OOS Records Committee Charter

NB This charter is a draft and has not yet been formally adopted.

The responsibilities of the OOS Records Committee are:

  • To maintain the accuracy and integrity of the Oxfordshire list of British birds by accepting and admitting only those species and subspecies that have been identified beyond reasonable doubt, and whose origin is considered to be in accordance with the relevant OOSRC categories.
  • To ensure that all the evidence for identification and the circumstances surrounding the occurrence of rare species or subspecies to Oxfordshire is examined thoroughly, fairly and objectively.
  • To ensure that any new evidence which is submitted, or which comes to light, that might affect the identification or categorisation of any existing record is reviewed thoroughly, fairly and objectively.
  • To attempt to answer any questions about its decisions fully and fairly, stating the reasons for these decisions.
  • So far as is practicable, to consult with the observers where new evidence suggests that a record might no longer be acceptable.
  • To attempt to contact the observers for further information, or request the record be re-submitted on the standard rarities report form, when a record is submitted with an inadequate description or incomplete information.
  • To re-categorise species where their status is deemed to have changed.

The OOSRC will consist of five voting members, one of whom will be the secretary. The County Recorder will be non-voting but can provide background information with regard to the record and any assistance with identification. The Chairman of the OOS will sit as a non-voting observer and comment on any action in contravention of the charter.

The OOSRC will be appointed by the OOS committee.

Where an observer disagrees with a decision of the OOSRC and consensus cannot be reached, the description will be submitted to the records committee of a neighbouring county, whose decision will be considered as final.

Species accounts considered by the British Birds Rarities Committee (BBRC) will be passed on to that committee. The decision of the BBRC will be regarded as final, even when it may differ from that of the OOSRC.

Records should be circulated to the OOSRC members prior to a meeting to enable consultation with identification literature.

An OOSRC member cannot assess his/her own records. Where such records exist, and the remaining four members are unable to reach a majority decision, the county recorder has the casting vote.

A record must be submitted for assessment even if the species was seen by multiple observers or by the majority of the OOSRC. If a record has not been submitted, where possible the OOSRC will contact the original observer to submit a record.

The OOSRC will respect observers' requests for confidentiality.

The OOSRC secretary's duties will be: to minute the committee's decisions and forward them to the OOS committee, and to write an account for the annual report outlining the work of, and decisions made by, the OOSRC.

The current members of the OOSRC are:

Ian Lewington (County Recorder, non-voting)
Carl Salmon (Secretary)
Paul Chandler
Revd Prof. Andy Gosler
Nic Hallam
Steve Young