FAN Terms of Reference
*This page will be updated in 2021. An FR version can be found at the end of the page*
FORUM OF NATIONAL ARCHIVISTS
TERMS OF REFERENCE
1. Pursuant to Article 15 of the International Council on Archives (ICA) Constitution there shall be a Forum of National Archivists (FAN). The International Council on Archives’ Constitution allows for the membership, structure, schedule, resourcing and formal relationships of the Forum of National Archivists.
2. These Terms of Reference were drafted in March 2018 to provide refreshed governance arrangements for FAN, pending formal adoption at the 2018 Annual Conference and incorporation into the ICA Constitution at the 2020 Congress.
3. FAN is empowered by the ICA Constitution to develop high-level strategic responses to the contemporary challenges of managing archives.
4. FAN aims to support all members of the ICA by developing strategic responses that may be applied by all levels of membership and not just those eligible for membership of FAN.
5. High-level strategic responses will be tangible products that include, but are not limited to, position papers, policy statements, model policies, model legislation and partnerships.
6. FAN is autonomous in that it determines its own agenda and priorities. FAN collaborates with the ICA through the FAN President’s membership of the ICA’s Executive Board and Programme Commission. It communicates with ICA members through reports to the General Assembly and annual conferences and where appropriate through collaboration with the ICA’s expert groups and sections.
7. The Forum of National Archivists consists of all those institutional members which are central archive directorates or national archival institutions as set out in article 4.1.a of the International Council on Archives Constitution.
8. Each institutional member will have a single vote in FAN elections and at FAN meetings. Usually membership of FAN will be conferred on the person leading the institution (e.g. the national archivist) but the institutional member may, with the agreement of the President of FAN, nominate another official from the institution to deputise and participate in FAN activities, including service as an Appointed member of the Steering Committee.
9. FAN will be led by an elected President and a Steering Committee.
10.The President is responsible for:
• Convening and determining the agenda of the Steering Committee.
• Executing the decisions made by the Steering Committee.
• Representing FAN on the ICA’s Executive Board and Programme Commission.
11.The Steering Committee will comprise:
• The President of FAN
• Four elected members, one from each of 4 ICA world regions (as specified in article 5.1.i of the ICA Constitution) to ensure effective collaboration between FAN and ICA’s regional branches:
o Africa and the Arab Countries
o Asia and Oceania
o Europe and North America
o Latin America and the Caribbean
• Up to three members appointed by the President to provide expertise on, or leadership for, key strands of FAN’s work programme.
• Ex officio, the President of the ICA, the Vice-President Finance, the VicePresident Programmes, the President of the Section of Professional Associations and the Secretary-General of the ICA.
12.The FAN Steering Committee may nominate one of the Elected Members to serve as Vice-President.
13.Eligibility for Elected membership of the Steering Committee, including as President, is restricted to those leading the member institutions.
14.Any person nominated to participate in FAN activities under paragraphs 7 and 8 above, may be appointed by the President to serve as an Appointed member of the Steering Committee.
ELECTIONS AND TERMS OF OFFICE
15.The President will be elected by the membership of FAN for a term of two years, and may seek re-election for one consecutive term. Terms of office shall run from the ICA’s Annual Conference/Congress to the Annual Conference/Congress held two years later. The outgoing President may, if asked by the incoming President, continue to attend meetings of the Steering Committee in an advisory (i.e. nonvoting) capacity for a period of one year after the end of their term.
16.Elected members of the Steering Committee will be elected for a term of two years, and may seek re-election for one consecutive term. Terms of office shall run from the ICA’s Annual Conference/Congress to the Annual Conference/Congress held two years later. Any Elected member may at any time, if agreed by the Steering Committee, also serve as Vice-President of FAN.
17.Members of FAN having previously held elected office within FAN, either as President or as an Elected member of the Steering Committee, may serve further terms in either role providing there has been a break in service of at least two years.
18.The term limits at paragraphs 16 and 17 above do not apply to Elected members who seek election as President; and such a member who is duly elected may serve as President on the terms outlined at paragraph 15 above.
19.Appointed members of the Steering Committee may serve only one term of two years, and may continue on the Steering Committee only by seeking election as President or as the Elected member representing their region. Elected members may not serve a term as an Appointed member consecutive to their elected term, but may subsequently serve as an Appointed member providing there has been a break in service on the Steering Committee of at least two years.
ARRANGEMENTS FOR CURTAILED TERMS AND INTERIM LEADERSHIP
20.In the event of any Elected Official of FAN stepping down during their term, an election will be held prior to the next Annual Conference or Congress (whichever comes first).
21.Should the President step down during their term, the ICA President may, after consultation with the Vice-President Finance and Vice-President Programmes, appoint an Interim President from within the FAN membership to serve until a new elected President takes office.
MECHANISM FOR REMOVAL OF ELECTED OFFICIALS
22.The President of FAN may be removed by a motion of no confidence at a meeting of FAN held at the ICA Annual Conference – the motion to be carried by a simple majority of institutional members present at the meeting. Should the President of FAN be removed using this mechanism, an Interim President may be appointed as at paragraph 21 above to serve until such point as an election for a new President can be held. The outgoing President may not be a candidate in this election.
23.Elected members of the Steering Committee may be removed by a vote of no confidence by a simple majority of the institutional members within their region. A no-confidence ballot will be triggered if requested in writing (to the President of FAN) by a third of eligible institutional members from the region concerned. The ballot will be conducted electronically by the FAN Secretariat. The post will remain vacant until such point as an election for a new Elected member can be held. The outgoing Elected member may not be a candidate in this election.
24.Any elected or appointed member of the Steering Committee who fails to attend two consecutive meetings of the committee without reasonable explanation shall be deemed to have resigned. The place thus vacated shall be filled according to the provisions set out above.
25.Resourcing to enable the activities of FAN will be provided by the ICA, as agreed by the ICA’s Executive Board. This will usually include resources to support the Secretariat for FAN which will be responsible for:
• Supporting the President to convene and determine the agenda of the Steering Committee.
• Providing administration for FAN meetings, including minuting the meeting.
• Conducting elections for the President and the four Elected members of the Steering Committee.
26.The Forum of National Archivists will meet within the framework of the ICA Annual Conference.
27.The FAN Steering Committee will meet at each annual conference or congress and may meet more frequently (as determined by the President).
28.Meetings of the FAN Steering Committee will be quorate with the attendance of the President and at least three other members of the Committee. The Steering Committee may only convene without the President with the express permission of the President, who may nominate one of the Elected members (the VicePresident if one has been appointed) to serve as chair for the meeting. Attendance may be by any electronic means of communication as are available at the appointed location.
29.The Steering Committee will usually attempt to reach decisions by consensus, but if this cannot be achieved the President will have the authority to conclude discussion and make a decision. Such instances should be minuted and should be included in any regular report made by the President of FAN to the ICA Programme Board or Executive Board (as required by these bodies).
ADOPTION AND REVIEW OF THESE INTERIM TERMS OF REFERENCE
30.These interim terms of reference have been prepared for discussion at the April 2018 FAN Reboot meeting and for circulation to the wider FAN membership.
31.Subject to any changes agreed, these interim terms of reference will be adopted for immediate use in the governance of FAN. Nominations will be sought for the President and Elected Members, to serve a term from the Annual Conference in November 2018 to the Congress in 2020.
32.The Terms of Reference will be presented for formal adoption at the 2018 ICA Annual Conference and incorporation into the ICA Constitution at the 2020 Congress.
33.The Terms of Reference for FAN will be reviewed annually by the FAN Steering Committee. Any proposed amendments should be presented for adoption at the following conference/congress.