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Section 10.5

GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE OPERATING PROCEDURES

Staff Liaisons: Director, Professional Affairs Mgr., Government Affairs and Policy Board Liaison: Vice President, Professional Affairs

I. Purpose

The purpose of the Government Affairs Committee is to positively influence the decisions government makes that impact the practice of ASSE member safety, health and environmental (SH&E) professionals at the federal level and to advise Regions and Chapters on their efforts to engage in state and local legislative and regulatory activities.

II. Scope of Duties

  1. Monitoring safety, health and environmental legislation and regulations and determining the appropriate action for ASSE to take in response to such activities. Examples of the government bodies the Committee will track include:
    1. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
    2. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
    3. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
    4. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)
    5. Department of Transportation (DOT)
    6. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
    7. State legislatures
    8. State occupational safety and health agencies
    9. Other regulatory or professional certification or licensing agencies that develop and implement safety, health and environmental standards or certifications of interest to the Society.
  2. Developing Society positions and comments on federal safety, health and environmental legislation and regulation. 
  3. Assisting the Regions, and Chapters in working cooperatively to pursue government affairs activities and develop positions and comments that address state and local safety, health, and environmental legislation and regulations.  Such government affairs activities must be pursued according to the following procedures to ensure consistency with Society positions and by-laws.
  4. Building relationships with like-minded organizations to advance government affairs goals of mutual interest.
  5. Developing comments and positions and undertaking activities that advance the profession, including establishing recognition of appropriate SH&E professionals in legislation and regulation, ensuring that ASSE members’ practice is not inappropriately restricted, and expanding opportunities for members to practice.
  6. Submitting an annual report on key government affairs activities no later than December 31 of each year for presentation at the next board meeting.
  7. Addressing other issues as directed by the Society’s Vice President, Council on Professional Affairs or the Board of Directors.

III. Membership

The GAC will consist of eight (8) members. The members will be appointed by the Vice President, Professional Affairs, who will seek candidates from Regional Vice Presidents each time a position on the GAC is open to assist in the goal of having as many Regions represented on the GAC as practicable.

One of the eight (8) Committee members shall serve as a liaison to the Council on Professional Standards and shall be appointed with the agreement of the Vice President of the Council on Professional Standards.

Each member shall have one vote.

Members will serve a maximum of two (2) consecutive three-year terms. Reappointments may be made for an additional one-year term when membership continuity is deemed necessary by the Vice President, Council on Professional Affairs.

Committee members must be Professional Members in good standing with the Society. Each member should previous government affairs experience

If a member does not attend two consecutive in-person meetings, the Vice President, Council on Professional Affairs, shall immediately inform the member that he or she is no longer a member of the Committee and appoint a new member to serve the remainder of the outgoing member's term. The Chairperson of the Committee, for reason of the member's illness or other physical incapacity, may recommend to the Vice President, Council on Professional Affairs, that the member be given an opportunity demonstrate continued ability to serve the Committee but in no case shall any member remain on the Committee after missing three consecutive meetings.

The Chairperson shall be appointed by the Vice President, Council on Professional Affairs, which appointment will run consecutively with the individual's term on the Committee. The Chairperson serves at the pleasure of the Vice President, but in any case where the Vice President terminates a Chairperson's appointment before the Chairperson's term as a member of the Committee expires, the Chairperson may appeal the decision to the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors.

The Chairperson has the authority to establish subgroups or task forces when necessary. Such subgroups or task forces will be given a specific charter and time period for resolution of issues and shall be promptly discharged upon completion of assignments. The Chairperson can appoint a member of the GAC to act as Chairperson of these subcommittees or task forces.

IV. Meetings/Schedule of Events

The Manager of Government Affairs and Policy, at the direction of the Director of Professional Affairs, serves as Secretary of the Committee and liaison with ASSE staff and other committees.

The Vice President, Council on Professional Affairs represents the committee on the Board of Directors.

The Chairman and the Manager of Government Affairs and Policy represents the Committee and the Society's interests in government affairs to other professional associations and industry groups.

The GAC maintains an advisory relationship with Regional Vice Presidents, Area Directors, and Regional and Chapter Government Affairs Chairs and committees to build an effective government affairs network and response process. Speaking and presentation requests will be done in accordance with the Appendix to this document.

V. Organizational Relationships

The Manager of Government Affairs and Policy, at the direction of the Director of Professional Affairs, serves as Secretary of the Committee and liaison with ASSE staff and other committees.

The Vice President, Council on Professional Affairs represents the committee on the Board of Directors.

The Chairman and the Manager of Government Affairs and Policy represents the Committee and the Society's interests in government affairs to other professional associations and industry groups.

The GAC maintains an advisory relationship with Regional Vice Presidents, and Regional and Chapter Government Affairs Chairs and committees to build an effective government affairs network and response process.

VI. Responsibilities and Accountabilities

The Committee is responsible for monitoring, analyzing and drafting comments or positions papers relative to pertinent legislation and regulation that impact the SH&E professional, the SH&E profession or the Society.  All position papers, white papers and strategy documents shall be prepared and approved in accordance with Society Operating Guidelines 2.2 Policy Statement Management, and 2.3 Representation of and Commitments on Behalf of the Society prior to issuance. 

The Committee and Manager of Government Affairs and Policy will strive to assist Regions and Chapters in undertaking government affairs activities and developing government affairs policy positions by providing advice based on the importance of the issue to the Society and resources available.  Financial support to regions and chapters to pursue government affairs activities in the interest of the Society may be provided by the Committee with the approval of the Council on Professional Affairs and Executive Committee of the Board of Directors.  The Manager of Government Affairs must inform the regions and Chapters of the following approval procedures that must be undertaken when pursuing government affairs activities:

  • Chapters are expected to inform the Regional Vice President, the Regional Government Affairs Chair, the Area Director and Area Government Affairs Chair of any proposed government affairs activity as soon as practicable.  The Regional Vice President will inform the Vice President, Council on Professional Affairs, and Manager of Government Affairs and Policy of such proposed activity.
  • It is preferable that all chapters in a state agree to a government affairs activity.  If all chapters cannot agree, a majority of chapters will decide the direction of a proposed activity.  In any case, the Regional Vice President may choose to pursue a government affairs activity in the best interests of the Society with the concurrence of a majority of chapters in the state.
  • Once Chapters or the Regional Vice President reach a position or comment on a government affairs activity, that position and comment shall be shared with the Manager of Government Affairs and Policy.  The Committee will ensure that the position and comment is consistent with Society positions and by-laws.

The Committee shall develop and maintain a Society network for monitoring and reporting legislative and regulatory activities.

The Manager of Government Affairs and Policy will act as technical and organizational resources for Regions and Chapters. Governmental affairs education and training resources are to be developed and efforts made to encourage member participation in government affairs.

The Committee will keep current the policy describing the responsibilities of ASSE officers and members when commenting on legislative initiatives that would impact the Society. This includes analysis and public comment at the federal, state and local levels.

The Chairperson shall approve any Committee position papers prior to submittal to the Council on Professional Affairs and the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors.

The GAC shall advise the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of legislative initiatives that could impact intersociety relations.

The Manager of Government Affairs and Policy, as Secretary for the Committee, will distribute meeting notices, prepare and distribute minutes, and, together with the Chairperson, develop meeting agendas.

The Committee shall direct the activities of a contracted lobbyist through the Manager of Government Affairs and Policy and the Director of Professional Affairs. Funding for contract of a lobbyist shall be sought and approved by the Board of Directors. Committee member lobbying activities must be approved by the Chairperson and Vice President, Council on Professional Affairs.

The Manager of Government Affairs and Policy will publish governmental affairs information on the Society web page, and distribute additional information to Chapter Presidents, Regional Vice Presidents, Area Directors, GAC Committee members, and other affected societies and organizations, where permitted.

VII. Budget Procedures

The Manager of Government Affairs and Policy, with input from the Committee, will develop the budget for meetings, and governmental affairs activities as required by Society operating procedures. The budget shall be submitted through the Vice President of Professional Affairs to the ASSE Board of Directors for approval following review and approval of the GAC Chairperson and Director of Professional Affairs.

All projected expenses related to government affairs activities are to be reviewed by the Director of Professional Affairs to determine appropriateness with ASSE policy and available budget.

Special funding requests may be made in accordance with ASSE Board of Director rules and procedures.


Approved By/Date: Board of Directors 02/11

Replaces Edition Dated: 06/06

Next Revision Due: 02/14