figlogo.gif (1705 bytes)   FIG 22nd General Assembly
  31 May and 4 June 1999
  Sun City, South Africa

Appendix to item 8: Secretary General's report



1.1 The event of the past year which must surely have given everyone associated with FIG the greatest pleasure was the announcement in the UK New Year Honours list that our President, Peter Dale, had been appointed an Officer of the British Empire. John Leonard’s eloquent tribute was published in the March 1999 FIG Bulletin; but I would like to add my own congratulations to our President on this richly deserved award.

FIG Office: appointment of Director

1.2 An interview panel comprising Vice-Presidents Robert Foster and Tom Kennie, incoming Vice-President Holger Magel, Stig Enemark and Kjeld Lohmann Schøler (Secretary-General, Den danske Landinspektørforening) interviewed five short-listed candidates for the Director’s post in Copenhagen on 7 September, as a result of which an offer was made to and accepted by Markku Villikka - who needs no introduction. The Bureau was delighted to be able to appoint someone who, in addition to being the best candidate, was already so knowledgeable about FIG affairs and so understanding of FIG’s culture - advantages which have paid off handsomely during his first few months in post.

FIG Office - hand-over of administration and formal opening

1.3 The office opened for business on Monday 4 January. During that month the UK Bureau Director remained in charge of day-to-day administration, to give Markku Villikka and his assistant, Joergen Springborg, time to organise the office and get all the necessary systems in place. Thereafter there was a gradual transfer of responsibilities and files and the FIG London office formally closed on 12 March. Jane Woolley is continuing to support Markku Villikka and the UK Bureau, working from home on a reduced basis, until the end of the 1999 working week. A report on the permanent office activities during the first months is annex to this report.

1.4 The full Bureau met at the FIG Office on 3 - 4 February and the office was formally opened on the evening of 3 February at a reception hosted by DdL and attended by some 50 guests. Speeches of welcome and congratulation were made by the President of DdL, Jens Bruun Andersen, and the Director General of the Danish National Survey and Cadastre, Peter Jakobsen.

FIG Commissions - new officers; new work plans

1.5 1998 was the year in which new commission officers were elected and new work plans published, covering the period up to the end of the XXII FIG Congress (in 2002).

1.6 Even prior to the elections, those in line for election as commission chairs had been asked to give thought as to what activities they wished to include in their work plans. This enabled drafts to be circulated in advance and discussed during the Brighton Congress, which in turn meant that the actual plans could be published and placed on the FIG and the commissions’ own home pages - in some cases within a matter of weeks. This has helped individual commissions and the Bureau to co-ordinate their respective activities and is another example of the ever-improving liaison and networking that has developed throughout the UK Bureau period.

1.7 Outgoing chairs prepared reports on their four-year period of office which were circulated with the 1998 FIG Annual Review and provide a useful reference point to all that their commissions achieved during 1994-1998.


1.8 The new Statutes and Internal Rules which were adopted by the General Assembly in Brighton create several opportunities for expanding FIG’s membership. Not only do they remove the restriction on the number of member associations per country (providing the applicants meet criteria for membership in this category); but there are also the two new categories of affiliate and academic member.

1.9 During the past year the Bureau has been studying ways of maximising these opportunities. In the case of member associations and affiliate members, it commissioned a study from the FIG office whose findings will be discussed in Sun City, both at the President’s meeting with Presidents of member associations and on a one-to-one basis with individual delegates. One of the suggestions emerging from the study is the extent to which regional groupings such as the FIG Groupe francophone, which held its first meeting during the Brighton Congress, might serve as catalysts for membership expansion.

1.10 Ideas for making FIG more attractive to sponsor members were discussed at a meeting between their representatives and the Bureau in Brighton and again at the 1998 meeting of the German member association (Intergeo). Sponsors’ logos and web sites are already displayed on the FIG home page and how further to enhance facilities for sponsors is the subject of another study currently being undertaken by the FIG office.

1.11 The third membership study is being carried out by the FIG office in collaboration with Stig Enemark, to see how the existing Surveying Education Database can be used to promote the new category of academic member.

1.12 The Statutes and Internal Rules require the Bureau to expel affiliate members for non-payment of fees. In furtherance of this obligation it has expelled the Brunei Survey Department which by 1 January 1999 was more than three years in arrears with its subscriptions.


1.13 The Bureau has continued to publish the FIG Bulletin at quarterly intervals, apart from a December 1998 issue which was rolled over into March 1999 to accommodate the opening of the FIG office. As well as being distributed by mail, Bulletins are now also being placed on the FIG home page. The third Annual Review was published at the end of 1998 and widely distributed within and outside member associations. September 1998 saw the publication of a new FIG information leaflet and two additions to the FIG publication series - the Statement of Ethical Principles and Model Code of Professional Conduct (no.17) and the new FIG Statutes and Internal Rules (no. 18). These too have been placed on the home page.

1.14 At the request of the Bureau the Director of the FIG Office is exploring with the President of GITC (a Dutch-based publishing house and an FIG sponsor member) the possibility of a jointly published FIG journal. I hope to be able to report further developments verbally to the General Assembly.


1.15 A modest increase in the level of sponsors’ subscriptions, which have remained the same since this category of membership was introduced in 1991, took effect on 1 January 1999 and at the same time annual grants to commissions were raised by 17 per cent - in the full knowledge that this support is more than matched not only by employers and member associations but also by the personal resources which individual chairs contribute to their work for FIG. The Bureau and the Federation as a whole are in their debt.

Meeting and Visits

1.16 In addition to the full Bureau meeting held in Copenhagen in February, the UK members have met on a monthly basis, with Markku Villikka in attendance at the March and April 1999 meetings.

1.17 The President of FIG participated in a cadastral congress hosted by FIG’s Polish member association in Warsaw in November. In October Vice President Grahame Lindsay attended the 110th annual conference of the New Zealand Institute of Surveyors and in January he visited South Africa to review arrangements for the forthcoming working week and to meet members of the South African member association. The chair of Commission 9 represented FIG at the Congress of Pan-American Valuers Associations in Peru in October. Visits to member associations in several African countries are being planned in conjunction with Bureau members’ travel to Sun City, including Kenya (Vice President Robert Foster), Zimbabwe (Vice President Grahame Lindsay) and Zambia (Congress director John Leonard).


Roy Swanston


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