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Rules of the Society

  1. The name of the Society is "The Society of Clerks-at-the-Table in Commonwealth Parliaments".
  2. Any Clerk or Secretary General of any Legislature which is eligible to be a member of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association is eligible for membership in the Society, on behalf of his or her colleagues having duties at the Table in that Legislature such as those of Clerk, Clerk-Assistant, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Serjeant-at-Arms, Assistant Serjeant, Usher of the Black Rod, Yeoman Usher or Parliamentary Counsel.
    1. The objects of the Society are:
      1. to provide a means by which the parliamentary and management practices of the various Parliaments and Legislatures of the Commonwealth may be made more accessible to Clerks-at-the-Table, or those having similar duties, in any such Legislature in the exercise of their professional duties;
      2. to foster among Officers of Parliament a mutual interest in their duties and responsibilities and assist in their professional development by exchanges of information, views and experience and best practices;
      3. to publish annually a journal, called “The Table”, containing articles supplied by officials of the Legislatures mentioned in paragraph 2, relating to matters of procedure, privilege, constitutional law and management practice in its relation to Parliament;
      4. to hold meetings from time to time, including where practicably possible an Annual Meeting. Attendance at meetings shall be open to officials of Legislatures nominated by the Clerk/Secretary General concerned.
    2. It shall not, however, be an object of the Society, either through its journal or otherwise, to lay down any particular principle of parliamentary procedure, constitutional law or management practice for general application; but rather to give, in the journal, information upon these subjects which any member may make use of as he or she may think fit.
  3. There shall be an Advisory Committee whose role is to:
    1. advise the Secretary of the Society;
    2. advise the Editor of “The Table” on the editorial policy and content of the publication;
    3. make recommendations to the annual meeting of the Society on strategic issues concerned with the development of the organization;
    4. consult with the Secretary of the Society regarding the agenda and other issues related to the conduct of the annual meeting of the Society, and
    5. advise the Webmaster as to the content of the Society's Website.
  4. Membership of the Advisory Committee will be made up of:
    1. a member of the Society (or his/her designate) from a Parliament from each of the nine regions of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association with a view to ensuring a balanced representation from large, medium and small Parliaments (the SOCATT members in each region shall determine the method by which the Advisory Committee member for that region is selected);
    2. a member of the Society (or his/her designate) representing the Parliament hosting the next Society of Clerks’ meeting; and
    3. the Head of the Interparliamentary Relations Office of the House of Commons (UK) as ex officio, in his/her capacity as Secretary of the Society.
    1. there shall be a subscription payable to the Society in respect of each House of each Parliament or Legislature which is a member of the Society.
    2. the subscription per member shall be £75 sterling, payable not later than 1 January in the year following the date of the relevant invoice (the invoice to be invariably issued 90 days before the payment deadline).
    3. failure to make such payment shall make that House liable to forfeit membership.
    4. no communication about “The Table” or the Proceedings of the Society shall be sent to the Clerk/Secretary General in a House from which no payment has been received for two years.
    5. an official as referred to in Rule 2 who has retired from parliamentary service may become an honorary life member of the Society. This will entitle them to receive notification of the publication of the journal and other news about the Society.
  5. A list of members (with official designation, address, phone number and e-mail address) shall be published on the Society website. The Secretary may seek feedback from CPA branches to help ensure the accuracy of the list of members.
  6. In order better to acquaint the members with one another and in view of the difficulty in calling a full meeting of the Society on account of the great distances which separate members, there shall be maintained a Website containing information on the Society deemed to be of interest to members by the Advisory Committee or the Secretary of the Society. The Website will be established and maintained by the House of Commons of Canada.
  7. Each member of the Society shall have access to a free digital version of the journal and shall be notified upon publication of each edition.
    1. The Society shall have its office at the Palace of Westminster. The Head of the Interparliamentary Relations Office, House of Commons (UK), shall be the Secretary of the Society and shall be responsible for the management of the Society, under the directions of the Clerks of the two Houses.
    2. There shall be up to four further Officials of the Society, two appointed by the Clerk of the Parliaments, House of Lords, and two by the Clerk of the House of Commons, London; each of these Officials (but not the Secretary) shall be paid an annual salary, the amount of which shall be determined by the two Clerks. One of these Officials shall be primarily responsible for the editing of the journal.
  8. Authority is hereby given to the Secretary and other officials of the Society to open a banking account in the name of the Society and to operate upon it, under their signature; and a statement of account, duly audited and countersigned by the Clerks of the two Houses of Parliament at Westminster shall be circulated annually to the members.
  9. Decisions shall be made by a majority vote of members present at the annual meeting.

Accra, Ghana, 5 October 2023