Through this web posting, the current Executive Committee (2018-2020) informs all society members that the executive committee has decided to extend its term up to 30 September 2020 owing to the ongoing difficulties associated with COVID-19 and the situation created by it. Had we not come across this difficulty, the term was to end on 31 May 2020, and a new executive committee was to be formed by May 2020. Please refer to the NGS statute and other background details (below) that have led us to make this decision for the moment. As soon as the situation gets normal, we will enter the process of bringing in a new set of executive committee officials.
In the meantime, we would also like to request our members to send us any critical and constructive comments/suggestions that may help us be more and more responsible and accountable to the society norms and objectives. Please use the GoogleForms to let us know your opinion over this decision of the Executive Committee.
Please be also informed of the following points that have led us to make this decision.
- We cannot do any physical assembly during this COVID-19 situation and conducting an online General Body Meeting and the election procedures are difficult at this moment.
- The NGS Statute does not say anything clear on this issue.
- The online questionnaire survey we conducted on our registered members has suggested (although responded by only 39 among the 106 members) us that “The current executive committee should continue in office until the situation gets normal and prepare to form a new executive committee” →67% (Please refer to Q7 below in the background information). Moreover, more than 60% of the respondent-members suggest (Please refer to Q8 below in the background information) that the term of this executive committee shall be extended either up to September 2020 (33.3%) or up to December 2020 (30.8%). Only 23.1% of respondents suggest that the term may be extended up to May 2021.
Netra Prakash Bhandary
On behalf of the current Executive Committee
What does the NGS Statute Say? (♦Full Statute is available here!)
- The NGS Statute says nothing about self-extension of the term or about overcoming any difficulties that lead to our inability to conduct election procedures!
- It says the following things about the organizational structure and executive committee:
Article VI. ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE
1. Executive Committee
(i) The Society leadership shall consist of an Executive Committee with a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary-General, a Joint Secretary, a Treasurer, and 6 Executive Committee Members duly elected by the General Body Meeting of the Society.
(ii) The Executive Committee shall be the governing body of the Society and shall be responsible for the day-to-day affair of the Society. It shall have the power to regulate its working procedures on its own. The Committee shall be answerable to the General Body of the Society.
(iii) The officers shall be elected once every 2 years. The period will be counted from the start of the Nepalese New Year (first day of Baishakh), irrespective of their election date.
(iv) In the event of a vacancy, the Executive Committee shall choose a successor to serve the office for the remainder of the time. However, if the post of President remains vacant for whatever reasons, the Vice President may assume the post as the Acting President for the remainder of the term. The Acting President shall call for the General Body Meeting within three months and seek endorsement for his/her accession to the post. The General Body Meeting shall reserve all rights to endorse the proposal or form an election committee entrusting it to elect the new Executive Body as soon as possible. The Acting President and his/her team shall remain in the office until the new committee takes its responsibility.
(v) The Executive Committee shall have the rights to form committees or subcommittees to perform any job under their jurisdiction. The committees thus formed, however, shall be responsible and answerable to the Executive Committee and shall work under the given framework of guidelines set before the formation.
(vi) The Executive Committee may constitute an Advisory Committee comprised of former officers of the Society. The Advisory Committee shall act as an advisory body to the Society. The Committee shall consist of a Chairman and other Members as deemed necessary by the Executive Committee. The tenure of the Committee shall be of two years from the date of appointment.
The current executive committee assumed office back in January 2018, which was an odd time in terms of NGS executive committee change. As the legal procedures and formation of the new executive committee up until January 2018 were pending for many years, we had to come out with an immediate solution to move ahead from that stalemate. So, we held a special general assembly among the members available in Kathmandu to form the current executive committee for a period of two years beginning 10 January 2018. One of the biggest problems the immediate past executive committee faced was the legal status of Nepal Geotechnical Society and its renewal process. As no legal papers of the past registration were availed by anyone, the then executive committee came up with an idea to re-register the organization under a Non-profit Company Act with the Government of Nepal. It was done, and the society was run under this new legal status. However, this legal status changed many things in the society because the society was bound to run under a group of members that were registered as the board members (?) of the company. So, this executive committee, after discussing with senior members and executive officials of the immediate past executive committee, decided to convert the legal status of the non-profit company to the originally registered legal status of back in 1994. It was done about a year ago, and we are now with the same legal status as we were in the early times. Following this change, the executive committee decided to mark 18 May every year as the NGS Day (the day of first registration of NGS with the Government of Nepal) and to hold the general assembly and all election-related activities in the month of May every two years.
We were planning to celebrate the NGS Day on 18 May this year (exactly the same way as we did last year), call a general assembly at the same time, and go for a process to form the next executive committee through existing legal procedures. Unfortunately, however, we are all aware of the current restrictions in doing any programs through our physical presence, which have led to cancel our plan to celebrate NGS Day as well as the plan to hold the general assembly and go for the electoral process in all our physical presence. Now, this has brought forward a few legal issues for the current executive committee, especially in relation to how to continue in office and how to move ahead until we have a new executive committee.
So, to overcome this unexpected pandemic situation and to find a way out, an executive meeting held on 6 May 2020 decided to conduct a Google Forms survey and ask our registered members for their honest and clear guidelines. However, as the President also reported the survey results during the NGS Day Online Program held on 18 May 2020, the participation has not been very encouraging to us! Of the total 106 newly registered members in our system, only 39 members responded to the survey. The results of the survey are shown in the following images. (Please click on the image to view an enlarged image.)
Q2: Membership status with NGS:
- I am already registered as a member of Nepal Geotechnical Society
- I plan to register as a member of Nepal Geotechnical Society
Q5: Current job type:
Q7: How do you think we should overcome this difficulty out of this unexpected situation of lockdown and immobility?
- The current executive committee should continue in office until the situation gets normal and prepare to form a new executive committee.
- The current executive committee should resign first and continue in office as a caretaker until the new committee is formed.
- An online general assembly should be called and the current executive committee should seek to extend its term by one more year.
- An online general assembly should be called and decision on this matter should be made through the general assembly majority.
Q8: If you chose 1, 2, or 3 in the above question (No. 7), how long do you preferably think the term of this executive committee shall be extended by?
- Until September 2020 (by three months) at this moment and based on the situation thereafter
- Until December 2020 (by six months) at this moment and based on the situation thereafter
- Until May 2021 (by one year)
- I have selected option 4 in the above question.
Q9: What could be other alternatives for a way out?
- The options in the above questions are adequate; there is no need to think of any alternatives.
- An advisory committee is formed and authorized to propose a team of new executive committee to be endorsed by an online general assembly in the due course.
- The current executive committee is authorized to bring out a proposal on ending this stalemate and the proposal is endorsed by an online general assembly.
Q10. Any other comments/suggestions you would like to send to the executive committee? (Note: this is not a must-respond item!)