IBS Bylaws Revisions to be Considered by the Membership on or before 24 July, 2020

By Peter Doherty posted 23 days ago


At its March, 2020 meeting, the Executive Board of the IBS reviewed the Society’s Bylaws and is now recommending amendments to Articles V and VI, primarily due to a proposed change in the leadership structure which is described below.


  • Under the current IBS Bylaws, one officer serves in the combined role of Secretary/Treasurer.
  • In the amendments to the Bylaws, the Board has proposed splitting this position into two separate roles and describing an expanded set of secretarial activities.
  • The Board further proposes that the new Secretary and Treasurer be elected to two-year terms, possibly renewable for a second term.
  • Finally, the Board proposes that when a new Treasurer is elected, the previous Treasurer serves for an additional period of one year as Outgoing Treasurer, with primary responsibility for financial aspects of the IBC that would be held that same year.


We believe that the proposed modifications to the Bylaws will benefit not only the membership, but the governance as well.

Due to the cancellation of the in-person IBC 2020, the biennial Meeting of the membership will not take place in July as previously scheduled. However, the Bylaws do allow for an electronic vote on all matters that were to be brought forth to the membership for a vote. The following modifications would have been reviewed by the membership during that meeting. 

"Per the Bylaws, Article 15 (Section 15.1  Amendments), “The Executive Board may recommend amendments to these bylaws, in whole or in part, to be voted on by a quorum of the Society membership in person or through mail, fax or electronic ballot.  The Society shall post any proposed bylaw amendments on the Society’s website for review and comment by the Society’s membership not less than thirty (30) days prior to the date of the membership meeting, or mail, facsimile or electronic mail ballot vote in which the bylaw amendments will be acted upon.”

The new language has been incorporated into Article V and VI below. A ballot will be e-mailed to every eligible member on or before 24 June, 2020, with reminders scheduled on or after 24 June, 2020. The deadline to vote will be 24 July, 2020. Please contact the International Biometric office at
ibs@biometricsociety.org with any questions. 



Executive Board – proposed deletions / additions are shown below


Section 5.2       Composition. The Executive Board shall consist of 15 members, all of whom shall be elected by the voting membership twelve directors and the society officers as described in Section 6, all of whom shall be elected by the voting membership.  Three serve as officers/directors (subsequently referred to as officers) and twelve serve as directors. The twelve directors shall each serve for a term of four years or until their successors are duly qualified and elected. The twelve directors shall be elected to serve staggered terms, with six directors elected every two years. The directors shall be elected from the five large geographical/continental areas of Africa, Asia/Australasia, Central/South America, Europe, and North America, herein called “continental areas.” Initially there shall be two directors from Asia/Australasia, four from Europe, four from North America, one from Africa and one from Central/South America. In the event that a director vacancy occurs, the Executive Board, in consultation with the chair of the Representative Council, shall appoint a qualified and current member of the Representative Council to fill the vacancy until the next scheduled election of directors. At each election there should be six regular vacancies plus any casual vacancies resulting from directors resigning within the first two years of a four-year term. In order to preserve the rotation of the board, candidates elected to fill a casual vacancy shall only serve a two-year term. In the event that a continental area has more than one vacancy, and one, or more, of the vacancies is a casual vacancy, the elected candidates with the greatest number of votes will fill the regular vacancies.


Section 5.12     Duties of Executive Board Members. In addition to their duties and responsibilities as executive board members as provided in the Policies and Procedures of the Society, executive board members may also be asked to serve as a non-voting liaison with one of the Society’s committees or to act as the business manager of one of the Society’s publications or to carry out other duties as required.



Officers – proposed deletions / additions are shown below


Section 6.1       Designations, Election and Terms of Office. There shall be three generally be four officers of the Society at any one time, with one exception as described below. This group may consist of the president, president-elect, and secretary/  and treasurer or the president, outgoing president, and secretary/ and treasurer. A new president-elect shall be elected by the Society during every even-numbered year. That officer’s term shall commence at the start of the following odd-numbered year. The president-elect serves a one-year term and shall automatically succeed to the office of president at the end of that year, serving as president for two years, after which he or she shall become the outgoing president, serving for one additional year as an officer in that role. A new secretary and a new treasurer shall be elected by the Society during every odd-numbered year. Both may serve two consecutive terms in office. In addition, the treasurer shall serve as outgoing treasurer for one additional year, overlapping with any newly elected treasurer. This will ensure continuity in terms of financial planning and oversight of the Society’s biennial International Biometric Conference. An outgoing treasurer shall serve as a full member of the Executive Board and, in years in which the outgoing treasurer position is filled, there shall be five officers of the society. The Secretary/Treasurer shall be elected to a three-year term and may serve two consecutive terms in office.  All executive officers shall be elected through a ballot of the members of the Society eligible to vote in such elections.


Section 6.5         Duties of the Secretary/Treasurer. The secretary/treasurer shall be the financial officer of the Society and be responsible for all financially related activities of the Society. The secretary/treasurer shall oversee the development of an annual budget for the Society, with the assistance of the International Business Office, for approval by the Budget and Finance Committee and the Executive Board; ensure the establishment of proper accounting procedures for the management of Society funds; arrange the performance of a review or audit by a certified public accountant; and report regularly on the financial condition of the Society to meetings of the Society and of the Executive Board. The secretary/treasurer is responsible for the official records of meetings and shall direct the executive director to record and distribute minutes, reports and notices.

Section 6.6         Duties of the Outgoing Treasurer. The outgoing treasurer shall oversee all financial aspects of the International Biometric Conference held during his or her final year on the Executive Board. In Collaboration with the Society’s executive director the outgoing treasurer shall prepare a financial summary and analysis of the IBC finances and make recommendations to the board for any future changes.

Section 6.7         Duties of the Secretary. The secretary shall be responsible for the official records of executive board, officer, and society membership meetings and shall direct the executive director to record and distribute minutes, reports, and notices. The secretary shall be responsible for overseeing and tracking society membership as well as engaging regional leaders. The secretary shall facilitate communication between the presidents of the society with the International Business Office, the executive board, regional leaders, and society membership as directed by the president.

Section 6.9         Vacancies. Any vacancy occurring in the office of president during the first year of a term shall be filled temporarily by the outgoing president until a new president can be elected to complete the remaining portion of the term.  A new outgoing president shall be appointed from among the directors, approved by the Executive Board, to complete the uncompleted portion of the four-year term.  Any vacancy occurring in the office of president during the second year of a term shall be filled by the president-elect, who shall continue to complete his or her full four-year term on the Executive Board. Any vacancy occurring in the office of president-elect shall be filled by the outgoing president until a new president-elect can be elected. Any vacancy occurring in the office of outgoing president shall be filled by a director, approved by the Executive Board, for the remaining portion of the term. Any vacancy in the office of secretary/treasurer shall be filled temporarily by a director, approved by the Executive Board, until a new secretary or /treasurer can be elected. The new appointee shall serve a term of no more than three two years. Any vacancy occurring in the office of outgoing treasurer will remain vacant and the relevant tasks undertaken by the treasurer.