Article 1: Name

1.1 The name of the organization shall be the Standing Conference of Eastern, Central and Southern African Library and Information Associations - SCECSAL (pronounced SKEKSAL), and hereafter referred to as The Standing Conference.

Article 2: Definitions

2.1 The Standing Conference shall be an independent, non-profit making body of library and information associations in the SCECSAL Region.

2.2 The SCECSAL Region shall include countries located in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa and these are: Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Congo Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

2.3 The Library and information profession shall include: archives, bibliography, book selling and publishing, document delivery, documentation, information management, information science, information technology and records management.

2.4 Full Members shall include only national library and information associations of countries in the SCECSAL Region.

2.5 Associate Members shall include any organization with interest in the development of library and information profession in the SCECSAL Region.

Article 3: Aims and Objectives

The aims and objectives of The Standing Conference shall be to:

3.1 provide a forum through which members of the library and information profession in the region meet to discuss issues of mutual interest;

3.2 establish, strengthen and spread information professionalism in all the countries of the region;

3.3 promote regional and international understanding and co-operation in the area of library and information profession;

3.4 collect, collate, publish, preserve, conserve and disseminate research information through publications to potential and prospective clientele in the region and beyond;

3.5 encourage capacity building by promoting education and training of library and information professionals;

3.6 encourage exchange of staff and students amongst institutions in the region, and solicit funds for the programme for capacity development;

3.7 promote cooperation with other library and information profession organizations outside the SCECSAL Region in the areas of library and information work;

3.8 promote the adoption and use of information and communication technologies in library and information work; and

3.9 undertake such other activities as will promote the development of the information profession in the SCECSAL Region.

Article 4: Membership

4.1 Full membership of the Standing Conference shall be open only to national library and information associations of countries in the SCECSAL Region.

4.2 Associate membership shall be extended to organizations both within and outside the SCECSAL Region with interest in the development of the library and information profession.

4.3 For full membership purposes, The Standing Conference shall be free to expand the geographical coverage of the SCECSAL Region by a decision of a two-thirds majority votes cast at the General Assembly meeting by paid up member national associations.

4.4 All applications for membership shall be made to the Secretariat in writing which, in consultation with voting members of the General Assembly, shall approve or refuse such applications.

4.5 Associations and organizations wishing to withdraw their membership shall give 1 year's notice through the Secretariat in writing, which shall in turn confirm the cessation of membership in writing, and inform all member associations.

4.6 Resignation of a member association shall not relieve such a member from fulfilling any outstanding financial and other obligations before the withdraw takes effect.

Article 5: The General Assembly

5.1 The General Assembly shall be the highest authority of The Standing Conference and shall consist of member library associations represented by heads of delegations.

5.2 The meeting of the General Assembly shall be held at the time of The Standing Conference.

5.3 Items for the agenda for the General Assembly shall be sent to the Secretariat at least 3 months before the General Assembly meeting.

5.4 The chairperson or official representative of the member association that hosted the recent past biennial Conference and General Assembly shall chair the meetings of the General Assembly, at which the chairperson of the host association shall be in attendance.

5.5 Non-member associations, institutions and individuals shall be allowed to attend the General Assembly meetings as observers and shall be free to contribute to the deliberations of the General Assembly.

5.6 Minutes of the General Assembly meeting shall be made available to fully-paid up member associations within 6 months of the General Assembly meeting. Distribution of the minutes to individual members of the various national associations shall be the responsibility of the national associations.

Article 6: The Standing Conference

6.1 The Standing Conference shall organize biennial conferences through member library and information associations.

6.2 Member associations wishing to host The Standing Conference shall submit their bids in writing to the Secretariat at least 6 months before the General Assembly meeting at which bids shall be considered.

6.3 In the event of only one bid, the General Assembly shall endorse the bid, and in the event of more than one bid, the General Assembly shall discuss and approve the bids and confirm the member association to host the next conference by a simple majority vote cast by paid up member associations present at the meeting.

6.4 The Association selected to host the next SCECSAL conference shall confirm the hosting of the conference, in writing to all member associations, within 3 months from the date of the conference at which its bid was adopted.

6.5 A stand-by association shall be appointed from among the bidding association and will be the automatic host of the conference if the confirmed host fails to organize the conference. In such cases, the new host will be given enough time to prepare for the Conference.

6.6 The member association on stand-by shall be the automatic host of the next Standing Conference. However, confirmation of interest to host the conference shall be sent to the Secretariat within 3 months before the next General Assembly meeting, and this being the case, the General Assembly shall only consider bids for associations on stand-by. In the absence of the confirmation letter, hosting of the conference shall be open to bidding.

6.7 The host association shall be responsible for finding a suitable venue, accommodation, looking for potential sponsors and determining conference registration fees.

6.8 All delegates to The Standing Conference and General Assembly shall finance their attendance and member associations shall finance the attendance of their delegation leaders.

6.9 To facilitate smooth handing-over of the Secretariat, the association hosting The Standing Conference and General Assembly shall finance the attendance of the current chairperson of the member association that hosted the recent past Standing Conference and General Assembly. Such finance shall include travel cost, board and lodging and a reasonable out of pocket allowance.

Article 7: The Secretariat

7.1 The Standing Conference Secretariat shall be held and managed by member associations on a rotational basis and the term of office shall commence immediately the member association is confirmed as the host of the next Standing Conference meeting, and shall cease at the end of the General Assembly at which the next host shall be nominated.

7.2 In the absence of any nominations for the next Standing Conference, the Secretariat shall be maintained by the recent host Association until such time as a new host is found or the representatives of the member associations decide on which member association should assume the responsibility of the Secretariat.

7.3 The association hosting the Secretariat and the Standing Conference shall appoint a local conference organizing Committee made up of its members. The Organizing Committee shall perform the full functions of the Secretariat for SCECSAL and the conference being organized, and be responsible for providing all the necessary information regarding the conference to member associations.

7.4 The immediate previous host association shall provide all the necessary assistance, information and documents to the host association and current SCECSAL Secretariat when requested to do so.

Article 8: Finance

8.1 The host association shall prepare a budget for the Conference and work out the logistics of raising sufficient funds for a successful conference.

8.2 The balance of the funds after the SCECSAL conference shall be the property of the host association. However, the conference balance sheet shall be reported at the next Conference. Such report should also include income and expenses relating to SCECSAL membership subscriptions.

8.3 Each member association shall make an annual membership contribution to be determined by the General Assembly, and such contributions shall be sent to the member association hosting the Secretariat to assist in the running of the SCECSAL Secretariat and hosting of the conference. All membership fees shall be due on 31st January of each year.

8.4 The SCECSAL Secretariat shall distribute the list of the names of all paid up member associations to all the General Assembly delegates before the General Meeting of the Assembly.

Article 9: Publications

9.1 The host association shall be responsible for the publishing of conference proceedings and for distributing a copy to each member association within 12 months.

9.2 Copies of the proceedings shall be deposited with the national depository institution in the hosting country, as required by the laws of the host country.

9.3 The host association shall also publish and distribute at least, two SCECSAL Newsletters in between the conferences to announce the conference and any other information that may be required, and these newsletters shall be sent to all member associations which in turn shall disseminate the information to their members at national level.

Article 10: Author Award

10.1 To encourage authorship amongst members of SCECSAL in the library and information profession, the Standing Conference shall award the Author Award as may be deemed necessary.

10.2 Each member association shall make an annual contribution towards the Award Fund to be determined by the General Assembly. Only member associations whose contribution to the fund is up-to-date shall be allowed to nominate candidates for the Award.

10.3 The Treasurer of the Award Fund shall be elected amongst member associations, and shall hold the position for four consecutive years, after which a new Treasurer shall be elected. The Treasurer whose term has just expired shall also be eligible for nomination for the second and last term.

Article 11: Amendments

11.1 Amendments to the Constitution shall be made at the General Assembly meeting of The Standing Conference.

11.2 All proposals for the amendments to the constitution shall be proposed and forwarded to The Standing Conference Secretariat at least 6 months before the Conference.

11.3 The Secretariat shall inform all member association in writing about the proposed amendments to the Constitution, at least 4 months before the Conference, and shall include the proposed amendments among items on the agenda of the General Assembly.

Article 12: Voting

12.1 Only heads of delegations from paid up member associations shall have the right to vote at the General Assembly, and each member shall have one vote.

12.2 For the purpose of the General Assembly meeting and voting, all heads of delegations representing member associations shall report to the Secretariat upon arrival to present their credentials.

12.3 Voting on matters discussed at the General Assembly of The Standing Conference shall be by a show of hands of the official representatives of the member associations.

12.4 Unless specifically indicated in this constitution, a motion passed shall be by a majority of two thirds votes cast. In the event of a tie, the Chairperson of the General Assembly shall use the casting vote.

Article 13. Interpretation of the Constitution

13.1 The General Assembly shall have the final word on the interpretation of any article in this constitution, provided that such interpretation is supported by a two-thirds majority of the votes cast by paid up member associations present at the General Assembly meeting.

Passed and adopted by the SCECSAL 2000 General Assembly on 15 April 2000 in Windhoek, Namibia.

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