Information for the authority preparing the composition of a government body
The task of the authorities preparing the formation of a government body is to see that the quota regulation is adhered to. When defining the assignment for the government body, attention should be paid to what kind of expertise women and men have.
The quota regulation must be taken into account when selecting candidates. When asking external parties to name their candidates for the government body, the authority must request both a female and a male candidate for each position. When requesting candidates, the authority must remind the relevant parties of the obliging nature of the quota regulation.
The quota rule may only be deviated from under special circumstances. The concept of ‘special reasons’ must be interpreted narrowly. This kind of reason may be, for example, that a body will be working in a very specialized area where the experts are only either women or men.
The fact that the stakeholders or other parties who suggested candidates for the positions only nominated women or men is not an acceptable reason. All those who are asked to name candidates should nominate both a woman and a man for each position whenever possible. When participating in societal planning and decision-making, the various stakeholders must also take equality into account when nominating candidates.
All exceptional circumstances must be justified. A simple notice stating that no candidates of the other gender were available is not an acceptable reason for deviating from the regulation. The memorandum of presentation must demonstrate which measures the person or party preparing the formation of the body took to achieve a quota of 40 percent or equal participation, and if the requirements of the law could not be met, the reasons for this.
The quota regulation also applies to bodies established for the purpose of inter-municipal cooperation. Often each municipality directly chooses the members of an inter-municipal co-operation body, for example those of a joint municipal authority's joint authority council or the joint body defined in Section 51 of the Local Government Act. In inter-municipal negotiations, it should be ensured beforehand that the body's final make-up is in accordance with the Equality Act's quota regulation.
The quota regulation applies separately to members and deputy members. The regulation does not apply to attendance and confirming the quorum of a meeting.