In the interest of financial stability, LITA will normally maintain a fund balance equal to six months of operating expenses.
Surveys and Questionnaires: LITA Policy
Units will forward draft surveys or questionnaires to the LITA Executive Director. The Executive Director checks the content against past surveys to avoid duplication. The ALA Office for Research reviews the document and make suggestions for needed revisions in form or content. (This also informs Office for Research of division activity in this area.) The Executive Director assists the unit in completing the survey document.
Surveys must be scheduled to allow for distribution by bulk mail. The Executive Director assists the unit in choosing mailing lists and arranging for label production. Any expenditure of division funds required by the surveys or questionnaires must be approved by the Board of directors.
The Executive Director may also assist the unit in compiling the information gathered in the survey and in reporting the results.
Divisional use of Paid Consultants: LITA Policy Statement
LITA recognizes the services of paid consultants can be of considerable assistance to the organization in program development, planning, training, and other areas. It is desirable and practical for LITA to make use of the services of consultants in the furtherance of LITA's goals.
For the purposes of this statement, "consultant" is to be broadly interpreted to include such persons as technical experts, trainers, facilitators, planners, writers, workshop and seminar designers, and presenters. Such persons may be from the commercial or not-for-profit sectors. They may or may not be members of LITA or ALA. Individuals or organizations fall into the category of "consultant" if they offer services for pay rather than contribute their services without charge to LITA.
No LITA Board member or related-committee member who may have a conflict of interest because of personal or professional affiliation with any consultant under consideration for a LITA contract will participate in the selection or post-presentation evaluation process. Refer to the Conflict of interest: A statement of policy for ALA Executive Board Members that was adopted by ALA Council in June 1980 for further description of conflict-of-interest guidelines.
The LITA Board of Directors has final responsibility for review and approval of all institutes and programs. Thus, the Board bears full responsibility for the quality, content, and format of programs presented by consultants under contract to LITA. The solicitation, selection and evaluation processes undertaken by designated LITA representatives must ensure that the consultant-based programs support the objectives of the organization in both purpose and quality. At the same time, these processes must ensure responsible consideration of prospective contractors and fair treatment of consultants who contract with LITA.
LITA creates, develops, purchases, sponsors, schedules, and administers programs to serve the needs and interests of its members and the profession at large. Although it is not LITA's primary objective to obtain a profit on programs, this becomes an appropriate objective in the sponsorship of consultant-based programs. No consultant-based program will be approved by the Board unless the planners provide documentation projecting the full recovery of costs plus a financial gain for the organization.
LITA's objectives in providing quality educational programs include a desire to strengthen the organization by attracting new members. This process is perceived to be circular in that prospective members are attracted to an organization that provides high-quality professional educational opportunities, and the enlarged organization is then able to expand its offerings to its members.
Sponsorship of consultant-based programs will be closely associated with LITA Membership Committee activities and objectives. However, while a LITA-sponsored program is an appropriate forum for "advertising" LITA and promoting new membership, it is an entirely inappropriate forum for advertising participating consultant's services and /or products. All consultants will be informed of the inappropriateness of such self-serving information dissemination in the context of the specific program format. Consultants will observe strict guidelines concerning their service and product references, distribution, and/or solicitation during the contract period.
A LITA representative will be present at all consultant consultant-based LITA programs to monitor the program in terms of content and format, to provide information about LITA, and to assist in the evaluation process. LITA will work closely with consultants in the monitoring and revision processes that frequently serve to improve or redirect a program in progress.
LITA will not provide references concerning the services of consultants with whom LITA has contracted for program presentation.
The LITA Executive Director is the budget officer for consultant contracts. Only the Executive Director has the authority to sign contracts or make financial commitments.
The following guidelines will govern LITA's solicitation, selection, and evaluation of consultant contracts:
I. Solicitation of Consultant Services
- LITA will not award a contract based upon an unsolicited proposal for services. If an unsolicited proposal describes a project that LITA desires to undertake, a request for proposal based upon LITA requirements will be initiated.
- The Board of Directors will determine what consulting services are desired and the type of services that are appropriate for a specific project. LITA staff, members and even non-members (via unsolicited proposals or suggestions) will bring the need for such projects to the attention of the Board for consideration. The Board will describe the task(s) to be performed and determine the requisite skills, experience and qualification necessary for completion of the task. A requirements document will then be developed.
- The Board will describe the task(s) to be performed and determine the requisite skills, experience and qualifiations necessary for completion of the task. A requirements document will then be developed.
- The requirements document will be widely distributed so that a wide variety of interested consultants may respond. "Wide distribution" may include publication in LITA, ALA, and other professional journals. Proposals will be actively sought from qualified consultants without regard for race, sex, creed, etc.
- A LITA Board committee (Executive Committee or any designated Board Committee) will review consultant proposals submitted in response to the requirements document. All submissions will receive fair and equitable consideration.
II. Selection of Consultant
- The Board Committee will evaluate the proposals and recommend action to the Board. A Board vote will determine the successful candidate. Consultant proposals will be made available to all Board members upon request, or they may be distributed as part of the Board committee's recommendation to the Board. Except for Board and staff review, rejected proposals will be (at the option of the consultant submitting the proposal) discarded or returned. Proposals which result in a LITA contract become the property of LITA.
- The Board committee recommendations will contain specific evaluative comments which can be shared with consultants whose proposals are not selected by LITA. Except for the provision of such evaluative information which is appropriately shared with individual consultants, the selection documents will be considered internal Board documents.
III. Implementation of Board Selection
- The Board will authorize the Executive Director to negotiate a service contract with the consultant. The Board committee will set parameters for fee schedule, content and format requirements, and performance monitoring.
- The contract for services will be a written agreement containing a copy of this policy statement and the following provisions:
a. A clear statement of the work to be performed
b. The schedule for completion of the work
c. A description of reporting methods and consultative requirements
d. Fee schedule and method of payment
e. Type of expenses to be reimbursed and method of reporting expenses.
f. The type of performance monitoring and service/product evaluation to be performed by LITA.
g. An agreement that ownership of program/project deliverables resulting from a consultant contract resides with LITA. LITA reserves all publishing rights.
h. An agreement by the consultant that he/she will not actively solicit business during the scheduled program or any period in which he/she is appearing publicly at the expense of LITA.
- The LITA Executive Director is the budget officer for consultant contracts. Only the LITA Executive Director has the authority to sign contracts or make financial commitments. (Contracts exceeding $5,000 must also be signed by an associate executive director of ALA.)