Ombuds and Appeals Committee Terms Of Reference

Green Party of Canada
Ombuds and Appeals Committee
Terms Of Reference

Adopted by the Ombuds and Appeals Committee

A. PURPOSE:

The purpose of the GPC Ombuds Committee is to provide an independent avenue for resolution of serious disputes between members, or between members and any other unit of the Party.

B. MEANS:

The Ombuds Committee will receive complaints from members of the party regarding disputes they have with other entities in the party, or concerns regarding GPC governance; will decide whether or not to accept and deal with each complaint; and will issue reports with the Committee's recommendations to all the parties involved.

C. NATURE:

The GPC Ombuds Committee is an independent body, accountable to the membership, and is not under the direction of GPC Council or any other body or unit of the party.

D. FORM:

D1. The Ombuds Committee consists of five members.

D2. Ombuds Committee members are chosen by election by the membership during regular GPC elections. Candidates for the Ombuds Committee may be self-nominated.

D3. If a vacancy arises on the Ombuds Committee between elections, the remaining members of the Committee may accept applications to fill the vacancy and may, by consensus, appoint a person to fill the vacancy until the next election.

D4. Members of the Ombuds Committee may not, while on the Committee, hold office on GPC council or any committee of GPC Council, or on the council or any committee of any provincial or territorial party.

D5. The Ombuds Committee should include diversity of age, gender, and backgrounds.

D6. Members of the Ombuds Committee should be able to look impartially at all sides of an issue, to be neutral regarding personalities, and exercise sound judgment in resolving difficult issues.

D7. If an Ombuds Committee member ceases to qualify for the Committee, or becomes unable to participate, or fails to participate for 6 months or more, then the remaining Ombuds Committee members may vote to remove the member. The vote must be unanimous by the remaining members.

E. OPERATION:

E1. Any three members of the Ombuds Committee may perform the functions of the Ombuds Committee if the others are unavailable, or are (or would appear to be) biased in a given case.

E2. Complaints or appeals to the Ombuds Committee must be sent in writing or by e-mail to the Chair of the Ombuds Committee with copies to all other members of the Ombuds Committee.

E3. Any complaint to the Ombuds Committee must clearly outline the problem or disagreement, and must clearly state what relief is sought.

E4. For each complaint, the Ombuds Committee must decide whether to accept the complaint for consideration or to reject it, and must notify the complainant of its decision. If a complaint is rejected, the notification must include the reason(s) for rejecting the complaint.

E5. If the person who is the subject of a complaint has not yet received the complaint, the Chair of the Ombuds Committee will send a copy of the compaint to that person so that she or he has an opportunity to respond to the complaint and to any allegations it contains.

E6. When a complaint is received, all members of the Ombuds Committee must declare themselves to be unbiased regarding the parties involved and the matter at issue or else stand aside from it, and any member must stand aside if the rest of the Ombuds Committee feel there is a reasonable perception that the member is biased.

E7. When the Ombuds Committee must carry on deliberations by e-mail, all members of the Ombuds Committee who are engaged in resolving a complaint must carefully attend to all communications on the complaint, and respond promptly in discussion of the issues.

E8. The Ombuds Committee may ask questions of any person to seek additional information or clarity during the course of resolving a complaint.

E9. The Ombuds Committee will reach its conclusions and recommendations by consensus, and will all agree to accept the final wording of the report on the complaint before it is sent out to the parties.

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