Decree # 3759 : Internal statutes of the Social and Economic Council
The President of the Republic, based on the Constitution, based on Code # 378, dated 12/1/1995 and amended in accordance with Code # 533, dated 24/07/1996 (Establishing the S.E.C.), based on the Prime Minister's proposal and following consultations with the State Consultative Council (S.E.C), opinion # 2000-99/106 dated 05-07.2000 and following Cabinet Consent dated 16-08.2000.
Part I : General Guidelines
S.E.C. Internal Statutes determine minutes for implementing Code # 95/389 and particularly with article 4, which bears on the establishment of S.E.C. and its operations.
All S.E.C. members are bound by Rules and Bylaws of this statute.
Part II : Elections to S.E.C Board, Powers and Chairman
Chapter 1 : Call for elections, S.E.C Electoral Process
S.E.C. General Assembly elects a 9-man board for a 3 year term.
Board members are elected by secret ballot, and, by a full majority vote from amid legal council members from the first term. A relative majority from amid present members present in the session is deemed satisfactory for subsequent office terms.
Within a 15 day lapsing period following the nomination date and appointment of Board members, the most senior among General Assembly members would publish official summons in 3 leading newspapers (dailies) for a session on which he is to preside.
His summons carry date and place of election provided that the deadline would not exceed 15 days after the issuing of summons. Wherever the most senior members fail to attend, the least senior member age wise has the right to preside over the session.
1-Members other than those whose names figure in the appointment and nomination Decree, are not allowed on the mayor Electoral Board.
The chairman has the right and, upon, General Director's suggestions to issue special permits for media representatives to attend S.E.C. meetings.
2-Candidates to S.E.C. Board must notify their candidacy to the General Directorate's clerk in writing by 3 days prior to the electoral process.
The Prime Minister acting at the behest of the Cabinet may refer to the Council requests to formulate opinions file reports or, make researches over matters of a professional, social and economic nature. The PM's instruction may also include a deadline for the S.E.C. to accomplish its task.
In cases deemed contingently urgent by the government, The Council must formulate an opinion within a month's time.
The Council has the right to, automatically voice its view with regards to tasks and matters defined under Article 2 of this Law. This is done by a two thirds majority vote with the exception of a draft fiscal and financial law including public budgets and annexes.
Chairman of the Board reads out names of members to the general body eligible for the ballot. He also declares names of candidates to the Board and duly summons S.E.C. members by their family names in alphabetical order as part of their electoral right.Electing of Board members takes place in secret balloting and behind curtain.
Electors place names of chosen candidates in writing, in an envelop following their putting of signature to the attendance sheet. Envelops are then inserted into the ballot box.
After the balloting is over, the Chairman of the session opens the ballot box and conducts vote count and compares them with number of electors. Envelops are returned to the box and a record of the minutes is organized. He then proceeds with his vote count in accordance with the following principles:
a- A ballot carrying any distinctive marking or, being not stark white in color is invalidated.
b- Ballot papers bearing numbers exceeding members eligible for election, are counted, relative to that of previous electors and up till such figures deemed fit by the elections.
After the ballot count is over, the Chairman of the session organizes a record of the minutes to be signed by himself and the Secretary. He announces winners names in the initial electoral round: i.e. those obtaining absolute majority, of attending members, legally comprising the Board or those obtaining a relative majority out of the total attending members in subsequent electoral rounds. In case of equalized voting, a winner is regarded as such in terms of age seniority. The Chairman of the session sets the record in order to be signed by himself and the Secretary.
The Chairman of the Session announces winner's names (9 of them) at the end of the electoral process. These comprise the S.E.C. Board along with the number of votes obtained by each. The Chairman then summons immediately for an urgent meeting to elect a Chairman of the Board and his deputy. Each member suffering from a grievance preserves the right to lodge a request with the State Consultative Council to reassess, or invalidate the electoral or voting process within 10 days after the announcement of electoral results.
Chapter II : Election Of The Chairman, Deputy Chairman, Board Session, Board Powers, Chairman /Director General Powers, Records/ Book -Keeping
A newly-elected Board convenes in session under the most senior ages members with an adequate quorum of two thirds of the Board attending the initial session An absolute majority considered sufficient enough to convene a second session.
Once the necessary quorum stipulated under article 9, is attained, the most age wise senior Chairman announces the opening of the session to elect a new Chairman. He reads out candidates' names to this post and notes the necessity for them to secure a two thirds majority of member votes to win during the first round. She/He has to win an absolute majority during the second round while securing a majority of attendants during the third session.
Chairman and deputy Chairman are elected in a secret ballot while Rules relevant to the Chairman also apply to his vice-Chairman.
As a seat on the Board gets vacant for whatever reason, and prior to the Board term of office by at least 3 months, the Chairman summons the General Assembly to a meeting not exceeding one month after the vacancy arises, in order to elect an alternative candidate.
Boards meets in regular session at least once every 15 days on such day and hour as decided by the Chairman. The Board holds extraordinary sessions as the Chairman's calls for a meeting at his personal initiative or, in response to calls by a third of Board members. The Chairman sets working agendas for each meetings, notifies to this effect Board Members by at least 3 days prior to holding the session. He is to notify then over session working agendas by at least 24 hours in advance of the session. Board meetings take place at S.E.C. head office and may meet somewhere if S.E.C. Board sees otherwise.
A legal quorum is deemed incomplete to hold a Board session unless sessions are attended by a majority of members. Decisions are taken by a majority of 4, of those attending. In case of equal votes, the Chairman's vote settles the matter.
Voting, takes place openly during a Board Session. The Board may under certain circumstances, resort to secret balloting. Serialized minutes of Board meetings bearing attendant's names and those of absent members, as well as working agendas, discussions and resolutions are kept.
As majority decisions are taken, dissenting members have the right to put down their opinions and justifications in the minutes.
During meeting, Minutes are read and duly approved during the next session, unless the Board deems it otherwise and decides to approve them at the close of the session.
Minutes of the meeting are signed by attending members.
S.E.C. Board is in charge of :
1- Supervision of S.E.C. activities/functions in addition to making relevant administrative organizational decisions.
2- Setting S.E.C'S General Assembly agendas and its summoning to a meeting
3- S.E.C. Board, decides as to whether specialized expertise be it from experts, bureaus specialized firms or wherever from outside S.E.C., should be solicited in formulating opinions, conducting research and making reports. All of this, may be done at the initiative of the Board, or at the recommendation of General Assembly committees or, upon a G.A. decision.
4- Provisional -special committees from within S.E.C. are to be formed if necessary, in order to study specific questions and duly draft reports and recommendations that ought not counteract adhoc committees.
5- S.E.C. Board requests the Director-General for a draft annual budget proposal under the auspices of the Chairman or whoever represents him, in order to be reviewed, discussed and endorsed by the Board prior to submission to the General Assembly to be discussed and ratified.
6- Looking into coordination problems that are under the jurisdiction and specialty of more than one committee- Committee heads are duly summoned to attend Board meetings. Board equally preserves the right to hold enlarged meetings of Committee Heads to discuss division of labor between them or, for evaluating S.E.C. activities -heads of Committees have the right to discuss and voice their opinion during meetings. Nonetheless, they have no voting rights.
7- A Director -General, under the auspices of the Chairman or his representatives from the Board, may be requested to perform administrative, organizational and financial functions deemed convenient or crucial as part of the Director's powers in line with the decree of his appointment and founding law of S.E.C.
8- The Director and upon a suggestions by the Chairman and following S.E.C. Board approval, has the right to conclude contracts with experts and specialists to ensure smooth running of work.
S.E.C. Board chairman, is charged with :
1- Representing the Council and playing the role as its spokesman, the President's concluding contracts with other parties with Board consent. The Chairman has the right to elect a Board or S.E.C. member to represent him at certain specific tasks at certain firms.
2- Chairing Board and General Assembly sessions.
3- Following up implementation of Board & General Assembly Decisions
4- Supervision of S.E.C. employees, issuing instructions, and taking measures designed to divide labor between members in conjunction with the Director-General and in accordance with S.E.C. hierarchical order.
5- Supervising /organizing S.E.C. files and records under the control of the Director General.
6- Signing of dispensation and payment orders in line with S.E.C. financial system. The Board must be rendered aware of such activities within a lapse of 1 (one) month, in line with tables showing dispensation value and whatever data the Board requires.
General Assembly Members have the right to see records files under the Chairman's supervision.
Deputy Chairman assumes the latter's functions in case of absence or his post becoming vacant.
In case of Chairman or Vice-Chairman's post becoming vacant, Board member according to age seniority assumes chairmanship of Board and General Assembly sessions.
The Chairman receives incoming requests from the government pending, giving S.E.C. opinion, drafting reports, making researches. He shall present them first to the Board and then to S.E.C. Subcommittees for study. This must be done within 15 (fifteen) days whereby committees shall refer to the Board their findings. The Board then advances those studies to the General Assembly which is entitled to take the proper decision. The Chairman briefs the Prime Minister over S.E.C. -G.A. decisions along with records within 5 ( five ) days following issuing date of issue.
S.E.C. Director General assumes tasks and administrative functions in accordance with a Cabinet decree while taking into consideration other powers and prerogatives stipulated under these Statutes and he shall be held accountable for them before S.E.C Chairman
Part III : Committees
Chapter 1 : Forming of Committees
The following committees emerge out of S.E.C. General Assembly:
1- Committee for General Economic Matters (Planning -Financial Economic Policies).
2- Committee for General Social Matters (Health, Housing and Cooperative)
3- Committee for Human Resource Development and Human Rights, Education, culture, Vocational Training, Women and the Disabled.
4- Committee for Social Activities. (Industry, Trade, Finance, Insurance and Energy).
5- Committee for Sciences, Technology and Qualifications (Research Development & Standards.
6- Committee for the Environment and Tourism. (Ecology, Tourism, Civic Management (Organization) and Transportation, Travel.
7- Committee for District Affairs and Agricultural Matters (District Affairs, Agriculture, Rural Development).
8- Committee for Labor Affairs, professions and Artisan Artifacts.
Each committee may set up sub-committees as deemed necessary to facilitate its work.
It is up to the General Assembly (G.A.) to decide on setting up further standing committees deemed necessary for its work.
Each committee is at least comprised of 7 members including the Head and Adjudicator.
With the exception of the Committee Head and his deputy, every Board member shall be at least belong to a Committee while not being permitted to preside over more than one Committee.
Committee meetings minutes, are recorded by a full-time S.E.C. employee who also assumes a Secretary's Tasks.
All committee records must be jointly undersigned by the Committed Head and Adjudicator.
With the lapse of the first ten days following the election of the Board, the Director -General provides forms to Board members from which they may choose to belong to certain committees. In light of members' wishes already expressed within a deadline not exceeding 15 days after the lapse of the abovementioned period, the Board briefs the G.A. over the outcome of forms filled out within a 40 days deadline. The G.A. undertakes forming committees in secret balloting so that the Chairman issues summons for all to attend the electoral session within a week in advance of the opening.
In case of failure of a member to receive his /her summoning, the Chairman briefs the General Assembly over the matter. The G.A. takes the proper decision.
A committee is considered dissolved with the resignation of half of its members.
It is thereby reformed in accordance with mechanisms stipulated under this article.
Committees convene in session within one week following their election. They are summoned into session by S.E.C. Board Chairman who presides over the session. Each Committee elects in accordance with relative majority and secret balloting, a Head and Adjudicator. A meeting shall elect by an absolute majority attendance. Meetings are open to all S.E.C. members who do not enjoy voting rights.
Each Committee may form a Sub-Committee from among its members in order to study certain matters. It may ask the Chairman for extra General Assembly members to join their committee. A Sub Committee may submit such studies to their respective committee for further assessment prior to referring to the S.E.C. Board and General Assembly.
The General Assembly upon proposals by 10 of its members and by an absolute majority of attendants and when matters are referred to it for a vote, it may form special ad-hoc committee to study certain matters along with those committee as defined under the above mentioned article 23.
Chapter 2 : Committee Activities
Committees meet in session at a call from its Head or at a call by a third of its members. The Board may also summon committees for meetings via their heads or their adjudicators in case of unavailability in order to hold sessions for agenda studies and formulate opinions
Upon summoning committees to a meeting, the Board defines working agendas for study and opinion -making along with deadlines to meet them.
Committees have the right to make recommendations to the Board for soliciting outside expertise from offices affiliated to specialized firms in line with opinions, studies and reports.
Committee meetings may be held behind closed doors with experts and certain sector representatives whose opinions are solicited to joint the meeting upon a Committee's Head request.
Committee meetings are deemed legal only through an absolute majority attendance of its members.
Committees meeting in regular session once every couple of works under their Head. During the absence of their Head committees must hold emergency sessions upon summons issued by S.E.C. Board, its Chairman or by a third of a majority of membership. Decisions are made by an absolute majority of committee members. When votes come out equal, a committee Head's vote settles the matter.
A functionary from S.E.C. administrative apparatus assuming secretarial functions, organizes committee records to be jointly signed by Adjudicator and committee Head prior to referring it to S.E.C. Board within 48 hours.
Part IV : S.E.C. General Assembly Activities
Chapter 1 : General Assembly Sessions - Discussions - Resolutions
S.E.C. General Assembly meetings convene definitively once every couple of months at the least and the first working day takes place in presence of an absolute majority of members. Whenever a session fails to convene on time and for some reason, the meeting is postponed till a later date during the next upcoming couple of weeks.
General Assembly meetings continue as such, up till all relevant working agendas shall be approved The General Assembly makes decisions by absolute majority.
The Chairman has the right, after having notified the Board, to summon the General Assembly to hold emergency sessions as circumstances deem so. At all events, summons are made by the Chairman.
A third majority of the General Assembly have the right to request the Chairman to call for emergency sessions whenever circumstances deem so.
The Chairman sets General Assembly working agendas and notifies to this effect S.E.C. members a week at least in advance of convening a meeting.
S.E.C. Board must refer to specialized committees for a request to study any particular issue lying under S.E.C. jurisdiction. A member or, a group of members may suggest expressing opinion automatically. They may request referring it to committees or the General Assembly provided one tenth of the members sign it. In any event, an opinion expressed must automatically get 2/3 of G.A. votes.
General Assembly meetings are held behind closed doors.
Cabinet members or their representatives, may attend G.A. sessions or committee meetings. They could be heard when asking the right to speak.
S.E.C. Chairman may receive parliamentarians concerned wishing to attend G.A. meetings or committee meetings in order to partake in discussions.
The Chairman and in presence of Board members may inaugurate and preside over G.A. meetings. He may verify legal quorum by reading out the attendance sheet. He requests that apologies be recorded down and reads the working agenda. He conducts panel discussions and draws attention to the need to abide by the Rules, Bylaws and Regulations. He may request endorsement of previous session's Minutes.
The Chairman grants right of speech firstly to committee heads if they so request. He has the right to hear them first by urging them to produce a summary of their studies and views. Subsequently, S.E.C. members are given the right to speak .
The Chairman organizes discussions and sets limits on intercessions. He preserves the right to ask any member to halt speaking, in case she/he transgresses limits allowed by the law.
A clear majority of the General Assembly, has the right to ask the Chairman to suspend discussion of any particular project or research and referring them instead to the specialized committee with the exception of projects and requests for views or opinions presented to him by the Cabinet as a matter of urgency. Each member has the right to ask for his view to be included in writing within the special record of the meeting's Minutes.
A committee that receives projects that need to be restudied must take the initiative to effect proper amendment such that they may be reviewed by S.E.C. General Assembly within a deadline to be decided by the General Assembly it self.
A Chairman winds up discussion over a whole provision or part of it that features on the agenda . This is done by a General Assembly decision or by suggestion of a member or, by another one added to it. The issue is then cast for a vote.
The Chairman preserves right to suspend General Assembly hearings provisionally or permanently, as he deems such action necessary. Any member has the right under such circumstances to request that her/his view be added in writing to the Minutes of the Session.
Before deciding to suspend the session, the Chairman has to notify the General Assembly over the next session's date and thereby regard attending G.A. members as becoming aware of it.
The Chairman may instruct one or more S.E.C. members to attend parliament or House sub-Committee meetings in addition to attending Cabinet and ministerial committee meetings, whenever he's asked S.E.C. opinion over certain matters. He himself, has the right to attend along with his delegates.
The Director -General supervises General Assembly taking of Minutes and those of the Committee that need to be taken in their entirety in writing Audio-visuals may also be taken and stored within digital records to be jointly signed by the Director and the Chairman. S.E.C. members may check the Minutes to be sent to the Cabinet. They may obtain -copies - of them if they wish. Their objections may also be included in writing.
With the exception of electing a S.E.C. Board, voting at the General Assembly takes places by finger -raising. Whenever votes turn equal, the Chairman's vote settles matters. The General Assembly may decide on secret balloting under circumstances that deem them necessary.
Chapter 2 : Discipline and Conduct
The Chairman ensures discipline and order for workers within S.E.C. head office and during sessions he may rebuke any violator both verbally and in writing. Under other circumstances, he may refer the matter to the General Assembly in order to take the proper decision.
Part V : S.E.C. Finances
Chapter 1 : S.E.C Budget
Based on article 20 under Code # 95/389, S.E.C. expenditure is guaranteed by funds under a special Prime Minister Office Budget allocations.
Such fund is placed at the S.E.C. Board disposal and is duly subject to supervision by the Ex-chequer office.
Chapter 2 : Assistance, Assistance In Kind, Technical In Cash, Donnationas And Contributions
The Chairman has the right, and following Cabinet approval in line with article 52 of Public Audit law to receive on behalf of S.E.C. and in its interest's sake, assistance, donations, contributions in cash, in kind, technical assistance from governments, governments institutions, regional and international bodies, and also from private donors and /or from whoever serves Council purposes and functions.
The Chairman hereby notifies Head of the General Assembly over this matter at the soonest session.
With regard to offers of cooperation form mentioned bodies and institutions, stipulated under the above paragraph, the Chairman has the right of accepting them in the name of S.E.C. provided that he notifies the G.A. over the matter at the soonest session.
Part VI : Publication and Guidance
Chapter 1 : Publications, the Library, Lectures
S.E.C. publishes periodicals and journals free of charge or chargeable materials under Board editorship
A scientific library is to be setup at S.E.C. It is to be kept by a librarian who would seek, its constant promotion and modernization under Board Guidance. The Board is to provide a special library usage code that takes effect following ratification by the General Assembly,
Part VII : Treaties and Agreements
The Board may conclude cooperation agreements with protagonist Councils or international bodies or organizations for a definite period of time.
Concluded agreements would only take effect once approved by the General Assembly. The Board recognizes under all circumstances, effective constitutional texts of laws, by Laws and regulations in force. In event of agreements being concluded in languages other than Arabic, the Arabic text would be used as the sole reference whenever textual differences arises.
Part VIII : Miscellaneous Rulings
S.E.C. may issue a special medal ( LOGO) with legal contexts allowed by Laws in force that its grading are conditional by special order prepared by the Board and subsequently approved by the General Assembly.
S.E.C. has the right and in agreement with the General Assembly to have an emblem of its own at its head office. It could also be used in S.E.C. correspondence and official documents .
The Board could also issue special I.Ds for S.E.C. personnel to carry as well as producing rubber stamps of its own.
Part IX : Amendment of Statutes
Principles stipulated under article 14 under Law # 95/289 apply to amendments to these Statutes.
This Decree takes immediate effect once published in the official gazette.