Bylaws

INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF THANATOLOGIST ASSOCIATIONS
FIAT-IFTA

The World Organization of Funeral Operatives

     
 

Article I

NAME

The official name is: FIAT- IFTA Fédération Internationale des Associations de Thanathologues – International Federation of Thanatologists Associations. This is often referred to and accepted as the name of FIAT- IFTA – World Organization of Funeral Operatives; in the Bylaws it is referred to as the Federation.

1.2 The official logo is owned by the Federation and may be used by members only after written approval issued by the Secretary.

Article II

LANGUAGE

2.1 The official working language of the Federation is English. Where an officer or a member decides to use another language in meetings or presentations to the Federation, a written or verbal translation is required.

Article III 

PRINCIPAL OFFICE

3.1 The principal office shall be called the FIAT- IFTA International Office.

3.2 If the I.C.D. changes the address to other than the address of the Federation’s Secretary, this change must not conflict with the proper execution of the activities of the President, the Secretary and the Officers of the Federation. If it does conflict with the interest of a well-functioning Federation, the Board of Officers may overrule a decision taken by the I.C.D. 

3.3 FIAT- IFTA International Office 

executes decisions made by the Board of Officers, the I.C.D. and the General Assembly 

serves as Executive Secretariat of the Secretary and Treasurer of the Board of Officers

maintains member relations

upholds all means of communication

keeps the Federation’s archives

operates according to the instructions of the Board

facilitates the Federation’s meetings 

Article IV

STATEMENT OF IDENTITY, MISSION AND OBJECTIVES

4.1 All actions taken by the Federation and its Officers shall serve the goals set in the articles of the Constitution defining identity, mission and objectives.

Article V

NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY      

5.1 All actions taken by the Federation and its Officers shall be line with and shall not conflict with the goals set in the article of the Constitution defining non-discrimination policy.

Article VII

MEMBERS

A. National Member

7.1.A National Members shall represent the whole funeral branch of their country or region on an impartial basis and shall not withhold relevant information to the Federation.

7.2.A Each National Member shall bring out a National Report to be presented at the biennial meeting of the General Assembly.

7.3.A Each National Member shall be represented by a delegate in all Federation’s meetings.

7.4.A The delegate of a National Member has the right to take the floor and to cast one vote in the Federation’s meetings.

7.5.A  The delegate of a National Member has the right to submit proposals to the Board of FIAT-IFTA. Proposals shall be in possession of the President and the Secretary at least 45 days prior to the meeting of the I.C.D. or the General Assembly.

7.6.A Where the delegate of a National Member is not able to attend meetings of the Federation, the National Member may nominate another delegate or grant a proxy to the delegate of another National Member. The President and the Secretary must be informed of this action two weeks prior to the meeting otherwise the given proxy is invalid.

B. Active Member

7.1.B Active Members shall support and advise their National Member at the I.C.D. meeting and at the General Assembly. Active Members have no voting rights.

7.2.B Active Members may take the floor in all FIAT-IFTA meetings and present reports on new industry developments. Reports shall be in possession of the President and the Secretary at least 45 days prior to the meeting of the I.C.D. or the General Assembly.

C. Associate Member  

7.1.C Associate Members shall support and advise their National Member at I.C.D. meetings and at the General Assembly.

7.2.C Associate Members, Benefactor Members, Members of Honor and Student Members may attend all meetings of the Federation as silent observer without voting rights unless the Board decides otherwise.

F Members of Honor

7.1.F Members of Honor shall be exempt from subscription fees. Members of Honor will not be involved in the affairs of the Association.

7.2.F At the biennial Change of Insignia, the incoming President shall grant the title of Honorary Member to the outgoing President.

Article VIII

MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION

8.1 Applicants seeking to become a National Member, Active Member, Associate Member or Student Member of the Federation must submit the official membership application to the I.C.D. via the Secretary. Membership applications are made available by the FIAT-IFTA International Office.

8.2  Applicants seeking to become a National Member must submit a letter of intent signed by the President of the Association or by the President of the Board clarifying the reasons of the application and submit proof of legal status.

8.3  The submitted Member application form must contain all required data of the applicant.

8.4  The Secretary will forward the application to the Board of Officers after consultation, if necessary, of the National Member of the application’s country. On behalf of the Board of Officers the application is forwarded to the I.C.D with a recommendation issued by the Board of Officers to accept or reject the application. After the I.C.D. has ratified the application and the annual dues have been paid, the Secretariat shall notify the applicant of whether the membership application has been granted or not. 

8.5 The I.C.D. is not compelled to provide any explanation for its decision to grant or deny membership. 

8.6 All membership decisions of the I.C.D. may be reviewed, ratified or reversed by the membership at a General Assembly. 

Article IX

CANCELLATION OF MEMBERSHIP

9.1 Membership is binding for the period of one calendar year.
Cancellation of Membership of FIAT-IFTA must be notified to the Secretariat during the year, but no later than one month before the end of the calendar year. 

9.2 Notification of Cancellationless than one month before the end of the calendar year obligates payment of the annual subscription for the next year.

Article XI

GENERAL ASSEMBLY

11.1 The General Assembly of all Members of the Federation shall hold its biennial meeting at the International Convention.

11.2 The General Assembly is comprised of two meetings - General Assembly I and General Assembly II. General Assembly I is a working meeting of the membership scheduled after the I.C.D.I meeting. General Assembly II is a ceremonial meeting scheduled after the I.C.D. II meeting. 

The standing items on the Agenda of General Assembly II consist of: 

  • Presentation and Inauguration of the Officers of the FIAT-IFTA Board,
  • Handing over of the Chain of Office to the new President,
  • Announcement of place and provisional date of the next FIAT-IFTA International Convention. 

11.3 The Secretary shall send a written notice of time and place of the meeting at least 30 (thirty) days prior to the date set for the meeting of the General Assembly, to all Members of the Federation.

11.4 The Secretary shall send: Notice of the Meeting, the Agenda, the Minutes of the previous Meeting of the General Assembly, the proposals of the Board of Officers and all necessary supporting documents / papers related to items on the Agenda.

11.5 Other proposals may only come before the meeting of the General Assembly if submitted in writing at least 45 (forty-five) days prior to the date set for the meeting to the Secretary. New proposals must be seconded by a National Member. The Board of Officers shall review these proposals and submit same to the meeting of the General Assembly with an agreed recommendation. 

11.6 All Members of FIAT-IFTA are entitled to submit a proposal seconded by a National Member. In such cases the National Member shall submit the proposal to the Board of Officers.

11.7 The General Assembly may ratify proposals and amendments to the Constitution adopted by the I.C.D. I meeting by a majority vote. All proposals or amendments to the Constitution denied or rejected by the General Assembly shall be placed before the following I.C.D. meeting of the Federation.

11.8 Chairperson

The President, or in his or her absence, the First Vice President shall act as Chairperson of the General Assembly. The Board may nominate a temporary Chairperson of a meeting.

Article XII

INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF DIRECTION: I.C.D. I and I.C.D. II

12.1 Each year the I.C.D. shall hold at least one (1) regular meeting of the delegates of the National Members and the Active Members.

During the year of an International Convention, this meeting will be held in conjunction with the General Assembly of the membership. 

12.2 The I.C.D. of the biennial FIAT-IFTA International Convention is comprised of two meetings:

I.C.D. I and I.C.D. II. 

12.3 I.C.D. I is a working meeting of the National Members and Active Members and is scheduled before the meeting of the General Assembly I. All FIAT-IFTA Members may attend an I.C.D. I meeting.

12.4 The Secretary shall send written notice of time and place of the meeting at least 30 (thirty) days prior to the date set for the meeting of the I.C.D., to the National and Active Members of the Federation.

12.5 The Secretary shall send: The Notice, the Agenda, The Minutes of the previous Meeting of the I.C.D. I, the proposals of the Board of Officers and all necessary supporting documents / papers related to items on the Agenda.

12.6 Other proposals may only come before the meeting of the I.C.D. if submitted in writing at least 45 (forty-five) days prior to the date set for the meeting to the Secretary. The Board of Officers shall review these proposals and submit to the meeting of the I.C.D. with an agreed recommendation. 

12.7 I.C.D. Members shall consider and may adopt proposals submitted by the Board of Officers by a majority vote. Amendments to the Constitution submitted by the Board of Officers shall be adopted only by a 2/3 majority cast in a secret ballot. All proposals or amendments to the 

Constitution denied or rejected by the General Assembly shall be placed before the following I.C.D. meeting of the Federation.  

12.8 Chairperson The President, or in his or her absence, the First Vice President shall act as Chairperson of the I.C.D. meeting.The Board may nominate a temporary chairperson of a meeting.

12.9 I.C.D. II is the biennial meeting for the election of the Officers of the Board of FIAT-IFTA and shall take place in conjunction with the I.C.D. I meeting or after the General Assembly I meeting. Only National Members may attend this meeting.

12.10 A candidate must be delegate of a National Member or - in the event of special circumstances and in the interest of the Federation – a candidate submitted in a proposal of the President and the Vice Presidents to fulfill the position of Secretary or Treasurer.

Candidates for the position of 3rd Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer of the Board of FIAT-IFTA shall present themselves in an address before the I.C.D. II meeting.

12.11 The election of new Officers of the Board shall be by secret ballot at the I.C.D. II meeting.

12.12 At the I.C.D. II meeting it is the exclusive right of the President and the Vice Presidents - in the event of special circumstances and in the interest of the Federation - to submit a proposal to nominate the Secretary and/or the Treasurer. After the approval of this proposal by the National Members gathered in the I.C.D. II meeting, the nomination of the Secretary and/or the Treasurer shall be the subject of review at the I.C.D. meeting of the following year.

12.13 To guarantee continuity of the administration, an Officer, once elected by the I.C.D. Members gathered in the I.C.D. II meeting and inaugurated in the meeting of the General Assembly II, shall, throughout his/her terms, not be substituted by his/her National Member in favor of another person representing that National Member. 

Article XIII

OFFICERS OF THE FEDERATION                                                                                                                  

President

13.1 The President presides the meetings of the General Assembly, the I.C.D., the Board of Officers. 

13.2 The President may, except if provided otherwise in these Bylaws, appoint, with the consent of the Board of Officers, departments or committees and their constituent members.

13.3 The President shall execute all lawful orders and resolutions taken by the General Assembly, the I.C.D. and the Board of Officers, shall perform all other duties and shall exercise the general powers of management that are customarily vested in the office of the President.

First Vice President

13.4 The First Vice President shall assist the President in the performance of his or her duties. In the event the office of President becomes vacant the first Vice President shall become President of the Federation and perform all duties of the President.

Secretary

13.5 The Secretary is responsible for ensuring that all notices of the time and place of meetings of the General Assembly, I.C.D. and the Board of Officers are given in accordance with the provisions of these Bylaws. 

13.6 The Secretary shall ensure that all books, reports, statements, certificates and all other documents and records required by law are properly kept and filed, shall receive and process all 

applications for membership of the Federation, shall perform all duties regarding the receipt, dissemination or publication of amendments, resolutions and other official business as required by the Constitution and Bylaws and shall perform all duties relevant to the office of Secretary and such other duties as from time to time may be assigned to him or her by the Board of Officers.

Treasurer

13.7 The Treasurer shall have charge and custody of and be responsible for all funds, securities, deeds and other assets belonging to the Federation, shall keep and maintain full and accurate account of the Federation’s business and related transactions, including account of its assets, liabilities, receipts, disbursements, investments, gains and losses.

13.8 The Treasurer prepares the Budget and submits same every two years, and in due time the Schedule of Profit and Loss and the Schedule of Assets and Liabilities to the Auditors.

13.9 The Treasurer shall supply the General Assembly, the I.C.D., and the Board of Officers an account of the transactions and a financial statement of the Federation and perform all the duties incident to the office of Treasurer and such other duties as from time to time may be assigned to him or her by the Board of Officers.

13.10 Unexpected expenses or distributions that surpass the amount of three thousand (3.000) euros must be authorized by the Treasurer and the President.

13.11 Removal and Resignation of the Officers of the Federation

Any Officer may be removed, either with or without cause, by a two-thirds (2/3) affirmative vote of the voting members of the I.C.D. Any Officer may resign at any time by giving written notice to the President and the Secretary. Any such resignation shall take effect at the date of the receipt of such notice or at any later date specified therein.

13.12 Vacancies

In the case of a vacancy or the office becomes vacant by reason of death, resignation, removal or otherwise the Board of Officers shall appoint an Officer who shall hold office for the two years’ term or for the remainder of the term. After this term the office shall be subject to the regular election procedure.

13.13 If a vacancy arises in the office of the President, the First Vice President shall automatically succeed to the office of the President to serve out the remainder of the term as well as his or her two years’ term as President thereafter. The Board of Officers may appoint a successor to the office of First Vice President who shall hold the office for the remainder of the term but who shall not automatically succeed to the office of President.

Article XIV

BOARD OF OFFICERS   

14.1 The composition of the Board shall reflect – subject to the consent and endorsement of the I.C.D. Members - the representation of the funeral sector across the continents of the world:
  • Africa
  • Americas
  • Asia
  • Australia / Oceania
  • Europe.

14.2  Meetings of the Board of Officers may be called at any time by the President or upon written request signed by at least two (2) members of the Board of Officers and delivered to the Secretary. 

14.3 The President shall determine the time and place of any meeting of the Board of Officers. If the meeting is requested by at least two (2) members of the Board of Officers, the President shall set the date of the meeting within fifteen (15) days from the date the Secretary receives the request for such meeting.

14.4  In case a FIAT-IFTA Board Member is unable to attend a meeting of the Board of Officers, a meeting of the I.C.D. Members or a meeting of the General Assembly, the President, after consultation of the Officers, appoints himself or another Board Member to take over temporarily this position.

14.5 At its discretion the Board of Officers may appoint the Secretary General in order to execute by delegation all secretarial actions on behalf of the Board of Officers. This appointment is subject to approval of the delegates of the I.C.D. Members by a majority vote.

14.6 Meetings of the Board of Officers may be held by electronic means.

Article XV

EXECUTIVE SECRETARIAT AND TREASURY

15.1 The Executive Secretariat and the Treasury shall be located at the premises of the FIAT-IFTA International Office.

15.2 Any appointment and/or dismissal of staff of the Executive Secretariat shall be carried out by decision of the Board of Officers in strict conformity with the constitutional provisions, with the procedural rules and the laws of the country where the Executive Secretariat is established. 

15.3 Duties: Executive Secretariat and Treasury

The Executive Secretariat and Treasury shall assist the Secretary/Secretary General and the Treasurer in the performance of his/her duties; 

shall promote and assist in furthering the Federations’ mission, vision, goals, and strategic plan as developed by the Board of Officers and I.C.D.;

shall coordinate the I.C.D. and appropriate departments and committees in the development of the Federation’s policies and procedures in conjunction with the Board of Officers.

15.4 The manual called: Profile of the FIAT-IFTA International Office defines all operations of this office.

Article XVI

DEPARTMENTS  

16.1 The Departments of the Federation consist of:

  • Funeral Services 
  • Transport and Repatriation 
  • Culture and Funeral Heritage. 

16.2 Departments are required to monitor and communicate relevant industry developments worldwide to all Members, 

to organize seminars and conferences, to initiate strategic plans and to establish relations with external organizations.

16.3 Departments shall organize their activities through a committee appointed by the Board of Officers in order to realize specific goals.

16.4 Such Department committees shall be approved by a decision of the General Assembly, advised by the National Members in their meeting of the I.C.D.

16.5 Department committees shall prepare and distribute an annual report for the National Members in their meeting of the I.C.D. Department committee reports are subject to approval of the I.C.D. and the General Assembly.

Article XVII

INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION  

17.1 The Federation’s biennial International Convention is a gathering of funeral operatives from a wide range of countries offering a platform to exchange information and knowledge between members and non-members.

17.2 The manual called: Protocol for the International FIAT-IFTA Convention defines the principles and guidelines for hosting and organization of the biennial FIAT-IFTA Convention. 

Article XVIII

DUES AND INCOME

18.1 Dues to the Federation are paid on an annual basis by all National Members, Active Members, Associate Members or Student Members.

18.2 Upon proposal by the Board of Officers and agreed by the I.C.D. members, the Federation’s membership (gathered in the General Assembly) shall establish dues for National Members, Active Members, Associate Members and Student Members on a biannual basis and shall publish a Dues Schedule each year. 

18.3 National Members, Active Members, Associate Members or Student Members who fail to pay dues will have no voting or speaking rights at any meeting of the Federation.

18.4 National Members, Active Members, Associate Members or Student Members who fail to pay dues by the agreed payment date may be suspended from membership of the Federation by majority vote of the Board of Officers.  A record of suspensions shall be presented by the Treasurer to the annual meeting of the I.C.D. 

18.5 In their report the Auditors shall advise the Board of Officers to ensure that the Federation is compliant within the scope of its tax-exempt and non-profit status.

Article XIX

FISCAL YEAR

19.1 By the end of the second month of the year the Treasurer shall submit the Schedule of profit & loss and the Schedule of assets and liabilities for the previous financial year and the Budget for the coming year to the Board of Officers and the Auditors.

Article XX

AMENDMENTS

20.1 These Bylaws may be amended by a majority vote at any I.C.D. meeting. No amendment shall be presented and debated until written notice of the proposed amendment has been sent to the I.C.D. Members at least thirty (30) days prior to the meeting of the I.C.D. 

ANNEX I

FORMS, PUBLICATIONS AND COMMUNICATION

The Federation shall issue various publications. 

THANOS Magazine: Thanos is reviewed by the Editorial Council and edited by the Editorial Staff, and is published three (3) times per year and shall be distributed to all Members.

The Federation website serves as the primary communication tool for the Members and to the global funeral community. A directory of Members of the Federation is available on the website.

The Federation may use printed material, electronic mailings and e-letters for the purpose of communication. 

5. At the biennial Convention FIAT-IFTA publishes the FIAT-IFTA Funeral Heritage Report. This is reviewed by the FIAT-IFTA Funeral Heritage Steering Committee.

6. Application forms: The FIAT-IFTA secretariat requires submission of official application forms for National, Active, Associate and Student Members. Applicants need to provide all required information.

7. The Federation issues a Certified International Document for the Repatriation of Human Remains.

8. The FIAT-IFTA International Office monitors that all forms in use by the Federation are part of the Annex of the Bylaws of FIAT-IFTA.

9. The Manual of the Executive Secretariat called: Profile of the FIAT-IFTA International Office.

10. The Manual of the biennial Convention called: Protocol for the International FIAT-IFTA Convention.

ANNEX II

DIRECTORY OF COMMITTEES OF THE FEDERATION

1. FIAT-IFTA Funeral Heritage Steering Committee

To preserve the Global Funeral Heritage – tangible and intangible. FIAT-IFTA established the FIAT-IFTA Funeral Heritage Steering Committee in June 2008 at the 10th International Convention in Barcelona.

The Committee convenes once a year.

2. FIAT-IFTA Funeral Heritage Advisory Committee

In 2011 FIAT-IFTA founded the Funeral Heritage Advisory Committee.

This Committee advises, informs, documents and identifies special Funeral Heritageprojects.

3. Editorial Council THANOS Magazine

The FIAT-IFTA Board appoints an Editorial Council of 5 Members to define the editing policies of THANOS magazine. The Editorial Council convenes at the biennial Convention.

 
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