The Hong Kong Council of Social Service
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THE HONG KONG COUNCIL OF SOCIAL SERVICE CONSTITUTION

Incorporated under Ordinance Cap. 1057

(Revised on 26 November 2012)

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PREAMBLE

1. The Council has framed this Constitution in the belief that the provision and development of social services in Hong Kong should strive towards the achievement of a higher quality of life and well-being for the individual and the long term sustainable development of the local and international community with these priorities:
 
  1. the continual affirmation of the intrinsic value of the dignity and worth of every human being;
  2. the provision of equal opportunities to all citizens for the maximum growth of personal potentials;
  3. the establishment of channels for all citizens to participate actively and meaningfully in society;
  4. the creation of a society which provides a sense of identity to its citizens; which offers acceptance and concern to its mal-adjusted members; which strives for progressive changes in public policy.

NAME

2.

 

The name of the Council is “THE HONG KONG COUNCIL OF SOCIAL SERVICE” 香港社會服務聯會 (hereinafter called “the Council”).

HEADQUARTERS

3. The Headquarters of the Council shall be situated in Hong Kong.

AIMS AND OBJECTS

  The aims, functions and corporate powers of the Council are as follows:

Aims

4.
  1. To promote the co-ordination and improvement of social service activities;
  2. To develop resources, such as manpower, funds and data, for social service activities;
  3. To promote public understanding of social service needs and the role of the non-governmental organizations in meeting these needs;
  4. To promote social and sector development agenda and build multi-stakeholders collaboration platform to achieve positive social benefits.

Functions

5. In furtherance of the Aims of the Council, the Council shall have the following functions:
 
  1. Service Development – to promote social services development, facilitate experience exchange and participate in welfare planning;
  2. Policy Research and Advocacy – to consolidate experience and findings on evidence-based research; advocate policy improvement, social integration and social development;
  3. Sector and Capacity Development – to enhance non-governmental organizations’ capabilities, to promote collaboration, and to build up a social service sector that is highly accountable, efficient, effective and responsive to social needs;
  4. Public Engagement and Partnership– to nurture a caring culture; to promote corporate social responsibility and philanthropy; to enhance partnership across sectors for social justice and social development;
  5. International and Regional Network and Exchanges – to participate in the international arena, promote professional exchange and benchmarking, monitor the local implementation of international conventions related to social services and social development.

Corporate Powers

6. For the purpose of achieving the Aims and carrying out the Functions of the Council, the Council shall have the following power:
 
  1. To receive and administer monies, funds, and supplies by way of contributions, donations, subscriptions, legacies, grants for or towards the above purposes or any of them;
  2. To acquire, accept leases of, purchase, take hold, and enjoy any lands, buildings, messuages or tenements of what nature or kind soever and wheresoever situate in Hong Kong or elsewhere; to invest monies on deposit in any bank in Hong Kong, or on mortgage of any lands, buildings, messuages or tenements, in Hong Kong or elsewhere or in or upon the mortgage, debentures, stocks, funds, shares or securities, of any corporate or company carrying on business in Hong Kong or elsewhere; to purchase and acquire all manner of goods and chattels whatsoever and to grant, sell, convey, assign, surrender, yield up, mortgage, demise, re-assign, transfer or otherwise dispose of, any lands, buildings, messuages, and tenements, mortgages, debentures, stocks, funds and securities, goods and chattels;
  3. To set up, invest in, acquire and carry on and operate such business operation and business entity, whether of commercial or charitable nature and whether profit making or non profit making as the Executive Committee shall deem fit;
  4. To borrow any monies required for the purpose of the Council upon such forms and on such securities as may be determined;
  5. To do all such other things as are incidental or conducive to the attainment of all or any of the objects set out above.

MEMBERSHIP

7. There shall be two categories of membership (“Members”)
 
  1. Agency Members
    Social service organizations whose aims and objects are in harmony with those of the Council, and (i) having an active interest in social service or (ii) providing as their primary function bona fide direct social services which meet the needs of the community.
 
  1. Life Members
    Individuals who have been registered as life members prior to the date of September 27, 2001 (“Life Members”) shall be the Life Members of the Council until such time as they withdraw their membership or become deceased.

Membership Rights and Obligations

8. Every Agency Member shall appoint two persons as its accredited official representatives, one should be the chairperson (or his nominee) of its Board or other similar bodies and the other one should be the chief executive or senior officer (or his nominee) of the Agency Member to act on its behalf in the Council. The Agency Member shall be entitled to change such representatives from time to time. Such appointments and any changes thereof shall be communicated to the Council in writing.
9. All Agency Members and Life Members shall enjoy rights of membership to avail themselves to attend, to nominate, to be nominated, to elect, and to be elected at the general meetings of the Council.
10. Representatives from Agency Members and Life Members are allowed to attend meetings of all committees, enabling them to keep abreast of the discussion and to give their views. Minutes of the meetings shall be made available for Members’ perusal.
11. All Agency Members and Life Members shall enjoy rights of membership to avail themselves of the activities, services and facilities of the Council.
12. All Agency Members are required to:
 
  1. Pay in full membership fees and other levies imposed by the Council as prescribed by Clause 19;
  2. Submit copies of their Annual Reports after the end of their financial year; and
  3. Submit copies of their Audited Accounts or certified accounts with regards to annual income and expenditure after the end of their financial year; and
  4. Comply with the Constitution of the Council.
13. If Agency Members change their agency name, aims, objects, legal status, or nature as being a non-profit making body, they are required to notify the Council in writing.
14.

Member’s liability is limited to the amount unpaid in respect of fees and other levies.

Eligibility Criteria

15. Organizations wishing to apply for Agency Membership must fulfill the following criteria:
 
  1. They should be an independent legal entity or trust corporation or registered society in Hong Kong;
  2. They must be recognised by the Council as being a non-profit-making body;
  3. They must have been in operation for a period of at least two years;
  4. They must possess a Constitution or similar document of registration;
  5. They must make available their Annual Report and Audited Accounts or certified accounts with regards to annual income and expenditure;
  6. They must comply with such other conditions as may be prescribed by the Executive Committee from time to time.
16. Notwithstanding the compliance with Clause 12 and 15, the Executive Committee shall have the right to refuse any application for membership without assigning any reason therefor.

Admission Procedures

17. Applications for Agency Membership shall be made to the Executive Committee in such form as may be prescribed by the Executive Committee from time to time. Each application must be proposed and seconded by official representatives of other Agency Members.
18. The Executive Committee shall consider each application and convey its decision in writing to the applicant within 90 days of the receipt of the properly completed application form. On acceptance by the Executive Committee the name of the applicant shall be placed on the appropriate register of Members and the membership fee as hereinafter prescribed shall become due and payable.

Fees

19. Fees for membership shall be payable annually on the first day of April in such amounts as shall be from time to time determined by the Executive Committee. Membership fees are payable within thirty days on admission in the full amount with the exception that successful applicants admitted after the thirtieth day of September in any year shall be liable to one-half of the appropriate amount for that year ending on the following thirty-first day of March.
20. No membership fees are liable to be refunded unless in the opinion of the Executive Committee there is good and sufficient cause to do so. The Executive Committee has the right in exceptional circumstances to allow a Member to pay an amount smaller than the currently payable fee.

Suspension and Termination of Membership

21. Members wishing to terminate membership may do so provided that written notice is given to the Executive Committee.
22. The Executive Committee has the right to suspend or terminate membership of a Member in the following circumstances:-
 
  1. If a Member does not fulfill the requirements as described in Clause 7;
  2. If an Agency Member does not fulfill the obligations as described in Clause 12;
  3. If an Agency Member does not fulfill the eligibility criteria as described in Clause 15;
  4. If in the opinion of the Executive Committee, the conduct or behaviour of a Member is prejudicial to the reputation of the Council.
23. The Executive Committee shall review the membership status of all Agency Members every three years. Suspension and termination of membership shall be at the discretion of the Executive Committee.
24. There shall be established and constituted an independent Appeal Board (“Appeal Board”) to handle appeals and to make final decision related to membership. The Appeal Board shall consist of five members, at least three of them shall be representatives from non-governmental welfare agencies and the members of the Appeal Board shall be appointed by the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall also appoint one of the members of the Appeal Board to be the Chairperson of the Appeal Board.

Meetings and Quorum

25. The following meetings of members shall be convened:-
 
  1. There shall be an Annual General Meeting in every calendar year to be held not more than 15 months after the last preceding Annual General Meeting;
  2. Any meeting of Members other than the Annual General Meeting shall be an Extraordinary General Meeting.
26. The following business shall be transacted at the Annual General Meeting:-
 
  1. Receive annual reports from the Chairperson and the Chief Executive;
  2. Receive, consider and, if deemed fit, adopt the audited annual accounts of the Council and the auditors’ report thereon;
  3. Elect members of the Executive Committee;
  4. Appoint the auditors.
27. The Executive Committee may, whenever it thinks fit, convene an Extraordinary General Meeting and it shall on the requisition of Members representing not less than one-tenth of Agency membership proceed to convene an Extraordinary General Meeting and in the case of such requisition the following provisions shall have effect:-
 
  1. The requisition shall state the object of the meeting and must be signed by the requisitionists and delivered to the headquarters of the Council;
  2. If the Executive Committee does not proceed to cause a meeting to be held within twenty-one days from the date of the requisition being delivered, the requisitionsts may themselves convene the meeting, but any meeting so convened shall not be held after three months from the date of the delivery of the requisition;
  3. Any such meeting convened by requisitionists shall be convened and held in the same manner as that in which meetings are to be convened by the Executive Committee.
28. Each meeting shall be held at such place as the Executive Committee shall determine.
29. Twenty members personally present shall constitute a quorum. If within half an hour from the time appointed for the meeting a quorum is not present, the meeting, if convened upon the requisition of Members shall be dissolved, but in any other case it shall stand adjourned to such other day, time and place as the Chairperson may by notice to the Members appoint. If at such adjourned meeting a quorum is not present any ten Members present shall be a quorum, and may transact the business for which the meeting was convened.
30. The Chairperson of the Executive Committee, or in his absence the Vice-Chairperson, shall take the chair at every general meeting of the Council. If at any such meeting neither the Chairperson nor a Vice-Chairperson is present within fifteen minutes after the time appointed for holding the meeting or are unwilling to act, the Members present shall choose one of the members of the Executive Committee present as Chairperson of the meeting.
31.
    1. Every question submitted to a meeting shall be decided by a show of hands unless a poll is (before or on the declaration of the result of the show of hands) demanded by at least one Member present in person or by a nominated official representative entitled to vote, and in the case of an equality of votes, the Chairperson of the meeting shall have a casting vote in addition to the vote to which he is entitled as a Member.
    2. If a poll be demanded in manner aforesaid it shall be taken at such time and place and in such manner as the Chairperson shall direct and the result of the poll shall be deemed to be the resolution of the meeting at which the poll was demanded. No poll shall be demanded on any question of adjournment. The demand of a poll shall not prevent the continuance of a meeting for the transaction of any business other than the question on which a poll has been demanded. Votes may be given by Members present in person or by the nominated official representatives and on a show of hands every member shall have one vote only. In case of a poll every official representative of Agency Members and Life Members present at the meeting shall have one vote each.
    3. Members may vote by proxy in the following manner:-
    4. The instrument appointing a proxy who need not be a Member of the Council shall be in writing under the hand of the appointer and deposited at the office of the Council not less than 72 hours before the time for holding the meeting at which the person named in such instrument proposes to vote. A proxy may only be appointed for a specified meeting. The instrument of proxy shall be in the following form:-

“I, , being a member of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service hereby appoint as my proxy, to vote for me and on my behalf, at the General Meeting of the Council, to be held on the day of and at any adjournment thereof.
As Witness my hand, this day of 20
Signed by the said
in the presence of ”

  1. A resolution put to an Extraordinary General Meeting must be passed by a majority of two-thirds of the votes cast.
32. At any meeting a declaration by the Chairperson that a resolution has been carried, or carried by a particular majority, or lost, or not carried by a particular majority and an entry to that effect in the minute book of the Council shall be conclusive evidence of the fact without proof of the number of proportion of the votes recorded in favour of or against such resolution.
33. The Council may invite the Hong Kong Government to nominate representatives from the Government to attend meetings of the Council.

Notices

34. Membership shall be given at least 14 clear days notice of the Annual General Meeting and 14 clear days notice of Extraordinary General Meetings. Such notices shall specify the place, the day and the hour of the meeting and the general nature of the business to be transacted.
35. The accidental omission to give any such notice to or the non-receipt of any such notice by any one or more Members shall not invalidate any resolution passed at any such meeting.
36. A notice shall be deemed to have been given by the Council to any Member, if it is either delivered personally or sent through the post in a pre-paid letter, envelope or wrapper, addressed to such member at the last address of the Member registered with the Council.
37. Any notice required to be given by the Council to Members shall also be sufficiently given, if given by advertisement in local newspaper.

Minutes

38. The Council shall cause proper minutes to be made of all proceedings of meetings of the Council.



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