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FA World Service Business Convention - Procedure for Submitting Motions


Introduction

FA’s Twelve Concepts remind us that the FA World Service Conference (WSC), which is the voting body at the annual FA World Service Business Convention, has the principal responsibility to act on behalf of FA as a whole in the maintenance of our worldwide services. The Conference assembles annually to discuss and act upon matters related to general policy, finance, and our efforts to strengthen service at all levels of our fellowship. The Conference consists of the following members:

  • Individuals, elected by FA meetings to represent the needs of the fellowship as a whole, who have at least five years of abstinence and have completed one AWOL;
  • The officers and members of intergroup and chapter boards who have at least five years of abstinence and have completed one AWOL;
  • FA WSI officers and committee chairs.

Voting and discussions are limited to members of the Conference, but business convention sessions are open to any FA member interested in doing service for FA, especially at the chapter, intergroup, and world service levels.

Background

A motion is “a formal statement of a proposal or question to an assembly to take action or express certain sentiments” (from American Institute of Parliamentarians Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure). Motions may be submitted by any FA chapter, FA intergroup, WSI committee, or the World Service Board (WSB) using the process detailed below. All motions must be in accordance with FA bylaws and within the spirit of FA’s Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions, and Twelve Concepts (posted in the For Member > World Service > Governing Documents section of www.foodaddicts.org). Requests for routine procedural changes, as opposed to motions, should be directed to the appropriate WSI committee.

The following motion submission process reflects the changes adopted in the bylaws at the 2008 World Service Business Convention:

  • Motions may be submitted by (1) executive boards or committees of FA chapters or FA intergroups, (2) individual WSI committees, or (3) the WSB. Motions proposed by chapters, intergroups, and WSI committees that meet the criteria described below will be sent to all WSC members for a vote to determine if they will be placed on the convention agenda. Motions that receive a simple majority of all who vote will go to the convention floor for a discussion and vote by the Conference. (Motions submitted by the WSB are placed directly on the agenda.)

Motions Regarding FA Literature

  • At the 2009 WSBC, Conference members determined that any change or addition to FA literature must be processed through the WSI Literature Committee. Please note that motions to change or add to literature may come ONLY from the literature committee. Meetings, intergroups, chapters, WSI committees (other than the literature committee), or the WSB must send any requests for literature changes or additions to the literature committee several months prior to the convention to enable the literature committee to complete the steps set forth in the May 2009 Literature Approval Process Policy, found in the Continuing Effect Motions Manual (posted on www.foodaddicts.org.)

Motion Submission Process

The Board Motion Review Committee (BMRC) will receive the submitted motions. Motions to change the bylaws will be forwarded to the WSI Bylaws Committee. The BMRC will work with the motion-makers to ensure that their intent and meaning is clear and that the motion does not duplicate or conflict with the FA WSI bylaws or continuing effect motions. 

Please Note: The responsibility for placing motions submitted by intergroups, chapters, or WSI committees on the convention agenda—or not— is held entirely by the World Service Conference, not by the WSB or any reviewing committee.

Procedure

  • FA intergroups or chapters that want to submit a motion should familiarize themselves with the bylaws.
  • The motion submission form, found on the FA website, must be submitted at least 90 days prior to a given year’s convention. The completed form is automatically forwarded to the WSI secretary, WSI Bylaws Chair, WSI Convention Planning Chair, and the Board Motions Review Committee chair. To access the form: log in to your FA profile on the website, go to “My Convention,” select “Submit a WSBC Motion.
  • Motions will be reviewed by the Board Motions Review Committee (a.k.a. Resolutions Committee), which will consult with the relevant WSI committee and contact the motion-makers to clarify any questions and to thoroughly understand the background and facts regarding the motion. Any motion to amend the bylaws will be forwarded to the WSI Bylaws Committee. 
  • The finalized motions submitted by intergroups, chapters, or WSI committees will be sent to WSC members for their consideration at least 60 days prior to the convention. WSC members will vote on each motion, stating whether the motion should or should not be placed on the convention agenda. 
  • Ballots from WSC members regarding the motions must be returned by the established process and deadline for a given year.
  • If the majority of the WSC members vote to accept the motion for the business convention agenda, the motion will be placed on the agenda.

Charge to the Board Motions Review Committee (a.k.a. Resolutions Committee)

The committee’s purpose is to assist groups who wish to take motions to the floor of the convention. The committee is not to decide the merits of the motions proposed. The committee chair is appointed by the FA WSI chair. The committee shall generally consist of five members who are geographically representative of the fellowship. The chair and members are appointed on an annual basis.

Prior to the business convention, the committee shall assist the motion makers, contacting them directly to discuss their motion. The committee’s role is to confirm that the motion as submitted meets the motion makers’ intent, that the language is clear and grammatically correct, and that the proposed motion does not duplicate or conflict with already existing provisions in the bylaws or procedures. The committee should encourage awareness of the context created by our traditions and concepts.

Once the deadline for motion submission has passed, the committee will follow the emergency new business procedure to process any additional motion that is submitted as an emergency. The committee shall:

  • Receive any emergency motions that are submitted fewer than 90 days prior to the start of the WSBC or during the WSBC;
  • Assist the motion makers in drafting the resolution as fully as time allows;
  • Consider the motion in light of our traditions, bylaws, policies and procedures, and concepts;
  • Consult with relevant committee chairs and recommend to the Conference whether or not the motion is a true emergency and whether it should be heard.

Note that the final decision as to whether or not a motion is placed on the WSBC agenda belongs to the WSC members.