The Government Affairs Committee (GAC) is appointed by the Chapter President‐Elect. The committee’s Chair is expected to attend the Government Affairs Workshop at the CRC.
The duties of this committee typically include:
- Providing current, relevant information to chapter members regarding government activities in their communities, including any limitations placed on these activities by local, state or provincial governmental bodies.
- Keeping the chapter, region and Society Government Activities staff informed on relevant governmental activities.
- Coordinating dissemination of governmental activities-related information to members and obtaining feedback from chapter and individual member government activities.
- Maintaining tools to train and enable chapter members to effect positive interactions with government entities in their communities, especially in the use of Society documents and the advancement of the Society’s public policy agenda.
- Serving as a clearinghouse of government adoptions of ASHRAE-developed and endorsed standards, guidelines and positions.
- Keeping local, provincial and state governments updated on technical issues.
- Promoting the appointment of chapter members to local, provincial and state governmental bodies.
- Reporting PAOE points earned in accomplishing the committee’s goals.
- If approved by the BOG, assisting a governmental body in writing or developing a regulation, a code, an ordinance or law, or participating in an advisory group to such a body, provided such activity:
- Does not conflict with Society or chapter bylaws, or Society-approved documents or publications;
- Involves technical or method-of-enforcement aspects only, and not support of a political party or candidate;
- Does not jeopardize the chapter’s tax status (e.g., 501(c)(3) tax status in the United States) or cause the chapter or a chapter member to exceed local, provincial or state limits regarding registration as a “lobbyist” or “lobbying organization;”
- Chapter shall review the state legislation prior to engage in any lobbying effort, time expander or in-kind gifts. National Conference of State Legislatures web site reference links to state’s legislative ethics and lobbying laws:http://www.ncsl.org/research/ethics/50-state-legislative-ethics-and-lobbying-laws.aspx#al; Any Federal Government lobbying activities must be coordinated strictly through the ASHRAE Government Affairs Office; this is to ensure proper preservation of the IRS 501(c)(3) status.See Appendix 2N for the list of links for each U.S. state.
- Chapters to contact the ASHRAE Government Affairs Office staff liaison prior to engaging in any lobbying activities in order to mitigate any potential issues that might arise. This is to conform with the “Chapter cannot speak for Society” policy.
- Does not conflict with any existing Memorandum of Understanding or contractual obligation between ASHRAE and another code or standards writing organization; and
- The member does not request any travel or transportation reimbursement (as defined by the ASHRAE Travel Policy), nor any reimbursement for time away from their regular employment, for the activity.
Note: All responses and recommendations to governmental advisory boards or agencies shall promote ASHRAE’s mission to advance the arts and sciences of heating, refrigerating, air conditioning and ventilating, and the allied arts and sciences, for the benefit of the general public, and should, wherever feasible, be based upon current Society Board-approved documents or publications (e.g., Position Documents, ASHRAE Standards, ASHRAE Handbooks, etc.). Where such policy information is not clear, readily available, or applicable to the Chapter’s climate or jurisdiction, the Chapter GAC chair shall request input from the Government Affairs Committee and the ASHRAE Government Affairs Office staff liaison.
- Providing assistance to the Chapter Publicity Committee (if one exists) in contacting local news media and chapter publications and offering to provide necessary information and material.
- Providing assistance to the Chapter Historian in maintaining a history of the chapter’s governmental activities.
- Reporting to the Regional Vice Chair (RVC) for the Government Affairs Committee.
- Assisting the RVC for Government Affairs to achieve the goals of the Society at the chapter level.
- The Chapter GAC chair is responsible for informing chapter members involved in GAC activities of any local, provincial or state statutory or regulatory limitations placed upon government activities.
- At no time shall government activities jeopardize a chapter’s or ASHRAE’s tax-exempt status (e.g., 501(c)(3) status in the United States) by the chapter’s GAC activities.
- Should there be any question about GAC activities placing a chapter’s or ASHRAE’s tax-exempt status in jeopardy, the Chapter GAC chair shall request input from ASHRAE’s GAC and the ASHRAE Government Affairs Office staff liaison.