ASPAC Constitution

As accepted on 31 August 1999 and amended on 13 November 2007 and 25 October 2014.

1. Name

1.1   The name of the Network shall be the Asia Pacific Network of Science and Technology Centres, herein after referred to as ‘the Network’.

2. Registered Office

2.1   The Network’s office shall be located at the institution of the Treasurer.

2.2   The office may be transferred to another location within the Asia Pacific region by a decision of the Executive Council.

3. Objectives

3.1   The objectives of the Network shall be:

  1. To encourage and facilitate communication, information exchange, staff exchanges and collaboration amongst science and technology centres and other organisations with similar purposes in the Asia Pacific region;
  2. To act as a supportive body of informed opinion which can be consulted by members and others on the trends and developments in hands–on, interactive science and technology exhibitions and activities;
  3. To encourage and facilitate the exchange of hands-on interactive exhibits between member institutions;
  4. To share information on the wide range of activities of science centres including marketing and promotion ideas and experiences among member organisations;
  5. To promote collaboration with commercial companies and other specialist groups and guilds to achieve the common aims; 
  6. To promote excellence and recognise outstanding quality in science centre products and services across the Network;
  7. To support and collaborate with other science centre networks worldwide.

3.2   The Network will not seek to involve itself in matters more appropriately addressed at a national level.  As a regional organisation of science centres and museums dedicated to furthering the public understanding of science and technology, the Network encourages excellence and innovation in informal science learning by serving and linking its members across the region and advancing their common goals.

4. Activities and Services

4.1   Major activities of the Network shall include:

  1. Organising and circulating hands-on interactive science exhibitions;
  2. Offering technical assistance to member organisations;
  3. Operating a support program for new and developing science centres;
  4. Collecting and disseminating relevant information within member organisations;
  5. Organising seminars, conferences and workshops for the professional development of staff of member organisations;
  6. Arranging staff exchanges and skill sharing across the broad range of science centre activities, both physically and online;
  7. Working together cooperatively on commercial and legal aspects of science centre business e.g. on matters such as copyright, patents, tender documents and contracts;
  8. Collaborating with other science centre networks, particularly but not exclusively by supporting and co-planning the Science Centre World Summit.

5. Membership

5.1   Eligibility for membership shall be decided by the Network itself.  Local and national science and technology centres or organisations that share the common activities and services of the Network may apply to become a member.

5.2   The Network shall comprise three categories of membership – Full Members, Associate Members and Sustaining Members.

5.3   Full Members are centres of science and technology in the Asia Pacific Region that offer hands-on interactive exhibitions and educational programs to further the public understanding of science and technology.

5.4   Associate members are science and technology centres or institutions outside the Asia Pacific Region, or not–for–profit organisations, associations and government agencies within or outside the Asia Pacific Region, with a strong interest in and support for the objectives of the Network.

5.5   Sustaining members are for-profit corporations, private firms or other organisations within or outside the Asia Pacific Region, with a strong interest in and support for the objectives of the Network.

5.6   Any member may withdraw from membership by giving written notice addressed to the Executive Director.

6. General Council

6.1   The purpose of the General Council shall be:

  1. To formulate policies of the Network;
  2. To receive the report of the Executive Council;
  3. To receive the report of the Treasurer, including the recommended budget and the accounts of the previous financial year(s);
  4. To elect the President and members of the Executive Council (Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and General Councillors).

6.2   Each Full Member organisation shall nominate one representative to be a member of the General Council and this member shall have one vote.

6.3   The General Council shall meet not less than once every two years.  The date and place of the meeting shall be determined, and notice of such meeting shall be sent to all Full Member organisations not less than two months in advance.

6.4   A quorum for a meeting of the General Council shall be 30% of the number of Full Members of the Network.  For the purpose of voting and elections, the quorum shall include members who may not be present at the meeting but submitted their votes by post or electronic means prior to the meeting.

6.5   Minutes of General Council meetings shall be distributed to all members in all categories of membership.

6.6   A motion shall be deemed to be passed if supported by a simple majority of votes received from Full Members of the Network, either cast at the General Council meeting or by post or electronic means prior to the meeting.

6.7   Between General Council meetings, business may be conducted by Full Members of the General Council by post or electronic means. Voting by post or electronic means will be accepted for all elections and resolutions.  A motion shall be deemed to be passed if supported by a simple majority of votes received from Full Members of the Network, provided the total number of votes received is at least 30% of the number of Full Members.

6.8   Sustaining Members and Associate Members may attend General Council meetings but shall not have voting rights.

7. Executive Council

7.1   The Executive Council shall comprise the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and three General Councillors, all elected by the General Council.

7.2   The Executive Council has the power to appoint an Executive Director to fulfil the roles and responsibilities of the network under terms and conditions defined by the Executive Council.

7.3   The Executive Council may co-opt additional Council members from the Full Member organisations.  

7.4   All officers will hold office for a two year period from 1 Jan of an even numbered year (or the date of their co-optation) to 31 Dec of an odd numbered year.  Elected officers may be re-elected to the same office only once, so they will have a maximum of two consecutive terms (i.e. four years) in office.

7.5   The Executive Council shall normally conduct its business by post or electronic means.

7.6   The Executive Council shall implement the policies formulated by the General Council, and organise the activities of the Network.

7.7   Subject to the decisions of the General Council, the management of the affairs of the Network shall be vested in the Executive Council.

7.8   The President will provide leadership for the Network and preside as chairperson of the General Council and the Executive Council.

7.9   The Executive Director shall report to the President and is responsible for the business and operational affairs of the network.

7.10   The Vice President will assist the President and represent the Network when and as requested by the President.

7.11   The Secretary will maintain records for the Network and will liaise as needed with the President to conduct the business of the Network.

7.12   The Treasurer will invoice members, receive and bank monies, send receipts for subscriptions, respond to requests of the Executive Council related to the operation of funds, and provide a financial statement for the General Council meeting.

7.13   If an elected officer position becomes vacant during a term of service, the Executive Council may decide to hold a by-election to fill the vacant position or leave the post vacant until the next election.  If more than two positions become vacant, a by-election must be arranged within two months, unless the remaining term of service is less than three months.

8. Finances

8.1   An account will be established and maintained by the Full Member organisation that employs the Treasurer, in the name of ‘Asia Pacific Network of Science and Technology Centres’ or any derivative of ‘ASPAC’.

8.2   The signatories of the account will follow the signatory requirements of the Full member organisation that employs the Treasurer.  Cheques, bank drafts, bills of exchange, promissory notes and transfers of funds may be signed by the same signatories.

8.3   Where necessary, the Treasurer shall recommend an auditor to the Executive Council for approval.

8.4   The Executive Council shall present a set of accounts to the General Council for acceptance.

9. Joining Fees and Annual Membership Fees

9.1   The Executive Council shall recommend and set the joining fees and annual membership fees for different categories of membership in order to raise income to meet the expenditure of the Network.

9.2   Joining Fees are a once-only non-refundable fee.  Annual Membership Fees are due on the first day of January each year.  New members pay a once-only joining fee plus an annual subscription fee for the first year.  Thereafter only an annual subscription is due.  Membership fees shall not be pro-rated, so new members who join at any time during the year will pay the full membership subscription fee for the year.

9.3   Full Members who have not yet paid their membership fees at the time of a General Council meeting, or at the time that a vote is being conducted by post or electronic means, will not be entitled to vote and will not be counted into the quorum.

10. Executive Council Report

10.1   A report of the Executive Council shall be made to the membership at each General Council meeting.

11. Amendments to the Constitution

11.1   Changes to the Constitution may be proposed by any Full Member organisation and shall become effective if agreed to by a simple majority of votes received from Full Members of the Network, either cast at the General Council meeting or by post or electronic means prior to the meeting, provided the total number of votes received is at least 50% of the number of Full Members.

12. Dissolution

12.1   If the Executive Council by a simple majority decides at any time that, on the grounds of expense or otherwise, it is necessary or advisable to dissolve the Network, it shall call a meeting of the General Council, which shall confirm such a decision by a simple majority of votes received from Full Members of the Network, either cast at the General Council meeting or by post or electronic means prior to the meeting, provided the total number of votes received is at least 50% of the number of Full Members. If the dissolution is confirmed, the Executive Council shall have the power to dispose of any assets held by or on behalf of the Network.  Any assets remaining after the settlement of all debts and liabilities shall be distributed equally among Full Member organisations of the Network.

Accompanying Notes

1. The Asia Pacific Region is defined as including the whole of geographic Asia plus Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands west of the International Date Line.  The western boundary of Asia is defined as the line formed by the Suez Canal, Mediterranean, Black Sea, Caucasus Mountains, Caspian Sea, Ural River and the Ural Mountains.

2. Full Members of the Network may include centres which are already operational as well as those which are starting up or under development.

3. Joining and Annual Membership Fees are currently set as follows:

3.1 Full Members

Joining Fee: US$100
Annual Fee: US$400

3.2 Associate Members

Joining Fee: US$100
Annual Fee: US$200

3.3 Sustaining Members

Joining Fee: US$100
Annual Fee: US$1000