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Multi-Faith Group for Healthcare Chaplaincy

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ELECTION OF HONORARY OFFICERS


Background

1. The MFGHC constitution approved in November 2002 indicates (section 12) that the honorary officers are elected for a two-year period which is not renewable. The posts are indicated to be rotating between the faith groups. The period of office of post-holders is coming to an end and the purpose of this paper is therefore to propose a process for elections in 2004.

2. There are six main posts to consider: Chair, Vice-Chair, Co-Chairs Education, and Co-Chairs Standards. The current post-holders cannot continue in their current post but could do others. The Council needs to agree an electoral process to run in the early autumn i.e. between the end of the summer holidays and the retirement of the current post-holders in October.


Electoral process

3. The process of the elections would normally be run by the Chief Officer, unless he himself is standing for office in which case an alternate will need to be nominated by the Council. The process will involve issuing a notice about the election for the position; overseeing the nomination process; overseeing the balloting process; and announcing the results of the election. The Chief Officer would be supported by the Executive Committee during this period.

4. It is assumed that the nominations and the balloting process should be confidential and in writing. It would be possible to have elections during meetings but these are often painful for the participants and reliant on the availability of individuals at one time which has not been easy to achieve even with our own routine meetings.

5. It is also assumed that the result of the ballot should be based on a simple majority of votes cast. In the event of a tie, a second ballot should be held. In the event of a second tie, the decision would be made by casting lots.


Election for Chair and Vice-Chair

6. The elections for Chair and Vice-Chair should be run consecutively with the election of Chair first. This will enable members to know who is leading and to support them with an appropriate choice of Vice-Chair. In addition, it will allow an experienced Chair to stand as Vice-Chair and an inexperienced Vice-Chair to stand in support of an experienced Chair.

7. Nominations should be drawn from amongst the existing Council membership and those nominating should ensure that they seek the candidate's agreement to stand before making the nomination. Each candidate would be able to circulate via the Chief Officer a statement of his intentions in office and this would be supplemented by information about attendance.


Election of Co-Chairs for Education and Standards Committees

8. The elections for Co-Chairs for the Education and Standards Committee should be run concurrently after the election for Chair and Vice-Chair. This is not to indicate a packing order but rather to enable the more public positions to be agreed prior to the more internal posts.

9. Nominations should be drawn from amongst the existing Council and Committee memberships and those nominating should ensure that they seek the candidate's agreement to stand before making the nomination. At least one Co-Chair for each Committee should be a member of the Council. Each candidate would be able to circulate via the Chief Officer a statement of their intentions in office and this would be supplemented by information about attendance.


Timetable

10. Subject to the approval of the approach outline above, the timetable for the elections would be as follows:

Nominations for Chair 1st week September
Ballot for Chair 3rd week September
Nominations for Vice-Chair 1st week October
Ballot for Vice-Chair 3rd week October
Nominations for Co-Chairs 1st week November
Ballots for Co-Chairs 3rd week November
Election results reported to Council 1st week December


Proposals

11. The Council agreed the arrangements for elections along the lines set out above at their meeting on 12th May 2004

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