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9.24 Policy Conformance.

    9.241 Conformity with Approved Public Policies and Position Statements. All public statements, testimony, and lobbying efforts presented on behalf of the AIA with respect to matters of public concern and any matters before legislative or administrative bodies shall be in accordance with approved AIA Public Policies and Position Statements.

    9.242 Component Conformity. Public Policies and Position Statements are binding on components. A component may not directly or indirectly nullify or contravene any Public Policy or Position Statement of the Institute.

    9.243 Secretary's Oversight. The Secretary, with Management input regarding the legislative purpose of the Public Policy or Position Statement at issue, shall oversee consideration of all alleged instances of component noncompliance or requests for exception from compliance with Public Policies or Position Statements. All allegations of component noncompliance shall be referred to the Secretary, who shall promptly notify the component of the allegation and invite a response.

    9.244 Initial Decision. Based on the allegation, the response, and such other information as the Secretary may obtain, the Secretary shall determine whether the component is or is not in compliance with the Public Policy or Position Statement. The Secretary shall report the decision and proposed sanction, if any, to the parties. If not appealed within 30 days, the decision and sanction become final.

    9.245 Appeal from Initial Decision. A party who is dissatisfied with the Secretary's decision or proposed sanction may request a formal hearing. The President shall appoint a hearing committee of three members who shall hear evidence and argument from the parties and conduct such further investigation as may be appropriate. The committee shall report its findings and recommended sanction, if any, to the Board of Directors.

    9.246 Board Action on Appeal. On appeal from a decision of the Secretary, the Board may approve or reverse the decision by majority vote and approve or modify any recommended sanction. The Board's decision shall be final.

    9.247 Sanctions for Noncompliance. Sanctions for policy nonconformance shall be as follows:

      (1) Reprimand. A letter of reprimand from the Secretary to the board of the component found in violation of a Public Policy or Position Statement, with copies to all other components affected by the decision. The letter shall be included in the minutes of the next meeting of the Board of Directors. Only the Secretary may issue a sanction of reprimand.

      (2) Censure. A letter of censure from the Secretary to the Board of the component found in violation of a Public Policy or Position Statement, with copies to all other components affected by the decision. A copy of the letter shall be published in the newsletter of the Institute. Censure is the minimum sanction the Board may issue in the event of an appeal from a decision of the Secretary.

      (3) Suspension of Charter. By two-thirds majority vote, the Board may suspend a component charter for one year. A notice of suspension shall be sent to all members assigned to the component and published in the newsletter of the Institute. A component under suspension is ineligible to send delegates to the annual meeting of the membership of the Institute, but must continue to comply with all Public Policies and Position Statements. The rights and obligations of members assigned to the component are not otherwise affected by suspension of the charter. Suspension may be made conditional on reorganization of the component, in which case the Board will issue a notice of censure with intent to suspend the charter in 60 days if a reorganization does not occur.

      (4) Withdrawal of Charter. By two-thirds majority vote, the Board may withdraw the charter of a component. Notice of withdrawal shall be sent to all members of the component and published in the newsletter of the Institute. Members shall be reassigned by the Secretary to a new component.

9.25 Policy Conformance Exception.

    9.251 Exception Requests. Any component may apply in writing to the Secretary for an exception from the requirement to comply with a Public Policy or Position Statement. The Secretary may grant such a request only if the component demonstrates that (1) conditions unique to the component prevent compliance, (2) compliance would pose an unreasonable hardship to the component or its members, or (3) compliance would create or facilitate a condition more disadvantageous to the interests of the profession than compliance.

    9.252 Contents of Exception Request. A request for exception must state (1) the Public Policy or Position Statement that applies, (2) the efforts undertaken by the component to conform to the policy or position, (3) the conditions that prevent or will prevent compliance or that make compliance counterproductive, and (4) the efforts undertaken by the component to alter those conditions.

    9.253 Secretary's Response. The Secretary shall respond within 30 days in one of the following ways:

      (1) grant the request, with or without conditions;

      (2) reject the request;

      (3) acknowledge receipt and state when a decision will be made;

      (4) request additional information and provide a timetable for decision;

      (5) acknowledge receipt and initiate an investigation into the basis for the request.

    9.254 Appeal from Secretary's Decision. Once the Secretary decides a request for exception, a component that is dissatisfied with the decision may appeal to the Board of Directors through its Regional Director. The Board, by two-thirds majority vote, may modify or reverse the Secretary's decision.

 

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