Date: August 18, 2015
Status: Initial Ratification Pending
Article I - Name
The organization is hereby named, known, and referred to as The American Congress of Forensic Science Laboratories (ACFSL).
Article II - Purpose and Mission
Section 1 - Purpose
The purpose of ACFSL is to promote the improvement of any scientific, administrative, legislative, journalistic, and judicial practices that impact the forensic laboratory sciences in the United States.
Section 2 - Mission
The mission of the ACFSL is to serve and represent its members through effective programs of communication, advocacy, assembly, and information-sharing.
Section 3 - Nonprofit Status
As part of the incubation of the organization, at such time that membership reaches 1000 persons or earlier, it shall apply for and organize as an independent, nonprofit organization. This act shall not, in any way, affect the incubation provisions included in this constitution.
Article III - Affiliations
The ACFSL shall be established, funded, and managed by The Forensic Foundations Group, LLC (FFG) of Dewitt, Michigan during a prescribed incubation period. Membership dues shall be collected by FFG on behalf of the ACFSL for the purpose of offsetting its operating costs and for the continued growth and advancement of the organization.
Article IV - Membership
Section 1 - Composition
ACFSL's members must be currently employed in a United States forensic science laboratory, or formerly employed by such a laboratory for a minimum of 3 years. A "United States forensic science laboratory" is a laboratory based in the United States of America (to include its states, territories, districts, and reservations), and that is accredited as a forensic science laboratory or functions in a manner reasonably similar to accredited forensic science laboratories.
Section 2 - Eligibility
Eligible members are those satisfying the conditions of Section 1 of this constitution, and are without any past felony convictions, and have not been suspended by at least 3/4 of the Executive Board, and have not been terminated by a 2/3 majority vote of members in good standing.
Article V - Executive Board
Section 1 - Initial Incubation Period
An executive board of 9 persons shall be seated after selection by the Forensic Foundations Group, LLC and shall unanimously approve, in writing, the organization's first constitution. A principal officer of the FFG shall serve and be compensated as the Executive Director and, in such capacity, shall select the first President of the Executive Board who shall preside over its affairs. This incubation period and the appointment of the first executive director shall remain in force until December 31, 2025 or until total membership reaches 3,500 persons at which time the incubation period will conclude and the position of executive director may be filled and/or occupied with any individual approved by 7 out of 9 members of the executive board.
Section 2 - Term Limits
Members of the executive board shall serve three-year terms. Additional terms do not require election but must be approved by the President and two additional board members. Except as stated in this article, Section 1, members of the executive board may serve for a maximum of 9 consecutive years. A member of the executive board who serves 9 consecutive years may never again serve as a member of the board. If a member of the board in good standing vacates his or her seat prior to serving 9 consecutive years, he or she may not again serve on the executive board for two full calendar years, and when reseated, may not serve a period of time that would make greater than 9 years his or her total number of years seated on the executive board. No person shall ever serve more than 9 years on the executive board, whether consecutive or not.
Section 3 - Eligibility for Service
Every member of the executive board shall be clearly and convincingly distinguished as having credentials of professional service and stature relevant to the business of the organization and its members. Every member of the executive board shall also have a record of past accomplishment in which knowledge, skills, and abilities of value to the organization have been previously demonstrated. At any one time, at least 5 of 9 members of the executive board must be Ambassadors or Professional members of the association in good standing with a minimum of five years of experience working in an FLSA-exempt position within a forensic science laboratory.
Section 4 - Elections to the Executive Board
At such time that a vacancy occurs or will occur on the executive board, notice of the vacancy shall be announced in writing to both the membership and the executive board. For a period of not less than 30 days but no more than 60, the president shall accept nominations and letters of interest. At the end of the nomination period, a new candidate may be seated with the approval of seven members of the executive board, including the president.
Section 5 - Termination of Executive Board Members
A member of the executive board, with the exception of the initial board outlined in Section 1, must vacate his or seat on the board when each of the following conditions have been met:
- he or she receives letters from 6 current board members requesting his or her resignation and stating the reason(s) for the request, and
- when notice of the potential unseating is sent, in writing, to the current ACFSL membership, and
- when the total ACFSL membership is advised that they can overturn the unseating with a ballot initiative prior to the seating of a replacement, and
- when at least 2/3 of the total ACFSL membership does not vote (with their names, addresses, signatures, and dates of vote) to overturn the unseating
A member of the executive board must also vacate his or her seat when at least 3/4 of the total ACFSL membership votes, in writing, with their names, addresses, signatures, and dates of vote on a ballot initiative to request the unseating of the member.
Section 6 - Officers
In accordance with the election provisions stated in this article, the election of a President to the executive board shall be made with 6 votes of the executive board and the approval, within one year, of a simple majority of the membership of ACFSL. Each new president shall appoint a Treasurer and Secretary of Operations from among the members of the executive board who shall also serve as officers of the organization. Their appointments shall be approved by a vote of at least 6 members of the executive board.
A member of the executive board may serve as an officer for no more than 6 years, and may vacate their officer position at any time.
Section 7 - Non-Voting Members of the Executive Board
Additional non-voting or ex-officio members are not permitted on the executive board.
Section 8 - Lobbying and Legislative Advocacy
Members of the executive board are not required to support or participate in any lobbying or legislative advocacy. Furthermore, a seat on the executive board will not be construed as a form of support for any lobbying or legislative advocacy undertaken by ACFSL, The Forensic Foundations Group, or any of their affiliates. Members of the executive board may abstain from any advocacy that may create a conflict of interest or other professional hardship.
Article VI - Meetings and Quorum
Section 1 - Meetings
An assembly of the membership, either in person or in a suitable virtual congregation, shall occur at least once annually. A meeting of the executive board shall also occur at least once annually.
Section 2 - Membership Quorum
Business requiring the involvement of the organization's membership may occur when a quorum of 20% of the total voting membership is present and/or available to vote.
Section 3 - Executive Board Quorum
The executive board may conduct legitimate business on behalf of the organization, except where specific vote requirements are stated elsewhere in these articles, when 5 members of the executive board are present and/or available to vote.
Section 4 - Open Meetings and Executive Sessions
Meetings of the Executive Board are open to members in good standing, and are also open to members of the public who are invited and welcomed by the president. The president, at his or her discretion, may opt to hold a portion of a meeting in executive session, where only members of the executive board are present and only when the business under consideration is of a sensitive or confidential nature.
Article VII - Amendments
Amendments to the constitution must be approved by 7 out of 9 members of the executive board and a 2/3 majority vote of members in good standing.