Annual General Meeting 2021 - Minutes

Take a look at the agenda items and what was discussed at our last AGM in 2021.

Annual general Meeting 2021 - MINUTES


11.00 am-12.30 pm CEST


Attendees: 31 IRSPM members (attendance list available on request).  

  1. Minutes of 2019 meeting (available on the IRSPM website)
  1. President’s items

The President presents her report, referring to the main achievements of the past 12 months, including the following:

  • New agreement with Routledge to provide option of access to PMR and other journals to members of IRSPM who choose to pay for this
  • 2 out of 3 planned working groups established and addressed most immediate issues – membership model and online conference 2021
  • New tiered membership/conference fees based on OECD classification
  • Effectively establishing and running our first ever online conference (with no local host but IRSPM board members as scientific committee)
  • 3rd time we will be awarding IRSPM Rosemary O’Leary award
  • 2021 conference introduces IRSPM President’s panel, keynote from lifetime achievement award winner and presentation by O’Leary award winners

The president also points to the opportunities and challenges emerging for the next 12 months:

  • Board has relied upon extensive support (Olga) for setting up our first online conference, sorting out various issues to do with membership processing
  • IRSPM still heavily reliant on running a successful conference to gain income, with no steady stream of royalties or other income from a publisher or any other source of income
  • 3rd working group on ‘where we are going’ as a society to begin on this in 2021-22
  • Improve processes for our annual prizes

Finally, the President thanks

  • The IRSPM board for support over the last very challenging year of change and lockdowns
  • Joris and Olga who have worked tirelessly over the last few months to get the conference into shape
  • Ileana Steccolini (outgoing Secretary), Siobhan O’Sullivan (outgoing Membership Development Officer), John Bryson (outgoing PMR board link).
  1. Announcement of election results

The Election officer presents the results of this year’s elections, which are summarized in the following table:

Offices up for Elections

Status of Office-holders

Deadline for nominations

27th of February

Results (an email has been sent to IRSPM members)

VP Asia

Eligible for another term and available to serve for another term


Lihua Yang 

VP Australia/NZ

Eligible for another term and available to serve for another term


Linda Colley 

VP Western Europe

Eligible for another term and available to serve for another term


Eva Thomann 

VP North America

Eligible for another term and available to serve for another term


Gregg Van Ryzin

VP Africa

Eligible for another year and available to serve for another year


Michelle Esau


Eligible for another term and but not available to serve for another term

1 candidate:

André Carlos Busanelli de Aquino

André Carlos Busanelli de Aquino


Eligible for another term and available to serve for another term


Wouter Vandenabeele 

Membership Development

Eligible for another term but no available to serve for another term

1 candidate:

Peter Kruyen

Peter Kruyen

Conference Manager

Eligible for another term and available to serve for another term


Joris Voets

PMR Board Link

Eligible for another term but not available to serve for another term

1 candidate:

Adina Dudau

Adina Dudau

New Researchers Coordinator

Eligible for another term and available to serve for another term


Maria Cucciniello

2 At-Large members (Prof Yvonne Brunetto and Prof Helen Sullivan)

Eligible for another term and available to serve for another term


Yvonne Brunetto

Helen Sullivan

  1. Conference Manager’s report

The Conference Manager summarizes the main aspects of the last physical conference in Wellington in 2019, which was overall very successful (38 panels, approx. 400 participants).

The 2020 conference, which was supposed to take place in Tampere, was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but Tampere colleagues are available to try a new (possibly) physical conference in 2023. For 2021 the hypothesized conference in Rio de Janeiro has been replaced by the current virtual edition (+ 30 panels, + 650 participants, +50 nationalities), which relied on the Ex-Ordo abstract management system and a virtual conference package (Webex), as well as on professional administrative support. The digital organization was reflected in the adapted (lower) fee scheme, with discounted rates for participants in less wealthy countries.

For 2022 a physical conference may be organized, if possible, with an established partner with track record (currently talks are held with Budapest), and with some hybrid features to ensure that those who cannot travel (yet) or would prefer to join virtually can be involved in part of the conference. If a physical conference were not possible, a virtual edition will be held.

In 2024 it may be desirable, if feasible to arrange a non-European destination. In conclusion, positive comments are raised by Erik Hans Klijn on the current conference.

  1. Treasurer’s report

The Treasurer discusses the financial results for 2020 and the 2021 budget under two scenarios (physical and digital conference for 2022). Both scenarios should allow a balanced budget, with no deficit and even some surplus. For 2022 under the physical conference scenario a (still acceptable) deficit may be expected, conversely a digital conference may be more likely to ensure a small surplus. In conclusion, the Treasurer points out the following points:

  • Less impact of Covid-19 than anticipated
  • Restructured our expenses (PMR vs. admin. support)
  • Restructured our revenue (direct membership model)
  • Remain financially healthy organization (still € 150.000 in reserve)
  • We keep our options open with regard to next year’s conference until later this spring, a physical or a digital event; financially, both are feasible.

Alessandro Spano intervenes by pointing out that maybe 150,00€ reserve is a significant amount and we may think using that money for some purpose. The Treasurer explains that this issue has been the subject of discussion in the past. On the one hand, this money is considered as being important in facing emergencies and calamities, like the current pandemic. On the other, there has been discussion about how to invest the money so as to create revenues to be used to contribute to the IRSPM budget, including initiatives for new researchers or researchers from developing countries. Alternatively, the money could be used directly to fund such initiatives, but this would then mean reducing reserves over time, and reducing the ability to be robust against future negative events. These aspects are reiterated by the Conference organizer.

Alessandro Spano suggests there may be leeway to reduce fees. The treasurer explains that fees were reduced significantly this year and the future aim is to keep them lower in the future, also in light of the new membership model. The President points out that there is a need to keep having professional support for IRSPM to support the membership and conferences, something which needs to be covered by the fee and on which a formal proposal will be advanced to the board in the coming months.

Erik Hans Klijn also suggested to use reserves to invest on the digital format of conferences.


  1. Constitutional amendments

Each constitutional amendment was presented, discussed and then voted via the Webex poll system.

The first constitutional amendment proposal is about Article 3, which was discussed and some small amendments in the wording were suggested by Ruth Dixon. The final formulation was as follows:

Art 3. Organizational structure

The   EB of IRSPM   will comprise the following office bearers:

  1.   President  
  2. Vice-Presidents

[a] North American region

[b] Eastern European region

[c] Western European region

[d] Asian   region    

[e] Australia  &  NZ  region

[f] African region

[g] Latin American and Caribbean region              

  1. Secretary
  2. Elections Secretary
  3. Treasurer
  4. Communications officer
  5. Public Management Review Editorial Board Link      
  6. Four dedicated Board members

  [a] Membership development officer

  [b] International conference manager

  [c] New researchers coordinator

  [d] Annual prizes coordinator (either an ‘at large’ member or a Vice-President)

  1. Six ‘at large’ members


The results of the vote on Article 3 amendments were as follows:

Members participating in the poll: 31

Approved: 23

Not approved: 0

Abstained: 1

Not participating in the vote: 7

The amendments to Article 3 were thus approved.


The second proposed amendments concerned Article 9. The new proposed text was as follows:

Article 9 : Publications, conferences and research dissemination

The Society shall adopt Public Management Review (PMR) as its dedicated journal. An option to subscribe to the journal will be offered to all Society members, at a cost to be agreed between the EB and the publishers of the journal. PMR shall retain its identity as a separate legal, financial and independent entity from the Society. However, the Society shall have a dedicated Board member upon the Editorial Board of the journal and that person shall sit as a member of the EB.


On the issue of the new contract with Routledge, Adina Dudau (incoming PMR board link) asked how attendees felt about the new relationship between IRSPM and PMR and people paying separately for the IRSPM registration and PMR subscription, and noted that all good societies are associated with good journals. The secretary invited comments on this. The conference secretary pointed to the fact that a small portion of members registering for IRSPM also opted for PMR. This indicates that the majority of them actually were not interested in this option because they have institutional access, but those who wished for it, were able to subscribe.

Erik Hans Klijn thus asked how the relationship between the Society and PMR could be kept strong. A discussion ensued on how the new optional system of subscription will allow more transparency in the relationship between members, IRSPM and PMR. The President noted that the relationship is important to IRSPM and that PMR is a highly regarded journal. On this basis, it will be important to continue to nurture the connection and changed relationship between IRSPM and PMR. The President noted that she was looking forward to working with the new PMR board link on this.


Following the discussion, the vote was cast on the amendment to Article 9. The results were as follows:

Members participating in the poll: 31

Approved: 22

Not approved: 2

Abstained: 3

Not participating in the vote: 4

The amendments to art 9 are thus approved.

  1. AOB


The meeting was closed at 12.21 CEST.

close menu