The New Zealand Association of Radio Transmitters Incorporated
How to Write a Remit Right or How to Rightly Write a Remit.
A Guide to Remit Preparation
To assist Branches with drafting, checking and preparing a remit.
The care taken in the preparation of a remit is vital to its success.
Purpose of a Remit
a. A remit is necessary to make changes to the NZART Constitution - see Constitution clause 22.
b. A remit may be used to establish or change NZART policy on a particular matter, or to decide procedures or other actions.
c. To give guidance to President, Council and Officers.
d. To test the opinion of the membership.
The need for a Remit
a. Changes to the Constitution can only be made through Remit action, (Constitution clause 24).
b. Non-constitutional topics may be better dealt with by other means, a letter to Council via the General Secretary or any officer may result in faster and more effective results in many cases.
There is no need to wait until conference remits are called for at the end of each year, any topic can be introduced at any time. Immediate submission gives more time for research and discussion.
Often Council is able to act without having to get the approval of Conference.
Normally only controversial topics would need to be referred to the membership as a whole. A direct approach may reveal that your topic is already policy, or has already been considered and rejected, or is
impractical or undesirable.
The form of the text of Remit
a. Remits to change the Constitution must comply with the constitution clause 24(d) and should include both the text to be changed and the new text in the remit. It is recommended that it follow the pattern: "That in NZART Constitution clause___, the words"_____" be deleted, and the words"_____" inserted.
b. Other remits must contain the idea, an indication as to how it is to be adopted, by whom, and if necessary the timing involved.
It is recommended that it follow the pattern of the example: " That NZART Council approach the Minister of Finance to have income tax abolished". This is clear on what and by whom the matter is to be treated. A remit with wording such as : "That income tax be abolished" is not within the ability of NZART council to act upon so could not be accepted . But a remit " That the QSL Bureau close down " could be accepted because this could be actioned by NZART Council.
c. A remit should be on a single topic. A remit in parts or sub sections is undesirable. One topic one remit, should be the rule. A remit in parts is difficult to deal with at Conference. Each part may need separate
consideration and Branch delegates may not be prepared to deal with it in that way. Separate remits for separate topics also make it easier at branch meetings.
Preparation for a Remit
a. The present situation on the subject must be established through a Councillor or Officer if necessary. Get all the facts right.
b. The proposal should be discussed as widely as possible to assess the need for a remit and what support is likely.
c. A search through previous April and May issues of Break-In to see if similar remits have been dealt with in the past (say five years).
d. NZART Constitution and other documents (eg, Radioxcommunications Regulations) must be checked to see that the remit is in order. Nothing is more disheartening than to have a remit thrown out on a point of order.
e. Careful drafting and choice of words is essential. Checks on a draft remit
a. Does it say:
What is wanted?
Who is to do it?
b. Is action within the powers of Council?
c. Are you completely satisfied that there is need for the change you propose?
d. If the remit is passed: what other effects are likely? Are they desirable? Should they be included in the remit? Should they be included in a supplementary remit?
e. Has guidance from Councillors and Officers been obtained?
f. Does the proposal comply with the constitution?
g. Are the proposals in the best interests of the Amateur Service?
h. Have the correct names, titles, and abbreviations been used in the wording?
It is recommended that the draft remit be discussed with other Branches. In some cases a circular to all Branches asking for their comment at an early stage may assist the drafting of the remit and its ultimate success.
It should be seen from these suggestions that spur-of-the-moment remits from a Branch meeting should be carefully scrutinised before being forwarded. Work on a remit should be thorough and it may take you many weeks before its preparation is completed. It is a good idea to have a drafting sub-committee in a branch to work on the wording and to carry out any necessary investigations.
The explanation is perhaps the most important part of the remit submission. It should be thorough but concise, and establish the need for the change, and the effect of the change. It should be accurate in its claims, free of opinion, and supported by references or evidence that can be further investigated by the reader.
It is important that your delegate is thoroughly briefed in the topic and able to speak for your Branch. Possible amendments that could arise should be considered and your delegate given the Branch's views on them. It is important that a Branch putting forward a remit is represented at Conference. To produce a remit and then not appear to present it is counterproductive. Branches throughout will have spent time debating the proposal and feel let down if it is not introduced by the originating Branch.
Good luck! Even if you follow these suggestions to the letter, no guarantee can be given that your remit will succeed. Conferences are renowned for upsetting things.