Tag Archives: fipt

FIPT Inspection Request from the South Florida Region

To: World Service Conference Participants
From: World Board
Date: 29 August 2017
Re: FIPT Inspection Request from the South Florida Region

Hello Conference Participants,

As you may know, the Operational Rules of the Fellowship Intellectual Property Trust (FIPT) describe a process whereby a regional service committee can request to inspect the records and operations of the Trust. Following this cover memo are three documents related to such a request we received from a regional delegate on behalf of his region. These documents are the request from the South Florida Region dated 17 April 2017; our response dated 29 August 2017; and an Addendum, which responds directly to each of the ten Concerns listed in the request. We are forwarding these documents to all Conference participants to keep you updated on this matter and because this is an issue we expect to discuss at the 2018 World Service Conference—both this particular request and the process for making and responding to these types of requests.

We apologize for the legal tone of our response and the Addendum. We would prefer never to have to consult attorneys when responding to members or service bodies. We would much rather resolve issues and concerns within the Fellowship rather than resort to legal means, but when a request involving legal matters is made of World Services, a legal response is both prudent and appropriate.

As the documents that follow explain, after consulting with both our corporate and copyright attorneys, we do not believe all of the Concerns described in the request fall within the purview of a FIPT inspection. We are also awaiting confirmation from the requesting region about their specific concerns. We expect to have more to report before the 2018 World Service Conference, and we will request the guidance of the WSC. We see our role as Trustee not just as a set of legal duties, but fundamentally in terms of spiritual principles. We have been charged with a legal “fiduciary” responsibility, which, simply put, means a position of trust, and we strive to honor that spiritual ideal. Clear reporting and communication are consistent with our commitment to accountability and integrity.

We would also like to have a more general conversation with the Conference about the process for requesting an inspection of the Trust. The FIPT was drafted and approved in 1993, before the restructuring of World Services. When the FIPT was approved, the budget of the World Service Office was separate from that of the World Service Conference, and not under the control of the WSC. The financial structure adopted by the Conference during the restructuring of World Services does not lend

itself to a quick and easy Trust inspection. We do not segregate Trust property in this way; we organize our financials according to the policies adopted by the Conference and as described in A Guide to World Services in NA.

As the FIPT is currently written, a single region can request an inspection of the records and operations of the Trust, and such an inspection can be both time‐consuming and costly. We are not sure this part of the Operational Rules reflects the Conference’s current thinking. A policy that allows a single region to make a decision involving the allocation of so many resources seems contrary to our evolution toward a consensus‐based Conference. This is one of those policies that we have known was outdated and unclear for some time, but have not wanted to drag the Fellowship through a detailed review. The recent inspection request, however, has made it clear we may be overdue to have this conversation. 

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The whole document is available as a PDF file:

World Services Update October 2016

NAWS Logo

Hello Conference participants,

We just had our first Board meeting of the cycle and we want to keep you updated on some of what we discussed and decided. Of course, we will also report these things in NAWS News.

PR/FD Zonal Contact: The 2016–2018 NAWS Strategic Plan includes a project focused on the relationship between public relations and fellowship development and the need for more collaboration and planning. This cycle’s strategy is to “Support the efforts of NA service bodies —especially those of zonal forums—to strengthen and grow NA as part of a coordinated, comprehensive PR strategy that advances the Vision for NA Services.” We are asking zones that are interested in participating in discussions about this to send contact information for a point person. Thank you!

FIPT Statement: thank you to those of you who sent in input on the draft statement related to FIPT issues. We received input from 91 people, 49 of whom were delegates. Of those 49, 22 would approve the statement as written, 16 would approve it if revised, and 11 would never approve it. Given that fewer than half of delegates responded to the survey, there does not seem to a conscience on releasing a statement from the WSC. We will, instead, release something from the World Board that reports on the WSC discussions, decisions, and straw polls perhaps along with some historical context.

IDT: Coming soon to a website near you…. We are working on finalizing the Issue Discussion Topic material for this cycle and will post session outlines and PowerPoints at www.na.org/idt when they are finalized. The topics this cycle are

  • applying our principles to technology and social media
  • the second bullet point of our vision statement and atmosphere of recovery
  • an introduction to our new book Guiding Principles

Recovery Literature Projects: We are collecting input to help shape two recovery literature projects that will be included in the project plans for consideration at WSC 2018. One is a meditation book and another is an IP on recovery and mental illness/mental health. We have posted webpages for each project with input questions online to fill out and downloadable forms you can use for your local workshops. Please spread the word to any interested addict. More voices means better literature.

Mediation book page: www.na.org/meditationbook

Mental illness/mental health IP page: www.na.org/mhmi

Service Material Projects: We are also working on a couple of “tool box” projects for service materials this cycle—one for conventions and events and another for local service tools. We know that updated service materials are long overdue, and developing a collection of tools rather than a large handbook means that we can produce more items more quickly and that they can be more easily translated and adapted for local use. We will be creating a web page for each focus and will eblast a notice to all members on the NAWS Update list when the pages are posted and we have more information.