Policy Development Committee/Terms of Reference

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Official Party Document
The veracity of this document is ensured by the National Council and editing of this page is limited to members of the National Council.


Purpose

  1. The Policy Development Committee is established to research and develop draft policies that may be adopted by a vote at a National Congress or Policy Meeting.
  2. The Committee should be recommended as the first step a member takes when developing a policy proposal, and members should be encouraged to work with the Committee where possible.
  3. The Committee is also responsible for preparing submissions to relevant governmental and parliamentary inquiries and reviews that advocate the Party's policies.
  4. Where a policy is not comprehensive, the Committee must promote a position based on the spirit and intention of existing policies.

Coordination

  1. The Committee is coordinated by the Policy Development Officer.
  2. The Policy Development Officer must be a full member of the Pirate Party.
  3. The Policy Development Officer is elected by preferential vote of the membership at the Annual National Congress.
  4. The Policy Development Officer's term lasts until the next Annual National Congress.
  5. If the National Congress fails to elect a Policy Development Officer, the National Council may appoint a suitable full member to this position.
  6. An Inquiries Officer is appointed by the National Council to coordinate and review submissions.

Membership

  1. The Committee must consist of at least five members.
  2. Applications for membership must be made via email to the National Council ([email protected]).
  3. Committee members are required to devote time and effort to writing complete policy amendments.
  4. Committee members are expected to organise themselves internally to
    1. chair and manage meetings, and
    2. form working groups for the development of specific policies, and
    3. set deadlines for the completion of tasks.
  5. At a minimum, Committee members are expected to have
    1. the ability to work professionally within a committee, and
    2. a high level of reading comprehension, and
    3. the ability to write succinctly, and
    4. the ability to explain complex issues in laypersons' terms, and
    5. the inclination to read policy statements of other parties and organisations, and
    6. a broad understanding of Pirate Party Australia's platform and policies, and
    7. a willingness to consult with outside organisations in order to develop policy recommendations, and
    8. an ability and willingness to research and comprehend the legal issues, principles and practices relevant to the Party platform and policies (even if limited to one particular area), and
    9. basic wiki editing skills or a willingness to learn.

Objectives and responsibilities

  1. The Policy Development Officer is responsible for managing and overseeing any policy-related projects undertaken by the Committee.
  2. Coordination of inquiry and review submissions (and related working groups) is the responsibility of the Inquiries Officer.
  3. The Committee may accept or reject any proposals put to it by a member of the Party.
  4. The Committee will research a proposed policy to determine its viability, and may reject a proposal if it is considered unviable.
  5. The Committee will, in consultation with the person who proposed the policy, draft a platform amendment or policy document for presentation at the next National Congress or Policy Meeting.
  6. The Committee must have regular meetings.
  7. The Committee is responsible for updating and maintaining policy FAQ documents.
  8. The Committee must publish documents explaining all committee processes.
  9. The Policy Development Officer must inform the National Council each time the Committee
    1. finalises a policy proposal, or
    2. completes a review of existing policy.
  10. The Policy Development Officer must inform a member if the Committee
    1. accepts or rejects their proposal without further consideration, or
    2. accepts or rejects their proposal after examining its viability, or
    3. begins work on developing their proposal, or
    4. completes work on developing their proposal.
  11. The Policy Development Officer or a nominated stand in must
    1. chair regular meetings of the Committee, and
    2. inform members at national meetings of policies and submissions under development, and
    3. maintain a wiki page that lists policies and submissions under development with a brief description of each, and
    4. actively inform the member base of the existence of working groups.

Powers

  1. The Committee may consult with outside organisations in order to develop policy recommendations.
  2. The Committee may independently initiate a review of the platform or other policy documents and present a revised version at a National Congress or Policy Meeting.
  3. The Committee does not have the power to change policy, but may amend spelling and grammatical errors, citations, and variable provisions.
  4. The Committee cannot prevent members from developing and proposing policies independently.
  5. The Committee may invoke National Council Resolution 2011-6.
  6. The Committee is not required to accept any new proposals if there is less than four weeks until an Annual National Congress.

Budgetary requirements

The Committee is not expected to incur any expenses of its own, but may request funds from the National Council if required.

Tools and procedures for communication

  1. The Committee may determine its own tools and procedures for communication, but there should be accessible means of communication for all members of the Party.
  2. Tools and procedures must follow any applicable by-laws.

Decision-making procedure

  1. Decision-making should be democratic, and decisions made through consensus.
  2. A two-thirds majority of all Committee members must be met for a decision to be valid.

Expected duration

The Committee is expected to last indefinitely.