Best Practices Version 17.0

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Chapter 3

3.3 Formal Agreements with Members

Practice Statement:

Each member of the one call center abides by state/provincial statute where applicable or written agreement that states the rights and the responsibilities of the one call members and the one call center.

Practice Description:

Operating procedures and bylaws are established. Procedures for the operation of a one call center are simple. The concept is to promote service, not paperwork. Topics for procedures can be classified as general, communications, center operations, reports, expenses, and publicity. These topics can be expanded to include guidelines and whatever else is needed for a particular system. Bylaws vary, depending on the type of organization. In some instances they may prove unnecessary. If bylaws are adopted, simplicity is paramount. Items that can be incorporated include sections on membership (including rights), financial matters, meetings, elections, and duties of officers. Any other required agreements are kept as simple as possible to facilitate understanding by all participants. Consideration is given to include “hold harmless” clauses, amounts of liability insurance, errors and omissions insurance, retention of records, cost allocations, reimbursements, area served (with options to expand as planned), and any special arrangements necessary. If an agreement to contract the service to an outside concern is made, it contains controls, checks, and balances.

References:

  • One Call Systems International Voluntary Recognition Program

  • Existing operating practices from various states’ one call centers

  • One Call Center Information

  • NTSB Safety Study (NTSB/SS-97/01; PB97-917003)

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