When a conflict arises between two members of The ILGenWeb Project that cannot be resolved informally between the parties involved or with the assistance of the State Coordinator, Assistant State Coordinator(s), or Regional Coordinators, the parties have the option of requesting a review of the dispute by the Arbitration Committee.
Upon requesting a review by the Arbitration Committee, both parties must agree to be bound by any agreement reached in the arbitration process, or if no agreement can be reached, by the final recommendation of the Arbitration Committee when approved by the State Coordinator or designated authority.
The Arbitration Committee shall be appointed by the State Coordinator except as otherwise indicated herein. The Arbitration Committee shall consist of three neutral members of The ILGenWeb Project. The panel must include (1) County Coordinator or Special Project Coordinator, (1) Regional Coordinator from a different region than either of the parties involved in the dispute, and one (1) Assistant State Coordinator to act as Moderator for the arbitration. In the event that the State Coordinator is one of the parties involved in the dispute, the State Coordinator shall appoint the moderator only, and deligate the responsibility of appointing the Arbitration Committee to the moderator.
The moderator shall advise the parties of the identity of the members of the Arbitration Committee by return receipted email once the panel has been appointed. It shall be the responsibility of the parties to the dispute to raise the issue of bias or conflict by a member of the Arbitration Committee. This shall be done privately to the moderator of the committee prior to the beginning of the arbitration process. If an objection should be raised to a committee member, that member shall be dismissed and a new committee member appointed. The identity of the party raising the objection shall not be revealed to any committee member. Once the committee is seated and the arbitration process initiated, no further objection may be raised as to partiality, and a committee member may only be removed from the committee on his or her own request.
The duties and responsibilities of the Arbitration Committee shall be:
- To provide a full and fair opportunity for both parties to present their side of the dispute and present relevant material in support of thier position.
- To review the material provided by both parties, to ask questions of the parties, and seek clarification to further understand the issues in dispute.
- To assist the parties in identifying the source of the dispute, the options for resolution, common ground between the parties, and to explore the possibility of an amiable agreement for resolution of the dispute that will benefit both parties and The ILGenWeb Project.
- To recommend to the State Coordinator, or designated authority, the findings of the Arbitration Committee and recommendations for resolution of the dispute.
When the Arbitration Committee is seated, the parties shall be so advised by the Moderator. The parties shall have seventy-two (72) hours to submit to the Moderator a written statement of thier position on the issues of the dispute. The moderator shall provide the position statements to the comittee members for their review.
Upon receipt of the position statements, the members of the Arbitration Committee and the parties shall be subscribed to a closed mailing list where the issues raised in the dispute will be discussed. Alternative forms of communication, such as IRC or Group Instant Messaging may be used if available and with the consent of the parties and the members of the Arbitration Committee.
All discussion regarding the issues during the arbitration process is to be considered priveleged and private, and shall not be disclosed during or after the arbitration process by either the Arbitration Committee or either party, except as allowed by these procedures. Failure to abide by the confidentiality of the arbitration proceedings provide grounds for disciplinary action or removal of the coordinator.
If an amiable agreement is reached between the parties in the arbitration process, the members of the Arbitration Committee shall retire to closed session to insure that the resolution is appropriate in view of the goals and requirements of The USGenWeb Project and The ILGenWeb Project. If no conflict is found, the resolution agreement will be forwared to the State Coordinator, or designated authority, with a recommendation for approval, and the parties so notified by the moderator. If the resolution agreement is not consistant with the goals and requirements of The USGenWeb Project or The ILGenWeb Project after review in closed session, the Arbitration Committee will reconvene with the parties for further discussion.
If, after a thorough discussion of the issues of the dispute, it becomes apparent that no amiable resolution or agreement can be reached between the parties, the moderator, with the agreement of the committee members and the parties, shall call the discussion closed. The parties shall be given an additional seventy-two (72) hours to provide to the moderator a written summation of their position in view of the discussions held. The moderator will provide these summations to each member of the Arbitration Committee. The committee shall retire to closed session and come to a recommendation of the course of action to be taken by the parties to resolve the dispute. This recommendation shall be submitted to the State Coordinator, or designated authority for approval. Upon approval, a written decision will detail to the parties the findings of the Arbitration Committee and the actions to be taken by the parties in light of the findings.
The decision of the Arbitration Committee becomes the final resolution of the dispute upon approval of the recommendation by the State Coordinator or designated authority. Failure of any party to comply with the decision is grounds for disciplinary action or removal of the Coordinator.
These policies were adopted on July 31, 2004.