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News & Notices

Minutes of 72nd Meeting of Bureau
11-12 August 1999, Berlin, Germany

12 August, 1999

National Representatives: A Policy Statement by the Bureau

The Bureau has discussed the role of National Representatives, particularly in relation to the integrated program approved by the Bureau in September 1998 to improve the organization and management of IUPAC's scientific activities. Bylaw 4.305 provides for the nomination and appointment of National Representatives, but defines their role solely by stating that they may attend Commission meetings. In fact, National Representatives participate in a range of activities within Commissions and Standing Committees, particularly the Committee on Teaching of Chemistry. The program approved by the Bureau envisions the termination in 2001 of current Commissions and ultimate reliance on a much smaller number of Commissions, together with a large number of Task Groups formed to carry out specific projects.

One of the aims of the new program is to open participation in IUPAC activities to the worldwide chemistry community. Any individual or group in any country or countries may submit a proposal for an IUPAC project and recommend people to carry out the project. The project-driven system thus has the potential to broaden participation internationally. However, the Bureau believes that each National Adhering Organization should have assurance that its scientists can participate in the full range of the Union's activities. The program approved last year specified that a limited number of National Representatives may be named to Division Committees, which will become the focus of the scientific activities. Although the size of each Division Committee must remain relatively small in order to carry out its business efficiently, the Bureau believes that some flexibility in numbers of National Representatives should be allowed.

Several NAOs have indicated that they would be able and willing to recommend candidates for Task Groups. In addition to such names being considered as part of the core membership of the Task Group, the Bureau believes that each NAO should be able to nominate National Representatives in much the way that they have nominated such Representatives to Commissions. Since each Task Group is to be devoted to a specific project, a National Representative must clearly be qualified and be willing to participate in the project.

The Bureau has adopted the following policies:

A National Representative, as defined in Bylaw 4.305, may be appointed as a non-voting member of a Division Committee on nomination by a National Adhering Organization and approval by the Division Committee. Normally the number of National Representatives on each Division Committee will be limited to six, but the Executive Committee may approve a larger number if requested by a Division Committee. A National Representative to a Division Committee is expected to participate (usually by e-mail) in the work of the Committee, including the provision of advice, where appropriate, concerning proposals for projects and Task Groups. The term of appointment is two years, renewable once. Exceptional circumstances must be established and approval of the Executive Committee must be obtained for appointment of a National Representative from a country that already has a Titular or Associate Member on the Committee.

A National Representative may be appointed to a Task Group on nomination by a National Adhering Organization and approval by the chairman of the Task Group. [In some instances the Division President or Chairman of the Task Group may suggest to the NAO the nomination of a specific person.] The appointment will normally run for the duration of the Task Group. A National Representative to a Task Group is expected to have expertise in the subject of the Task Group's project and to contribute (normally by e-mail) to the work of the Task Group.

Travel and subsistence expenses of National Representatives are normally not paid by IUPAC. National Adhering Organizations are encouraged to provide funds or to seek outside funds to permit occasional participation of National Representatives in meetings of Division Committees and Task Groups.

The Bureau has asked the Secretary General and the Secretariat to remain in close contact with NAOs and with Division Officers to ensure that these provisions are fully implemented and that National Representatives are given an opportunity to participate actively.

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