Terms of Reference
- In summer 2004, the Transportation Border Working Group (TBWG) co-chairs distributed a survey to TBWG members to gauge satisfaction with the Working Group's progress towards objectives, and to solicit feedback and ideas for improving the forum. Summarized results of the survey were presented at the October 2004 plenary meeting in Calgary.
- At the Calgary plenary, a substantive discussion of the TBWG's accomplishments, its structure, and future directions concluded with consensus that a smaller, more focused Future Directions Subcommittee should be formed. It was decided that the Future Directions Subcommittee would be composed of federal, provincial/state, and customs agencies representatives. The mandate of the Subcommittee was to produce an Options Paper for restructuring the TBWG, for implementing changes, and for charting future directions.
- Between December 2004 and May 2005, the Future Directions Subcommittee convened a series of conference calls to develop the Options Paper. The final product contained 15 recommendations for improving the TBWG, and was presented by a Subcommittee representative at the June 2005 plenary meeting in Dearborn.
- At the Dearborn plenary, a substantive discussion took place regarding the 15 recommendations in the Options Paper. The recommendations were either adopted, refused, or returned to the Subcommittee for further consideration.
One of the recommendations adopted in Dearborn was the creation of a permanent TBWG Steering Committee. It was agreed that the Steering Committee would be structured as follows:
Permanent Canadian and U.S. Co-Chairs:
Transport Canada, Federal Highway Administration
Permanent Border Agencies Representatives:
Canada Border Services Agency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Rotational State/Provincial Representatives:
One Eastern State/Provincial Representative, to be determined by the Eastern Border Transportation Coalition
One Western State/Provincial Representative - Initially, the Whatcom Council of Governments will occupy this seat. A mechanism for determining a future Western representative will be established
Permanent Canadian and U.S. Secretariats:
Transport Canada, Federal Highway Administration
- In June 2005, the Future Directions Subcommittee convened its final conference call and confirmed the membership of the new Steering Committee. It was decided at that time that Transport Canada would take the lead to develop draft Terms of Reference (ToR) for the Steering Committee, to be finalized by all Steering Committee members.
- The objective of these ToR is to define the mandate of the TBWG Steering Committee, and to scope the Steering Committee's responsibilities.
- The mandate of the Steering Committee is to aid in fulfilling the TBWG's Mission by providing for the inclusive, productive, and efficient coordination and communication of TBWG activities.
- As such, the scope of the Steering Committee's responsibilities includes:
- The planning of bi-annual plenary meetings in Canada and the United States
- The management of an official TBWG website
- Consultation/communication with TBWG Subcommittees
- To coordinate/communicate information between the TBWG and other organizations or regions
Planning Bi-Annual Plenary Meetings in Canada and the U.S.
- The primary responsibility of the Steering Committee will be to plan bi-annual plenary meetings in Canada and the U.S..
- The TBWG co-chairs will continue to maintain responsibility for funding and executing plenary meetings. As such, Steering Committee members will provide input with regard to the location and timing of the meeting, and the co-chairs will select the venue.
- The Steering Committee will be responsible for agenda planning.
This includes proposing and selecting presentation topics, identifying and inviting speakers, identifying announcements, and organizing extracurricular events such as group tours to border and transportation facilities, evening events (etc.).
- The Steering Committee may work with the jurisdiction where the meeting is being held to plan and execute aspects of the extracurricular events. As such, these jurisdictions may be invited to participate in planning meetings.
Management of an Official TBWG Website
- The Steering Committee will be responsible for managing a single, official TBWG website. As such, the Steering Committee will ensure that information on the website is current and is relevant to the needs of the TBWG membership, to the maximum extent possible.
- Examples of website management responsibilities include: identifying announcements, ensuring that the membership contact list is kept up-to-date, identifying publication types for posting on the website, and ensuring that presentations and notes from plenary meetings are posted on the site in a timely manner.
- Decisions as to the type of information to be posted (see Annex B), and major alterations to the website, will be taken collectively by the Steering Committee.
Consultation/Communication with TBWG Subcommittees
- Individual Steering Committee members, or their representatives, will be obliged to be a member of at least one TBWG Subcommittee, and report back on its activities.
- Steering Committee members will work to ensure that Subcommittees remain active and productive.
- The Steering Committee will keep a current list of Subcommittees and their members (see Annex C).
- The Steering Committee will update and revise the TBWG Action Plan to ensure that it is current and accurate to the maximum extent possible.
Coordination/Communication with Other Organizations and Regions
- Steering Committee members will bring to the attention of the TBWG issues of interest to the group.
- Steering Committee members will provide liaison to other organizations and regions as appropriate or requested.
- Steering Committee meetings will be held on a regular basis and will be conducted primarily by conference call. The Canadian and U.S. Secretariats will be responsible for organizing the dates and times of the conference calls, as well as the dial-in information.
- Individual Steering Committee members are free to propose agenda items to Secretariats for the conference calls.
- Face-to-face meetings of the Steering Committee can take place on the margins of the bi-annual plenary meetings if Steering Committee members so choose.
- New rotational members will be confirmed annually at the spring plenary meeting.