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Composition of the Committee

Thursday, December 22nd 2011

A committee for a body corporate larger than 7 lots should contain 7 voting members including 3 executive members (chairperson, secretary and treasurer) and ordinary members.

The committee must consist of at least 3 different individuals in both the Accommodation and Standard modules. Committees are not nearly so formal in the Small Schemes and Commercial modules. It is recommended that all lot owners be encouraged to attend all meetings in smaller schemes and commercial complexes.

While one individual can hold one or more executive positions simultaneously, we recommend that, where possible, each position is filled by a separate individual. Adult education theory says that there is a collective wisdom that comes with a number of different adults working together, listening to each other, and making well-considered decisions and recommendations on projects. 

Practically speaking in bigger complexes, many of the day-to-day tasks that go with the role of chairperson, secretary and treasurer are conducted on the executive member’s behalf by body corporate managers and building managers.

The roles of the elected executive members need not be time consuming or physically or mentally onerous. That said, having community minded committee members actively involved in the decisions about their complexes is the best governance for complexes.

        Committee decisions by majority vote

There is no provision under the BCCM Act Standard or Accommodation module for any executive committee member to assume any sort of executive authority for the complex. The chairperson of a complex chairs meetings and has no extra casting vote.   The chairperson has no authority to make decisions on behalf of the committee, outside of a meeting.

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Matters are meant to be decided by majority decision of the full committee or by the whole body corporate meeting in a general meeting for bigger decisions.

For complexes working within the Standard and Accommodation modules, should there be vacancies for executive committee positions that are not filled, or should there not be 3 persons agreeing to be on the committee (even a co-owner can be appointed as a last resort to fill the minimum number of positions) at an Annual General Meeting, then the Body Corporate has to meet again in a specific procedure to consider the appointment of a Body Corporate Manager, a “Body Corporate Manager acting as Committee” appointment, as a replacement for the committee.

We do not recommend the appointment of a body corporate manager under “Body Corporate Manager acting as Committee” because lot owners then forfeit many of their rights to manage their own complexes. It is much more sensible for owners to keep control of the management of their complex by being an executive committee member.

Committees do not always have to have their body corporate manager at their meetings. While body corporate managers are important with novice committees, experienced committee people can conduct their own meetings. Someone (the secretary usually) takes the detailed minutes and then emails or delivers them to the body corporate managers for sending out to owners.

In this situation, when committees come across an issue where they could use the advice of their body corporate manager, prudent committees will defer the issue until they receive advice or make a decision subject to the body corporate manager agreeing that this decision is not contrary to the BCCM Act and Regulations.

 

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