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The Commission, on behalf of the people of the State of Florida, will strive to achieve its established Ends Policies for all eligible persons at a reasonable cost and avoid any actions and situations specifically and clearly limited by this governance document. Florida Commission on Human Relations - Governance Processes
September 2014 - Revised (Original November 2006)


The Commission will govern lawfully with an emphasis on (a) outward vision rather than internal preoccupation and individual agendas, (b) encouragement of diversity of viewpoints, (c) strategic leadership rather than administrative detail, (d) clear distinction of Commission roles, (e) collective rather than individual decisions, (f) future rather than past or present, and (g) proactive rather than reactive focus.

1. The Commissioners will cultivate a sense of group responsibility. The Commissioners, not Commission staff, will be responsible for excellence in governing. The Commissioners will develop and initiate governance policies for the Commission. The Commissioners will not use the expertise of individual Commissioners to substitute for the judgment of the Commission as an entire body, although the expertise of individual Commissioners may be used to enhance the understanding of the Commissioners as an entire body.
2. The Commissioners' major policy focus will be on the Ends Polices and intended longterm effects of the Commission as a whole.
3. The Commissioners will enforce upon themselves whatever discipline is needed to govern with excellence. Discipline will be applied to matters such as attendance, preparation for meetings, policymaking principles, respect of roles, and ensuring the continuance of governance capability. Although the Commissioners can change the governance policies at any time, they will observe them while such policies are in effect.
4. Continual Commissioner development will include orientation of new Commissioners on the Commission’s governance processes, the Florida Civil Rights Act, and other pertinent state statutes, including Florida's Sunshine laws, administrative rules, and federal law, as well as periodic discussion of process improvement.
5. The Commissioners will not allow any officer, Commissioner, or committee of the Commission to hinder or be an excuse for not fulfilling their commitments.
Florida Commission on Human Relations - Governance Processes
September 2014 - Revised (Original November 2006)


Specific job outputs of the Commissioners, as informed agents of the people of the State of Florida, are those that ensure appropriate organizational performance. Accordingly, the Commissioners have the direct responsibility to create:

1. A link between the people of the State of Florida and the Commission
2. Written governance policies, as evidenced by this governance document, that address the broadest levels of all organizational decisions and situations:
a. Ends Policies: Organizational products, impacts, benefits, outcomes, recipients, and their relative worth
b. Governance Process: Specification of how the Commissioners conceive, carry out, and monitor their tasks
c. Commission-Executive Director Linkage. How power is delegated and its proper use monitored; the Executive Director’s role, authority and accountability
d. Executive Limitations: Constraints on executive authority, which establish the prudence and ethical boundaries within which all executive activity and decisions must take place

3. Assurance of successful Executive Director performance
Florida Commission on Human Relations - Governance Processes
September 2014 - Revised (Original November 2006)


The Chair assures the integrity of the Commission’s process.
1. The assigned result of the Chair’s jobs is that the Commission behaves consistently with its own policies and those legitimately imposed upon it by the State of Florida.
a. Meeting discussion content will be on those issues that, according to Commission policy, clearly are under the jurisdiction and within the scope of the Commission to decide or to monitor.
b. Information that is for neither monitoring performance nor Commission decisions will be avoided or minimized and always noted as such.
c. Deliberation will be fair, open, and thorough, but also timely, orderly, and as brief as possible to effect a thorough discussion.

2. The authority of the Chair consists in making decisions that fall within topics covered by Commission's Governance Processes and the Commission-Executive Director Linkage, with the exception of employment or termination of the Executive Director.
a. The Chair is empowered to chair Commission meetings with all the commonly accepted powers of that position using the most recent copy of Roberts Rules of Order.
b. The Chair has no authority to make decisions about policies created by the Commission within the Ends Policies and Executive Limitations. Therefore, the Chair has no authority to supervise or direct the Executive Director. However, the Chair and the Executive Director shall maintain an ongoing, productive, and effective working relationship that continually ensures that the mission, goals, and priorities of the Commission are achieved.
c. The Chair will represent the Commission to outside parties. The Chair may delegate this authority, but remains accountable.

3. In the event the office of the Chair becomes vacant, the Vice Chair shall temporarily assume all responsibilities and perform all duties of the Chair until such time as an election for filling the office of Chair can be held. Such election shall be held within ninety (90) days from the date that the Chair’s vacancy occurs. In the event that there is no Vice Chair serving at the time of the Chair’s vacancy, any Commissioner whose current term has been in effect for the longest period of time shall temporarily serve as Chair until elections for filling both the office of Chair and Vice Chair can be held, as long as such elections are held within ninety (90) days from the date the Chair’s vacancy occurs.
Florida Commission on Human Relations - Governance Processes
September 2014 - Revised (Original November 2006)


In the absence of the Chair, the Vice Chair will assume the duties of the Chair, unless delegated otherwise by the Chair. If a vacancy occurs in the office of the Chair, the Vice Chair shall temporarily assume all responsibilities and perform all duties of the Chair until such time as an election, pursuant to Article II, Policy 4 of this Governance Policy, can be held. If a vacancy occurs in the office of the Vice Chair, the Commission will select another member to fill the unexpired term of the Vice Chair. Florida Commission on Human Relations - Governance Processes
September 2014 - Revised (Original November 2006)


The Commission commits itself to ethical, businesslike, and lawful conduct, including proper use of authority and appropriate decorum when acting as Commissioners.
1. Commissioners must have loyalty to the Commission, not conflicted by loyalties to any staff, other private and public organizations, or personal interests.
2. Commissioners must have a personal commitment to civil rights and uphold the mission of the Commission, the meaning and intent of the Florida Civil Rights Act, other pertinent state statutes, administrative rules, and federal law.
3. Commissioners will adhere strictly to the provisions of Florida's Sunshine Laws and will refrain from discussing any issue, without proper meeting notice and allowance for open discussion, upon which they may potentially have to vote.
4. Commissioners must avoid conflict of interest with respect to their fiduciary responsibilities.
a. Commissioners will annually complete a State of Florida financial disclosure statement.
b. When the Commission is to decide upon an issue about which a Commissioner has an unavoidable conflict of interest, that Commissioner shall abstain without comment from not only voting on the issue but also from the deliberation and discussion of the issue.
c. Commissioners will not use their Commission position to obtain Commission employment and or contracts for themselves, family members, or close business associates. Should a Commissioner wish to apply for such employment or contracts, he or she must first resign his or her position as Commissioner.
d. Commissioners who qualify to run for public office must resign from the Commission in accordance with Florida Statutes.

5. Commissioners shall not attempt to exercise individual authority over other Commissioners, the Executive Director, or any of the Commission staff unless specifically authorized by the Commission
6. Commissioners’ interaction with the public, press, or any other entities must recognize the inability of any Commissioner to speak on behalf of the Commission except to repeat explicitly stated Commission decisions.
7. Commissioners will be properly prepared for deliberations and discussions at scheduled meetings.
8. Commissioners shall not plan events in the name of the Commission or use the name, logo, letterhead, tangible property, or any other item of the Commission, unless approved by the Executive Director.
9. Commissioners shall timely review and return all paperwork related to case deliberations.
Florida Commission on Human Relations - Governance Processes
September 2014 - Revised (Original November 2006)


Any committees created by the Commission will be assigned so as to reinforce the Commission's Ends Policies and so as never to interfere with the Commission-Executive Director Linkage.

1. Committees are to help the Commission do its job; committees are not to advise, help, or instruct Commission staff. Committees ordinarily will assist the Commission by preparing policy alternatives and implications for Commission deliberation. In keeping with the Commission’s broader focus, neither Commissioners nor Commission committees will have direct dealings with staff operations.
2. Committees may not speak or act for the Commission except when formally given such authority for specific and time-limited purposes. Expectations and authority will be carefully stated in order to prevent conflict with the authority delegated to the Executive Director.
3. Commission committees cannot exercise authority over staff. Because the Executive Director works for the Commission, he or she will not be required to obtain approval of a committee before undertaking any operational, administrative, or executive action.
4. Committees are to avoid over-identification with organizational parts rather than the whole. Therefore, a committee that has helped the Commission create policy on some topic will not be used to monitor organizational performance on the same subject.
5. Committees will be used sparingly.
6. This policy applies to any group, whether or not it is termed a "committee" or whether or not it includes Commissioners, which is formed by Commission action. It does not apply to committees formed under the authority of the Executive Director.
Florida Commission on Human Relations - Governance Processes
September 2014 - Revised (Original November 2006)


Because poor governance costs more than learning to govern well, the Commission will invest in its governance capacity.

1. Commissioner skills, methods, and supports will be sufficient to assure governing with excellence.
a. Training and retraining will be used to orient new Commissioners as well as maintain and increase existing Commissioners’ skills and understanding.
b. The Commissioners will fully support and cooperate with outside monitoring/audits.
c. Outreach mechanisms will be used as needed to ensure the Commissioners' ability to listen to and understand diverse viewpoints.

2. Costs will be prudently incurred, though not at the expense of endangering the development and maintenance of superior capability.
Florida Commission on Human Relations - Governance Processes
September 2014 - Revised (Original November 2006)


Only officially passed motions of the Commissioners are binding on the Executive Director.

1. Decisions, instructions, or requests for information by individual Commissioners, officers, or committees are not binding on the Executive Director except where the Commissioners have specifically authorized such action.
Florida Commission on Human Relations - Governance Processes
September 2014 - Revised (Original November 2006)

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