Select Committee on Science and Technology Written Evidence

Annex C

Research Libraries Network


  The Research Libraries Network (RLN) Funders' Group consists of one senior officer of each of the UK HE funding bodies, the British Library and the National Libraries of Scotland and Wales. Each member has sufficient authority, or direct access to sufficient authority, to commit their own organisations to action and to the use of financial or other resources in respect of the RLN scheme. The Funders' Group operates on the basis of mutual trust, equality of status and a shared responsibility for the RLN as a whole.

  The RLN Funders' Group:

  1.   Approves and overseas the objectives and activities of the RLN.

  2.  Approves the Memorandum of Understanding between the Funding Bodies in connection with the RLN, and any significant changes thereto.

  3.  Approves and oversees the Funding Agreement with the British Library for delivery of the RLN administrative service on behalf of the funding bodies.

  4.  Through the Advisory Board, receives and considers reports from the RLN executive unit on progress against the objectives of the RLN.

  5.  Provides advice to the Chief Executives of the RLN sponsors on RLN related issues, including funding issues and general policy advice.

  6.  Authorises and monitors activity within the agreed existing budget resources and timetables in respect of RLN activities.

  7.  Reviews and agrees proposed significant new activities within the agreed existing budget resources and timetables, including draft terms of reference for working groups.

  8.  Oversees and considers administrative and spending reviews.

  9.  Receives and considers information concerning significant adverse issues arising which affect RLN activity.

  10.  Ensures that the RLN is evaluated.

Administrative arrangements

  1.  The Chair of the Funders' Group will normally be the HEFCE representative.

  2.  The Funders' Group will be serviced by a HEFCE officer.

  3.  The Director of the RLN executive will usually attend meetings of the Funders Group.

  4.  Interests should be declared in advance of discussions. The Chair will decide on a case by case basis whether members with conflicts of interest should be asked to withdraw from the meeting.

  5.  Where a member cannot attend, the member may send an `alternate' to Funders' Group meetings.

  6.  The Funders' Group may allow observers to attend meetings at its own discretion.

  7.  The Funders' Group will normally meet twice each year—including one joint meeting with the Advisory Board—and otherwise as appropriate.

  8.  Meetings and decisions may be actual or virtual in nature (ie by videoconference or email).

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Prepared 20 July 2004