AKUT is a voluntary, non-governmental organization involved in searching, assisting and rescuing all who require aid within its authority and means, in mountain or other nature-related accidents, natural disasters and all other emergency conditions by means of well-trained, disciplined, high-standard personnel and equipment, passing on knowledge to society with no political affiliation. As mentioned, the association has a mission, a vision and a set of ethical values. The disciplinary code aims to defend this mission, vision, ethical values; to enable and discipline the domestic tranquillity of the organization; to track the appropriate execution of decisions undertaken by the Board of Directors and individual units; and to penalize offenses. The disciplinary council oversees the execution of these rules, protects the member and association rights, preserves tranquillity, observes member complaints, investigates cases and submits its conclusions to the Board.
AKUT’s Disciplinary Code defines actions considered as disciplinary offenses and outlines the authority of the disciplinary council. The code is equally binding to all of its member irrespective of status of membership, including full, permanent members, candidate and volunteer members and any other individuals who have completed the application form and participating in association-related events. Every individual who has filled out the application form will be regarded as having accepted the disciplinary code.
In this code, “AKUT” and “Association” refer to the AKUT Search and Rescue Association, and the word “Member” represents all AKUT-affiliated individuals regardless of intra-association status. “Association Property” refers to all movable and unmovable properties belonging to AKUT, and “Goodwill” represents goodwill as defined in the Civil Code. This code is in effect as of January 2001 as approved by the Board of Directors in office during the 2000-2001 period and has been prepared by that time’s disciplinary council.
The AKUT Disciplinary Council can launch a disciplinary investigation based on its own discretion and/or by written request from a member. All penal measures are within its authority except for dismissal from the association. At the end of each investigation, the council submits its reports and recommendations to the Board. The Board reserves the right to approve, amend or reject the recommendations of the disciplinary council.
The Formation of the Council
The Disciplinary Council consists of three permanent and one substitute member and are appointed by the Board. If a member resigns or is permanently absent, the Board appoints a new member and this decision is undertaken by majority vote. This Board meeting is conducted with the participation of the majority of its members. In the absence of a permanent member, the substitute member may step in and vote accordingly. The disciplinary council is chaired by an individual selected by the disciplinary council itself or the Board. The chairman of the disciplinary council directs council meetings and liaises with the Board. An appointed secretary conducts written communication. Only the Board can authorize a disciplinary investigation over a disciplinary council member. In this case, the Board removes the investigate member from the council and appoints a replacement. Depending on the result of the investigation, the Board either reappoints the investigate member back into the council or terminates his/her duties.
The Disciplinary Council launches an investigation upon the Council’s request or the written request of one of its members. The Council thereafter invites the investigated member to submit an oral or written defence. If the investigated member rejects the invitation or declines to submit a written defence, the Council makes a ruling and reports to the Board. The Board may approve, amend or reject the Council ruling. During the investigation, the Council may ask other members to testify with respect to the investigated matter. The Board issues a notice to the investigated member and the penalty is added to the member’s file via the human resources department.
The following actions constitute disciplinary infractions:
- Damage to AKUT’s prestige with one’s actions while representing AKUT and whilst using and/or carrying objects representing the corporate identity of AKUT.
- Use of AKUT’s property for personal reasons, or negligent use of AKUT property resulting in loss and/or damage to equipment and/or failure to return equipment.
- Display or issue AKUT property to third parties, misplace property, alter storage order, without proper authorization, including vehicles and documents.
- Gain personal, and/or monetary benefit through deliberate use of the AKUT name and objects representing the corporate identity (clothing, business cards, identity cards, symbols, logos, vehicles, stickers).
- Damage AKUT by undermining its prestige through vocal actions within or outside of AKUT and/or any one of its members through unjust criticism.
- Establish relationships, make requests, make binding agreements on behalf of AKUT without proper authorization.
- Make statements, comments or issue releases to the press without proper authorization.
- Act in contravention to the spirit of goodwill, outside of general social courtesy and conduct.
- Put a fellow member in a difficult position by groundless, unproven, offensive, slanderous, defamatory remarks and to accuse, slander, mob, harass, threaten, curse and lie to another member.
- Create an atmosphere of conflict and to impose political, moral conscientious opinions of life in an environment within or related to the association, in a manner damaging the association and offensive to its members.
- Possess, carry or display items that are legally defined as weaponry by law such as firearms and/or blades, other than for the purposes of rescue efforts or operational use.
- Use intoxicating substances such as alcohol and drugs in a manner causing disturbance to other members or third parties, except for matters of medical necessity.
- Abuse or surpass authority given by the association and use it for the purposes of oppression and favouritism.
- Purposefully delay, slow down or prevent responsibilities assigned to you.
- Blatantly disobey and disregard rules and functions undertaken by authorized departments or persons, and to object and attempt to alter such matters.
- Prevent a member or a volunteer from taking roles within the association or any of its departments without probable cause.
- Deny information to any member seeking it, prevent the member from acquiring such information and to purposefully give incorrect information by lying.
- Abuse the right of complaint and use this right to use it is as a mean of degradation and oppression of other members.
- Arrange unsolicited, clandestine meetings concerning AKUT, thereby encouraging factitious activity within the association.
- Feature personal vendettas and anger within the association, and thereby damage affairs related to AKUT.
- Display contempt toward the disciplinary committee during the course of an investigation and to knowingly issue false statements to the council for the purpose of obstructing justice.
In the case where disciplinary offenses not mentioned above are committed, then the disciplinary council and the Board’s coherent evaluation will be taken into account and a ruling issued.
It is within the authority of the disciplinary council and the Board to add, withdraw or amend any of the abovementioned clauses.
Disciplinary penalties are as follows in increasing severity:
- oral or written warning
- official notice
- suspension (1-6 months)
- dismissal (as recommended by the disciplinary council and approved by the Board)