Policy Development

The following procedure shall be used for developing written policy.

1. Authorship

The relevant Constituency working group Rapporteur will typically be responsible for preparing a first draft of a Business Constituency position or other paper and thereafter coordinating comments. However, any paid-up member of the Constituency is entitled to propose a position paper and, if there is sufficient support, be asked by the Officers to take on this role.

2. Consultation and approval where there is no disagreement

The draft position will be circulated for comment or posted on the web site. Members will be notified that there will be a 14-day period for comment. If no comments are received the position will be deemed approved.

3. Approval where there is initial significant disagreement

Members who seek changes to a draft should submit proposed language in writing. If there are at least three (3) members who oppose a position a mechanism to discuss the issue will be provided by the Rapporteur with the assistance of the Officers. This may be an e-mail discussion, a conference call or discussion at a physical meeting. If the majority of discussion members support the draft position, the position will be deemed approved.

4. Approval where there is continued disagreement

Where the discussion mechanism indicates a split in the Constituency of more than 10% of the number of paid-up members, there will then be a vote (typically by e-mail) on the position. Only the designated representatives of members will be eligible to vote. Proxy votes are allowed subject to written notification to the secretariat by the designated representative of the member before the start of the voting period and subject to the proxy conditions of Section 3.5 of the BC Charter. Only members who have settled their fees will be eligible to vote. A position paper which has the support of at least a simple majority of 51% of the eligible votes in favour will be deemed adopted by the Constituency so long as the total number of members voting represents not less than a quorum of 51% of paid-up members (see §6.1 of the BC Charter). Where a quorum is not reached, the Officers will decide whether a re-vote, re-thinking, or publication of a minority position is required and the process will then repeat as appropriate.

5. Solidarity

When a member declares themselves as speaking in the capacity of a BC member (as opposed to simply speaking for themselves), members shall remain faithful to approved positions. While fulfilling their official role, the Constituency representatives to the Names Council will be required to support such positions en bloc.

6. Updates

From time to time updates may be needed to position papers. The Officers at that time will appoint a Rapporteur to coordinate the revision and the procedure above will be followed.

Issue and representation

One rapporteur (R) is appointed to lead on each major policy issue, to draft position papers when required and act as a spokesperson on the issue. For most active policy groups there is also one support (S) who may deputise for the rapporteur, and one or more observers (O). Council has a variety of voting rules for its different groups. PDP after the issue name means there is an active policy development process.