FIG Internal Task Forces

FIG Task Force on FIG Commission Structure

The Task Force has written a final report and proposal to be presented and adopted at the General Assembly 2017.  The final report is based on the discussions and feed back from the Task Force sessions at FIG Working Week 2016, and the regional meetings held during the autumn 2016.


To assist with the Task Force’s work to consider how FIG is responding to the emerging and ongoing challenges of the surveying and spatial community, a questionnaire was sent to members in July/August 2016

Work Plan


As the premier international organization representing the interests of surveyors worldwide FIG is a federation of the national member associations and covers the whole range of professional fields within the global surveying community. It provides an international forum for discussion and development aiming to promote professional practice and standards.

The structure of the FIG Commissions has been the same for many years, and has enabled FIG to achieve global outcomes and support our international membership. The role of the surveyors has transformed since 1878, however the rate at which technology has changed has been more rapid over the last few decades. FIG has truly undergone a massive technological advancement, in particular from an analogue to digital world and from terrestrial world to space based environment. From a surveying perspective we have changed the way information is collected, stored, integrated and distributed. Information is now gathered in huge quantities, is becoming more accessible, exchangeable, and on platforms or via media that were not even thought of when the current Commission structure was decided.


To respond to the changes and manage these technological advances and challenges it may be good to ask whether the FIG Commissions today are reflecting this change or whether there might be a need to restructure our Commissions to support our surveyors appropriately in the future?

The world is dealing with major challenges caused by global changes such as rapid urbanisation and the effects of climate change. As a consequence, FIG is becoming a major link and partner with multinational organisations such as the United Nations, the scientific and academic community and the operational professional surveyor. With this comes an added expectation that FIG surveyors will provide technical solutions or provide professional advice to address sustainable development and humanitarian needs. This responsibility is not only a FIG Council responsibility, but reaches out to the Commissions and to our members and their roles in the FIG Commissions. Can these roles and others be actively dealt with relation to the current Commission structure of FIG?


A first step will be to evaluate the current structure and function of the commission and hereafter conclude whether any changes are needed. If it turns out that it might be FIG 38th General Assembly Sofia, Bulgaria 17-21 May 2015 FIG Task Force on FIG Corporate Members 2 /2 advantageous to change the structure of the Commissions the Task Force will identify possible changes.

Some questions to ask in this process are: 

  • Do we have the right Commissions? 
  • Do the Commissions have the right focus? 
  • Do we have a mechanism for the Commissions to interact more actively with each other, FIG members or working groups from other organisations? 
  • What do we need to change and why? 
  • How do we manage and implement structural change?


This Task Force has been set up to secure the internal structure of FIG into the future. The Task Force will not necessarily suggest a new structure with new Commissions but will need to review the current structure, its terms of reference, the Commission’s missions and suggest ideas on how to improve the capability of FIG and the Commissions to accomplish the work plans and most importantly how FIG will be a long term partner in the developing world.

The Task Force must undertake this via a unified, collaborative and consultative approach with all of its members. This means we need to identify the challenges and potential changes for FIG, have a discussion on whether the current Commission structure is the correct one to meet the future challenges. We need also to have a discussion on the mission and the work of the Commissions. We need also to have a discussion on how to have the Commissions to use the full FIG structure, corporate members included when accomplishing their work plan. We need to discuss how we implement change to accept and engender ownership amongst our membership.


It is highly recommended, the Task Force start as soon as possible. There should be an endorsed plan at the latest at the next FIG Congress. The main work load will be done through e.g. email but face to face meetings will be set up when appropriate and coincide with FIG events. The Task Force will consist of a selected “core group” but also invite others to be part through a reference group.


To be decided


Mikael Lilje
, Swedish professionals for the built environment, Sweden

Brian Coutts,  New Zealand
Stephen Djaba, Ghana
Henning Elmstrøm
,  Denmark
Kate Fairlie
,  Australia
Brent Jones
, United States
Jürg Kaufmann
, Switzerland
Robert Sarib
, Australia
Winnie Shiu,
Rudolf Staiger
, Germany
Karl-Friedrich Thöne,