Amateur Radio Liaison between a Society and an Administration Prepared by Fred Johnson ZL2AMJ, August 2000 Liaison Officer must keep regular contact with the As- Introduction sociation's President, Secretary and Council. Two distinct entities exist in any country - the admini- The NZART Administration Officer is an unpaid volun- stration and the amateur radio society. Liaison between teer, an Officer of the Association. He must be resident them is important to each of them. in or near the same city as the headquarters of the Ad- Liaison between the New Zealand Association of Radio ministration and preferably on the same local telephone Transmitters Incorporated (NZART) and the New Zea- exchange. The Administration follows customary work- land Post Office began in 1926. Today, that liaison con- ing hours. The Liaison Officer must be available to re- tinues. NZART has retained its original name, but the ceive and make telephone calls and to attend meetings administration has changed its title many times and is during these hours. now the Ministry of Economic Development, Radio Spectrum Management Group. The duties of the Administration Liaison Officer This paper outlines some of the points about liaison based on the New Zealand experience. The Liaison Officer is a contact point and uses a day- time telephone with home postal address for liaison ac- An “Administration” tivities. The basic task of the Liaison Officer is to pre- pare and process information passing between the soci- The Convention of the International Telecommunication ety and the administration. Union (ITU) and the Radio Regulations both define "Administration": Liaison work is actioned in three ways: Any governmental department or service responsible 1. By telephone. for discharging the obligations undertaken in the 2. In writing by email, by letter, by fax, or by deliv- Convention of the International Telecommunication ered document. Union and the Regulations. 3. By personal visits for discussions. A “Society” Liaison - in action The Constitution of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) has this definition of a “National Ama- Most matters raised by NZART with the administration teur Radio Society”: are by informal discussion or “sounding out”. After reaching an understanding, an exchange of letters can A non-commercial association of radio amateurs, formalise the arrangement. devoted to the objectives set forth in the preceding section of this Constitution and substantially cover- All matters submitted to the administration must be in a ing by influence and recognition the country and/or form that is clear, easy to understand and to process. territories which it represents. A society must thoroughly “think through” and research all the proposals and requests that it submits. Before Recognition and liaison making a submission, the topic must be studied to de- NZART is recognised by the New Zealand Ministry of termine if the subject is within the power of the admini- Economic Development as the body representing the stration to action. If it is not, ways must be devised to New Zealand radio amateur. Each year the Council of overcome the difficult points. (See Appendix). the NZART appoints an officer to liaise with the Minis- Thorough preparation is important. Thorough research try - the “NZART Administration Liaison Officer”. is essential and the details presented must be accurate. Dictionaries describe “liaison” with words like “link”, The submission must give as much information as pos- “connection” and “get in touch”. sible to help the administration to make a decision. The Liaison Officer must have an insight and an understand- The Liaison Officer must be well versed in amateur ra- ing of departmental and government policy on many dio, the Association, and the work of its officials. The issues and must frame submissions accordingly. 2 The Liaison Officer must have an understanding of the organise” and sometimes even change their name! There ITU Radio Regulations and a copy should be available. may be staff changes without any warning. It is not al- The administration is bound by or will attempt to carry ways possible for an understudy person to be trained and out the provisions of these regulations. Reference to available as a replacement to fill a vacancy. A new staff them is frequent. member usually means that creating a good liaison con- tact must start all over again! It is essential that the Liaison Officer have ready access to other amateurs with special experience or skills to A society’s Liaison Officer will also change from time- help with the liaison work. to-time. It is often difficult to find another person with the necessary mix of skills and with the time and re- NZART publishes letters from the Ministry that contain sources available to take the role. An understudy should new policy matters in the Association's official journal be appointed if possible and trained in expectation for “Break-In”. This keeps members of the Association appointment at a later time. abreast of changes that affect their amateur radio activi- ties. This is a convenient way for the administration to Other contacts advise amateur radio operators of changes made to offi- cial policies. The Ministry is invited each year to send a representa- tive to the annual NZART Conference. A representative The development of amateur radio in New Zealand is is sometimes invited to address the Association's Annual recorded in the pages of “Break-In”. The annual Dinner. “NZART Call Book” features the entry “Milestones” to record the progress of amateur radio in New Zealand. It The individual radio amateur has contact with the Minis- shows the privileges gained from the NZART- try's local officers on matters such as licensing and local Administration liaison over the years. It is noteworthy radio interference. that all advances in amateur radio regulatory matters Any member of NZART can get specialised information have come from initiatives by NZART. or help on a difficult problem from the NZART Liaison The NZART Administration Liaison Officer plays an Officer. The Liaison Officer can assist a member with important role in developing position papers before ITU direct access to the Head Office of the Ministry if this is World Radio Conferences. An amateur radio representa- necessary. tive, funded entirely by NZART, attended the World The NZART Administration Liaison Officer is the Ad- Administrative Radio Conference 1979 (WARC-79), ministration’s official contact point for Association mat- and again WARC-92, for the full period of those confer- ters. ences, as a member of the New Zealand Delegation. Assistance given to the Delegation extended beyond Further Information amateur radio matters. Readers are welcome to direct enquiries to: The level of activity NZART Headquarters NZART and the Administration exchange many letters P.O. Box 40 525 annually. Telephone calls take place once or twice each Upper Hutt 6415 week and there may be several calls in one day. Formal NEW ZEALAND meetings take place when required. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org In recent years the Ministry has sent representatives to attend NZART Council meetings on a fairly regular ba- Summary sis, once or twice each year. These direct contacts be- The liaison officer point-of-contact principle has bene- tween the Administration and NZART Council have fits for both the society and the administration. been valuable because a direct exchange of views and a better understanding is possible. _____________________________________ Staff changes From time-to-time there will be staff changes within an administration. Government organisations often “re- Appendix Notes about preparing a Submission for sending to your Administration Introduction An offer to provide further information if re- From time-to-time, a society may need to submit a request or to quired seek some new privileges from an administration. The general The administration may want some aspects of your expla- principles for preparing such a “Submission” are discussed nation further explained. An offer from you to provide here. more information is helpful. Suggest too that a meeting The form of the document could be held to discuss the topic if required. The form to be adopted will depend on many factors including A note of thanks for the opportunity to make this the language and the culture of a country. submission The nature of the submission will depend on whether there has Show appreciation for the work the administration will been any prior discussion with the administration about the have to do to meet your request by thanking them for this topic and whether the document is a response to a call or an- opportunity to comment. nouncement from the administration to the general public to List of any reference documents referred to in comment on a specific issue. the text The following pattern has been found to be satisfactory in New This list can sometimes be attached to your text as a sepa- Zealand when responding to a call from the Ministry of Eco- rate listing. nomic Development for submissions to address a topic: Copies of any documents - attach as Appendi- Introduction ces A brief reference to identify the issue or topic being con- Supporting documents, if required in full, can be attached sidered. but it is often enough to just quote extracts from a docu- Who you are – and where you are ment, especially if it is known that the administration al- ready has copies of the same document. State the full name of your society with your name and ti- tle and contact addresses, phone numbers etc. World-wide coordination A statement about privacy and sensitivity The IARU is a world-wide organisation and it is very important that all member societies work in a coordinated manner. Your administration may require a statement about Documents submitted by your society to your administration whether or not you permit the administration to summa- must support and should not conflict with the aims, objects or rise your submission in a report, or will permit copies to policies of the IARU. be circulated to other organisations. There may be items of commercial sensitivity involved in some submissions You can check your document against information available on an administration receives. the IARU web page or submit your document to the Secretary of IARU Region 3 for comment. You may wish to send your What you seek and why you seek it document to another society for checking and to seek further Be clear with your explanations. Get all the details cor- ideas about the topic. rect. Use simple words and avoid long sentences. Check your document – carefully! Background information about the topic A submission is a complex document and it should be checked If you quote from or attach documents from another soci- by other people. New eyes reading it will find changes that can ety or organisation, be sure that the document is suitably be made to improve it. cleared for that purpose and is not under an embargo. Check for technical accuracy, for simple wording, spelling A summary of the aim and purpose of this sub- errors, grammar, the presentation and layout, and the docu- mission ment’s general tone and suitability for its purpose. After you have completed your major explanation, there Finally - Good Luck! is opportunity for a repeat explanation in a summarised ________________________________ form. This summary may sometimes be placed near the start of your document.