International Organization for Plant Information


Name and objectives


2. The objectives of IOPI shall be:

Membership and entitlements

1. IOPI shall consist of Participating Centre Members (PC Members) and individual Members.

2. PC and individual Members shall be required to be active participants in the work of IOPI, either as representatives of Participating Centres or as Members in their own right recognized by the governing body of IOPI and submitted for election as such.

3. Nominations for PC or Individual membership shall be submitted in writing by two Members of IOPI, from knowledge of their potential contribution to the work of IOPI, and the names shall be submitted by Council for election at the General Meeting by a simple majority of the Members present.

4. Honorary Associates shall be individuals, recognized by the governing body of IOPI as capable of contributing in some way to the work of IOPI although not necessarily participating directly in its activities as such. They shall be nominated by the governing body of IOPI.

5. PC and Individual Members shall be entitled to participate in all meetings and activities of IOPI and to receive such products as the governing body may from time to time determine. Honorary Associates shall be entitled to such privileges as the governing body of IOPI may from time to time determine.

6. A Member may resign at any time by giving at least seven days' notice in writing to the Secretary.

7. Council may recommend the expulsion of any Member if, in the opinion of the Council, that Member has made no contribution to the work of IOPI for a substantial period, or if the Member's conduct is deemed prejudicial to the interests of IOPI, provided always that the said Member shall be given an opportunity to defend him or her self against the recommendation for expulsion; but the Council's decision shall then be final.

Officers and government

1. Council of IOPI shall elect Officers from amongst its Members. There shall be a Chairman, not more than two Vice Chairmen, a Secretary and a Treasurer.

2. The Government of IOPI shall be vested in a Council to be appointed annually at a General Meeting of not more than fifteen Councillors (to be elected from the PC and Individual Members), six individuals (to be nominated by IAPT, TDWG, CODATA, IUCN, UNEP, and UNESCO respectively), and not more than five additional Members, who may be either Honorary Associates or additional, co-opted members to further particular interests not otherwise represented on Council. (N.B. Maximum 21 or, with full co-option, 26.) The size and composition of Council may be amended by resolution and vote in accordance with the procedure laid down in Conduct of Business clause 3(1).

3. Each PC or Individual Member nominated for election as a Councillor shall have been proposed and seconded in writing by at least two members of IOPI. If the number of nominations exceeds the number of vacancies a postal ballot shall be held and election shall be by a majority of participating Members; in the event of the nominations not exceeding the number of vacancies, the nominees shall be considered duly elected.

4. Councillors shall be elected for a period of not more than three years, one third, or if their number is not three or a multiple of three the number nearest one third, retiring each year. Initially the period of appointment shall be determined by Council.

5. Councillors who have served their full term shall be eligible for immediate re-election.

6. Any Member co-opted to fill a casual vacancy shall serve until the next Annual General Meeting. Casual appointments shall be eligible for immediate re-election thereafter.

7. An individual co-opted for other reasons shall serve such term as Council shall determine, provided that, in the first instance, it shall not exceed three years.

8. The Council shall meet at least once a year, twelve Councillors, including at least two Officers, to form a quorum.

Conduct of business

1. The business of IOPI shall be conducted in accordance with the Constitution and Bye-laws. The Bye-laws in force shall be deemed to be those appended and shall so remain until such time as they may be altered. The Council may propose the introduction, alteration or repeal of any Bye-law: notification of such changes must be circulated at least twelve weeks before a postal ballot and their adoption shall be subject to approval by a 75% majority of those Members entitled to vote.

2. On matters concerning the Constitution or finance of IOPI, voting by Members shall be confined to PC Members, but on all other matters every Member shall have a single vote; in the event of a tied vote, the Chairman of the General Meeting shall have the power to cast a deciding vote.

3. Proposals for the alteration of the Constitution may be made by Council, or by not less than fifteen Members in writing. Such proposals must be circulated to all PC Members at least twelve weeks before a postal ballot held specifically for that purpose. Adoption of such changes shall be subject to approval by a 75% majority of those Members entitled to vote.

4. Voting in any resolution may be by proxy vote in such manner as Council may determine, to be included in the Bye-laws.


Organization of IOPI's activities

Bye-law 1: Election of Officers

1. Officers shall be elected for a period of not more than three years. Council shall inform all Members of the names and addresses of all Officers on election.

2. Officers are normally elected from 1st January. Officers shall normally only be eligible for immediate re-election for one further period of not more than three years.

3. Council shall inform all Members of those nominees who have been duly elected as Councillors.

Bye-law 2: Meetings

1. Council shall call a General Meeting of all Members within each calendar year, at which the business shall be:

  • i. to report on the progress achieved on furthering the objectives of IOPI;

  • ii. to present the annual accounts for approval;

  • iii. to proceed with the election of new Members;

  • iv. to decide the time and place of the next General Meeting;

  • v. any other competent business.

  • 2. All Members shall be notified of the time and place of the General Meeting at least six months before its due date.

    3. Members may submit items for the General Meeting, but no item shall be included unless it has been received two months before the date of the Meeting, when a final agenda of business will be sent to all Members*.

    [*Items submitted within two months of the date of the Meeting may, exceptionally, at the discretion of the Chairman of Council, be considered under "v. any other competent business"]

    4. Other Meetings may be called for such business as Council may decide; all Members shall be notified of the time, place, and business of such a Meeting at least six months before its due date.

    Bye-law 3: Proxy votes

    1. Any Member who is unable to vote in person or in a postal ballot may vote by proxy provided that the said Member shall:

  • (a) have indicated to the Secretary of the Council that he/she wished to vote by proxy and has either

  • (b) indicated which other Member he/she has asked to vote for him/her, having first received that Member's agreement,


  • (c) informed the Secretary of the Council that he/she wishes the Secretary to vote on the Member's behalf.

  • 2. Unless a Member voting by proxy shall have specifically instructed another Member or the Secretary of the Council, the Member casting the proxy vote, or the Secretary, shall be empowered to vote as he/she sees fit.

    3. Members who are not present at a meeting when votes are cast, or who do not participate in a postal ballot, or nominate a proxy, shall be deemed not to have voted and the outcome of the ballot shall be determined in accordance with the Constitution amongst those participating or voting by proxy.

    Bye-law 4: Committees

    1. Council shall establish and review such Committees for such periods as it deems desirable, and in each case prescribe the function of the Committee. Each Committee shall elect its own Chairman, and such other officers it may consider desirable, subject always to the approval of Council. The Chairman and Secretary of Council shall be ex officio members of all Committees.

    2. Membership shall not normally exceed twelve and shall normally be confined to Members of IOPI. Membership shall be reported to Council annually together with a report of the work of the Committee and of any Working Group (see Bye-law 5) it may have established.

    Bye-law 5: Working groups

    1. Council or any Committee established by Council, and subject to its approval, may set up Working Groups, normally for a period of not more than five years, in order to expedite specific issues of a specialist nature. Council or Committee, as appropriate, shall review the activities of the Working Group each year.

    2. Membership of a Working Group shall not normally exceed six individuals and need not be confined to Members of IOPI. Working groups shall work to a remit provided by Council or a Committee and will report annually to either Council or the Committee which established it.

    Bye-law 6: Ad hoc groups

    1. Council shall have power to establish any other ad hoc Group for such purpose, of such composition, and for such duration as it deems appropriate, provided always that the establishment of such a Group is for the purpose of expediting the objectives of IOPI.

    Bye-law 7: Incorporation

    1. Council shall be empowered to seek incorporation, or such other legal status, when and where appropriate.

    Bye-law 8: Operational year

    1. The financial and administrative year shall be the calendar year.

    Bye-law 9: Circulation of the Constitution

    1. Copies of the Constitution and Bye-laws shall be sent to each Member on election. Members shall be informed of approved alterations by such means as Council shall from time to time determine.

    Bye-law 10: Effective date

    1. This Constitution and these Bye-laws shall be effective from 20th September 1991.

    International Organization for Plant Information (IOPI) Authorized WWW server page. Karen Wilson (editor). Last modified: 4 November 1997 <b>CONSTITUTION</b>