CONSTITUTION AND RULES
IRISH WORKING TERRIER FEDERATION
Adopted on 7th June 2014.
In this constitution, words and expressions shall have the following meanings:-
I.W.T.F. means the Irish Working Terrier Federation.
Irish Working terrier Federation: It is the body comprised of the Affiliated Terrier Clubs affiliated on 24th June 2012.
Affiliated Body: Is the county body which has the support of the majority of Terrier clubs within the county and where this support has been achieved by democratic/constitutional means, and such other body as has been affiliated by democratic vote of the Governing Body of the IWTF.
Management Committee: means the person or persons appointed by the Executive Committee to administer the affairs of an Affiliated Body, or region in which no Affiliated Body or equivalent county body exists, or where such Affiliated Body has for whatsoever reason become disaffiliated.
Associate Member: A Member of an affiliated Working Terrier Club.
Accredited Delegates: On the annual affiliation return form, each Affiliated Body shall submit a list of four persons, any two of whom may act as accredited delegates to a general meeting, provided such persons are Associate Members of the Federation.
Valid Poll: A valid poll shall mean all of the legitimate votes cast by those present at the meeting and voting.
Payment: For the purposes of affiliation, payment shall mean the lodgement of affiliation fees to the Federation account.
The name of the Federation shall be “ The Irish Working Terrier Federation” hereinafter called “the Federation”.
Aims and Objectives:
- To promote the best, most humane and efficient practices in relation to the use of working terriers for pest control purposes.
- To improve public awareness of the manner in which properly conducted terrier work is carried out.
- To encourage new participants to join a recognised working terrier club and to learn from more experienced members.
- To assist, advise and educate the newcomer or less experienced person.
- To unify the working terrier clubs under one umbrella organisation and provide a single reference point and centre of excellence on matters relating to terrier work.
- To counter the activities of those who by their actions, or intent, would bring terrier work into disrepute.
- To protect both the working terrier and its owner from all forms of harmful legislation.
Affiliation & Membership:
a. Each Working Terrier Club and such other bodies as are approved by the Governing Body, shall be entitled to affiliate as a member of the Federation.
The Governing Body shall consist of two duly accredited delegates from each of the Affiliated Bodies together with the members of the Executive Committee.
Trustees: The Federation shall elect three trustees at the Annual General Meeting from among the Associate Members of the Federation. The Trustees shall be nominated by the Affiliated Bodies in accordance with Rule 5. The duties and functions of the Trustees shall only be as directed in writing to the Trustees by the Executive Committee from time to time. Trustees shall be eligible for re-election each year. No serving Officer or Member of the Executive Committee shall be eligible to act as a Trustee.
a. An Executive Committee shall discharge the affairs of the Federation between general meetings.
b. The Executive Committee shall be comprised of ten members, consisting of the Officers of the Federation and six members elected pursuant to Rule 5.
c. The Officers of the federation shall consist of the following: Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Honorary Secretary, Honorary Treasurer.
d. The Executive Committee shall be elected annually by ballot pursuant to Rule 5. If unopposed for election, an officer shall be proposed and seconded at the Annual General Meeting of the Federation and deemed to be elected unanimously.
e. The Executive Committee shall have power to deal with such matters concerning the federation as are not expressly provided for in the Constitution.
The Governing Body shall have the power to appoint such full-time staff as is required for the proper administration of the affairs of the Federation. The Executive Committee may employ such temporary staff as it deems necessary for the proper administration of the affairs of the Federation. All full-time staff positions shall be advertised as they become available, in the national press.
Only the Governing Body shall have authority to terminate the employment contract of the Director.
Standing Orders Committee
A Standing Orders Committee of three people shall be elected each year at the General Meeting immediately preceding the AGM. The term of office of the Standing Orders Committee shall be until the General Meeting immediately preceding the following AGM. Members of the Standing Orders Committee may not hold a position as a Trustee, Disciplinary Panel Member or as a Member of the Governing Body of the Federation and neither shall they represent any County Body. Members of the Standing Orders Committee shall not take part in any debates at General Meetings. Each County Body shall be entitled to nominate one Associate Member for election to the Standing Orders Committee.
RULES OF THE FEDERATION
A Body seeking affiliation shall be required to pay an affiliation fee and comply with such terms of affiliation as agreed by the Governing Body. The affiliation fee shall be reviewed annually at the Annual General Meeting to coincide with the calendar year next ensuing. Affiliation fees so agreed shall become payable on 1st August each year.
All Affiliated Bodies shall submit an annual affiliation return, in such format as may from time to time be prescribed by the Executive Committee. The annual affiliation return and affiliation fee shall be submitted to the Federation’s Administrator/Director so as to arrive not later than 6 weeks before the date of the A.G.M. In the circumstances of the affiliation return and fee being outstanding at the return date, the Affiliated Body concerned shall not be entitled to participate or vote at General Meetings, Extraordinary General Meetings or the next Annual General Meeting of the Federation. In. the event of the Affiliated Body affiliating at a later date its accredited delegates will be entitled to attend the A.G.M. of the Federation of the current year with observer status only.
a. Meetings of the Governing Body of the Federation shall he held at least twice a year, in addition to the Annual General Meeting which shall be held within the period 1st May and 30th October each year.
b. The venue for the Annual General Meeting shall be decided at the previous year’s Annual General Meeting.
c. Any interested organisation or individual may be permitted to attend Annual General Meetings or General Meetings of the Federation on application to and approval by the Executive Committee or by invitation of the Executive Committee or at the discretion of the Administrator/Director in consultation with the Chairman. The Hon. Treasurer’s report shall be confidential to the Members/Associate Members of the Federation.
d. At least eight weeks notice of the Annual General Meeting and at least fourteen days notice of General Meetings, must be given in writing to the Trustees of the Federation, to all members of the Executive Committee, to the Chairman, Hon. Secretary and Accredited Delegates of each Affiliated Body and to such other persons as decided by the Executive Committee.
e. Meetings of the Executive Committee shall be held as required on the direction of the Chairman or on the request of any five members of the Executive Committee.
f. All nominations to the Executive Committee and all resolutions must reach the office of the Federation not later than six (6) weeks before the date of the Annual General Meeting.
g. All Trustees and each Executive Committee Member and each Affiliated Body shall be furnished with the agenda, list of nominees, resolutions, relevant reports, and statement of accounts at least two (2) weeks before the Annual General Meeting.
h. Each Affiliated Body shall be supplied with at least one copy of the Annual Report for each affiliated club.
i. Affiliation fees shall be due on August 1st and must be paid not later than six weeks before the Annual General Meeting.
j. An Extraordinary General Meeting of the Federation shall be called at any time on written application to the Chairman by at least five Affiliated Bodies or on written instructions of the Chairman. The purpose for which the Extraordinary General Meeting is required must be given and only that purpose shall be considered at the meeting. The minimum notice for an Extraordinary General Meeting shall be two days.
k. The quorum for the Annual General Meeting shall be 20 Affiliated Bodies represented by their Accredited Delegates. The quorum for Ordinary and Extraordinary General Meetings of the Federation shall be 36 members of the Governing Body. The quorum for Executive Committee meetings shall be eight (8). The quorum for all meetings of the Federation shall be checked at the commencement of the meetings and thereafter, the quorum should be checked at the start of each session of business.
a. Voting in elections shall be by Accredited Delegates only. Each voting Delegate shall be issued with a delegate voting card at the time of registration at the AGM.
b. Voting for any purpose, other than in elections, shall be by Members of the Governing Body. The Members of the Executive Committee shall have the right to vote, subject to any person not having more than one vote, except where there is an equality of votes, where the Chairman shall be required to exercise a casting vote.
c. All elections shall be by secret ballot.
d. Voting in all other matters may be by secret ballot, at the discretion of the Chairman.
e. Proxy voting shall not be permitted.
f. Where a two thirds majority rule applies, two-thirds majority shall mean two-thirds of the total valid poll.
g. To secure election, an Officer must receive half plus one of the total valid poll.
h. In the case of non-officer positions, the seven candidates receiving the highest number of votes shall be deemed elected. In the event of a tie for final positions, a further ballot shall be held between the tied candidates, and the candidates with the highest number of votes shall be deemed elected.
i. In the event of a vacancy arising on the Executive Committee due to a Member resigning or otherwise unable to discharge his/her duties, such vacancy shall be filled by co-option at the next Executive Committee meeting. The person co-opted shall be the nominee to the Executive Committee at the preceding AGM with the next highest vote. In the event of the next highest vote being tied, the position shall be filled by lottery.
a. The Executive Committee shall be empowered to limit to four the number of Resolutions submitted by any Affiliated Body to an Annual General Meeting.
b. Only those resolutions which appear on the agenda for the Annual General Meeting shall be debated.
c. Each resolution shall be formally proposed and seconded. A proposing Affiliated Body shall not second its own proposal.
d. Resolutions shall be voted upon as they appear on the agenda, unless they are withdrawn or ruled out of order by the Chairman and shall not be amended in any form. However the Chairman may rule that two or more resolutions are related and may be taken together, with the agreement of the relevant proposers.
e. The Executive Committee may propose resolutions to the Annual General Meeting. Executive Committee resolutions must be seconded by someone other than an Executive Committee Member.
f. When an Annual General Meeting has carried a resolution, this decision may only be altered at a subsequent Annual General Meeting by a two-third majority.
a. All Nominations shall be by Affiliated Bodies.
b. Nominees for election must signify in writing their willingness to stand for election not later than three weeks prior to the Annual General Meeting.
c. To be eligible for election to the Executive Committee, or as a Trustee, a nominee must have been an Associate Member of the Federation since the preceding 15th September.
d. Any Associate Member who is not in attendance at the AGM shall not be eligible for election unless prior notice of the reason for absence is submitted to either the Chairman, Director or Hon Secretary.
e. A person who is not an Associate Member shall not be entitled to hold any position on any Committee or Affiliated Body of the IWTF.
f. A Working Terrier club which admits to membership or elects or appoints a Non-Associate Member to any position shall forthwith void the protection of the members of the Committee in the course of the discharge of their duties of office.
g. An Affiliated Body which elects or appoints a Non-Associate Member to any position shall forthwith cease to be a member of the IWTF.
h. Any Associate Member, Working Terrier club or Affiliated Body which enters into legal proceedings or threatens legal proceedings against the IWTF shall not be entitled to attend or participate in any meetings or events of the IWTF or receive any communication until such time as the legal proceedings have been determined or the threat withdrawn.
i A person shall not be entitled to hold any position on the committee, or publicly promote fund raising including organising a working dog event, if through their actions they would bring the IWTF into disrepute.
These actions would include, posting inappropriate hunting images on social media sites, engaging in disputes on internet forums that would tarnish the image of the federation.
The time period of exclusion is 3 years.
The Chairman, whose term of office shall not exceed three (3) consecutive years, excluding any term he/she may have served as a result of the untimely departure of his/her predecessor, shall have overall responsibility for the day-to-day functioning of the Federation, including the management of staff.
The Vice-Chairman shall, in the absence of the Chairman, carry out the functions of the Chairman.
c. In the event of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman being unable to attend a scheduled meeting, the Governing Body Members or Executive Committee Members shall elect a Chairman who shall chair the particular meeting, provided a quorum is present.
d. All Officers and Executive Committee Members shall carry out whatever duties are assigned to them from time to time by the Governing Body or Executive Committee.
a. The Executive Committee shall appoint a Finance Committee.
b. The Finance Committee shall carry out such duties as are assigned to it by the Executive Committee.
a. The Governing Body may from time to time borrow or raise or secure the payment of money for the purpose of the Federation in such manner or on such terms as may seem expedient.
b. The Executive Committee may from time to time borrow or raise or secure the payment of money for the purpose of the Federation within limits set by the Governing Body.
c. The accounts of the Federation, shall be audited annually by an, independent firm of Chartered Accountants appointed at the Annual General Meeting, and which shall also check the accounts on a quarterly basis.
d. The Executive Committee shall manage Federation Funds.
a. All payments must be passed at a General Meeting or Executive Committee Meeting.
b. All monies received by the Federation must be deposited in the Federation Bank Account as agreed by the Governing Body. Cheques must be signed by any two of the following Officers:- Hon. Treasurer; Chairman or Vice-Chairman.
a. Expenses, at approved rates, of the Governing Body attending meetings of the Federation shall be defrayed from the funds of the Federation. In the case of Accredited Delegates, expenses incurred shall be payable to the relevant Affiliated Body. A member of the Governing Body acting in a dual capacity shall not be entitled to receive more than one reimbursement of expenses.
b. Expenses incurred on approved Federation business, at approved rates, of the Members of the Executive Committee and other specified persons shall be defrayed from the funds of the Federation and paid to the individual. Claims for expenses, other than for travel/subsistence shall be supported by vouchers/receipts where this is practical and possible. The Executive Committee may request supporting evidence for any claim.
c. Honoraria (Payment given for professional services) and Expense Rates shall be approved at the Annual General Meeting.
a. No Associate Member of the Federation shall derive any financial gain (other than honoraria and approved expenses) from or through his membership of the Federation.
b. No Associate Member of the Federation shall be involved in commercial exploitation.
The Annual Subscription of the Associate Members, shall be determined by the Governing Body, by resolution to the Annual General Meeting. A portion of the Annual Subscription, to be determined by the Governing Body, following a recommendation of the Fund Board and on the advice of the Executive Committee, shall be used exclusively for the purpose of Article VII of the Constitution.
a. An Affiliated Body shall have a written constitution and rules, a copy of which shall be lodged with the Federation.
b. Each Affiliated Body shall hold an Annual General Meeting each year to elect its Officers and Delegates to the Federation.
COMPLAINTS TO DISCIPLINARY BOARD
(A) Every year, the Executive Committee shall establish a panel of not less that six Associate Members, any three of which will act as a Disciplinary Board should the need arise, for ratification by the Governing Body at the Federation’s Annual General Meeting. The panel shall comprise persons who will have skill or knowledge or understanding such as will enable them to efficiently administer and determine a complaint in accordance with the principles of natural justice. A Disciplinary Board of three will be selected from the panel by lot in the event of a complaint being made. Any member of the panel who is connected to any side in a complaint shall not take part on the Disciplinary Board for the hearing of that complaint. The Disciplinary Board shall be chaired by a member of the National Executive who will not have a vote and who will not serve in any Executive Committee which hears an appeal arising from a decision of the Disciplinary Board which he/she has chaired. No other member of the Executive Committee shall serve as a member of the Disciplinary Board.
The Disciplinary Board shall hear and determine any complaint, whether made by the Executive Committee or a Member of the Executive Committee or an Affiliated Body or a non-voting Associate Member or the Compensation Fund Board, that either an Affiliated Body or a non-voting Associate Member have acted in a manner damaging to the interests of the Federation and in event of the Disciplinary Board so determining, the Disciplinary Board shall be entitled to disaffiliate, suspend, fine, award costs against or impose any other sanction it considers appropriate on the party against whom the complaint has been made. Where a complaint is withdrawn, the Disciplinary Board shall be entitled to take account of the time and expense incurred by the respondent and the Board itself up to the time of withdrawal and may levy those costs, or portion of them, against the complainant if the Board considers it to be appropriate in the circumstances. An Executive Committee Member, other than the one selected to be chairperson of the Disciplinary Board, or a Trustee shall not be eligible for election to the Disciplinary Board. The Board’s term of office shall be one year.
(B) The Disciplinary Board shall inform the Affiliated Body or the Associate Member against whom the complaint has been made of its decision as soon as is practical following the conclusion of the Disciplinary Proceedings.
(C) The Disciplinary Board shall adopt procedures in accordance with the established principles of natural justice for the investigation of any complaint and the conduct of Disciplinary Proceedings and shall notify the Affiliated Body or the Associate Member against whom a complaint has been made of such procedures in advance of the hearing of the complaint.
(D) All complaints shall be submitted in writing by a complainant to the Federation’s Director who shall act as Secretary to the Disciplinary Board. Upon receipt by the Director of any complaint, he shall convene a meeting of the Disciplinary Board as soon as is practical. A complaint which is not submitted in accordance with this provision, shall be rejected by the Disciplinary Board.
(E) Should a Disciplinary Board not have brought to a conclusion Disciplinary Proceedings prior to the expiry of its term of office, then the term of office of that Disciplinary Board shall be extended until the complaint has been determined.
(F) In the event of a person ceasing to be a member of the panel, the Executive Committee shall have the power to co-opt a replacement.
(G) On receipt of a complaint, the Disciplinary Board shall inform the person or body against whom the complaint is made of the details then in the Board’s possession, including all relevant documentation as soon as possible but not later than fourteen days from the date of receipt of the complaint. On receipt of details of the complaint from the Disciplinary Board, the person or body against whom the complaint is made shall respond as soon as possible but not later than fourteen days from receipt of the details.
(H) On receiving a complaint, the Disciplinary Board shall meet at the earliest opportunity to examine the complaint to ensure that it is consistent with the definition of a complaint as defined in paragraph 19A and shall make a determination on this point.
(I) The Disciplinary Board may at its discretion, having regard to all the circumstances prevailing, deal with a complaint in an informal manner between the parties.
APPEALS TO THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
(A) Any Affiliated Body or Associate Member against whom a complaint has been upheld by the Disciplinary Board, shall be entitled to appeal the decision of the Disciplinary Board to the Executive Committee within two weeks (fourteen days) of being notified in writing by the Disciplinary Board of its decision. The appellant shall be required to specify the grounds of the appeal indicating whether the appeal is against the severity of the sanction imposed by the Disciplinary Board or the upholding by the Disciplinary Board of the original complaint.
(B) The Executive Committee shall have the power to hear and determine any appeal. The Executive Committee, in upholding a decision of the Disciplinary Board, shall be entitled to affirm the sanction imposed by the Disciplinary Board or any sanction the Executive Committee shall deem appropriate including disaffiliation, suspension, fine or award costs against the party against whom the complaint has been upheld.
(C) The Executive Committee shall adopt procedures in accordance with the established principles of natural justice for the conduct of the appeal and direct such investigations or enquiries as it considers necessary prior to the hearing of the appeal and the Executive Committee shall notify the appellant of such procedures in advance of the hearing of the appeal.
(D) A Management Committee as defined (see definitions) shall only be appointed when the Affiliated Body concerned has availed of its constitutional right of appeal and said procedure has been concluded or in the event of an Affiliated Body not taking up its right of appeal.
Membership renewal following a complaint.
Where an Executive Committee Member or an Associate Member or an Affiliated Body against whom a complaint has been made in accordance with rule 19 ceases for whatsoever reason to be an Executive Committee Member, an Associate Member or an Affiliated Body prior to the complaint having been determined by the Executive Committee, no application for renewed membership or re-affiliation will be entertained until such time as the applicant has answered to the satisfaction of the Executive Committee the complaints made, reserving to the Executive Committee absolute discretion to decline the applicant’s application for renewed membership or re-affiliation as the case may be.
A disaffiliated Affiliated Body or a disaffiliated Officer, Executive Committee Member or Associate Member, may only be re-admitted to the Federation at An Annual General Meeting or Extraordinary General Meeting and then only by Resolution and carried by a (2/3) two-thirds majority.
Any of the following persons may issue printed material in the name of the Federation: Chairman, Honorary Secretary. In the preparation of written texts one other of the aforementioned shall be consulted.
An Arbitration Board may be set up by the Executive Committee, to which disputes or disagreements between Affiliated Bodies may be referred. The findings of the Board will be binding. An Arbitration Board may be set up at the request of any (1) one involved party.
Cessation of the Federation.
Should the federation cease to exist, the Federation’s Trustees at that time shall act as Trustees for all the assets of the Federation until the expiry of the period prescribed by law for the pursuance of claims against the Federation. The Trustees may appoint solicitors who shall act on the direction of the Trustees. Following such period, all the remaining assets of the Federation shall be distributed among the Affiliated Bodies affiliated to the IWTF on the date of the previous Annual General Meeting, in proportion to the number of their Associate Members.
Changes/Amendments to the Constitution
Changes or amendments to the Constitution may only be enacted by Resolution at an Annual General Meeting or Extraordinary General Meeting and then only by a (2/3) two-thirds majority of the total valid poll.
This Constitution was adopted unanimously at an Inaugural General Meeting of the Federation on 24th June 2012.