The Latin American and the Caribbean Chapter of IFSO, also called IFSO LAC, is an essential part of the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders (IFSO), and follows its official guidelines and statements, although it has its own governing structure represented by its Assembly, Officials, Executive Board, and General Board. IFSO LAC pursuits its own goals, focused on activities related to Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery in Latin America.
The official languages of this Chapter and, consequently, of IFSO LAC Congresses are SPANISH and PORTUGUESE.
Official Latin American IFSO member Societies may also form part of IFSO LAC, after the same has approved their formal applications. Likewise, other affiliate societies involved in the obesity field may also join.
Any individual active in the obesity field that shows interest in participating and comes from a country that has no National Society or is not affiliated to IFSO may join once IFSO LAC has approved his application.
Nevertheless, with the aim of empowering national associations, no individual member may apply for IFSO membership if not through the board of his respective IFSO LAC member nation or through IFSO LAC’s Executive Board. Thus, any individual must first become a member of IFSO LAC before being able to join IFSO’s worldwide organization.
IFSO LAC respects the autonomy of the societies of each member nation. However, in order to help strengthen each one, IFSO LAC will not sanction any changes in official representations unless requested in writing by the acting President recognized by IFSO LAC (which may be submitted by electronic means to be subsequently presented in hard copy).
- Coordination and promotion of scientific activities amongst Latin American Societies for the Surgery of Obesity.
- Collaboration with other associations and public organizations specialized in obesity care.
- Cooperation with Latin American Health Departments and Ministries and multinational organizations such as the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in activities relating to obesity education, prevention and treatment.
- Support and involvement in the organization of scientific meetings and congresses regarding obesity in Latin American countries.
- Collaboration with other entities such as the International Association for the Study of Obesity (IASO), the Federation of Latin American Societies of Obesity (FLASO), and other organizations dedicated to the study of obesity.
- Alliance with companies and corporations that provide supplies for the care of patients affected by obesity, in order to obtain the best and greatest benefits for them, especially concerning safety and efficiency of bariatric and metabolic surgery.
- Organization of a biannual (every two years) Latin American IFSO LAC Congress, in accordance with the existing regulations.
- Sponsor and promote programs offered by National Societies, such as team accreditations, professional quality certifications, workshops, and any other that could improve the quality of care provided to patients who suffer obesity and/or metabolic disorders.
The Latin American and the Caribbean IFSO LAC Chapter basically has the same structure as IFSO; its members retain their same positions as in IFSO’s Executive Board and General Board, as well as in other bodies of IFSO.
The Executive Board:
- A President (two year non-renewable term)
- A President Elect or Vice-President (two year non-renewable term)
- An Executive Director (two year term, renewable for only one more consecutive period)
- An Advisory Member, appointed by the President Elect (no voting rights)
- An Advisory Member, appointed by the Acting President (no voting rights)
Except for the two Advisory Members, the members of the General Board will elect the members of the Executive Board during Ordinary and Extraordinary Assemblies.
Honorary Posts: Distinguished IFSO LAC members may be appointed to a lifelong honorary post in the Executive Board, which would allow them to attend, although with no voting rights as the rest of the members, the Executive Board meetings.
The General Board:
The General Board is the supreme authority of IFSO LAC. It delegates its political and administrative representation to the Executive Board, and is comprised by the members of the Executive Board of the Chapter (with voting rights in the Assemblies), plus the three previous Past-Presidents (with voting rights in the Assemblies), a representative of each Latin American Society, preferably the President or in his absence his duly authorized representative, having submitted for the effect a prior consent by written or electronic means (all with voting rights in the Assemblies), a representative of each affiliated society (with no voting rights), and individual members who participate with no voting rights.
The General Board will take the necessary decisions in order to meet the objectives of the Chapter.
Quorum will be met with half plus one of the members of the General Board with voting rights, except in Assemblies convened to modify these Bylaws. Decisions will be taken by simple majority, except when voting to modify these Bylaws. Only in the event of a tie, the President of IFSO LAC will have the deciding vote.
Each decision taken by the General Board that is of international importance or significance will be submitted to IFSO’s General Board for its approval.
The General Board will hold regular meetings annually in Ordinary Assemblies either during the regional Latin American Congress or the IFSO World Congress, or in Extraordinary Assemblies when deemed necessary, convened by the Executive Board or by 25% of the members of the General Board with voting rights.
An extraordinary vote may be taken by electronic means when called for by the President or by 25% of the members of the General Board with voting rights. All meetings of the General Board (Ordinary and Extraordinary) must be scheduled and convened by the President at least 30 days in advance.
Upon recommendation of the Executive Board or the General Board, different committees may be created to address specific subjects. The nominal President of each committee will be the President of IFSO LAC.
Section a) The President
The President of IFSO LAC will be the “President Elect” or ”Vice-President,” who will automatically take office at the termination of the previous term, during the IFSO LAC Congress.
Section b) Duties of the President:
- Work together with the Executive Director to reach the objectives and obligations of the Society.
- Act as a representative of the Society in all external affairs.
- Be active in the development of policies and the financial oversight of the Society.
- Together with the Executive Director, ensure that the Society’s funds are used for its benefit and that of its members.
- Together with the Executive Director, be responsible for the Society’s bank account, planning and reporting how and to whom the benefits are provided.
- Represent the Society in congresses and meetings as needed.
- Chair the Executive and General Boards’ meetings.
Section c) The President Elect or Vice-President
The members of the Society will propose a candidate for election to the General Board; said candidate must be a member of the Society. If more than one candidate is nominated, a secret vote will be held during the Ordinary General Assembly of the General Board. Candidates must be nominated to the Ordinary Assembly of the General Board at least TWENTY DAYS in advance.
As an eligibility requirement, a candidate must have been President of his Chapter or have held a post in which he demonstrated an outstanding performance within his Society, and must have actively participated in at least the two previous IFSO LAC Congresses, which he must prove by submitting a simple photocopy of his participation certificate to the Executive Board. The candidate must not have been convicted in a court of law or any ethical tribunal or disciplinary committee.
The President Elect may substitute the President in the Executive and General Boards’ meetings and other meetings when the President is unavailable. The post of President Elect (or Vice-President) has a TWO-YEAR term, after which he will become President without need for further approval, unless a recent development deems him unfit. The President Elect must be elected during the same Ordinary Assembly where the new IFSO LAC President takes office.
Section d) The Executive Director
The Executive Director is elected for a two-year term, renewable for only one more consecutive period. As this is a position of trust, the incumbent President will be allowed to propose a candidate for the approval of the General Board, to be voted upon during the Ordinary General Assembly in which he will take office.
Section e) Duties of the Executive Director
- Together with the President, be responsible for the Society’s funds, as well as income and expenses. He must present financial statements during meetings.
- Lead the Society’s financial strength.
- Ensure that the Society’s funds are used for its benefit and that of its members, planning and reporting how and to whom these benefits will be provided.
- Promote effective relationships between the Society and companies acting as sponsors.
- Prepare annual reports for the approval of the General Board.
- Together with the President, be responsible for the Society’s bank account; obtain authorization from the majority of the Executive Board, which may be done by electronic means, when more than US$ 2000 (two thousand U.S. dollars) will be spent. The signatures of the President, Vice-President and the Executive Director will be the only authorized signatures in the IFSO LAC account.
- Advice the Executive Board in the best ways to counter deficit or potential budgetary problems.
- Be active in the development of the Society’s policies.
- Ensure the continuance and coherence of policy-making and documentation issued by the Society.
- Promote effective relationships between the Society and companies acting as sponsors and other integrated professionals.
- Schedule General Board’s meetings and, in agreement with the Presidency or Vice-Presidency, other extraordinary or extended meetings with members of the Society.
- Ensure that the administrative secretary keeps an updated agenda of the Society’s activities, and notifies the members promptly. Likewise, that she keeps minutes of the Board’s meetings and extended meetings with members of the Society.
- Supervise that the administrative secretary keeps an updated list of the Society’s memberships, containing current member information such as telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, etc. (annual update); this information must appear in the IFSO LAC webpage. The President of each member nation is required to send an updated list of its own members to the Executive Board, who will compile annually the updated lists of all member nations.
- Ensure that all bulletins and newsletters issued by the Society contain accurate and timely information.
Section f) Vacancies in the Executive Board
If for some reason one or more posts in the Executive Board should become vacant, a new election for the remaining of the corresponding period must be held; voting may be done by electronic means. In case the vacancy is the result of a resignation, the person resigning must give notice one month in advance.
Section g) Removal from Office
Any member of the Executive Board convicted of a criminal offense in a court of law (either related to his professional activities, therefore resulting in the loss of his medical license, or to any other legal matter), will be disassociated from his post in the Society and will not be allowed to run for office in the future.
The same will apply for enforceable sentences rendered by any ethical tribunal.
Labor disputes and other allegations of misconduct will not constitute grounds for dismissal.
The IFSO LAC Ethics Committee is required to render its opinion on each particular case.
The Ordinary Assembly of the Latin American and the Caribbean IFSO LAC Chapter’s General Board will be held annually during the regional Latin American Congress or the IFSO World Congress, for the purpose of reporting and discussing the actions taken by the Executive Board, as well as planning future actions. Extraordinary Assemblies may be convened as necessary, by notifying the General Board at least 30 days in advance. They may be held during the IFSO World Congress, an Intermediate IFSO LAC Congress, or during a National Congress of a member nation, provided they are deemed necessary. An emergency meeting may be convened by electronic and/or teleconference means. Quorum will be met with the attendance of half plus one of the members of the General Board with voting rights.
Voting, when required, will be secret, unless decided otherwise by unanimity of the attendees to the Assembly. Decisions subjected to voting will be taken by simple majority, except when voting to modify these Bylaws, which will require two-thirds majority of the present votes.
The Latin American and the Caribbean IFSO LAC Chapter’s Congress will be held every two years (biannually). The scheduled date must be at least four months apart from the IFSO World Congress. The venue will be chosen by vote during the IFSO LAC General Assembly held two years prior to the programmed date. Likewise, an Intermediate IFSO LAC Congress may be held and its venue, as well, will be chosen by vote during the same General Assembly. All IFSO LAC member nations may submit candidacies for venues for either congress.
The Congress Organizing Committee of the host country will have authority over all financial matters related to the Congress. In case of a positive balance, the profits will be divided as follows:
- 30% for the Organizing Committee of the host country;
- 30% for the Latin American and the Caribbean IFSO LAC Chapter; and
- 40% for the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders (IFSO).
- In case of a negative balance, the Chapter will bear no financial obligations.
The Organizing Committee must present a final financial report to the Executive Board within SIX months following the conclusion of the Congress.
Membership fees, donations, sponsorships of companies or corporations, revenues from Congresses, and potential revenue from sources that do not interfere with the aims of the Chapter constitute the finances of the Latin American and the Caribbean IFSO LAC Chapter.
The Executive Board will determine if funds are assigned to research, travels, and sponsorship policies for other subventions, promptly reporting the details of each expenditure to the General Board during Ordinary or Extraordinary Assemblies.
The General Board will determine membership fees for each member nation during Ordinary or Extraordinary Assemblies, and these will be reviewed every two years. A sliding scale will be used depending on the number of members from each country as follows:
- 1 – 50 members
- 51 – 100 members
- 101 – 500 members
- 501 or more members
Each country is responsible for paying its annual fees in advance for the ongoing period ending on December 31, automatically going into default after this date.
A country that defaults its annual fees will forfeit its voting rights in Ordinary and Extraordinary Assemblies, and will only be entitled to attend and be heard. Likewise, it will not be able to request the endorsement of IFSO LAC for its scientific activities.
The Executive Director will be responsible for keeping and updating at least annually the Chapter’s Directory and membership and representative lists, including addresses, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses. The President of each member nation is required to send an updated list of its own members to the Executive Board, and in turn will receive an updated compilation of all members annually. Likewise, the IFSO LAC webpage will display this updated information.
The official journal of the Latin American and the Caribbean IFSO LAC Chapter will be Obesity Surgery, although IFSO LAC may publish regional bulletins or magazines in accordance with resolutions of its General and/or Executive Boards.
The Chapter’s Ethics Committee will be comprised of the two previous Past-Presidents together with three members of renowned integrity, elected by the General Assembly for two-year renewable terms.
The committee will be responsible for addressing lack of professional ethics or misconduct in the relationships between IFSO LAC members, in order to preserve the general wellbeing of the Chapter. Sanctions imposed by this committee are not reviewable.
This body will keep a clear record of all accounts and will send a copy of the same to the Presidency of the Chapter, which has the obligation of IMPLEMENTING THIS RULING, subjecting it to the consideration of the General Board, supreme authority of this institution but that has no authority to modify it.
Any amendments or modifications to these BYLAWS must be requested by two-thirds of the members of the Executive Board or 30% of the members of the General Board with voting rights. The proponents of changes must present the “modification project” to the members of the General Board.
In order to consider a modification project of these Bylaws, an Ordinary or Extraordinary Assembly of the General Board must be convened; in this particular case, quorum will be met with at least two-thirds of the members with voting rights who conform the board. In turn, the project in question must receive at least two-thirds of the votes of the attendees with voting rights. If this participation is not achieved, a new modification must be presented in a future Extraordinary Assembly.
Amendments or modifications will become effective on the day of their approval, but logically will not have retroactive effects.
Summons must clearly state the text intended to be modified and the new proposed text, in order for all member Societies to be informed and able to proceed accordingly.
These BYLAWS will be supplemented with the corresponding regulations for each article.
Date: October 7th, 2019