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Bulgarian Forum for Members of Ethics Committees (BUMEC)

(draft provosional)Terms of Reference

Article 1
Designation of BUMEC

The ‘Bulgarian Forum for Members of Ethics Committees’ is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the enhancement of ethical review in health research in Bulgaria through information exchange, discussion, and education.The organisation has adopted the acronym ‘BUMEC’.

Article 2
Emblem of BUMEC

The logo of BUMEC shall be nominated by the Steering Committee and approved by the first General Assembly.

Article 3
Seat of the BUMEC

The official location of BUMEC is the office the Chairperson of BUMEC.

Article 4

The Objectives of BUMEC are:
1. To advocate and develop protection of dignity, rights, safety and well-being of research participants.
2. To exchange knowledge and experience among the Ethics Committees.
3. To advocate for, and develop, an ethical review system for research involving human subjects in Bulgaria.
4. BUMEC is affiliated with the Strategic Initiative for Developing Capacity in Ethical Review (SIDCER) until a European forum is established through which it will be represented in SIDCER and will work cooperatively for the realisation of human subjects protections in Europe.
5. To coordinate with other national and international organisations involved with ethical review of research in human subjects.

Article 5

Membership of BUMEC comprises:
1. Ordinary Members who are, or used to be, members of any ethics committee in Bulgaria, may apply for membership and be approved by the Steering Committee.
2. Honorary Members are those invited by the Steering Committee to be an Honorary Member.

Article 6
Membership Responsibilities

The rights and obligations of members are the following:
1. Ordinary members have rights and obligations as follows:
a) Render support to activities of BUMEC.
b) To be elected or selected as a Steering Committee member of BUMEC.
c) Participate in activities that have been set up by BUMEC.
d) Propose opinions to the Steering Committee.
e) Request for a special General Assembly of BUMEC to evaluate and change rules and regulations of BUMEC.
2. Honorary members have rights and obligations as follows:
a) Render support to activities of BUMEC.
b) To be invited as a consultant of BUMEC.
c) Participate in activities initiated by BUMEC.
d) Give advice and consultation to BUMEC.

Article 7
Membership Term and Fee

Membership is for life. A one-time fee of 20 Leva must be paid. The Steering Committee may decide to waive the membership fee in whole or part for any individual.

Article 8
Membership Termination

Membership ends by:
1. Death,
2. Resignation,
3. Withdrawal by more than two-thirds majority vote of the whole Steering Committee.

Article 9
Composition and Appointment of the Steering Committee

The Steering Committee comprises the following six officers:
• Chairperson
• Co-Chairperson
• Secretary
• Treasurer
• Ethics Officer
• Education Officer

The officers are elected by the General Assembly.

In the event of vacancy of any position before the term expires, the Steering Committee shall appoint a new member to fill the vacancy to serve until the end of the original term.

Article 10
Responsibilities of the Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is authorised to assume the following responsibilities:
1. Undertaking the objectives of BUMEC;
2. Appointing sub-committees or working teams as deemed necessary;
3. Ensuring to arrange a General Assembly meeting at least once a year to report past activities, financial statements, and future plans.

Article 11
Term of Office for the Steering Committee

The term of office for members of the Steering Committee is three years.

Article 12
Termination of Office for a Steering Committee Member

A Steering Committee member’s office can be terminated upon:
1. Death;
2. End of term;
3. Resignation;
4. Disqualification of ordinary membership;
5. Individual or all Steering Committee members can be removed by the vote of more than two-thirds of members present at the General Assembly provided that the proposal for removal has been included on the agenda in advance;
6. At least ten ordinary members must request the proposal for removal to be included in the agenda ten days prior to the meeting of the General Assembly.

Article 13
Responsibilities of the Steering Committee Offices

The Chairperson is responsible for undertaking all duties under the objectives of BUMEC.

The Co-Chairperson is responsible for the Chairperson’s responsibility in his/her absence or when he/she is unable to work; and for duties designated by chairperson.

The Secretary is responsible for
1. Preparing and keeping membership records,
2. Preparing meetings,
3. Recording the minutes of meetings,
4. Coordinating with other organisations,
5. Other duties as designated by the Chairperson.
The Treasurer is responsible for
1. Safeguarding funds of BUMEC;
2. Receiving and making payments according to the receipts and payment requests;
3. Preparation of receivable/payable accounts, and the lists of assets and liabilities of BUMEC.

The Ethics Officer is responsible for ensuring the ethical quality of BUMEC as an organisation and the integration of national and international issues in health research ethics into the activities of BUMEC.

The Education Officer is responsible for the development of an education programme for BUMEC and its association with national and international institutions.

Article 14
Steering Committee Meetings

1. The Steering Committee must meet at least twice times a year.
2. The minimum number of Steering Committee members must be at least four to meet the quorum requirement.
3. The Steering Committee attempts to reach its decisions by consensus. When this is not possible, a vote of at least 51% of those present is required for a decision. Members holding a minority view may request to record a dissenting opinion.

Article 15
The General Assembly

1. The Steering Committee must arrange the General Assembly at least once a year.
2. At least one-third of all ordinary members agreement is required to request a special General Assembly. The Steering Committee must arrange the meeting within 45 days upon receiving such a written request.
3. The General Assembly requires at least one-third, or not less than twenty members, to meet the quorum requirement.

Article 16
Finances of BUMEC

1. The Treasurer is responsible for keeping all funds of BUMEC that are under the supervision of the Committee.
2. Funds of BUMEC must be deposited in the bank or savings co-operative in the institute where the Treasurer is working.
3. The Treasurer can keep no more than 1000 Leva petty cash, unless otherwise deemed necessary with approval of the Chairperson, on a case-by-case basis.
4. The Treasurer must prepare an accurate account, including
a) Receivable and payable accounts of BUMEC.
b) Assets and liabilities accounts of BUMEC.
5. All payments of BUMEC must be the Treasurer and one other person designated by the Steering Committee.
6. Sources of income of BUMEC are from:
a) Membership fees
b) National or international institutions agreed to by the Steering Committee.
c) Other methods (e.g., activities organised by BUMEC).

Article 17
Dissolving BUMEC

1. BUMEC shall be dissolved through a resolution of the General Assembly attained by not less than two-thirds vote of all members.
2. When dissolved, all assets of BUMEC shall be given to the public organisations according to approval of the Steering Committee.

Article 18
Transitory Provisions

The following were elected to a ‘Temporary Steering Committee’ for one year at the ‘Workshop on the Development of Ethical Review in Bulgaria: Establishing Best Practices in Conjunction with National, European, and International Guidance’ organised by the Association for Good Clinical Practice and Research Development in Bulgaria and the European Forum for Good Clinical Practice on 5-6 June 2003 in Sofia. The Temporary Steering Committee will have responsibility to review the Terms of Reference and carry out a nation-wide consultation prior to the first BUMEC General Assembly in 2004 where the final Terms of Reference will be presented for approval and the first ‘Steering Committee’ may be elected.

Temporary Steering Committee Members

Ethics Officer
Education Officer


© 2002 AGCPCRD