COMMITTEE ROLES EXPLAINED
June 22, 2023
Have you ever thought about joining a Body Corporate Committee but are not sure what’s involved? In this article we will explain in simple terms, the duties and functions of each position on a Committee including how the Committee is formed and also what to expect if you are considering joining a Committee.
The Body Corporate is required to elect a Committee at each Annual General Meeting from the eligible Lot Owners and/or their nominated representatives. Once elected, the Committee are charged with the responsibility of the day-to-day running of the Body Corporate, by making decisions on behalf of the Body Corporate on matters that are not listed as Committee restricted matters that require general meeting approval.
A Committee in most cases consists of a minimum of three (3) members, and no more than seven (7) members however, there are a few variations to these requirements depending on the regulation module and particular circumstances within the scheme.
Within a Committee, there are Executive Member positions with varying duties each is responsible for. There are also Ordinary Member positions broken into voting and non-voting categories explained in each of the following headings:
The Chairperson’s role by legislation is to chair all meetings they attend. If the Chairperson is not present at a meeting, the voter members who are present can choose another member to chair the meeting. Outside of formal Committee meetings, it is usually the Chairperson who is the default voting member authorised to provide instructions to a Body Corporate Manager when engaged to carry out particular contracted duties. The Chairperson does not have any more authority or responsibility than any of the other voting Committee members and any instructions issued to a manager engaged to act on behalf of the Body Corporate are required to be in accordance with lawful Committee decisions.
The Secretary is responsible for a list of duties such as sending out meeting notices, collecting voting papers and receiving proxy forms for meetings and includes taking minutes of meetings. If the Body Corporate has engaged a Body Corporate Manager, it may authorise the manager to carry out the secretary’s functions in addition to other services to be provided however, the responsibilities of the role may not be delegated so it is the member elected to the position who is ultimately responsible.
Similar to the Secretary’s position, the Treasurer has a list of duties which includes tasks such as preparing budgets, managing funds and preparing levy notices. If the Body Corporate has engaged a Body Corporate Manager, it may authorise the Body Corporate Manager to carry out the Treasurer’s duties required to fulfill the legislative obligations of the Body Corporate.
Unlike the Executive Member positions, Ordinary Members do not have specific duties. However, there are two categories of Ordinary Members, which are voting members and non-voting members. Voting Ordinary Members are eligible to vote on lawful Committee decisions. Non-voting Ordinary Members are Caretaking Service Contractors and Body Corporate Managers when appointed, who are not eligible to vote on lawful Committee decisions.
Owners and their representatives should note that when joining a Committee, there is an obligation to act reasonably and in the best interests of all Owners when decisions are made regarding the running of a Body Corporate. Active participation is necessary, regardless of if the Committee Member is located interstate or overseas, and electronic advances have made communication between Committee Members more simple and quicker than ever before.
There is also a Code of Conduct for Committee Members set out under the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 that all Committee Members should familiarise themselves with to ensure their confidence in representing the Body Corporate. Look out for a future contribution on this topic explaining the code in more detail.
Article Contributed by Lauren Spackman, Archers the Strata Professionals