The General Assembly (GA) in London in June 2009 adopted new Bylaws for the organization. The need for revision of some parts of the IHEU Bylaws had been apparent for some time, and at the GA in 2007 it was decided to prepare a major revision in time for the GA in 2009. It was also decided to implement a new three-layer Bylaws structure. At the top level are the Bylaws, the basic regulations on what the IHEU is. They are supposed to be changed only on rare occasions. At the second level are the Internal Rules, a document that the GA may have to change from time to time. At the third level are the Specific Rules documents, and those are maintained by the EC.
One of the goals of the Bylaws revision was to give national Member Organizations from developing countries more influence at the General Assembly. Additionally, many other changes were called for, and the new Bylaws and Internal Rules are in many ways different from the previous ones. However, most of these changes are updates of a kind that is necessary to bring the Bylaws and Internal Rules in line with current IHEU practice, with English law and with good business practice.
The major changes were:
- The new three-layer structure was implemented
- The purpose of the IHEU was updated to include the minimum statement
- Better description of the duties of the GA and the EC
- Description of GA agenda
- Description of EC responsibilities, powers, duties of care etc
- Membership benefits and obligations were specified
- New definition of membership categories
- New groups of dues calculation
- Membership representation at the GA was changed
- New groups of vote calculation at the GA
- Adjusted some deadlines in preparation for the GA
- Incorporated “best practice” for organizations and business where possible
Some of the third level documents had been in existence for some time, and a few will be developed during 2009. Here is the list of those documents:
- Financial regulations
- Regulations for international representatives
- Congress regulations (protocol)
- Membership and Dues regulations
- Executive Committee regulations
- Human relations regulations (employees, consultants, officers and volunteers)
The GA also adopted the following transitional arrangements:
- The Bylaws and Internal rules come into effect immediately.
- The new membership categories and relevant fees will apply from 1 January 2010.
- If some MOs have to change membership category, the Executive Committee shall propose this to the MOs in question. If the EC and MO do not agree on the new category, the question shall be decided by the next GA.
- The Executive Committee is authorized to resolve any other issues that may arise, and will report them to the next GA.