AMIA Policy Regarding Speaking on Behalf of or Representing the Organization
AMIA is participating in a growing array of informatics-related activities relevant to national and international issues. With AMIA’s increased visibility and involvement in these issues, opportunities and requests to share and disseminate information reflective of AMIA work and/or positions have increased. The responsibility for official AMIA documents, statements, policy, and guidelines remains with the Board of Directors, who represent AMIA members. While there is a need to involve stakeholders such as WGs to capture domain expertise, to create forums for members to discuss the merits and to leverage existing committees to ensure consistency of proposals, such input should and can only be in an advisory capacity.
In matters that require an immediate response, the responsibilities and decisions rest with the elected and appointed custodians of AMIA’s reputation (the Board of Directors) and its designee (the President and CEO). The task force is aware that due to time pressures related to the need to respond to requests for comments, the input of AMIA stake holders sometimes may be limited, however AMIA elected official will to deliver the highest quality statement given the restraints of the individual situation. This may mean that in complex matters with limited time AMIA may elect not to go on record with an opinion.
1. Identification as AMIA member
AMIA encourages individuals to identify themselves as AMIA members (and/or as Fellows of ACMI) when they make public comments/statements/presentations on their own behalf. AMIA also encourages individual members to use the AMIA logo (as defined in the logo use policy) in their presentations. Individuals may not imply that they represent the views of AMIA, nor may they use any AMIA office or position (e.g. officer of a WG, committee chair, etc.) to directly or indirectly imply AMIA endorsement/approval.
2. Proposals for endorsements and public statements
AMIA [Working or Other] Groups may wish to make endorsements or public statements on issues of importance to them. In order to do so the group must assure that the statement is consistent with the officially stated positions and policies of AMIA and prove that the statement meaningfully represents the entire group that is associated with the statement.
The AMIA office is responsible for the operational support of gathering a majority vote of any AMIA group. Votes will be emailed to all eligible members and will be collected and tallied by the AMIA office. Meaningful representation of a group will be considered to be a simple majority of number of votes cast with at least 50% of the eligible members voting.
All such proposals are subject to review by the Public Policy Committee. In addition, if a set of at least 10 AMIA members identify a proposed statement as controversial, then the statement is subject to further review and approval by the WG Steering Committee.
In the event that an AMIA [Working or Other] Group is a member of another umbrella organization (e.g. NIWG and the Alliance for Nursing Informatics), the group is still subject to the procedure and any statement that is published by the umbrella organization requires AMIA approval before it can be labeled as an official AMIA statement.
3. Review process
All such proposed statements by AMIA [Working or Other] Groups are subject to advance review and approval by the Public Policy Committee, which is charged with making recommendations to the Board regarding policy positions. The recommendations of the committee are subject to review and approval/reversal/refinement by the Board.
4. Statements advocated by individual members
Only the President and CEO, the Board of Directors, or their officially designated designee may make statements on behalf of AMIA, subject to the operational model of the organization. Members who want to advocate positions to be taken publically by AMIA must channel such positions through the AMIA office, which then coordinates with the Public Policy Committee for consideration. Final approval for endorsement, after a recommendation by the committee, is by the Board.
5. Immediate response
In the event that a statement or response is urgently requested by an individual member or group, such opportunities must be brought to the attention of the AMIA office at the earliest opportunity. If a response is deemed to best interest of AMIA and its members (as decided by the President and CEO), the member or group may propose a statement to the President and CEO, who may elect to endorse such a statement if it is consistent with the officially stated positions and policies of AMIA. If time and resource availability allows, the AMIA office and members of the Public Policy Committee may assist in formulating the statement or response. All endorsed statements will be reviewed by the Public Policy Committee and Board of Directors if necessary retrospectively.
6. Other endorsements and representation
Appointments of AMIA members as official AMIA liaison to outside entities can be made only by the Board of Directors or Executive Committee. Official liaisons may communicate AMIA’s officially documented statements and policies and comply with the approval process as defined in this policy before communicating any and all new and/or ad-hoc statements in which they are sought to represent AMIA’s position. AMIA members who are participating at an AMIA Hill Day or other official policy event may represent the views of AMIA as detailed in briefing materials and talking points available at that particular event.
7. Pre-publication and member awareness
AMIA will strive (to the extent possible) to pre-publish public statements to interested members. Such a mechanism will provide members with awareness of new or revised/updated statements by AMIA, before such statements are released to the media, and may provide an additional opportunity for review by individual members. This is not intended as an approval mechanism, but is designed to allow AMIA to raise awareness of forthcoming public statements in a timely manner and solicit member feedback.
The AMIA board is grateful for the work the representation task force members put into reviewing AMIA’s policies and clarifying existing process, eliminating ambiguous language, and reducing the potential for misunderstandings through the public release of materials under the AMIA name.