It is an exciting week! Membership can vote on the Sunshine Amendment to the Academy bylaws now through November 9, 2018. If you are an MAAA, we need your vote even if you did not sign the Sunshine Amendment petition. Please find the Academy email with your voting link and click the link to vote. On proposed amendment number 1, please vote “NO” and on proposed amendment number 2, please vote “YES”.
Amendment number 1 is a proposed bylaw amendment approved by the Board. I recommend a “NO” vote for Amendment 1 for the following reasons:
- It grants the Board more authority to adopt bylaw amendments without a membership vote. It is very likely they would use this authority to undo the Sunshine Amendment if both amendments were approved.
- It increases the threshold from 3% to 15% for a member-initiated bylaw amendment request. It is difficult to get signatures from 3% of members. It took six over six months. The 3% is a high barrier already. Then, under the proposed amendment, the member-initiated bylaw would have to be approved by the Board before a membership vote.
- Academy members have no real voice in either the election of Academy officers or directors. The only oversight we have on the Board and staff is bylaw changes.
Amendment number 2 is the Sunshine Amendment and I recommend a “YES” vote. The Academy commentary is confusing and almost seems to be describing a completely different amendment! But, if you look at the text of the proposed amendment, you will see that the Sunshine Amendment provides actuaries and the public the right to attend and watch actuarial standard and qualification setting meetings. It does not provide an automatic right to speak and there can still be executive session in limited circumstances. The Sunshine Amendment basically undoes Board action earlier this year which closed these meetings unless the observer’s attendance was deemed “helpful to the Academy.” Transparency in standard setting is important to maintain the profession’s and public’s trust.
It took me almost no time at all to vote – it is quick. I also have confirmed with the voting vendor that voting is anonymous for anyone who is nervous about Academy retribution.