Ex officio member

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An ex officio member is a member of a body (a board, committee, council, etc.) who is part of it by virtue of holding another office. The term is Latin, meaning literally "from the office", and the sense intended is "by right of office"; its use dates back to the Roman Republic.

A common misconception is that the participatory rights of ex officio members are limited by their status. This is incorrect, although their rights may be indeed limited by the by-laws of a particular body. Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised (10th ed.), clarifies that the term denotes only how one becomes a member of a group, not what one's rights are. It is a method of sitting on a committee, not a class of membership (466-67).[1] Frequently, ex officio members will abstain from voting, but unless by-laws constrain their rights, they are afforded the same rights as other members, including debate, making formal motions, and voting (466-67; 480).[2]

For profit and non-profit use[edit]

Any ex officio membership (for example, of committees, or of the board) will be as defined by the non-profit association's bylaws or other documents of authority. For example, the bylaws quite often provide that the organization's president will be ex officio a member of all committees, except the nominating committee.

Governmental Examples[edit]

Mainland China[edit]

According to the Constitution of the Communist Party of China, the General Secretary of the Central Committee must be a member of Politburo Standing Committee.[3]

Hong Kong[edit]

As of 2007, the Executive Council of Hong Kong is still composed of ex officio members (official members since 1997) and unofficial members (non-official members since 1997). By practice the ex officio members include the secretaries of departments, i.e. the Chief Secretary, the Financial Secretary and the Secretary for Justice. Since 2002 all secretaries of bureaux are also appointed by the Chief Executive to be official members of the Executive Council. But since 2005 the secretaries of bureaux attend only when items on the agenda concern their portfolios.

New York City[edit]

The Speaker of the Council, and its Majority and Minority Leaders are all ex officio members of each of its committees.

Denver[edit]

The Manager of Safety in the City & County of Denver is the Ex Officio Sheriff of the jurisdiction. The manager is appointed by the mayor of Denver and oversees the Department of Safety which includes the Fire, Police and Sheriff Departments. Other Colorado sheriffs are elected by the citizens of the county. The City & County of Broomfield, Colorado also has an Ex Officio Sheriff who is the appointed police chief. As the ex officio sheriff, the official is charged with performing the duties of a sheriff per Colorado law.

Italy[edit]

The Italian Senate has former presidents of the Republic, and some appointees by the President, as ex officio members.

United Kingdom[edit]

In the House of Lords, 26 senior bishops of the Anglican church are ex officio members, and are entitled to vote just as any other member.

Ex officio members who may never vote[edit]

Each member of the city council of New York City is a non-voting ex officio member of each Community Board whose boundaries include some of the council member's constituents.

Ex officio members who sometimes may vote[edit]

The U.S. Vice-President – who also serves as President of the Senate – may vote in the Senate on matters decided by a majority vote (as opposed to a three-fifths vote or two-thirds vote), if the votes for passage and rejection are equal.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Frequently Asked Questions - Parliamentary Procedure - Robert's Rules
  2. ^ Frequently Asked Questions about RONR
  3. ^ Chapter III Central Organizations of the Party Article 22