ARRL

Appendix A: National Traffic System Terms of Reference

Appendix A: National Traffic System

Terms of Reference

The National Traffic System Terms of Reference provides official guidance to NTS officials above the section level -- such as Transcontinental Corps Directors, Area and Region Net Managers, Area Digital Coordinators and Area Staff Chairs.

The name of the particular area staff -- Eastern, Central, or Pacific -- should be inserted in each blank in this document.

Article One: Name

The name of the organization shall be the _______ Area Staff. The _______ Area encompasses the _______ Regions of the National Traffic System.

Article Two: Purpose and General Functions

The purpose of the _______ Area Staff is to implement the mission of the National Traffic System above the section level in the _______ Area as prescribed in the Public Service Communications Manual. The National Traffic System provides an integrated network structure to promote accurate and efficient movement of message traffic from origin to destination as a public service, and to train a cadre of amateur radio operators to handle message traffic in an organized, coordinated network environment.

The functions of the _______ Area Staff are as follows:

1) Management of the daily operation of the Digital Relay Station, Transcontinental Corps (TCC), Area Net, and Region Net functions in the _______ Area in accordance with the policies and procedures prescribed in the Public Service Communications Manual. Temporary deviations from the standards are coordinated with and approved by the Area Staff Chair, in cooperation with other affected Areas.

2) Responsibility for administration of the National Traffic System at the Section level is vested in the office of the Section Manager, and under delegated authority of the Section Traffic Manager. The Area Staff shall cooperate with Section level officials to foster a harmonious relationship between the Section and higher levels of the System.

3) Study and make recommendations on System development issues. To meet this responsibility, the Staff may retain the services of expert advisors as Associate Members on an ad hoc basis. See Article Four: Membership. Recommendations for specific actions shall be delivered to the Chair for joint review and action by the three Area Staff Chairs and the Field Services and Radiosport Manager, as appropriate.

 

Article Three: Specific Responsibilities

TCC Directors:

1) Manage TCC scheduled functions. Appoint capable, experienced operators to the schedules assigned to related NTS cycles.

2) Maintain close association with the assigned TCC operators and with all other TCC Directors in the System. Represent the collective views of the operators to the Area Staff on questions involving NTS policies and procedures.

3) Provide leadership and work with other NTS Officials to establish additional schedules, links, hot lines, or gateways between Regions and Areas of the System when needed.

Area Digital Coordinators:

1) Establish digital communication standards for NTS applications in consultation with Digital Relay Station operators.

2) Integrate digital communications with other modes within the system.

3) Appoint and manage the Digital Relay Station roster within the area.

Area Net Managers:

1) Manage Net operation in general. Work with Region Net Managers for the provision of representatives from the Region Nets.

2) Maintain close association with Net appointees, and represent their collective views to the Area Staff on questions involving NTS policies and procedures.

Region Net Managers:

1) Manage Net operation in general. Appoint and train qualified net control stations. Appoint representatives to the Area Net. Work with Section-level officials for the provision of liaison stations from Section to Region Nets.

2) Maintain close association with Net appointees, and represent their collective views to the Area Staff on questions involving NTS policies and procedures.

All NTS Officials:

1) Nominate candidates for the position of TCC Director, Area Digital Coordinator, Region and Area Net Manager, and Member at Large when vacancies occur. Ensure that all candidates are current League members. Elect replacements by popular vote.

2) Resolve Net, TCC function and Digital Relay Station problems in cooperation with the Area Staff Chair and the Field Services and Radiosport Manager, as appropriate.

3) No action or recommendation of an Area Staff will usurp the broad prerogatives of individual TCC Directors, Area Digital Coordinators, Region and Area Net Managers in matters concerning the internal operation of the net, or function, except in those subject to review by the full Area Staff due to possible impact on the System external to the net.

4) Expand NTS capabilities, especially in the areas of system redundancy/ reliability and emergency/disaster communications.

5) Issue certificates to Net or function operators as required.

6) Report monthly on Net/function activity to ARRL Headquarters.

 

Article Four: Membership

The ________ Area Staff shall consist of the following Full Members with voting privileges:

1) TCC Directors. Elected by plurality vote of the Staff. Term of appointment shall be indefinite subject to the maintenance of satisfactory performance.

2) Area Net Managers. Elected by plurality vote of the Staff. Term of appointment shall be indefinite subject to the maintenance of satisfactory performance.

3) Region Net Managers. Elected by plurality vote of the Staff. Term of appointment shall be indefinite subject to the maintenance of satisfactory performance.

4) Area Digital Coordinators. Elected by plurality vote of the Staff. Term of appointment shall be indefinite subject to the maintenance of satisfactory performance.

5) Members-at-Large. Elected by plurality vote of the Staff. Term of appointment shall be three calendar years. There shall be two MAL positions.

6) The Area Staff Chair may appoint additional advisors as Associate Members on an ad hoc basis during studies of specific development issues. Associates do not hold Area Staff voting privileges, and are not entitled to NTS funding.

 

Article Five: Area Staff Chair

The Chair shall be elected from the Staff membership by plurality vote of the Staff to serve a term of two years.

The responsibilities of the Chair are as follows:

1) The Chair shall hold full responsibility and authority for the management, control and direction of ________ Area Staff functions, in accordance with the policies and procedures specified in the Public Service Communications Manual.

2) The Chair shall represent the _______ Area Staff during deliberations of the three Area Staff Chairs. When a matter involves a major published policy or procedure, or affects the operations of the other NTS Areas, the matter shall be addressed jointly by the three Area Staff Chairs with recommendations to the Field Services and Radiosport Manager for appropriate action.

3) The Chair shall conduct Staff elections and notify the Field Services and Radiosport Manager of new appointments to the Staff.

4) The Chair shall plan and conduct periodic staff meetings. Rules of conduct of meetings are specified by the Chair.

5) The Chair shall prepare and submit periodic reports concerning the activities and procedures of his or her staff.

 

Article Six: Methods and Procedures

1) A majority of the Staff will serve as a quorum for official Staff actions. In order for election results to be valid, a majority of the Staff must return completed ballots.

Meetings

2) The Staff may meet periodically, informally, formally or on-the-air, to address Area Staff matters, problems and formulate policy recommendations to be submitted to the Area Staff Chair. Provided there are sufficient matters requiring in-person consideration, and a specific agenda is established, the Area Staff Chair may call an in-person meeting. (Travel and accommodation expenses may be borne by the League provided a sufficient appropriation is allocated by the Board of Directors. Such authorizations are addressed by the Area Staff Chair, and approved by the Field Services and Radiosport Manager.)

3) The Area Staff Chair shall attend the in-person meetings of the three Area Staff Chair when called by the Field Services and Radiosport Manager or by unanimous call of the three Chairs.

General Procedures

4) The operations of the National Traffic System shall be conducted in accordance with the policies and procedures published in the Public Service Communications Manual.

5) Changes to the Public Service Communications Manual shall be recommended in writing to the three Area Staff Chairs with subsequent recommendations forwarded to the Field Services and Radiosport Manager for action.

6) The three Area Staff Chairs, and the additional staff members selected by each of the chairs, shall serve as a standing committee of the National Traffic System to study and make recommendations to the three chairs relating to current policies, standards and practices intended for the National Traffic System and third-party message traffic handling operations.

Staff Vacancies

7) In the event a staff position is to become vacant, the Chair shall solicit nominations for the replacement. A nomination should be solicited from the outgoing NTS Official. The Chair shall state a reasonable closing date for nominations. Following the closing date, if more than one valid nomination has been received, an election shall be conducted by the Chair. If only one valid nomination is received by the closing date, the Chair will conduct a survey of the staff for approval of the candidate before notifying the Field Services and Radiosport Manager of the selection. Upon notification, the Field Services and Radiosport Manager will issue the appointment documentation.

8) Staff members not fulfilling basic performance standards will be subject to sanctions including possible appointment revocation by vote of the full staff. Staff members failing to report assigned net activity for a period of two months without a valid reason, as observed by the Field Services and Radiosport Manager and reported to the Area Staff Chair, will be subject to appointment termination.

9) Area, Region and Section Net Managers, Area Digital Coordinators and TCC Directors shall conform their nets and operations to the standards and procedures specified in the Public Service Communications Manual, unless otherwise expressly recommended, authorized or directed by the Area Staff Chair following consultation with Area Staff members, other Area Staff Chairs and/or the Field Services and Radiosport Manager, as required. A Net Manager at any level or NTS Official may be removed from the position for failure to comply with the provisions of this paragraph.

Travel and Administrative Expenses

10) All NTS Officials' travel is subject to the advance approval of the Field Services and Radiosport Manager.  Authorized travel may include: attendance at Area Staff meetings, Region Net Manager-called meetings of Section and NTS Officials residing in the region and Division Director-called meetings.

11) Reimbursement for administrative expenses of NTS Officials is provided for under the NTS account, authorized annually by the ARRL Board of Directors, and managed and administered by the Field Services and Radiosport Manager.  Reimbursable items include: postage, telephone, office supplies, and printing. ARRL Section and NTS Official spending guidelines are available from the Field Services and Radiosport Manager.

Amendment of Terms of Reference

12) These articles may be amended by a three-fourths vote of all ________ Area Staff voting members. Amendments are subject to the approval of the Field Services and RadiosportManager.