The Samoa Rugby Union Chief Executive Officer, Faleomavaega Vincent Fepulea’i, is adamant that a revised Constitution for the Union is a step in the right direction.
The new Constitution amendments were passed by Samoa Rugby Union Members on 23rd July at a Special General Meeting in Apia in accordance with provisions in the Samoa Rugby Union Constitution. The Special General Meeting was held following a decision by the Samoa Rugby Union Board to review the Union’s compliance to mandated Governance Principles from Oceania Rugby and World Rugby and globally accepted good governance principles. There has been a lot of consultation with the stakeholders and the affiliated unions and affiliated members to discuss a way forward, a number of both internal and external stakeholder meetings were held during the transparent process.
Significant changes to the Samoa Rugby Union Constitution include a reduction of the Board Member from fifteen (15) to eight (8), the inclusion of dedicated female Board Member position and appointed positions with Legal, Marketing and Financial skillsets. In addition to the restructure of the Board, terms and rotations have been implemented allowing no member to serve more than eight (8) years in the same position and will commence in 2020.
The new formation will see Board members appoint the Chair of the Board, while the Samoa Rugby Union CEO, and the President of Samoa Rugby Union hold ex-officio positions. The Chair shall hold office for a period of four (4) years and the remaining Directors will rotate on a four-year cycle.
Speaking on the adopted changes Samoa Rugby Union CEO Faleomavaega said, “These are part of the final reforms that have been ongoing for the last couple of years, the reforms instil principles of good governance as required for members of Oceania Rugby and World Rugby.
Delegates at the Special General meeting voted in favour of the changes
“Since the game turned professional in 1996, the Constitution has not been changed; yet the changes are necessary to be in line with more robust and up to date professional standards.”
The inclusion of three female board members follows Oceania Rugby’s adoption of a Women’s Director in 2016 and World Rugby’s announcement of accelerating the global development of women in rugby both on and off the field.
At the request of the Samoa Rugby Union Board the process was facilitated by Oceania Rugby’s Constitution Consultant, Dr. Paul Jonson, who is working with the regional body to implement the agreed Oceania Rugby Governance Principles for Member Unions and Oceania Rugby.
Dr Jonson, who has facilitated Constitution improvement and adoption processes both within the region and globally, spoke on the process within Samoa noting, “each organisation and constitution has objectives and intentions set out by the membership and should be reviewed regularly to ensure the organisation is meeting those objectives. Samoa Rugby Union and the members were clear that their constitution required changes to meet the current objectives and future needs of the organisation. The final process was clear and transparent and now sees the Union meet membership requirements of Oceania Rugby and World Rugby.” Dr. Jonson also advised the members that “the Samoa Rugby Union, in making these progressive changes to the Constitution, were leading the Pacific region with their new governance structures and processes.”