Many boards set up committees (or sub-committees) to help streamline their decision-making process.
Committees concentrate on and develop expertise in specific areas, ensuring that the full board can concentrate more on the "big picture". Usually their role will involve examining and debating an issue and then preparing a recommendation for the full board. They may also be set up to take on a major project or task – finding a new CEO, for example.
In some organisations, committees comprise only of board members. Others involve outside people, often those with particular industry or technical knowledge of a particular area.
Not al boards have committees and not all boards have the same committees. However, there are some common ones.
Where there is a need for rapid or flexible decision-making, or where the board's meetings are infrequent, there can be a need for an executive committee to fill the gaps. The committee might, for example, handle urgent decisions over a holiday period.
Executive committees are usually made up of the office bearers, the CEO and perhaps one or two members elected by the board.
It is necessary to formally delegate powers to the executive committee between meetings. Decisions should then be reported to and endorsed by the full board at the next ordinary meeting.
Probably the most important of all committees, the governance committee (sometimes called the board development committee) concentrates on ensuring the board's performance is subject to ongoing scrutiny. Tasks may include:
This committee oversees the preparation and review of the budget and keeps track of all financial transactions for accountability purposes. More particularly, tasks can include:
This committee is responsible for overseeing the group's overall fundraising strategy and what role board members will undertake in this regards. Generally this includes:
Where boards are overseeing organisations with paid staff, they will usually be responsible for selecting the CEO, fixing his or her salary and monitoring his or her performance. A committee may be put in place to manage this process.
Boards usually do not have responsibility for staffing matters other than those relating directly to the CEO. However, some boards may also use a committee to guide the development, review and authorisation of personnel policies and procedures. This can include establishing a salary structure, and annually reviewing staff salaries and benefits packages.
This committee is the link between the board and the staff on programs or activities. The most common responsibilities of a product or program development committee are:
This committee works to promote the group and its activities to the broader community. This will usually include working with staff to develop a marketing plan for the group that:
Ad hoc committees oversee special tasks that come along from time to time. Examples can include:
Our Community Pty Ltd www.ourcommunity.com.au ABN 24 094 608 705
National Headquarters: 51 Stanley St, West Melbourne Victoria 3003 Australia
(PO Box 354 North Melbourne 3051 Victoria)
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