The Group shall be known as ”The Primary Health Care Specialist Group of the British Computer Society.
In this constitution, unless otherwise specified, ”Group means ”The Primary Health Care Specialist Group of the British Computer Society, ”BCS means ”The British Computer Society, ”General Committee means that body of members who are elected, appointed or co-opted under Section 6 of this Constitution and ”Executive Committee means that body of Officers of the Group who are elected or appointed at the Annual General Meeting or by the General Committee.
The objectives of the Group are: -
- To promote and support the use and development of Informatics in Primary Health Care.
- To encourage, instigate and support research into Informatics in Primary Health Care and to assist in the publication of the results of such research.
- To provide appropriate meetings and conferences for the purpose of discussion and to encourage the exchange of ideas and developments in Informatics in Primary Health Care.
- To act as an information resource and encourage wider dissemination of ideas about Informatics in Primary Health Care.
- To encourage all those involved in Primary Health Care to develop an understanding of the potential of Informatics in promoting the effective delivery of Primary Health Care.
- To liaise and interact with appropriate BCS specialist groups and with any other bodies concerned with Health Care in order to improve the awareness of the benefits of computer assisted medicine.
- To be the voice of the BCS in all matters relating to Informatics in Primary Health Care.
- To maintain appropriate international links with bodies concerned with Primary Health Care and with Informatics.
- To liaise with and encourage the highest standards in the industry concerned with Informatics in Primary Health Care.
- To encourage professional standards within the membership of the Group with a view to encouraging their membership of the BCS at the appropriate grade.
- Anyone interested in Informatics in Primary Health Care may join the Group.
- An annual subscription shall be levied as set out in Section 13.
- The Group shall encourage all its members to join the BCS at an appropriate level.
The Officers of the Group shall be :- President, Chairman, Vice-chairman, Treasurer and Secretary. With the exception of the President, such Officers shall be elected to serve for a period of two years, such election normally being made at the Annual General Meeting. Officers may be re-elected for subsequent terms of office. In the event of an Officer or Officers NOT being elected at an Annual General Meeting such Officers shall be appointed by the General Committee as soon as possible after the Annual General Meeting, such an appointment to be ratified by election at the next following Annual General Meeting and the period of office to run as if that person had been elected at the previous Annual General Meeting. If, due to unforeseen circumstances, an Officer shall retire, resign or otherwise stand down, due to whatever reason, part way through the two year term of office, then the General Committee shall similarly appoint a replacement such appointment to be ratified by election at the next following Annual General Meeting and the period of office to run as if that person had been elected at such previous Annual General Meeting from which he or she would normally have served. In the event of there being more than one candidate nominated for any Officer post, a ballot shall be held to determine the successful candidate.
A President may be elected from time to time by the membership at the Annual General Meeting. The duties and term of office of such a president shall be determined by the General Committee from time to time and such decisions shall be ratified at the next following Annual General Meeting.
A Chairman shall be elected by the membership at alternate Annual General Meetings for a period of two years. The person elected should normally be a Member of the BCS at the grade of Fellow, Member, Associate or Companion. In the event of this not being the case, permission to appoint or elect a non-member, on a temporary basis, must be sought from the Vice-President (Technical) of the BCS.
A Vice-Chairman shall be elected by the membership at alternate Annual General Meetings to assist the Chairman and to deputise when the Chairman is not available. The election will normally take place in alternate years to that of the Chairman.
A Treasurer shall be elected at alternate Annual General Meetings to serve for a period of two years. The person elected should normally be a member of the BCS at the grade of Fellow, Member, Associate or Companion. In the event of this not being the case, permission to elect a non-member, on a temporary basis, must be sought from the Vice-President (Technical) of the BCS.
A Secretary shall be elected at alternate Annual General Meetings to serve for a period of two years. The Secretary shall likewise normally be a professional member of the BCS.
- General Committee Members
At least ten members of the Group shall be elected by the membership at Annual General Meetings to serve as the General Committee. Each member shall normally serve for two years and up to but not more than half the Committee shall retire by rotation every two years, retiring members being eligible to offer themselves for re-election if they so wish. Should a Committee member stand down, resign or retire due to unforeseen circumstances before the expiry of his or her term of office the General Committee shall have the power to appoint a successor, such appointment to be ratified by election at the next following Annual General Meeting, the ensuing term of office to run until the term of office of the retiring or resigning member would normally expire.
- Other Officers
The General Committee shall elect the following officers at its first meeting after the Annual General Meeting: - Minutes Secretary, Membership Secretary, Journal Editor, Telematics Officer and Conference Coordinator. Other officers and posts may be created and approved from time to time as found necessary, the term of office of such posts to be determined as seems appropriate.
6. Administrative Staff
- In order to assist the Officers of the Group, the Executive Committee shall, if appropriate, appoint an Administrator and such Assistants as shall be deemed necessary from time to time. The duties of the Administrator and any assistant staff shall include the day to day running of the Office of the Primary Health Care Specialist Group after liaising, where appropriate, with the relevant Officer or Officers of the Group but the overall responsibility for the delegation of any such duties and the outcome of such delegation to the Administrator shall remain the responsibility of the appropriate Officers of the Group.
- The remuneration of the Administrator and any Assistants shall be determined by annual review by the Chairman, Treasurer and whichever other members of the Executive Committee as shall seem appropriate at the time of the review.
To assist the Administrative Staff and Officers of the Group in the business of running the Group, various items of equipment, such as telephones, computers, photocopiers, facsimile machines, printers etc., shall be purchased, leased or otherwise acquired in a manner which seems appropriate from time to time by the Group for use by the said Administrative Staff and Officers. An accurate record of such equipment shall be kept at such premises as shall from time to time be used as the Offices of the Group and such equipment shall remain the property of the Group, being subject to immediate return by the person using it when he or she shall cease to hold office, whatsoever that office shall have been.
The Administrator, acting in conjunction with or with the authority of the General Committee, or Officers of the Group, shall be empowered to lease, purchase or otherwise negotiate the use of, in whatever way seems appropriate from time to time, premises which are suitable and sufficient for the business of conducting the affairs of the Group in an adequate and efficient manner.
9. General Committee
- The General Committee shall consist of the Elected Officers, Elected Members and Co-opted Members.
- The General Committee shall normally meet at least four time a year and in any case at least twice a year.
- Meetings shall normally be conducted by the Chairman. In the absence of the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman shall conduct meetings.
- In the absence of both the Chairman and Vice-Chairman, those members present shall appoint one of their number to be Acting Chairman for the duration of the meeting.
- At any meeting of the General Committee, six elected members shall constitute a quorum. Any decisions (whether of policy or finance) taken at a non-quorate meeting shall require ratification by a subsequent quorate meeting of the General Committee. Any Officers (or committee members) appointed by such no-quorate meetings shall be deemed to exist in an ”Acting" capacity until so ratified.
- All matters to be decided at Committee meetings shall be determined by a show of hands unless a ballot is demanded by at least one third of those elected Committee members present. The Chairman of the meeting shall not normally have a vote but in the event of a tied vote, shall have a casting vote.
- The General Committee shall Co-opt as many committee members as are necessary to fulfil the following requirements:-
- Representation from other bodies concerned with Primary Health Care Computing.
Members required for specific purposes (whether or not they are members of the Group) who shall serve for a specified time.
- Co-opted members of the General Committee shall not be entitled to vote at committee meetings unless they are also members of the Group in their own right.
- Representation from other bodies concerned with Primary Health Care Computing.
- The Chairman may, at his or her discretion, invite ordinary members of the Group to attend meetings as long as they withdraw on request if confidential matters are to be discussed. Similarly, ordinary members of the Group may attend General Committee meetings if they so wish after giving suitable prior warning and subject to the same proviso. In either case, such ordinary members shall not have voting rights.
- A correct and accurate record of the activities of the Group and minutes of all Committee meetings shall be kept.
- Public or Press announcements on behalf of the Group shall only be made by Officers of the Group unless specifically arranged otherwise by the Chairman.
10. Special Interest Groups
The General Committee shall be empowered to authorize the formation of certain Sub-Committees or Special Interest Groups whose function shall be to examine, in more detail than is possible in General Committee, various aspects of Primary Health Care Computing. Such Special Interest Groups (SIGs) shall be largely autonomous and shall each appoint a Chairman whose responsibility it shall be to report the activities of the Special Interest Group at each meeting of the General Committee of the Group. The Chairman of a Special Interest Group shall normally be a member of the General Committee. In the event of the Chairman of a Special Interest Group not being a member of the General Committee, that Chairman shall be invited to attend such Committee Meetings or parts of Committee Meetings as are appropriate in order to present a report. Where it is not possible for the Chairman of a Special Interest Group to report activities in person, they shall appoint a deputy or submit a written report.
11. Annual general meetings
- An Annual General Meeting shall be held in September of each year. (This is at variance with normal BCS Specialist Group policy but has been decided by the Group due to particular circumstances).
- All members shall be given at least twenty-one clear days notice of an Annual General Meeting. Such notice should indicate the business to be transacted.
- The Annual General Meeting of the Group should:-
- Receive the Annual Report of the Chairman
- Receive and if appropriate approve the Treasurer‘s Report and Annual Accounts.
- Re-appoint the Auditors if appropriate or otherwise take such action as seems appropriate at the time.
- Receive reports from officers of the Group and from the Special Interest Groups.
- Elect the Chairman or Vice-Chairman and, if appropriate, the Treasurer and/or Secretary for the coming two year term of office.
- Approve and ratify by election the appointment of any officers appointed in the period since the last Annual General Meeting.
- Elect or re-elect that half of the General Committee who are standing down and may be offering themselves for re-election, together with any new nominations which may have been received. Where there are more candidates for election than there are vacancies, a ballot shall be held. Each candidate may be asked to provide a short résumé, either written or verbal, to guide the membership as to why he or she should be elected.
- Receive and, if necessary debate, any other business which it is proper to hear at the Annual General Meeting.
- Any member of the Group wishing to stand for election as Chairman or Vice-Chairman as appropriate or as a Committee Member must make their intention known to the Secretary of the Group at least fourteen days in advance of the Annual General Meeting. Persons who are not already serving Committee members shall not normally be regarded as eligible to offer themselves for election to the posts of Chairman, Vice-Chairman or other Officers posts unless there are unusual or compelling circumstances.
- All matters to be decided at an Annual General Meeting shall be determined by a show of hands unless a ballot is demanded by at least one third of the members present with the regular exceptions of elections for Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary and Committee Members which shall normally be determined by ballot unless, in cases where there there is only one candidate proposed for a post or no more candidates eligible and willing to stand for election to the Committee than there are vacancies, when a show of hands may be deemed appropriate.
- Ten members of the Group shall constitute a quorum for an Annual General Meeting. Any proposals passed by a non-quorate Annual General Meeting shall be subject to ratification at a subsequent quorate meeting.
- An Annual General Meeting or Extraordinary General Meeting (see below) may pass a motion of no confidence in any one or more of the Officers of the Group provided that EITHER eight committee members OR twenty ordinary members OR a majority of two thirds of those present at a quorate meeting and eligible to vote, whichever is the greater, shall vote in favour of the motion. In the event of the remaining Committee being nonquorate then the matter shall be referred to the BCS Specialist Groups Management Committee.
- Amendments to the constitution shall be subject to ratification by a majority of two thirds of those present and eligible to vote at the following Annual General Meeting.
12. Extraordinary general meetings
An Extraordinary General Meeting may be called by EITHER not less than eight Committee members OR not less than twenty ordinary members. Twenty-one days notice in writing shall be given to the Secretary of the Group giving the reasons for calling the meeting.
- The Treasurer shall keep proper records of the accounts of the Group and shall present an up to date summary of the accounts at each meeting of the General Committee. A set of audited accounts up to the end of the last financial year shall be sent to each member with the notice of an Annual General Meeting each year. A similar set of accounts shall be sent each year to the Treasurer of the BCS.
- The financial year shall commence on the 1st of May each year. The various accounts of the Group shall be subject to an independent audit by a person or persons appointed by the General Committee. Such appointment shall be subject to ratification at the next Annual General Meeting.
- In accordance with BCS Guidelines, the Group shall have at least one account at the Langham Place Branch of Lloyds Bank to be used for day-to-day running expenses. Other accounts (at the branch) may be used for special purposes and for investment funds.
- All cheques drawn on the bank accounts of the Group shall be signed by the Administrator and either the Chairman or Treasurer or such other member of the Executive Committee as may be decided from time to time by the Executive Committee.
- The level of Annual Subscriptions for the forthcoming or subsequent years shall be determined by the Committee as and when deemed appropriate and ratižed at the next Annual General Meeting. Discounts, even to zero, may be made to full members of the BCS and/or to members of other Medical Specialist Groups.
- All membership fees and any surplus arising from the activities of the Group shall be managed in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the BCS.
- If a person applies to join the Group at a time more than half-way through the financial year, he or she may at the discretion of the Group be allowed a discount on the full annual subscription, the amount of such discount being that agreed by the General Committee from time to time.
- If a member agrees to pay his or her subscription by Direct Debit, the Group shall have the discretionary power to reduce that subscription, the amount of such reduction being such as shall be agreed by the General Committee from time to time as shall seem appropriate.
- In the event of a person resigning from the Group, under whatever circumstances and at whatever stage in the financial year, the Group shall not be obliged to refund any part of that member‘s subscription.
14. British Computer Society
- The Group shall be governed by the rules of the BCS insofar as these rules apply to Specialist Groups of the BCS.
- The Chairman of the Group shall automatically be an ex-officio member of the BCS Specialist Groups Management Committee.
- All members of the General Committee shall abide by the code of conduct relating to members of the BCS.
- The Group may use the BCS name to enhance the reputation of it‘s own activities but must do nothing which would bring the BCS into disrepute.
- No member of the Group may give opinions or otherwise speak on behalf of the BCS without proper authority from the BCS.