AECAC Terms of Reference
Function, Terms of Reference, Operation and Procedures
August 2004 Revised December 2005 Revised June 2007 Revised November 2008
- TERM OF OFFICE
- TERMS OF REFERENCE
- RESPONSIBILITIES OF MEMBERS
5.1. Function of Members
5.2. Confidentiality of Papers
5.3. Pecuniary Interest
6.2. Representation of Members
6.3. Varying the Number of Members
6.4. Replacement Member
6.5. Absentee Member
- NOMINATIONS TO COMMITTEE
7.1. Nomination and Appointment
7.2. Reappointment of the Committee
- BUSINESS OPERATIONS
9.1. Conduct of Meetings
- FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS
10.1. Sitting Fees
10.2. Travelling Expenses
10.3. Out-of-pocket Expenses
- INSURANCE OF MEMBERS
- EXECUTIVE OFFICER SERVICING
1.1 "Animal Ethics Committee (AEC)" shall mean an AEC as outlined in the 'Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes' under Part 3 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 and Regulations 2008.
1.2 "Committee" shall mean the AEC Advisory Committee in Victoria.
1.3 "Department" shall mean the Bureau of Animal Welfare, Department of Primary Industries.
1.4 "Minister" shall mean the Victorian Minister for Agriculture.
1.5 "Member" shall mean a person appointed to the Committee by the Minister.
1.6 "Scientific procedures" shall be defined as in section 3 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986.
To consult with the Department on matters related to the implementation of Part 3 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 and Regulations 2008.
3. TERM OF OFFICE
Unless otherwise determined by the Department, the term of office of the Committee and each member, excluding the chairperson, shall be three years. The term of office for the chairperson shall be one year, unless otherwise determined by the Department.
4. TERMS OF REFERENCE
4.1. To consult with the Bureau of Animal Welfare, Department of Primary Industries on the use of animals in scientific procedures and the function of AECs.
4.2. To facilitate interaction and communication between institutions that conduct scientific procedures, their nominated AECs, and the Bureau of Animal Welfare.
4.3. To assist the Bureau of Animal Welfare in review of legislation (including regulations and codes) which affect the conduct of scientific procedures in licensed scientific establishments.
4.4. To facilitate education of AEC members and assist in resolution issues associated with AEC governance, communication or function as necessary.
4.5. To ensure coordination with other committees where appropriate.
4.6. To provide advice on any matters referred by the Department.
4.7. To report annually on the Committee's activities.
5. RESPONSIBILITY OF MEMBERS
5.1. Function of Members: The primary function of members is to offer sound advice to the Department based on collective experience and knowledge, and not to represent any particular interest group.
5.2. Confidentiality of Papers:
5.2.1 Correspondence between the Department and the Committee, and Departmental papers supplying information towards business matters before the Committee, shall be confidential unless otherwise stated by the Director of the Bureau of Animal Welfare.
5.2.2 A member resigning or retiring from the Committee shall not, without the express approval of the Department, expose any document accruing from membership stated as being confidential.
5.2.3 Members will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement.
5.3. Pecuniary Interest:
Where a member has any direct or indirect interest in any matter of business before the Committee, which may be construed as personal financial or other gain, that interest shall be declared to the Committee.
5.4. Where a member so declares, the Committee may:
5.4.1. Refuse the member the right to speak to the business,
5.4.2. Refuse the member the right to vote on that business,
5.4.3. Require the member to withdraw from a meeting for the period of discussion and resolution of that business.
5.4.4. A member shall not be subject to the provisions of 5.3 where the interest is solely the recovery of the cost of services or goods to the Committee.
6.1.1. The Committee shall consist of ten members, all of whom will have a genuine interest and commitment to the ethical use of animals in scientific procedures, appointed to ensure the broadest possible representation of experience and knowledge.
6.2. Representation of Members:
6.2.1. A total of seven members shall be drawn from expressions of interest from each of the following stakeholders: each major university, smaller university, Department of Primary Industries, a private institution/company conducting scientific procedures, a hospital conducting scientific procedures, and a school system or RTO/TAFE representative. Five of these members will be appointed to represent each of the AEC categories of membership (A-D) plus a representative responsible for the routine care of animals within an institution (as recommended by The Australian Code). Where there is a failure to nominate a member of a particular category, a representative member of that category will be appointed, in addition to the nominated members.
6.2.2. To enable the Committee to fulfil its terms of reference, members should occupy a position in each nominating institution such that:
-They reflect the concerns of the majority of AEC members affiliated with that institution; and
-They are able to effectively communicate with the institution's management.
Ideally members would be Chair of an institutions nominated AEC(s) or other category member.
6.2.3. The Department shall appoint a Chairperson and a member of the Bureau of Animal Welfare.
6.2.4. In selecting all members, the Department will have regard for the need for knowledge and experience concerning ethical use of animals in scientific procedures.
6.3. Varying the Number of Members:
6.3.1. The Committee may recommend to the Department that membership be amended.
6.3.2. The Committee may co-opt, with the Department's approval, other persons with relevant experience including any departmental officer, as required. Co-opted members of the Committee can not exercise voting rights.
6.4. Replacement Member:
6.4.1. In the event of a member being obliged or electing to retire or resign during the term of the Committee, or being removed by the Department, the Department, in accordance with approved procedures, will seek nominations for a replacement member.
6.5. Absentee Member:
6.5.1. Where a member fails to attend three consecutive meetings of the Committee without providing an apology or excuse, the Committee shall recommend to the Department the removal of the member and appointment of a replacement member.
7. NOMINATIONS TO THE COMMITTEE
7.1. Nomination and Appointment:
The Department shall invite
7.1.1. The major universities (i.e. The University of Melbourne and Monash University) to nominate one panel each of up to three names of appropriate candidates. One will be selected from each panel to be a member.
7.1.2. The smaller universities to each nominate one name of an appropriate candidate. One nomination will be selected to be a member.
7.1.3. The Department of Primary Industries to nominate one panel of up to three names of an appropriate candidate. One will be selected from the panel to be a member.
7.1.4. Private institutions/companies conducting scientific procedures to each nominate one name of an appropriate candidate. One nomination will be selected to be a member.
7.1.5. Hospitals conducting scientific procedures to each nominate one name of an appropriate candidate. One nomination will be selected to be a member.
7.1.6. Victorian Schools (via the Victorian Schools AEC), Registered Training Organisations and TAFE institutions to each nominate one name of an appropriate candidate. One nomination will be selected to be a member.
7.1.7. Category C members or Animal welfare organisations to nominate a representative or themselves, where there is no category C member nominated by the above invitations or for the chairperson. One nomination will be selected to be a member.
7.2. Reappointment of the Committee
Not less than three months prior to the expiry of the term of appointment of a member, and subject to the continuance of the Committee, the Department shall call for nominations in accordance with 7.1 for the next term of appointment. With the objective of continuance of effective committee functioning, a staggered re-appointment of the Committee members will be attempted.
The Department, on approval from the Department, will appoint a Chairperson for term of office of one year.
8.2. Absence: In the absence of the Chairperson at any meeting of the Committee, the members present shall appoint one of their members to preside at that meeting.
9. BUSINESS OPERATIONS
9.1. Conduct of Meetings:
9.1.1. Meetings shall be conducted in accordance with accepted procedures and in accordance with rulings of the Chairperson.
9.1.2. Notwithstanding accepted practice and the absence of standing orders, the Committee may, at any time, convene as a "Committee of the Whole" to facilitate free discussion of business and expression of viewpoint.
9.2.1. Correspondence from and to the Committee between meetings shall be circulated to all members as and when received.
9.2.2. Correspondence conveying the Committee's advice to the Department shall be completed as soon as practicable after the meeting at which that advice was resolved.
9.3.1. General meetings:
Subject to any directions by the Department, and necessary amendment to schedule by other reasonable causes, formal general meetings of the Committee shall be conducted at a time and venue to be determined and advised by the Committee.
9.3.2. Special Meetings:
The Department may direct, or the Committee may elect to conduct special meetings, if circumstances or the nature of business is urgent or extraordinary.
9.3.3. Meeting Agenda:
The Chairperson shall cause to be circulated not less than seven days prior to a general meeting or a special meeting, an agenda setting out standing business before the Committee.
9.3.4. Meeting Minutes:
The Chairperson shall cause to be circulated to members as soon as practicable after each meeting, minutes of the meeting specifying each item of business discussed, summarising essential items of discussion, and recording the decisions reached or advice resolved. The minutes will be confirmed at the subsequent meeting of the Committee.
184.108.40.206. A Quorum of the Committee is constituted by a majority of the members of the Committee for the time being holding office.
220.127.116.11. No meeting of the Committee shall commence or continue unless a quorum is present.
18.104.22.168. Any duly convened meeting at which a quorum is present shall be competent to consider and resolve any business of the Committee and shall have and may exercise all the functions of the Committee.
9.4.1. Questions arising at a meeting of the Committee shall be determined by consensus where possible. Failure to achieve consensus will be resolved where possible by discussion amongst dissenting committee members. Where necessary, resolution will be achieved via a majority of votes of the members present and voting.
9.4.2. The Chairperson or member presiding over a meeting shall have a deliberative vote and, in the event of equality of voting, shall have a second or casting vote.
9.4.3. No person at a meeting, other than an appointed member, may have the right to vote.
10. FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS
10.1. Sitting Fees:
Appointed members shall be paid meetings fees as prescribed by the Government's "Guidelines for the Appointment and Remuneration of Part-Time Non-Executive Directors of State Government Boards and Members of Statutory Bodies and Advisory Committees".
10.2. Travelling Expenses:
10.2.1. Private motor vehicle usage reimbursement rates, as determined from time to time by the Department, shall be paid to all appointed members attending meetings.
10.2.2. Costs of travel by train, bus, tram, or taxi to attend meetings of the Committee shall be reimbursed.
10.3. Out of pocket expenses:
Where appropriate (refer to Policy for the Reimbursement of Travel and Out of Pocket Expenses for Non-Departmental Representatives of Government Advisory Committees), the Department shall reimburse the actual and necessary out of pocket expenditure incurred by non-departmental representatives up to the maximum rates payable as set by the Australian Taxation Office.
The Committee shall be funded by specific vote allocation each year.
12. INSURANCE OF MEMBERS
Under 14 (3) of the Accident Compensation Act 1985, an appointed member of the Committee is deemed to be an employer of the Crown while attending meetings or while undertaking any directed or approved activity on behalf of the Committee. Cover is afforded by Workcover.
13. EXECUTIVE OFFICER SERVICING
The Department shall provide all executive support services to the Committee.