Standing Rules

Society of American Archivists
Government Records Section



The membership of the Government Records Section is made up of individual Society of American Archivists (SAA) members who are concenred with the administration, organization, and care of the records of government.

I. Membership

Membership in the Government Records Section of the Society of American Archivists is open to any member of SAA who has an interest in government records issues.

II. Governance

These standing rules of the Government Records Section shall serve as a supplement to the SAA Section Bylaws, which govern all SAA sections. Please refer to Section IX. Sections of the SAA Governance Manual for information on membership, section election procedures, reporting requirements, and more. 

III. Officers

The officers of the Governmnet Records Section shall be the chair, vice chair, and web liaison. Only members of SAA and the Government Records Section may serve as officers of the Section. 

A. Chair

The chair shall preside at all meetings of the Section and the Steering Committee; represent the Section in its relations with SAA in general and with the Council and other groups within SAA; serve on SAA committees, task forces, etc., as an ex officio member who required or appointed a representative to do so; appoint Section committees as needed; and submit an annual report of Section activities to the SAA executive office after the conclusion of his or her term. The vice chair shall serve as acting chair in the absence of the chair. The chair shall serve for a period of one year.

B. Vice Chair

The Steering Committee shall choose the vice chair from among the Steering Committee members in office after the annual elections. The vice chair shall serve for one year as vice chair, succeeding automatically to the office of chair for the subsequent year. If for any reason the vice chair is unable to succeed to the office of chair, a new chair shall be chosen following the same procedures as for selection of the vice chair.

C. Web Liaison

The web liaison shall be appointed by the chair, with the advice of the Steering Committee, for a term of two years, which may be renewed indefinitely. The newsletter editor is responsible for managing content on the Section website and Facebook page, as well as other social media and communication initiatives undertaken by the Section.

IV. Steering Committee

The Steering Committee shall consist of the officers and four at-large members. The at-large members shall serve two-year terms, three members being elected annually. The profile of the Steering Committee shall consist of at least one representative each of local government, state/provincial government and federal/national/tribal government. However, a change in status of a Steering Committee representative shall not require the removal of that member from the Committee, even if that change would lead to an uneven balance of representation. The Nominating Committee Chair (immediate past Chair), as well as the Chairs of the Local Government Records Section and the Congressional Papers Section shall serve on the Steering Committee as non-voting ex officio members. The Steering Committee shall serve in an advisory capacity to the chair and its members may be assigned specific responsibilities by the chair. The Steering Committee shall plan each annual meeting of the Section.

V. Election of Officers and Steering Committee

There shall be a Nominating and Elections committee consisting of the immediate past chair of the Section (serving as chair of the Committee) and the three Steering Committee members whose terms are not expiring at the conclusion of the next annual meeting.

The Committee shall solicit from the Section members the names of volunteers or persons recommended for the positions to be filled in the next election. Formal calls for nominations shall be collected by June 1.

Basic ballot information (e.g., introductory message to voters, listing of offices, number of vacancies for each, names of candidates, and links to candidate statements) shall be submitted to the SAA staff by June 15. Supplementary ballot information (e.g., candidate photos, biographies, and statements), if desired, shall be posted to the section website by July 1. 

Elections shall be conducted online with the assistance of the SAA staff and in accordance with guidelines for section elections as specified in Section IX. Sections of the SAA Governance Manual. Availability of the online ballot and deadline for voting shall be announced by the Chair to all section members via the section’s official email discussion list and website.

The Committee shall be responsible for ensuring that the number of nominees for membership on the Steering Committee is not less than the number of open positions.

In the event of a tie, the election will be decided by the flip of a coin, with one of the candidates choosing heads or tails.

Elected officers and Steering Committee members shall assume office at the conclusion of the Annual Meeting of the Section.

VI. Meetings

The Government Records Section shall meet once a year at the annual SAA meeting at the time and place scheduled by the SAA program committee and executive office. Additional meetings of the entire membership of the Steering Committee may be scheduled by the chair if needed to carry out the business of the Section.

VII. Amendments

To ensure alignment with SAA’s governance documents, any amendments to the section’s standing rules should be reviewed by the executive director (or her/his designee) and the section’s Council liaison by May 1, before they are put forward in a referendum for vote by the section membership. Proposed amendments to the section’s standing rules will appear on the section’s annual election ballot for a final approval by a simple majority of the section’s membership. Any adopted amendments should be posted promptly to the section’s official microsite and be noted in the section’s next annual report to the Council. Any revisions to the section’s name or mission/description must be submitted to the Council for final approval. For more information on amendment procedures, see Section IX. Sections of the SAA Governance Manual.

VIII. Vacancies in Office

A. Steering Committee At-Large Members

In the event of a vacancy caused by an at-large member of the Section Steering Committee during a term of office, the Steering Committee shall appoint a replacement. The person designated shall hold the position until the conclusion of the unexpired term.

B. Chair

In the case of vacancy in the office of the Chair, the Chair-elect, when in office, shall assume the duties of the Chair. The Chair-elect shall complete the vacancy and thereafter shall assume his or her scheduled one-year term. When no Chair-elect is in office or if the Chair-elect declines to accept the appointment, the Steering Committee shall appoint someone to carry out the duties of the Chair until the next annual meeting of the Section.

C. Chair-elect

In the case of vacancy in the office of the Chair-elect, the Steering Committee shall appoint someone to carry out the duties of the Chair-elect until the next annual meeting of the Section.

D. Editor

In the case of vacancy of the office of the Editor, the Chair will appoint an Editor, with the advice of the Steering Committee.

Adopted by the Government Records Section membership and the SAA Council, August 2014. Updated per the member affinity group transition approved by the Council, August 2016. 

GRS-bylaws-2014.pdf72.95 KB
2013-2014 GRS Bylaws Proposed Revisions.pdf80.85 KB
GRSbylaws2011rev.pdf14.32 KB
2011 Proposed Bylaws Revisions.pdf57.27 KB
missionandbylaw2005rev.pdf143.05 KB