In the past two years, COVID-19 has brought about many unexpected happenings disrupting all walks of life. Many routines which are used to be taken for granted has become very difficult or sometimes even impossible to accomplish. A case in point is the deferral of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Institution for this Session.
Readers are probably aware that it is the practice for holding the AGM by end June every year. As a matter of constitutional requirement, this takes place after the Divisions and Committees completing their respective annual general meetings with their Council Members (Divisions) for the next Session duly elected. Our Constitution also requires generally that meetings together with the associated decision voting must adopt a “physically present and voting” arrangement. Arising from the assault by the COVID-19 fifth wave early this year and the ensuing tightened-up social distancing requirements, the Divisions and Committees could not arrange their annual general meetings at any venue in time to suit the Institution’s AGM. As a result, the AGM is put off for a period of two months so as to allow time for the Divisions and Committees to complete their formalities.
Since there is no certainty that there will not be the sixth wave or other similar pandemic situations recurring in future, planning has to be made for adjusting to this new normal. Under the directive of the Council, a Task Force has lately been formed to look into possible measures to deal with such eventualities. The Task Force is exploring the feasibility of adopting the virtual means for the general meetings when the circumstances are exceptional, like the pandemic facing us. Election voting which takes place at the same date of the AGM will then also adopt e-voting provided that voters are physically in Hong Kong. More flexibility on using the e-platform will also be considered for the regular meetings of the Council, Divisions, Committees and the like. The proposal will inevitably necessitate changes to the Constitution. When feasibility is established and subject to endorsement by the Council, the plan is to seek approval by members of the Institution at a Special General Meeting to be held on the same day of the upcoming AGM (i.e. 24 August 2022).
In our “Time to Change” roadmap, Governance Review is one of our five major focus area in the next few years. Within this focus area, keeping our Constitution up to date and contemporary with those of our peer organisations will be a key initiative. The above addition to the Constitution for contingency management purpose may perhaps be the very first step on this significant path.
Election of Elected Ordinary Members of the Council
Nominations for the Elected Ordinary Members (EOMs) of the Council are now open. Nomination form and Guidelines for election of EOMs are available on the HKIE website: http://www.hkie.org.hk, and the Member Login area. The completed nomination form must reach the HKIE Headquarters on or before Wednesday, 3 August 2022 5:30 pm.
Work plan of the Task Force on the Feasibility of Adopting E-Voting and Holding Virtual or Hybrid Meetings
On the recommendation of the Executive, the Council approved the proposal on the amendments to the Constitution for adopting e-voting and holding virtual meetings in the Council and General meetings.
Setting up of the HKIE Student Chapter at the College of Professional and Continuing Education of the PolyU
On the recommendation of the Learned Society Board, the Council approved the proposal of setting up one Student Chapter under the College of Professional and Continuing Education instead of the School of Professional and Executive Development of the PolyU.
Proposal to strengthen the operation of structural examination
On the recommendation of the Administration Board, the Council approved the proposal to strengthen the operation of structural examination.
The HKIE Annual Grand Ceremony cum Award Presentation
The Council approved the estimated budget for the organisation of the HKIE Annual Grand Ceremony cum Award Presentation to be held on 6 June 2022.