visit to other officials of the Federation, his travelling expenses are now also chargeable to the Federation. Article 15.2. states that the Board seeks to keep the traveling and hotel expenses of its members as low as possible. The idea of the new Constitution is, that the Federation really can function as an international organization, but this can be done at low costs when everyone works in the most efficient way. 

 

As coordinator of the working group I strongly recommend the members of the Central Committee to agree with the proposed new Constitution and to e-mail their approval in the name of their National Groups as soon as possible. In the meeting of the Central Committee in Rome the recommendation of the Central Committee can be laid down in an official decision of the Central Committee. Take into consideration that we loose another few years to achieve our aim to modernize the Federation (the oldest international organization of professionals in the world) if the General Assembly in Rome cannot take this decision and that the consequence can be that we are too late! Take also into consideration, that adoption of the new Constitution does not mean that it becomes valid immediately after the congress in Rome. When adopted it has to be executed by a German notary and after that it has to be ratified in the next meeting of the General Assembly. In the meantime we have to work on the basis of the current Articles of Association, but in that period of transition it is quite possible to act more or less along the lines of the new Constitution already.  As coordinator of the working group I send you this proposal with the consent of the secretary-general. 

 

With kind regards,  Cees van Beurden. 






Final draft

CONSTITUTION (les Statuts; die Statuten) of INTERSTENO


Art. 1 (Name, registered office and nature of the association)
1.1. Under the name of INTERSTENO - International Federation for Information Processing - an incorporated association has been formed. In this Constitution this association is further called: the Federation.

1.2. The official seat and jurisdiction of the Federation is in Bonn. It is entered in the Register of Publicly Acknowledged Associations.

1.3. The administrative headquarters of the Federation shall be situated at the residence of the secretary-treasurer.

1.4. The Federation is a disinterested organization; it does not have profit-making goals. The Federation's means may be used only for aims in accordance with the Constitution. No financial gain from the organization's means accrues to its members. No person may benefit from expenditure that is outwith the Federation's aims, or from excessively high fees.

1.5. The Federation does not allow any discussion of a political or religious nature.

Art. 2 (Aims of the Federation)

2.1. The Federation pursues, on the basis of unsalaried activity, exclusively and directly non-profit-making aims, as defined by the section of German Law on activities enjoying tax privileges. It promotes international thinking and the idea of understanding among people of all nations.

2.2. The domains of activity of the Federation are reporting, text- and information processing and secretariat. In this Constitution "reporting" means the capturing of the spoken word and the elaborating of the written word, "information processing" the processing of text and text related data for communication purposes with all technical means available, and "secretariat" the professional skills needed by all persons having a secretarial function.

2.3. The aims of the Federation are to provide an international platform for all people that work as professionals in, are interested in or study to become professionals in one or more of the domains if its activity. They are the persons for which the Federation is meant. In this Constitution they are called: the professional groups.

2.4. The Federation shall stimulate mutual understanding of the cultures and values in the countries of its members concerning its domains of activity.

2.5. The aims of the Federation are in particular:

a.       to associate the professionals, teachers and students in its domains of activity in all countries;

b.       to encourage the maintenance of high standards of competence and performance of the above mentioned professionals and teachers during their professional life by using the most modern technical means and to encourage appropriate training and educational facilities and programmes for the above mentioned students, especially in developing countries;

c.       to promote the use of new technologies and lawful and proper technical and business research, which can help to enhance services offered by its professional groups;

d.       to cooperate with national and local governments, non governmental organizations or international public and private agencies, such as Unesco, on the basis of specific programmes for its professional groups;

e.       to centralize and to spread therefore information of a professional character, including information about the experience of professionals working in cooperation with local governments, public institutions and private companies, among its members in order enable them to promote that the best possible use of human resources will be made;

f.        to organize meetings and to establish personal contacts among its members;

g.       to organize international contests in its domains of activity, if possible with world championships;

h.       to advance joint studies concerning its domains of activity:

i.        to defend the moral and material interests of the professional groups, meant in article 2.3.


Art. 3 (Structure of the Federation)

The bodies of the Federation are:

a.       the General Assembly

b.       the Central Committee;

c.       the Board;

d.       the Jury for the international contests

e.       the Scientific Committee;

f.        the Auditing Committee.


Art. 4 (Categories of members)

4.1. Members of the Federation are the National Groups, individual members and honorary members.

4.2. National Groups are full members of the Federation. A National Group has to be an artificial person in private or public law. Each National Group may organize itself at its own discretion and should at least represent professionals and teachers in one of the domains of activity of the Federation in the country in question. Each country is allowed only one National Group.

4.3. Individual members can be private persons, companies, associations or other organizations and parliamentary reporting services , whose membership is of importance for the enlargement of the field of working of the Federation.

4.4. At the suggestion of the Central Committee the General Assembly may confer the title of honorary member on any private person who has rendered special services to the Federation. Honorary members are entitled to attend the meetings of the Central Committee and the General Assembly, but they are not entitled to vote.

Art. 5 (Admission of members)

5.1. A prospective National Group, wishing to join the Federation, has to apply in writing to the Board and to prove, to the satisfaction of the Board, that it represents at least one of the professional groups, meant in art. 2.3. Only in that case a National Group can become a full member of the Federation. Subject to ratification by the General Assembly, the Central Committee is on proposal of the Board authorized to admit National Groups.

5.2. When two or more organizations, representing one of the professional groups, meant in art. 2.3, in a country and applying for membership, seem not able to form one National Group, the Central Committee, on proposal of the Board and subject to ratification by the General Assembly, is authorized to solve this problem in the best possible way.
5.3. The Federation will promote the formation of National Groups in those countries where, as yet, none exists. Pending their formation the Board can authorize private persons or organizations to participate in the activities of the Federation, without being entitled to vote.
 
5.4. When a professional section. meant in article 20.1, has been formed, the organizations of the professional group in question taking part in it, have the right to be individual members of the Federation, irrespective of the existence of a National Group in their countries.
 
5.5. Other individual members from countries not yet having a National Group can be admitted under the conditions of art. 5.7. Other individual members from countries where a National Group already exists, can be admitted under the conditions of art. 5.8.
 
5.6. A prospective individual member, not belonging to a professional section, wishing to join the Federation, has to apply in writing to the Board and to prove, to the satisfaction of the Board, that its membership can be of importance for the Federation.
 
5.7. Subject to ratification by the General Assembly the Central Committee is on proposal of the Board authorised to admit individual members, not belonging to a professional section, from countries where no National Group exists. When in such a country a National Group is formed afterwards, the Board has to judge if the individual member(s) already admitted can continue its/their membership. If the membership can not be continued, the Board shall recommend the individual member(s) to join the new National Group. The Board shall present a proposal concerning this matter to the Central Committee, that has to decide.
 
5.8. The Central Committee is on proposal of the Board authorized to propose to the General Assembly the admission of individual members, not belonging to a professional section, from countries where a National Group exists. Such an admission may not harm the interests of the National Group in question. If the Central Committee concludes that this is the case, it is not authorized to propose the admission to the General Assembly.
 
Art. 6 (Resignation and expulsion of members)
 
6.1. A National Group and an individual member, wishing to resign its membership, will have to give notice in writing to the secretary-treasurer three months before the end of the current year. The secretary-treasurer informs the Central Committee as soon as possible. Members that have resigned shall remain liable to pay the subscription fee owing for the year in which they resigned.
 
6.2. Subject to ratification by the General Assembly, the Central Committee is on proposal of the Board authorized to expel any National Group or individual member that has been in arrear in payment of its subscription fee for more than two years and to exclude a National Group or an individual member whose acts are contrary to the interests of the Federation. The Board has to convince the Central Committee that a member's acts are contrary to the interests of the Federation. Expelled members shall remain liable to pay their arrears of subscription.
 
6.3. A decision to expel may be taken only after the member liable to expulsion has been invited to make known its submissions in writing within a month of the sending of a registered letter, containing the proposal and the reasons for expulsion. If the member's written submissions include a request to give an oral explanation, such member must appear at the meeting of the General Assembly in which the decision of the Central Committee has to be ratified.
 
Art. 7 (Representation)
 
The Federation is represented legally by the president and in the absence of the president by the vice president or the secretary-treasurer.
 
Art. 8 (General Assembly; composition and powers)
 
8.1. The General Assembly consists of the delegates of the National Groups and the individual members. It is the highest authority of the Federation.
 
8.2. The General Assembly shall exercise the powers vested in it by statute or the Constitution.
 
8.3. The task of the General Assembly is in particular:
a.       to nominate, on proposal of the Central Committee, the president, the vice-president and the secretary-treasurer as members of the Board;
b.       to nominate, on proposal of the Central Committee, the Auditing Committee;
c.       to ratify the provisionally by the Central Committee approved budget for the next two years;
d.       to authorize the Central Committee to decide provisionally on the budget for the next third year in case it is to be expected that the next meeting of the General Assembly will not take place in two years;
e.       to ratify the provisionally by the Central Committee approved accounts of the Federation over the period expired since its last meeting, having taken notice of the report of the Auditing Committee;
f.        to fix, on proposal of the Central Committee, the annual membership fees for National Groups and individual members for the next two years;
g.       to authorize the Central Committee to decide on the fees for National Groups and individual members for the next third year in case it is to be expected that the next meeting of the General Assembly will not take place in two years, provided that these fees will not exceed the fees for the previous year with more than five per cent;
h.       to ratify the decisions of the Central Committee regarding the admission of new National Groups and individual members and of professional sections;
i.        to alter, on proposal of the Central Committee, the Constitution;
j.        to approve and to alter, on proposal of the Central Committee, the By-Laws referred to in article 23 of the Constitution;
k.       to decide on any other proposal submitted by the Central Committee;
l.        to dissolve the Federation;
 
Art. 9 (General Assembly; frequency, notice and procedures)
 
9.1. As a rule the General Assembly meets during the international congresses of the Federation. In any event the General Assembly meets once in every three years.
 
9.2. An extraordinary meeting of the General Assembly may be called whenever required in the interests of the Federation. It shall be called upon the requisition of half of the full members of the Federation.
 
9.3. The National Groups and the individual members are to be invited to a meeting of the General Assembly by ordinary post or by e-mail at least three months in advance. The invitation shall include an announcement of the agenda.
 
9.4. A record is to be kept of each meeting of the General Assembly. Resolutions are to be recorded verbatim. The record is to be signed by the president and the secretary-treasurer or their representatives.
 
9.5. Decisions can only be made on items appearing on the agenda.
 
Art. 10 (General Assembly; voting and decisions)
 
10.1. Each National Group is entitled to appoint three delegates. If the country in question has more than five million inhabitants one extra delegate for every five million inhabitants more can be appointed; the maximum being twelve delegates. Each delegate has one vote. Only delegates attending the meeting of the General Assembly can vote.
 
10.2. Besides these delegates each National Group may send other representatives to the General Assembly, but these are not entitled to vote.
 
10.3. Each individual member has one vote. Only individual members attending the meeting of the General Assembly can vote.
 
10.4. The General Assembly is entitled to make decisions irrespective of the number of delegates and individual members present. With due observance of the provisions of article 24.3 and 25.3, a majority of votes is decisive.
 
Art. 11 (Central Committee; composition and powers)
 
11.1. The Central Committee consists of the delegates of the National Groups, one from each group, regardless the number of inhabitants of the country of the group, the members of the Board and the coordinators of professional sections, meant in article 20.3.
 
11.2. For each meeting of the Central Committee the delegates of the National Groups are appointed by the National Groups. The members of the Board are the president, the vice-president and the secretary-treasurer nominated by the General Assembly prior to the meeting of the Central Committee and the nominated coordinators of the Jury and of the Scientific Committee. The coordinators of professional sections are the persons nominated by these sections.
 
11.3. Individual members and guests can be invited to the meetings of the Central Committee.
 
11.4. The task of the Central Committee is to judge the policy of the Board
and to approve, when necessary after amending, the proposals of the Board.
 
11.5. The task of the Central Committee is in particular:
a.       to decide provisionally on the budget and the fees for National Groups and individual members, presented by the Board, for the next first and second year;
b.       to decide on the fees for National Groups and individual members for the next third year, presented by the Board, in case the General Assembly will not meet in two years after its last meeting, with due observance of the provision of article 8.3.g;
c.       to decide provisionally on the accounts of the Federation over the period expired since its last meeting;
d.       to nominate the jurypresidents and, eventually, their assistants;
e.       to nominate the coordinator and the members of the Scientific Committee;
f.        to decide on the proposals of the Board regarding the modification of the Constitution, the adoption and modification of the By-Laws, meant in article 23, the admission of new members, the nomination of the Auditing Committee, the creation of committees for studying or working out special problems and the creation of professional sections;
g.       to decide on the proposals of the Board regarding proposals of National Groups and individual members;
h.       to decide on the proposals of the Board, regarding the regulations for the international contests;
i.        to present proposals to the General Assembly for the appointment of the president, the vice-president and the secretary-treasurer as members of the Board or to appoint provisionally these members of the Board if no General Assembly will be held before the end of their term of office.
 
Art. 12 (Central Committee; frequency, notice and procedures)
 
12.1. The Central Committee will be called by the secretary-treasurer. The Central Committee will meet at least every year.
 
12.2. At the request of five National Groups an extraordinary meeting of the Central Committee shall be called by the secretary-treasurer.
 
12.3. The Board decides which individual members will be invited to attend a meeting of the Central Committee.
 
12.4. The secretary-treasurer calls the National Groups and the individual members to be invited to a meeting of the Central Committee by ordinary post or e-mail at least five months before the date of the meeting. In this call is mentioned before which date members of the Federation can submit proposals to the Central Committee.
 
12.5. At least three months before the date of the meeting the secretary-treasurer informs the National Groups and the invited individual members by ordinary post or e-mail about the proposals of the Board.
 
12.6. At least one month before the date of the meeting the secretray-treasurer communicates the opinion of the Board about the proposals of members by ordinary post or e-mail.
 
12.7. A record is to be kept of each meeting of the Central Committee. The record is to be signed by the president and the secretary-treasurer or their representatives.
 
Art. 13 (Central Committee; voting and decisions)
 
13.1. The Central Committee is entitled to make decisions if half the number of their members plus one is present.
 
13.2. The Central Committee decides with an absolute majority of votes. Each member has one vote. In case of equality of votes the president's vote is decisive.
 
13.3. Invited individual members and guests can take part in the discussion. They have an advisory function. They are not entitled to vote.
 
13.4. The secretary-treasurer informs the members of the Federation, by ordinary post or e-mail, about the decisions taken by the Central Committee as soon as possible.
 
Art. 14 (The Board; composition and powers)
 
14.1. The Board is the permanent executive committee of the Federation. The Board consists of the president, the vice-president, the secretary-treasurer, the coordinator of the Jury, meant in article 19.6, and the coordinator of the Scientific Committee, meant in article 17.1.
 
14.2. In case of absence the vice-president is the substitute for the president as well as for the secretary-treasurer.
 
14.3. The president, the vice-president and the secretary-treasurer are nominated by the General Assembly on proposal of the Central Committee for a period of four years. These outgoing officers are eligible for re-election. The coordinator of the Jury and the coordinator the Scientific Committee are ex officio members of the Board.
 
14.4. Subject to ratification by the General Assembly, the Central Committee is on proposal of the Board authorized to appoint a substitute in case of death, retirement or illness of the vice-president. Such a proposal has to be communicated immediately to all members of the Central Committee, who can give their provisional consent by ordinary post or e-mail. The final consent has to be given in the next meeting of the General Assembly.
 
14.5. The task of the Board is:
-         to ensure the continuity of the Federation's activities by analyzing the current situation and creating on the basis of that situation and of foreseeable economical, sociological and technological changes a strategy for the years to come;
-         to promote the formation of new National Groups;
-         to carry out all administrative duties;
-         to propose to the Central Committee the programme of the Federation's activities for the near future and the regulations for the international contests;
-         to control the financial affairs of the Federation and to present a yearly budget to the Central Committee;
-         to draw up the agenda's for the Central Committee and the General Assembly.
 
14.6. The president, the vice-president and the secretary-treasurer are charged with the day-to-day management.
 
14.7. The secretary-treasurer takes care of the communication with the other members of the Board as well as with the other bodies of the Federation. He does the bookkeeping of the Federation.
 
14.8. The secretary-treasurer makes an annual report about the activities of the Board in the past year and draws up a budget for the next year. After the Board has given its consent, the secretary-treasurer presents the report and the budget to the Central Committee.
 
14.9. The coordinator of the Jury keeps the Board informed about new developments regarding the international contests. The coordinator of the Jury informs the Board about the opinion of the jurypresidents about proposals from National Groups or individual members regarding these contests.
 
14.10. The coordinator of the Scientific Committee keeps the Board informed about scientific and technological developments in the domains of activity of the Federation and about its contacts with professional groups in countries where no National Group exists.
 
Art. 15 (The Board; frequency and procedures)
 
15.1. The members of the Board keep in touch with each another by e-mail about all subjects of importance for the Federation.
 
15.2. All members of the Board shall meet every year during the meeting of the Central Committee. During the year members of the Board can meet in person when this is necessary in the opinion of the president, the vice-president and the secretary-treasurer. The board seeks to keep the travelling and hotel expenses of its members as low as possible.
 
Art. 16 (The Board; voting and decisions)
 
16.1. Each member of the Board has one vote.
 
16.2. The Board aims at unanimity in its decisions. In case of abstention of one of its members and equality of votes of the other members the president's vote is decisive.
 
Art. 17 (The Scientific Committee)
 
17.1. The Scientific Committee is composed of a coordinator and two members. The coordinator and the members are nominated by the Central Committee on proposal of the Board for a period of four years. The outgoing officers are eligible for re-election.
 
17.2. Its task is:
a.       to explore scientific and technological developments in the domains of activity of the Federation;
b.       to propose on that basis cultural and scientific programmes to the Board;
c.       to establish contacts with professional groups in countries where no National Group exists, to inform the Board about these contacts in order to enable the Board to promote the formation of National Groups in these countries;
d.       to organize lectures during Intersteno-congresses in accordance with the organizing committee of the National Group in question, or during other Intersteno-meetings in accordance with the Board.
 
Art. 18 (The Auditing Committee)
 
18.1. The General Assembly nominates an Auditing Committee, consisting of three delegates.
 
18.2. By rotation three National Groups are next to appoint each a delegate for this committee. The rotation scheme is drawn up by the secretary-treasurer in such a way, that only one National Group can be next if it was chosen to appoint a delegate for this committee in the last meeting of the General Assembly.
 
18.3.  The secretary-treasurer is obliged to provide the Auditing Committee with the all financial documents needed for its work.
 
18.4. Prior to the meeting of the General Assembly the Auditing Committee scrutinizes the financial documents of the secretary-treasurer. In the meeting of the General Assembly the Auditing Committee reports on its findings.
 
Art. 19 (The Jury for the international contests)
 
19.1. International contests in the domains of activity of the Federation can be organized. All members shall try to achieve that as many participants from their countries as possible enter the competitions. Participants have to pay the participation fee, fixed by the organizing committee, and have to comply with the contest regulations, decided on by the Central Committee on proposal of the Board. In this Constitution the Jury for the international contests is called: the Jury. It decides about the results of the participants and announces these results at the end of the contests.
 
19.2. The task of the Jury is furthermore:
a.       to organize the international contests and to deal with all problems arising during the contests;
b.       to propose to the Board upgrades of the regulations for the competitions in accordance with the needs of the organization of the next congress and with the developments of techniques and technologies;
c.       to advise the Board about proposals of National Groups and individual members regarding the regulations for the competitions.
 
19.3. The Jury consists of two jurypresidents, each dealing with a number of coherent contests. Each jurypresident can have on request one assistant. Together they are the members of the Jury.
 
19.4. During each international contest the Jury is assisted by helpers. These are volunteers and no members of the Jury.
 
19.5. The jurypresidents, and eventually their assistants, are nominated by the Central Committee on proposal of the Board for a period of four years. The outgoing officers are eligible for re-election.
 
19.6. It is up to the jurypresidents to nominate one of them as coordinator of the Jury, who will be member of the Board. The jurypresidents keep close contact with each other to assure that the one who is coordinator of the Jury can represent the interests of the Jury in the Board.
 
Art. 20 (Professional sections)
 
20.1. Within the framework of the Federation professional sections can be formed. A professional section is a fellowship of a specific professional group. It consists of organizations of the specific professional group in question and can only be formed if organizations from five different countries take part in it.
 
20.2. Subject to ratification by the General Assembly, the Central Committee is on proposal of the Board authorized to agree with the formation of a professional section.
 
20.3. A professional section may organize itself at its own discretion, provided that its aims are not contrary to the aims of the Federation. It appoints a coordinator, who takes part in the work of the Central Committee.
 
20.4. Organizations belonging to a professional section, are individual members of the Federation.
 
20.5. When organizations belonging to a professional section resign their membership or have been expelled and when as a consequence no longer organizations from five different countries belong to the professional section in question, this section will cease to exist on the basis of this Constitution. The secretary-treasurer shall inform all members of the Federation immediately about this circumstance.
 
Art. 21 (The Intersteno-congresses and other Intersteno-meetings)
 
21.1. If possible every two or three years an international Intersteno-congress will be held. On every congress international contests or other international activities can be organized and lectures can be conducted.
 
21.2. The Intersteno-congresses are organized by one of the National Groups, eventually in cooperation with Individual members.
 
21.3. A National Group, organizing an international Intersteno-congress, sets up an organizing committee and appoints a chairman/chairwoman for the congress.
 
21.4. The organizing committee consults the Board about its plan for the congress beforehand. The plan has to be approved by the Central Committee or, in case of urgency, by the Board.
 
21.5. Financially the organizing committee is only responsible for the costs directly linked to the organization of the congress.
 
21.6. The Federation can give financial support to the organizing committee.
 
21.7. If no Intersteno-congress can be organized, an international meeting on a smaller scale can be organized by National Groups and/or individual members. In order to be recognized as an international Intersteno-meeting, they need the approval of the Central Committee on proposal of the Board. The Central Committee decides, on proposal of the Board, on the plan for such an international Intersteno-meeting, including the financial set-up, the question if international contests can be held during that meeting and if a meeting of the General Assembly can take place during that meeting.
 
21.8. Intersteno-meetings can also be organized in the interval of two or three years between Intersteno-congresses. For these Intersteno-meetings the rules of article 21.7  are applicable.
 
Art. 22 (Accounting period; financial means; liability)
 
22.1. The Federation shall have an annual accounting period commencing on January 1st and closing on December 31st.
 
22.2. The financial means of the Federation are:
a.     subscription fees of members;
b.       profits of other subscriptions and profits of sale of publications of the Federation;
c.       subsidies, donations and legacies.
 
22.3. Each National Group pays an annual fee for each delegate to whom it is entitled.
 
22.4. The General Assembly has the right to fix a minimum fee for the National Groups on proposal of the Central Committee.
 
22.5. Individual members pay an annual fee fixed by the General Assembly on proposal of the Central Committee. These fees can be different for different individual members.
 
22.6. Honorary members do not pay a membership fee.
 
22.7. For financial obligations the Federation is liable only with its capital. The National Groups and individual members are not personally liable.
 
Art. 23 (By-Laws, adoption and modification)
 
23.1. The Board may draw up By-Laws to give detailed effect to this Constitution. The provisions of the By-Laws can not be contrary to the Constitution.
 
23.2. The By-Laws have to be approved by the Central Committee, eventually after amending, and shall be binding on all members of the Federation after being adopted by the General Assembly on proposal of the Central Committee.
 
23.3. After being adopted the By-Laws can be modified by the General Assembly on proposal of the Central Committee.
 
23.4. For adoption and modification of the By-Laws a majority of votes in the General Assembly is decisive, irrespective the number of delegates and individual members present. In the invitation for the meeting of the General Assembly in which the By-Laws have to be adopted or modified, the text of the articles shall be stated in full.
 
Art. 24 (Modification of the Constitution)
 
24.1. The existing Constitution may be modified on proposal of the Central Committee by a meeting of the General Assembly held during a congress or by an extraordinary meeting of the General Assembly, convoked by request of the Board or of five National Groups.
 
24.2. In the invitation of such a meeting of the General Assembly the text of the proposed modifications of the Constitution shall be stated in full.
 
24.3. For modification of the Constitution a majority of two-thirds of the votes of all members is required in a meeting of the General Assembly in which at least three-quarters of the National Groups and the individual members is represented.
 
24.4. If no such quorum is formed, a new meeting of the General Assembly shall be called as soon as possible. That meeting may validly transact its business regardless the number of National Groups and individual members represented. This has to be mentioned in the invitation for the meeting of the General Assembly in which the General Assembly has to decide about the modification.
 
24.5. Alterations of the Constitution shall take effect only after they have been executed by a German notary.
 
Art. 25 (Dissolution)
 
25.1. The Federation is wound up if it no longer pursues its stated aims.
 
25.2. An extraordinary meeting of the General Assembly shall be called to decide on a proposal of the Board, seconded by the Central Committee, to dissolve the Federation.
 
25.3. For a decision to dissolve the Federation a majority of two-thirds of the votes of all members is required in a meeting of the General Assembly in which at least three-quarters of the National Groups and the individual members is represented. If no such quorum is formed, a new meeting of the General Assembly shall be called as soon as possible and such meeting may validly transact its business regardless the number of National Groups and individual members represented. This has to be mentioned in the invitation for the meeting in which the General Assembly has to decide about the dissolution.
 
25.4. The Federation shall be wound up by the members of the Board then in office, acting as a liquidating committee.
 
25.5. After all liabilities, expenses and the costs of liquidation have been settled, or all monies required for the purpose deposited, the net assets shall be paid over to the International Committee of the Red Cross.
 
Art. 26 (Final article)
 
The National Groups and individual members submit to the Central Committee's rulings in all cases not provided for in the present Constitution. These rulings are subject to ratification by the General Assembly.
The first Intersteno-congress was held in 1887 in London. This version of the Constitution is adopted in Rome on ...... and replaces the version adopted in Amsterdam on July 20 1995. It was executed by a German notary on ......
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Contents copyrighted © by Gian Paolo Trivulzio except where otherwise noted.
Interface entirely developed and copyrighted © 2002-2017 by Marco Olivo.
All rights reserved.
In loving memory of Gian Paolo Trivulzio.