Welcome to the International Cartographic Association
Welcome to the website of the International Cartographic AssociationJune’s Map of the Month: World atlas in Polish and Braille
Welcome to the website of the International Cartographic Association
June’s Map of the Month is a world atlas in Polish and Braille
Map of the Month 05/2014: Physical Geography of Ukraine
Map of the Month 04/2014: Back in time feature on Géoportail

ICA Statutes and By-Laws

ICA Statutes

A. Aims of the Association

Article 1

The International Cartographic Association (ICA) has the following aims:

  • Advancing the study of cartographic or geographic information (GI) science issues In particular it is concerned with the processing, storage and analysis of source material and the design, construction, reproduction and display techniques of maps and associated forms of graphic communications. To this end, co-operation with different branches of geodetic, geographic and other scientific research disciplines is desirable.
  • Initiating, fostering and co-ordinating research in cartography and GI science, involving the co-operation between different nations, the exchange of ideas and documents, the furtherance of education and training in cartography and GI science, and encouraging the dissemination of cartographic and GI science knowledge.
  • Organising international and regional conferences, meetings, exhibitions and outreach programmes, et cetera, and participation in similar meetings facilitated by other organisations.
  • Establishing commissions and working groups to work on issues of particular interest to cartography and GI science.
  • Promoting and ensuring equity in all matters and at all levels of responsibility within the Association and amongst its members.

The ICA subscribes to the 1958 declaration of the 8th General Assembly of the International Council for Science (ICSU) concerning non-discrimination on the basis of politics, nationality, religion, race or gender.

B. Incorporation into an existing international scientific organisation

Article 2

The ICA may be affiliated with other international organisations.

C. National representation

Article 3. National representation and membership of the Association

Any nation which pursues a cartographic or GI science activity can be accepted as a member nation of the ICA provided that it agrees to participate financially in supporting the Association and in collaborating actively in its scientific and technical activities. Each nation can only be represented by one single organisation, which should preferably be the national society or committee for cartography or GI science. Thus, a member nation is represented by a national member organisation such as one of these. Furthermore, the ICA can accept requests for affiliated membership from international or national scientific, technical or other organisations made for the purpose of collaborating in its activities, and without compromising the principle of single representation of each nation in the official functioning of the Association or affecting the methods of voting as described in Articles 4, 26 and By-Law 5. Application to become a member nation or affiliate member shall be made by letter to the Secretary General and Treasurer and may be approved by the Executive Committee subject to ratification at the next General Assembly of Delegates.

Article 4. Delegates and voting rights

Every member nation has the right to one vote in the General Assembly of Delegates. For this purpose, each member nation is represented at the General Assemblies of the Association by a principal delegate and by a deputy, who may vote in the absence of the principal delegate. However, at the request of the Executive Committee, the General Assembly may withdraw the right to vote from member nations which have not paid their contribution for the previous three years.

Article 5. Activities and reports

The task of each national member organisation is to facilitate and co-ordinate, within in its nation, the study and development of the different aspects of cartography and GI science. Every member nation or affiliate member, either individually or in conjunction with one or more of the other member nations or other affiliate members, can submit motions (see Article 10) to the Association which are appropriate to the Association for discussion.

Each national member organisation agrees to send a report to each General Assembly on the cartographic and GI science activities in the country during the previous four years.

D. Official Organisations of the Association

Article 6. Official organisations of the Association are:

  • the General Assembly of Delegates (see Articles 7 – 11)
  • the Executive Committee (see Articles 12 – 14)
  • the Office of the Secretary General and Treasurer (or Secretariat) (see Article 16)
  • Commissions and Working Groups (see Article 24)
  • the Publication Committee (see Article 27)
  • the Statutes and By-Laws Committee (see Article 28)
  • the Selection of Award Recipients Committee (see By-Law 4)
  • the ICA Fund for Supporting Cartography and Geographic Information Committee

E. The General Assembly of Delegates

Article 7. Composition of the General Assembly of Delegates

The General Assembly of Delegates is formed from the principal delegates of each national member organisation and their deputies, who are able to attend, and the members of the Executive Committee.

If the Executive Committee so permits, additional delegates may attend the General Assembly of Delegates as observers.

A member nation, which is represented on the Executive Committee, can nominate that committee member as its principal delegate with the right to vote.

Normally, the President of the Association will preside at the General Assembly.

Article 8. Authority of the General Assembly of Delegates

The General Assembly of Delegates

  • decides on the policy and Statutes and By-Laws of the Association.
  • ratifies the membership of new members, which have been considered and approved by the Executive Committee.
  • elects the President, the Secretary General and Treasurer, the Vice-Presidents and two auditors.
  • receives the reports of the Executive Committee and the Commissions and Working Groups for the previous period of office.
  • decides on the budget and the resources available for the following (four-year) period.
  • determines the programme of activities in general and decides, in principle, on planned activities or meetings, including the next meeting of the General Assembly.
  • establishes Commissions, elects the chairpersons of Commissions and approves the terms of reference, subject to the provisions of Article 24.

Article 9. Meetings of the General Assembly of Delegates

The General Assembly of Delegates will normally meet every four years.

At each General Assembly the time and place of the next meeting will be decided or, if this is impractical, the decision will be made by the Executive Committee.

In special circumstances, with the agreement of the Executive Committee, the President has the right to call an Extraordinary General Assembly. The President is also obliged to do so if one third of the member nations demand it.

As a rule, the General Assembly will be held in conjunction with an International Cartographic Conference (ICC).

Article 10. Agenda

The agenda of every General Assembly of Delegates is decided upon by the Executive Committee. It will be communicated to the representative of each member nation three months before the General Assembly of Delegates takes place.

In order to make this feasible, national member organisations, who want to bring an issue to the agenda, must propose a motion on that issue in writing to the Secretary General and Treasurer at least five months before the date of the General Assembly. See also By-Law 8.

Motions not listed on the agenda cannot be brought to that Assembly for a decision. However, the President is entitled to accept such motions, but for discussion only.

Article 11. Voting

Decisions at the General Assembly shall be taken by a show of hands and by a simple majority vote, of those delegates present, who have the right to vote.

However, if at least two delegates make a request, the vote shall be taken by ballot. Should there be an equal division of vote, the President shall cast the deciding vote.

Voting by proxy will not be permitted and no delegate shall represent or vote for any other member nation.

Voting by correspondence will be permitted only in accordance with Articles 28 and 30.

F. The Executive Committee

Article 12. Composition of the Executive Committee

The Executive Committee of the Association consists of the following members:

  • The President of the Association, who presides over all regular and extraordinary General Assemblies, the meetings of the Executive Committee, International Cartographic Conferences and acts as the main representative of the Association.
  • A Past President, who shall serve for one term following the term of President. The office of Past President may remain vacant.
  • Five to seven Vice-Presidents, the exact number to be decided at the General Assembly of Delegates. They assist the President in the performance of his or her different duties.
  • A Secretary General and Treasurer, who is responsible for the administration and the general running of the Association.

The duties to be conducted by Executive Committee members are specified in the reference document Duties and Responsibilities of ICA Officers.

Article 13. Election of the Executive Committee

No member nation may have more than one representative on the Executive Committee.

The President, the Vice-Presidents and the Secretary General and Treasurer shall be elected by the General Assembly of Delegates and shall hold office until the end of the following General Assembly.

They can be re-elected, but with the following restrictions:

  • the President may not serve for three consecutive terms.
  • the Vice-Presidents and the Secretary General and Treasurer may not serve for three consecutive terms.

In the event of a vacancy arising in the Executive Committee in the period between two General Assemblies, the Executive Committee, after consultation with the member nation which the person represented, will appoint a replacement from the same member nation to serve until the next General Assembly at which a new Executive Committee is elected. If a vacancy arises in the Presidency, an Acting President will be elected by the Executive Committee. The Secretary General and Treasurer shall organise the election as soon as possible following the vacancy.

Article 14. Authority of the Executive Committee

The Executive Committee is responsible for the general functioning of the Association and represents it wherever necessary.

A quorum of half the members of the Executive Committee, plus one, is required to validate decisions of the Committee. It prepares and organises the General Assembly of Delegates, oversees the International Cartographic Conferences and other meetings, and compiles reports on them. It may form Working Groups.

It prepares guidelines and rules for the formation and operation of Commissions and Working Groups, including their functioning and reporting, and the managing of funds allocated for their support. It examines and, if necessary, modifies proposed terms of reference, in discussion with the proposed Commission chairpersons before presentation to the General Assembly for decision.

As a rule, it meets once a year, but may meet whenever deemed necessary, at the invitation of the President or by request from at least three of its members.

The members of the Executive Committee perform their duties without remuneration.

The time and place of the International Cartographic Conference between General Assemblies may be determined by the Executive Committee.

Article 15. Domicile of the Association

The domicile of the Association is determined by the President.

Article 16. Secretariat

A secretariat may be installed, either at the meeting place of the General Assembly of Delegates or at the domicile of the President or of the Secretary General and Treasurer.

Such a secretariat may have paid employees, whose salaries are to be determined by the Secretary General and Treasurer with the approval of the Executive Committee.

Article 17. Auditors

The Auditors are elected by the General Assembly of Delegates for the period between two successive General Assemblies. The Secretary General and Treasurer submits to them, in good time, all necessary documents to enable them to render to the General Assembly, a complete report on the accounts, and on the financial position of the Association. This report has to be presented to the Executive Committee before the Delegates meet.

The Auditors have, at all times, the right to carry out any checks and inspections which seem necessary to them. They perform their duties without remuneration.

They can be re-elected.

G. Budgets, Funds

Article 18. Budget

The amount of the annual subscription unit will be determined periodically by the General Assembly of Delegates by means of a by-law (By-Law 2). This subscription provides the operating budget for the Association.

Article 19. Use of funds

The income of the Association is to be devoted to paying for:

  • the cost of administration.
  • travel costs within the limits decided by the President and / or the Secretary General and Treasurer.
  • the remuneration of any paid staff in the office of the Secretary General and Treasurer.
  • any purchase designed to achieve the general purposes of the Association as approved by the General Assembly.
  • scholarships, travel awards and other contributions from the ICA Fund for Supporting Cartography and Geographic Information.

Article 20. Payment of subscriptions

Each national member organisation and affiliate member is responsible for paying the annual subscription.

If a national member organisation has not paid its subscription for three consecutive years, the Executive Committee may decide that it shall be given observer status until payment is made. If they refuse to pay they will cease to form part of the Association by a decision taken by the General Assembly of Delegates.

The Executive Committee can institute individual membership of ICA. This will be introduced at a later date and regulated by the By-Laws.

H. Organisation of activities

Article 21. Execution of activities

According to Articles 1, 5, 8 and 14 the Association organises different types of activities in order to achieve its aims. The details of such activities are to be decided by the Executive Committee. However, major events should be endorsed by the General Assembly of Delegates.

Article 22. International Cartographic Conferences

International Cartographic Conferences (ICC) may be called by the Executive Committee independently of the regular General Assemblies of Delegates, but preferably they should, if possible, be co-ordinated with them regarding time and location (see Article 9).

The General Assembly of Delegates entrusts, to one of the member nations, the organisation of an ICC. The host nation shall decide the programme subject to the approval of the Executive Committee.

Article 23. Joint meetings

Special meetings, called joint meetings, may be organised together with other organisations. The Executive Committee decides, in each case, on the time, place and working programme of such joint meetings.

Article 24. Commissions, Working Groups and Task Forces

The General Assembly of Delegates may establish commissions for the execution of important cartographic and GI science tasks. The tenure of office of a Commission is limited to the period between two General Assemblies, but may be extended for another period by a vote at a General Assembly of Delegates.

A Commission is chaired by an individual, who is to be elected at each General Assembly. The General Assembly shall, at the same time, approve terms of reference for that Commission. A commission also includes a number of other members invited by its chairperson. A number of corresponding members may also be selected. In the event of a vacancy in the chair of a Commission occurring between General Assemblies, a new chairperson shall be appointed by the Executive Committee having regard to the recommendations of the members of the Commission. After approval of the Executive Committee a Commission may allocate a part of its work to a national institution, official or private, or to individual persons.

Between two successive General Assemblies the Executive Committee may form Working Groups, whose chairpersons it appoints and whose mandate it defines.

Commissions and Working Groups are required to present reports of their work to each General Assembly of Delegates.

The General Assembly may authorize participation by the Association in formal joint Working Groups with other international organisations.

The President may set up Task Forces for solving special tasks or projects that have to be performed urgently.

Article 25. Invitation of additional persons as observers

The President of the Association is entitled to invite to General Assemblies, International Cartographic Conferences, Symposia or Joint Meetings, suitable additional persons as observers or guests, including persons who are not from a member nation of the ICA.

Article 26. Voting at meetings other than General Assemblies

At Commission and Working Group meetings, all participants have the right to vote on purely scientific or technical questions. But if the issue is on the general conduct or on the administration or financial matters of the Association, it should be handled by General Assemblies. Meetings at which decisions are made shall be documented by minutes. Conferences, symposia and joint meetings may adopt resolutions. All participants have the right to one vote each in the adoption of a resolution.

Article 27. Publications

All publications of the Association require the approval of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee will arrange for the publication of a bulletin or newsletter concerning the activities of the Association and its member nations, and facilitate the publication of papers on cartography and GI science.

For consideration of other publications, the Executive Committee shall appoint a Publications Committee consisting of a Chairperson and three members, only one of these four may be a member of the Executive Committee. The President and the Secretary General and Treasurer shall be additional members ex officio. The tenure of office of the Committee shall be the same as the Executive Committee, but the members may be re-appointed. The Publications Committee will examine proposals for publications (including commission reports), approve plans in terms of production, format and style, budgets and expenditure and distribution arrangements.

I. Changes to the Statutes, duration and dissolution of the Association

Article 28. Changes in the statutes

Motions concerning changes in the Statutes must be received in writing by the Executive Committee at least five months before the General Assembly of Delegates.

Provided this is done, the Executive Committee must present to the General Assembly any motion for changes in Statutes and include the motion on the agenda for the General Assembly (see also Article 10).

The Executive Committee may itself propose motions for changes in the Statutes and the adoption, modification or rescinding of By-Laws to be included on the agenda for the General Assembly of Delegates. The Executive Committee may establish a Committee on Statutes and By-Laws for advice.

In order for a motion to be accepted, an absolute majority of the voting member nations of the Association is necessary, voting in person or by correspondence.

For votes on changes to the Statutes, a member nation, not represented at a General Assembly, may forward its vote to the President of the Association by letter. For such a vote to be valid it must be received by the Secretary General ten days before the motion is presented to the General Assembly of Delegates.

Changes in Statutes are effective immediately after the General Assembly at which they are adopted.

Article 29. By-Laws

Within the framework of these Statutes, the General Assembly of Delegates shall have the power to adopt By-Laws. These may be adopted, modified or rescinded by a simple majority of votes expressed by the principle delegates attending the General Assembly.

Changes in By-Laws take effect immediately after the General Assembly at which they are adopted.

Article 30. Dissolution of Association

A decision to dissolve the Association is only valid with the consent of at least two-thirds of the member nations.

In the case of dissolution, the funds of the Association will be placed, by the General Assembly of Delegates or the Executive Committee, at the disposal of one or several international scientific organisations, whose aims are closely related to cartography or GI science.

K. Official Languages

Article 31. Languages

The official languages are French and English. Other additional languages may be used if the necessary translation facilities can be provided.

Article 32. Decisive Language

In cases of doubt on the interpretation of the statutes the French text only shall be used in deciding the meaning given to the Articles.

ICA By-Laws

By-Law 1

  • Each member nation subscription to the ICA shall be expressed in subscription units. All adhering member nations are divided into categories, numbered I to VI, and will pay annually the number of subscription units specified in that category.
  • The categories and subscription units shall be as follows:
    • Category I: 1 subscription unit
    • Category II: 2 subscription units
    • Category III: 3 subscription units
    • Category IV: 4 subscription units
    • Category V: 6 subscription units
    • Category VI: 8 subscription units
    • Category VII: 10 subscription units
  • Each member nation shall select the category into which it wishes to be classed. The Executive Committee may refuse a specification if the category chosen is believed to be inappropriate.
  • The amount of the subscription unit, and the currency or currencies in which the subscription will be made, will be determined by the General Assembly on recommendation by the Executive Committee.
  • The subscription for Affiliate members, as defined in By-law 5(a), is set as a minimum of one subscription unit for categories (1) and (2), a minimum for two subscription units for category (3) and (4) and a minimum of ten subscription units for category (5).

By-Law 2

The annual subscription is determined to be € 250,- per unit until further notice.

By-Law 3

The ICA may grant to outstanding cartographers such awards and honours as are approved by the Executive Committee upon the recommendation of a Committee for the Selection of Award Recipients.

By-Law 4

The President shall appoint a Committee for the Selection of Award Recipients after each General Assembly to serve until the next General Assembly. The Committee shall consist of five representatives, each from a different member nation. No more than two representatives can hold concurrent membership of the Executive Committee.

By-Law 5

  • For the purpose of affiliation as described in Article 3 the following categories shall apply:
    1. (International) Educational establishments
    2. National cartographic or GI science societies other than the national member organisation
    3. National scientific organisations and technical organisations
      These include academic, research or technical institutes or other scientific or technical bodies, governmental or autonomous, that are users of cartographic data and are demonstrably devoted to the discipline of cartography and GI science to the satisfaction of the Executive Committee.
    4. Nationally operating private firms / companies
      These include such organisations that are engaged in the development, production or manufacture of cartographic or allied equipment or products and are committed to supporting the interests of the discipline of cartography and GI science to the satisfaction of the Executive Committee.
    5. Internationally operating private firms / companies
      These include such organisations that are engaged in the development, production or manufacture of cartographic or allied equipment or products and are committed to supporting the interests of the discipline of cartography and GI science to the satisfaction of the Executive Committee.
  • Application for affiliation in category (a) (2) must be submitted to the Executive Committee with a letter of support from the member nation.
  • Application for affiliation in categories (a) (1) to (a) (5) must be submitted to the Executive Committee in writing.

By-Law 6

ICA member nations and affiliates shall be entitled to the following services:

  • Invitation to all ICA International Cartographic Conferences.
  • One free copy of all ICA publications including the ICA newsletter.
  • Free copies of National Reports presented to ICA General Assemblies. Free copies of the published collection of presented conference papers when made available, posted to members and affiliates unable to be present at the conference.
  • Training courses, from time to time, as the need is demonstrated and finance is available.
  • Preferential treatment in exhibitions of ICA.

Upon request, the ICA may assist in sponsoring conferences, seminars and symposia in member nations or in conjunction with affiliates. Assistance may consist of:

  • a financial contribution conditional on due recognition being given to the ICA and / or
  • support of a member of the Executive Committee of ICA to attend and participate in the meeting.

By-Law 7

All national and affiliate members may propose one representative for each commission for consideration by the chairperson of that commission.

By-Law 8

Nominations for President, Secretary General and Treasurer, and Vice-President of the Executive Committee, and nominations of chairpersons of commissions, duly proposed by their respective member nations, must be received by the Secretary General at least five months prior to the date determined for the General Assembly of Delegates. Such nominations must be accompanied by an indication in writing from the candidate that he/she is willing to serve, supported by a brief CV.

The foregoing Statutes and By-Laws are as amended by the 14th General Assembly held in Moscow on the 4th and 9th of August 2007.

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