FIRST STEP on the road to allowing associate members and incorporated members more of a voice in Institution policy making was agreed at the Council meeting.
Council decided to seek an amendment from the Privy Council to bylaw 61 dealing with voting rights for territorial members of Council. The new bylaw would allow associate members who are incorporated engineers the right to vote for territorial members who must be corporate members of the ICE.
This is a key plank of the Presidential Future Framework Commission's recommendations on making the ICE Council more representative.
Currently AMs who are IEngs can vote for general Council members but not for territoral members. This anomaly arose when the bylaws were last amended in 1995. Almost 80% of ICE members had voted to allow AMs who are IEngs voting rights for all categories of Council member. But the amendment on territorial voting was subject to different interpretations, the Privy Council decided, and could be taken to mean that non-corporate members of the ICE could also stand for election as territorial Council members. The Privy Council was concerned that this could result in a Council with a majority of non- corporate members, breaching ICE's charter. It would not let the amendment stand.
Director General Roger Dobson explained that after discussion the Privy Council was pre- pared to accept a slightly re- worded amendment to the relevant bylaw 61. As the membership had already been balloted on the issue and approved the intention, Council had the auth- ority to agree the change, he said.
Peter Guthrie pointed out that under the current constitution of the ICE Council it was impossible for there to be more non-corporate than corporate members. He urged Council to accept the bylaw change as a first step to allowing limited number of AMs who are IEngs to stand as territorial members.
However, it was pointed out that the Privy Council had highlighted one difficulty, that not all members of Council attend every meeting and it was possible, if all territorial members could be non-corporate ICE members, that there would be a charter-busting imbalance of corporate and non-corporate members at the meeting.