Constitution and By-Laws

The Constitution for Association of Forensic DNA Analysts and Administrators

Article I – Name and Purpose

This organization forthwith shall be known as Association of Forensic DNA Analysts and Administrators (AFDAA), a non-profit corporation, referred to hereinafter as AFDAA.

The mission and purposes for which AFDAA is organized are:

A. To provide an association for an exchange of ideas / information among its members to aid in further improving DNA analysis methods, techniques, and procedures.

B. To keep its members apprised of the latest techniques and discoveries in DNA analysis.

C. To provide a forum for the exchange of information concerning legislative issues in DNA analysis.

D. AFDAA shall be limited to such activities as fall within the scientific and educational purposes as prescribed by Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Likewise, maintenance of the standards stated in IRS Publication 557 will be followed.

E. The period of AFDAA’s duration is perpetual.

The official logo and seal of AFDAA is herein published:
AFDAALogoLine

Article II – Operations/Dissolution

AFDAA shall be operated as a not-for profit organization and the powers of AFDAA shall be vested in its membership. No net earnings shall be distributed at any time to anyone. Upon dissolution, any and all assets remaining of AFDAA shall be donated to a similar organization that is exempt under the provisions of Section 501 (c) (3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code or corresponding provisions of subsequently enacted federal law.

Article III – F. Conflict of Interest Statement:

The members of AFDAA resolve that no member of our organization shall participate in any discussion or vote on any matter in which he or she or any member of his or her immediate family has potential conflict of interest due to having material economic involvement regarding the matter being discussed. When such a situation presents itself, the member must announce his or her potential conflict, disqualify him or herself, and be excused from the meeting until discussion is over on the matter involved. The Chair of the meeting is expected to make inquiry if such conflict appears to exist and the member has not made it known.

AFDAA shall be operated as a not-for profit organization, and the powers of AFDAA shall be vested in its membership. No net earnings shall be distributed at any time to anyone. Upon dissolution, any and all assets remaining of AFDAA shall be donated to a similar organization of like intent and purpose.

Article IVI – Eligibility for Membership

As defined by the By-Laws, membership in AFDAA shall be open to all qualified persons interested in furthering the objectives of the organization. AFDAA shall fully comply with all applicable anti-discrimination laws, rules, and regulations.

Article VIII – Meetings of Members

AFDAA shall hold at least one annual meeting. Business Meetings will be held during the meeting. Members shall elect Chairperson and other officers at the Business meeting in accordance with the By-Laws.

Article IVI – Parlimentary Authority

The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Association in all cases to which they are appplicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these By-Laws and any special rules of order that AFDAA may adopt.

Article VII – Amendments

Proposed amendments to the by-laws shall be submitted in writing and signed by two members in good standing, to the Chair at least sixty (60) days prior to the meeting at which the proposed amendments will be discussed.

The Chair shall mail to the members, at least thirty (30) days prior to the next meeting the proposed amendments. Amendments shall be ratified by a 2/3 majority of mail ballots cast by members in the meeting. If a 2/3 majority of the membership is not obtained, then a mail ballot will be cast within thirty (30) sixty (60) days after the meeting.

By-Laws

ARTICLE ONE

Section I. Membership and Anti-Discrimination Policies

A. Membership is open to DNA analysts, DNA supervisors, and DNA laboratory administrators who are employed and engaged in the forensic aspects of DNA analysis for the judicial system and who are interested in the exchange of ideas / information concerning DNA analysis methods. Membership is also open to university students engaged in a curriculum preparing for a career in forensic DNA analysis or administration . AFDAA shall fully comply with all applicable anti-discrimination laws, rules, and regulations. In particular, it shall not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, national or ethnic origin, or age in its admission and election policies.

B. There shall be seven types of membership in AFDAA: 1. STUDENT,
2. ASSOCIATE, 3. REGULAR, 4. CHARTER, 5. DIPLOMAT, 6. FELLOW, and 7. RETIRED.

C. Qualifications for membership:

1. Student Member: Has no voting privileges and cannot hold office. This level of membership has no meeting attendance requirements. Applicant must be currently engaged in a curriculum preparing for a career in forensic DNA analysis or seeking employment thereafter. Membership is obtained by application, a reference from an AFDAA member or university faculty advisor, and a 2/3 majority vote by the members present at the next scheduled meeting.

2. Associate member: Has no voting privileges and cannot hold office. Must attend at least one meeting every three years and keep membership dues current to maintain active status. Applicant must be currently engaged in working with or developing technical applications that enhance forensic analysis of DNA. Membership is obtained by application, a reference from an AFDAA member, meeting attendance prior to or at the time of application and a 2/3 majority vote by members present at the meeting of application.

3. Regular Member: Can vote and hold office while active. Must attend at least one meeting every three years and keep membership dues current to maintain active status. Membership is obtained by application, a reference from an active AFDAA member, meeting attendance prior to or at the time of application, and a 2/3 majority vote by members present at the meeting of application.

4. Charter member: Can vote and hold office while active. There is no meeting attendance requirement; however, membership dues must be kept current to maintain active status. The applicant must presently be a member and must have been an unofficial member prior to 1996 1996. Status is obtained by application and a 2/3 majority vote by members present at the meeting of application.

5. Diplomat: Can vote and hold office while active. Must attend at least one meeting every three years and keep membership dues current to maintain active status. This level requires at least two years of service as a member and attendance at two or more meetings prior to applying for Diplomat status. The applicant must present a paper/talk at two different meetings, serve at least one term as an officer, or serve on at least two committees or in some other service capacity to the organization. Status is obtained by application and 2/3 majority vote by members present at meeting of application.

6. Fellow: Can vote and hold office while active. Must attend at least one meeting every three years and keep membership dues current to maintain active status. This level requires at least four years of service as a member or two years of service as a Diplomat and requires attendance at four or more meetings prior to applying for Fellow status. The applicant must present a paper/talk at two different meetings or serve on at least two committees or in some other service capacity to the organization, and serve at least one term as an officer. Status is obtained by application and a 2/3 majority vote by members present at meeting of application.

7. Retired Member: applicant must presently be a member, charter member, diplomat or fellow. A retired member can vote and hold office. This level is the only class of membership that pays no membership dues or or has any attendance requirements. They also must be retired from the facility/agency at which they were employed in the field of forensic DNA analysis or administration and they must be eligible for immediate collection of retirement benefits. Status is obtained by application and 2/3 majority vote by members present at meeting of application.

D. Membership or status may be revoked only if such revocation is initiated by the Chair and confirmed by a 2/3 majority vote of returned ballots.

E. Active members, with the exceptions of those membership classifications listed in article I, item C., shall be current on all dues, fees, and assessments; and adhere to the principles listed in article IV, and have attended at least one meeting in three years. Only active members are eligible to vote and to hold office. Members who are inactive are subject to being removed from the membership roster. The active member qualifications must be satisfied in order to be reinstated. Active member privileges become effective after the meeting in which active member qualifications were satisfied.

ARTICLE TWO

Section II – Officers

The “day to day business” of AFDAA will be conducted by the following officers elected from the membership:

A. Chair
B. Vice Chair
C. Secretary
D. Treasurer

A. The duties of the Chair shall consist of, but not necessarily be limited to, the following:

* preside at all meetings when present
* field suggestions for agenda items from the members
* formulate and distribute an agenda for the next scheduled meeting and moderate the discussion
* notify the members in writing of the location and date of any meeting at least 45 days in advance
* create ad hoc committees as necessary
* coordinate guest speakers and training programs for the scheduled meetings
* initiate membership revocation
* facilitate the purposes of the organization
* preserve order and decorum during meetings
* act as an official spokesperson for the organization

B. The duties of the Vice Chair shall consist of, but not necessarily be limited to, the following:

* assist the Chair as necessary
* preside over meetings in the absence of the Chair
* review applications for membership and present recommendations to the Chair
* assume the duties of the Chair in the event of the absence of the Chair

C. The duties of the Secretary shall consist of, but not necessarily be limited to, the following:

* record and provide the typed minutes of the meetings to the Chair within 60 days of the recording
* maintain on file the official records (minutes) of the organization
* maintain on file the membership roster
* conduct other correspondences as required by the organization
* assume the duties of the Vice Chair in the event of the absence of the Vice Chair

D. The duties of the Treasurer shall consist of, but not necessarily be limited to, the following:

*collect dues and fees as determined by the members
* maintain financial records of the organization
* provide a financial report to the members
* distribute monies as appropriate

* assume the duties of the Secretary in the event of the absence of the Secretary

The terms of all offices shall be two years.

An officer may be impeached by a 2/3 majority vote of the members voting during a scheduled meeting or by mail ballot.

Impeachment proceedings may be initiated by any officer as requested by any member.

ARTICLE THREE

Section III – Operations

Officers shall be elected by secret ballot by a simple majority of the members present at the meetings in which elections are required.

An individual shall not be elected to more than one office simultaneously.

The Chair and Secretary shall be elected in odd numbered years with the Vice Chair and Treasurer being elected in even numbered years.

If an officer is unable to complete the term of office to which they were elected, the membership may choose to hold a special election and the newly elected individual will hold that office until a scheduled election will occur.

ARTICLE FOUR

Section IV Code of Ethics

We the members of AFDAA, shall strive to the utmost to uphold the following code of ethical conduct in ourselves as well as in other members of the association.

1. Comply with the by-laws of the Association.

2. Treat all information from any agency, client, or fellow member with the confidentiality required.

3. Carry out the duties of the profession with integrity, attention to accuracy, and in an unbiased manner.

4. Will not misrepresent qualifications, evidence, opinions, conclusions, or testimony.

5. Will not receive an improper personal benefit from the operation of AFDAA.

6. Will not use the assets of AFDAA, directly or indirectly, for any purpose other than carrying on the business of AFDAA.

Any member who has knowingly violated any of the provisions of the Code of Ethics may be liable for censure, suspension or expulsion by action of the Membership.

ARTICLE FIVE

Article V – Complaint(s) or Allegation(s) of Violation of the Code of Ethics

The following procedure shall apply to any written complaint, allegation, or inquiry of unethical or wrongful conduct against a member initiated by a member.

1. Initiating Action

a) A member of the Association may submit a formal written complaint, allegation, or inquiry of violation(s) concerning a member to the Chair, or the Chair may bring about an inquiry based on any evidence brought forward which indicates the need for further investigation of a member.

i. For action against any officer refer to Article IV

b) The Chair will notify the member being investigated that an inquiry is pending and that their cooperation is important to facilitate the investigation.

c) Unethical accusations by any member will also be investigated to the full extent of under these rules.

2. Establishment and Charge of the Investigating Committee

a) The Chair will have 15 days in which to form an ad hoc committee composed of an even number of members at large (a minimum of 4) one of which will be appointed as the coordinator. No officer will be involved as a committee member. No member affiliated with the accusing party or the accused member’s laboratory system shall be involved as a committee member.

b) The primary functions of the committee will be:

i. To investigate alleged violations of the Code of Ethics

ii. To act as an advisory body, rendering opinions on the alleged
violations.

c) Further, the members of the investigating committee shall not discuss complaint(s), allegation(s), or issue(s) outside the committee and/or officers until the committee presents documented findings of actual violations.

3. Investigation and Hearing

a) The committee shall determine whether the complaint(s) or allegation(s) fall within its jurisdiction and whether there is probable cause to proceed further.

i. If in its preliminary assessment there is a lack of probable cause to believe the complaint(s) or allegation(s), the issue will be dismissed and a report shall be issued to the chair stating the reasons for its decision to dismiss. Notice of this decision will also be given to the member being investigated and the accuser(s).

ii. If there is probable cause to believe the complaint(s) or allegation(s) are founded, the committee shall give notice to all parties involved so that they may assemble such written data pertinent to the investigation so as to permit the committee to determine the nature of the investigation and if further action is necessary.

iii. If the committee decides to dismiss the allegation(s) without formal hearing, it may do so. The issue will be dismissed and a report shall be issued to the chair stating the basic facts and stating the reason(s) for its decision. Notice of this decision will also be given to the member being investigated and accuser(s).

iv. If the committee decides to formally hear the charge(s), it shall give the members a reasonable opportunity to be heard, further investigated, and/or take the necessary corrective action. It shall then make a decision and notify all parties involved of its decision. The committee shall then prepare a report to the Chair stating the facts and the committee’s recommendation(s).

b) Following receipt of an investigative report, the Chair will present the results and recommendations to the other officers. With the approval of all of the officers, the committee’s findings, recommendations, and proposed actions shall be presented in writing to the member being investigated.

c) Within 30 days, the accused has the right to appeal to any officer prior to the release of the recommendations to the Association. In effecting an appeal, the appellant may present any other information they believe to be pertinent to the investigation.

d) If at any step in this investigation process a decision is finalized, a report shall be issued, stating the basic facts but omitting names unless otherwise requested by the member being investigated.

4. Decisions

a) The recommendation to censure, suspend, or expel a member accused of unethical or wrongful conduct as presented by the chair, shall be in accordance with Article I section D.

b) Members who have been suspended from membership may apply for reinstatement once the period of suspension or action is completed. A suspended member will not be required to pay dues for the period of suspension. If reinstated, the required dues payment will be the annual dues.

ARTICLE SIX

Article VI – Procedural Amendments

Proposed amendments to the by-laws shall be submitted in writing and signed by two members in good standing, to the Chair at least sixty (60) days prior to the meeting at which the proposed amendments will be discussed.

The Chair shall mail to the members, at least thirty (30) days prior to the next meeting the proposed amendments. Amendments shall be ratified by a 2/3 majority of mail ballots cast by members within sixty (60) days after the meeting.

ARTICLE SEVEN

Article VII – Parliamentary Authority

Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, the current edition in print, will be the parliamentary authority of AFDAA.

Proviso

The following stipulation(s) will be in effect until such time that the conditions set forth in these by-laws are met:

*persons currently on the roster as of April 2010 are considered active members if they are current on their dues.

AFDAA shall be operated as a not-for-profit organization.
Powers AFDAA possesses shall be vested in its members.

ARTICLE EIGHT

Article VIII Dues, Fees and Assessments

All dues, fees, and assessments must be approved by the members by a simple majority of the ballots cast. Dues for the calendar year are deemed late after the Summer Meeting.

ARTICLE NINE

Article VIII Dissolution

Upon dissolution, any and all assets remaining of AFDAA shall be donated to a similar organization that is exempt under the provisions of Section 501 (c) (3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code or corresponding provisions of subsequently enacted federal law. The organization receiving dissolution funds should be of like intent and purpose as AFDAA. No part of the net assets or net earnings of AFDAA shall inure to the benefit of or be paid or distributed to an officer, director, member, or donor to AFDAA.

No substantial part of the activities of AFDAA shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or to otherwise intervene in any political campaign of behalf of any candidate for public office. Not withstanding any other provision of these articles, AFDAA shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on by a corporation exempt from federal income tax under section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code.

Proviso

The following stipulation(s) will be in effect until such time that the conditions set forth in these by-laws are met:
*persons currently on the roster as of July 2009 are considered active members if they are current on their dues.

Revised August 16, 2012
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