Member Section Policy
This Policy governs the formation, structure, and activities of a Member Section as described in the OASIS Bylaws.
An OASIS Member Section is a group within the consortium that advances the interests of a specific community or technology. The Member Section program enables external organizations or initiatives to become part of OASIS, while maintaining their own identities. It also allows existing communities-of-interest at OASIS to organize and collaborate more effectively.
A Member Section is comprised of:
- Steering Committee;
- Affiliated Members (Foundational-, Sponsor-, Contributor-, or Individual-level OASIS members who choose to affiliate with the Member Section);
- Participants (people who represent Affiliated Members); and
- Affiliated Technical Committee(s) (TCs).
2.1 Rules of Procedure
2.1.1 ROP Contents
The ROP must specify:
a) Name of the Member Section. May not contain trademarks not owned by OASIS, and may not be confusing with the names of other OASIS Member Sections or TCs not affiliated with the Member Section.
b) Statement of work. General area of work to be addressed by Affiliated TCs.
c) Steering Committee Composition. Sets the maximum number of seats (the minimum for all Member Sections is three) and specifies if any seats are reserved for representatives of affiliated TCs or specific industries.
The ROP may specify additional provisions (provided they do not conflict with or contradict other OASIS policies) including but not limited to:
d) Requirements for affiliated TCs. Allowable IPR modes and languages to be specified in TC charters, Steering Committee approval of TC’s submissions for OASIS Standards.
e) Expectation of Designated Funds. Designated Funds (monies supplemental to the OASIS general operating budget used to fund special Member Section activities). Transferred assets, request for dues allocation, etc. (See Section 6.)
2.1.2 Changing the ROP
The ROP may be changed at any time if impacted by OASIS policies or Board decisions. The ROP may also be changed by approval of both the Steering Committee and the OASIS Board.
2.2 Steering Committee
The Steering Committee provides leadership, vision, and oversight to advance the mission of the Member Section.
The Steering Committees may engage in a variety of activities based on the specific needs of the Member Section. The Steering Committee must:
a) maintain the ROP document;
b) vote on TC affiliation requests;
c) meet (via teleconference or face-to-face) at least twice a year;
d) publish minutes visible to Member Section Participants within 30 days of all Steering Committee meetings; and
e) provide an annual report to the OASIS Board and the Member Section members on the actual and planned activities of the Member Section.
Optionally, the Steering Committee may establish liaison relationships in accordance with the OASIS Liaison Policy.
2.2.2 Size and Composition
Each Member Section Steering Committee must have a minimum of three members. The maximum number of seats is specified in the ROP.
There are two types of Steering Committee seats:
- At-large: Steering Committee members elected to serve two-year terms.
- Designated: Seats reserved in the ROP for representatives of affiliated TCs or specific industries.
Steering Committee members must, at all times, be current OASIS Members as well as Member Section Participants. A Steering Committee may not contain more than one representative from the same Affiliated Member, even in the event of a job change, merger, or acquisition.
2.2.4 Steering Committee Elections
OASIS staff conducts annual Steering Committee elections for all Member Sections, beginning in September. A new Member Section is required to participate in annual elections only after its Initial Steering Committee has served for at least nine months.
a) Nomination and election periods. Nomination and election periods must each be a minimum of 14 days. The number of open seats for a Steering Committee election is calculated by subtracting the number of retained seats (Designated seats and At-large seats with ongoing terms) from the maximum number of seats specified in the ROP.
b) Uncontested ballots. If a ballot is uncontested, no vote will be taken and all eligible nominees will be automatically seated at the end of the nomination cycle, provided the Steering Committee maintains a total of at least three members. Any unfilled seats will remain open until the next election. If the nomination period does not yield sufficient candidates to meet the three-person minimum requirement, then the candidate deficit will be reported to the Member Section, and nominations will be extended one time for 14 days. After the extension, if sufficient candidates are not identified to meet the three-person minimum requirement, then the existing Steering Committee must submit a remediation plan for review by the OASIS Board within 30 days or be subject to closure of the Member Section.
c) Voting. Steering Committee contested election ballots must achieve quorum of one-third of Affiliated Members (including stated abstentions) before closing. Each Qualified Elector may one vote per candidate with the maximum votes being the number of seats open for election. Any ballot unable to reach quorum in 60 days is invalidated, and the existing Steering Committee must submit a remediation plan for review by the OASIS Board within 30 days or be subject to closure of the Member Section.
d) Ties. In the event two candidates receive the same number of votes, a winner shall be selected by a random process chosen and conducted by the OASIS Member Section Administrator, witnessed by one or more uninterested parties.
e) Qualified Electors. Voting in Steering Committee elections and other Member Section ballots is restricted to the Primary Representative of each Affiliated Member or an official designee.
f) Vacated Seats. Any Steering Committee seat vacated mid-term may be filled until the next election by majority vote of the remaining Steering Committee or may remain vacated, provided there are at least three members serving on the Steering Committee.
2.2.5 Removal of a Steering Committee Member
A Steering Committee Member may be removed by Special Majority Vote (as defined in the OASIS TC Process) of the Qualified Electors or by resolution of the OASIS Board.
The Steering Committee must elect its own Chair and may elect other officers as it chooses. The Steering Committee sets its own meeting schedule and agenda. The Steering Committee conducts its meetings according to OASIS policies and the precepts of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised.
2.2.7 Contracting Services
The Steering Committee may identify and recommend consultants and contractors to be engaged by OASIS Management to advance the mission of the Member Section; however the Steering Committee may not enter into agreements, sign contracts, or execute legal papers on behalf of the Member Section or OASIS. The Steering Committee must evaluate and confirm receipt of all goods and services, creating a record (e.g., meeting minutes) that can be audited as part of Staff financial review. The Member Section may not engage in any activity that might jeopardize OASIS' status as a tax-exempt organization.
The Steering Committee may establish one or more Subcommittees. The duration, membership, Chair, and scope of a Subcommittee will be set by the Steering Committee and posted on the Member Section's website. Subcommittee members must be current Member Section Participants.
3 Member Participation
3.1 Affiliated Member Status
At any time, a Foundational-, Sponsor-, Contributor-, or Individual-level OASIS member may activate or withdraw affiliation from a Member Section by notification from the Primary Representative to OASIS Member Services. Affiliated Member status is maintained by notifying Member Services during the annual membership renewal period.
3.2 Activities of Member Section Participants
The following are the activities that the Participants of a Member Section may engage in:
a) discuss and provide feedback on the overall direction and program of work of the Member Section activities;
b) provide feedback to the Member Section Steering Committee on budgets, plans and decisions that the Steering Committee makes;
c) nominate candidates (including themselves) for the Steering Committee;
d) vote in Steering Committee elections (Qualified Electors only).
3.3 Participation in Affiliated TCs
The only requirement to participate in any OASIS TC is OASIS membership. Participants do not need to represent Affiliated Members in order to participate in a Member Section’s Affiliated TCs.
4 Creating a Member Section
A Member Section may be formed at the request of an external group or current OASIS Members. OASIS staff will assist in submitting a Proposal which includes all of the following:
a) Rules of Procedure. (See Section 2.1.)
b) Initial Steering Committee. Names, email addresses, and membership affiliations of members who serve on the Steering Committee prior to the first elections.
c) Convener. Member who convenes the first meeting of the Steering Committee.
d) Initial Supporters. Names, email addresses, and membership affiliations of individuals who support this ROP (must include representatives of at least five Foundational-, Sponsor-, or Contributor-level OASIS members).
e) Statements of Support. Approval from the Primary Representative of each Initial Supporter of the ROP.
If the Member Section intends to operate under a transitional Directed Spending Plan (see Section 6.1), then the Proposal should also include:
f) Proposed Directed Spending Plan. Overview of expectations for Designated Funds and outline of supplemental services that will require funding.
Once the Proposal is reviewed by OASIS Management and approved by the OASIS Board, the Member Section is created. The Initial Steering Committee is seated, and members are invited to affiliate. New TCs which are to be affiliated with the Member Section may be created and existing OASIS TCs may request affiliation with the Member Section.
5 Closing a Member Section
The Steering Committee may vote to dissolve the Member Section when all affiliated TCs have completed their deliverables, no new work is planned, or when the Member Section structure is no longer suitably beneficial.
OASIS Management shall inform the OASIS Board if any of the following conditions occur: a) more than three months elapse where there are less than five Affiliated Members that are OASIS Foundational Sponsors, Sponsors, or Contributors; b) the Member Section is unable to maintain a minimum of three members on its Steering Committee; or c) the Steering Committee consistently fails to perform the requirements described in this Policy. After notification, the OASIS Board may decide to close the Member Section.
6 Services and Funding
OASIS provides a wide range of services to enable the efficient operation of all Member Sections. These services are detailed in Forming a Member Section.
Core services funded by OASIS general operating budget include support for TCs (specification development) and also encompass services specific to Member Sections including member support, financial management, marketing and promotion, web site hosting and maintenance, and mailing list management. Core services are provided and/or managed by OASIS staff.
Supplemental services funded by Designated Funds include support for optional promotional or support activities, e.g., event hosting. Designated Funds for supplemental services are provided by registration fees, sponsorship fees, donations, grants, transferred assets (from external groups that form or join the Member Section), and dues allocations.
6.1 Directed Spending
When an independent, funded organization elects to become a Member Section, its Steering Committee may opt to manage a Directed Spending Plan for a transitional period of time (typically two years). The purpose of Directed Spending is to ensure a successful transition by enabling the Steering Committee to more directly engage in the management of supplemental services that support the initial promotional activities of the group. Directed Spending may be funded by dues allocations (a portion of the annual dues from Affiliated Members) and other sources of Designated Funds. The amount of the Directed Spending Plan is determined by OASIS Management in consultation with the Steering Committee and the OASIS Board.
A Member Section does not need to operate under a Directed Spending Plan in order to conduct supplemental services or activities. A Directed Spending Plan is offered solely as a means of allowing a Steering Committee to be more engaged in the budgeting process.
6.1.1 Additional Requirements for Directed Spending
A Member Section with Directed Spending must adhere to requirements that extend beyond those listed elsewhere in this Policy, including:
Additional Affiliated Members. A Member Section with Direct Spending must have a minimum of ten Affiliated Members. For new groups, the total annual dues to OASIS from Affiliated Members must exceed 75,000 USD.
Annual Directed Spending Plan. The Steering Committee must develop a Directed Spending Plan that shows how the resources will be used to further Member Section goals. The Spending Plan must be provided to and approved by OASIS Management as part of the consortium’s annual budget planning process.
Management of expenditures. The Steering Committee must provide executive oversight of service commitments and payments to be made on behalf of the Member Section in support of the Directed Spending Plan.
Quarterly activity and expense reports. The Steering Committee must provide quarterly reports to OASIS Management and to the Member Section Members on the actual and planned activities and services of the Member Section.
Quarterly Steering Committee meetings. Member Sections are required to hold at least one meeting per quarter.
Member Sections that do not meet the above requirements must receive approval from the OASIS Board to continue Directed Spending.
6.1.2 Applying Affiliated Member Dues Allocations
The allocation of dues from a member that is affiliated with multiple Member Sections operating under Directed Spending will be distributed proportionally.
6.1.3 Unexpended Allocations
If a Member Section does not expend its full allocation in the current year (as prescribed by its Directed Spending Plan), the remaining funds may be applied to the next year’s Directed Spending Plan; however, subsequent dues allocations will be based on the unmet needs of the approved Spending Plan.
6.2 Appropriate Use of Funds
All funds must be spent in a fair manner on activities that advance the mission of the Member Section and provide proportional benefit to its Affiliated Members.
6.2.1 Member Travel
As a general rule, members (including Steering Committee Members) are expected to fund their own travel in support of Member Section activities; in rare instances, Designated Funds may be applied to defer member travel costs provided extreme need can be demonstrated and prior OASIS Management approval is obtained.
6.2.2 Standards Development
In keeping with OASIS’ international standing as a source of open, consensus-driven standards, funds may not be used to compensate individuals for developing specifications.
6.3 Record Keeping
Regardless of funding source, all income and expenses for Member Sections are managed in OASIS accounts. All Designated Funds and their sources and expenditures will be recorded and routinely reported by OASIS Management.
6.4 Unspent funds
At the conclusion of the budget year, if a Member Section is holding unspent funds that are not covered by a current or future Spending Plan, the OASIS Board may transfer some or all of such funds to the OASIS Net Assets. The Steering Committee may petition the OASIS Board for special consideration prior to a final transfer decision.
In the event a Member Section closes, any unspent funds will be transferred to OASIS Net Assets. The balance of any unrecognized income will revert to the OASIS general operating fund.
7 Conducting and Documenting Work
Official copies of all Member Section resources, including web pages, documents, email list archives, and any other records of discussions for the Member Section, Steering Committee, Affiliated TCs, and Subcommittees, must be located only on facilities designated by OASIS. Member Sections may not conduct official business, engage in technical discussions, store documents, or host web pages on servers or systems not designated by OASIS.
Records (web pages, documents, ballot results, and email archives) of the Member Section are publicly accessible in perpetuity. Records of the Steering Committee are visible to all OASIS Members; the Steering Committee has the option to make its records publicly accessible.
Any OASIS member may post to the official email lists of all Member Sections and Steering Committees.
8 Technical Committee Affiliation
Each OASIS TC may be affiliated with no more than one Member Section.
8.2 Affiliation Requests
A TC may affiliate with a Member Section by passage of a Special Majority Vote (as defined in the TC Process) of TC members followed by passage of a Special Majority Vote of the Steering Committee.
8.3 Intention to Affiliate
Before a TC is formed, its Proposers may declare their intention to request Member Section affiliation; however, this declaration is not required or binding. Proposers should ensure the charter meets any TC Affiliation requirements specified in the ROP (see Section 2.1.1) and may petition the Steering Committee for feedback prior to finalizing the TC charter.
8.4 Ending Affiliation
A TC may withdraw its Member Section affiliation by passage of a Special Majority Vote of TC members. A Member Section may terminate the affiliation of a TC by passage of a Special Majority Vote of the Steering Committee.
Any Eligible Person who believes that an action taken or not taken with respect to a Member Section is in violation of OASIS policies may file an appeal according to the procedure described the TC Process.
This Policy applies to all members of OASIS. The OASIS Board of Directors may amend this Policy at any time at its sole discretion.
Common terms used in this Policy are defined in the OASIS TC Process.