Policies & Procedures Manual and Operations Handbooks: Section 22

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Updated June 2020



This section deals with the general case. In the event of conflicts with IEEE or Society policies and procedures, this section is subordinate to policies and procedures approved by the Board of Governors or the IEEE that are applicable to specific entities or specific cases.


Volunteers are defined as individuals who voluntarily undertake responsibilities on behalf of the society and are not employees of the Society. Volunteer entities are defined as individual volunteer positions, committees, subcommittees, and boards created under the auspices of the Society. Volunteers are expected to be familiar with the Society constitution, bylaws, and policies and procedures relevant to their volunteer activities.

For volunteer positions who are elected, all interested candidates who meet the requirements are encouraged to apply, regardless of the length and involvement of their previous volunteer service to the Computer Society.

Volunteers shall behave in a professional manner, shall conform to the IEEE Code of Ethics, and shall exercise prudence and inform affected parties of potential conflict of interest situations. Volunteers in standards groups may represent particular interests as an integral part of the standards generating process. If volunteers serve in other organizations, they need to exercise due diligence in performing any other role to avoid any conflicts of interest with the mission and objective of the Computer Society.


22.2.1 As a volunteer organization, democratic principles and seeking a consensus among the volunteers is important for the health of the Society. Volunteers shall be guided by existing written policies and procedures and follow democratic procedures when altering them.

22.2.2 Volunteer entities, whose procedures for doing business have not been determined by the entity that created them, should codify and adopt their own procedures for exercising their powers, provided the procedures do not conflict with higher level policies and procedures. For entities lacking a policy or procedure for conducting business, and for the handling of situations that are neither covered by their procedures nor by procedures specified elsewhere by the Society, the default procedure is to use Robert’s Rules of Order. If powers are granted to an entity as a
body of members as opposed to powers held by a single individual, then that entity must maintain a record such as minutes that indicate actions authorized and powers delegated by the entity.

22.2.3 To improve upon the operation of the entities of the Society, the presiding officer may choose to place routine action items for which there appears to be consensus onto a “consent agenda.” In order that the entity may give each issue full consideration, the consent agenda may only contain items distributed prior to a meeting. Items may not be added to the consent agenda at the time of the meeting. Any member of the entity may request that any item be removed from the consent agenda. Removal of an action item requires the request of only one member, is not debatable, and does not require a vote of the entity. All items listed on the consent agenda are approved upon approval of the consent agenda. The consent agenda shall be considered first, and the overall agenda shall be considered after approval of the consent agenda.


The chair of each entity should provide for an orderly transfer of responsibility to the successor. Organizational continuity should be provided by maintaining and passing on documents to successors. Such documents should include job descriptions and resources available.