The Committee of a Body Corporate is quite different to how Committees operate in other capacities, e.g. judging committee or a social/environmental committee, these references seem to invoke a voluntary and collaborative approach to addressing the task at hand. Bodies Corporate however are a group of people thrown together because they have bought into a scheme and will often have conflicting interests and don't necessarily share the same values, demographics (age, education and occupation). This is where Bodies Corporate become challenging, interesting and difficult to appease in all interests, however when a positive attitude is cultivated and a clear understanding of how they function the successful result can be quite an achievement! This topic gives an overview to the purpose of the Committee and how they work together.
Role of the Committee
- A Body Corporate must have a Committee, the Committee is chosen at the Annual General Meeting.
- The Committee consists of the following positions:
- Chairperson (Executive Member) - 1 person can hold 1, 2 or all 3 Executive positions
- Secretary (Executive Member)
- Treasurer (Executive Member)
- Ordinary Members
- Non-Voting Members - Resident Unit Managers (RUM's) and Body Corporate Managers (BCM's) - automatically elected
- Must consist of a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 7 Voting Members
- The role of the Committee is defined as follows:
- To handle the day to day administration and control of the Body Corporate
- To administer the common property and assets of the Body Corporate for the benefit of all lot owners
- To implement decisions of the Body Corporate
- To enforce the Community Management Statement
- To enforce the Body Corporate By-Laws
- To hold and use the Common Seal
Nominations for Committee Positions
- Nominations are called for each position between 3 - 6 weeks prior to the financial year end of the Body Corporate scheme.
- If nominations are received after the financial year end of the scheme, they are invalid. However if a vacancy exists at the Annual General Meeting nominations will be called for from the floor of the meeting.
- Each Committee position must be called for and lot owners may choose to nominate 1 person, either themselves, another lot owner (with that owner accepting the nomination), or a family member as defined in the Act.
The regulation modules stipulate that the person making a nomination must be financial or must not owe the body corporate a debt at the time of the nomination or it becomes invalid. The new regulations which came into effect on the 1st September 2008 now state the person and the nominated person must both be financial at the time of nomination and also at the time of the election.
The new regulation modules also state that if an owner owns more than two lots in the same name, they may only nominate a maximum of 3 people to the committee if there are more than 7 lots in a scheme. If there are less than 6 lots in a scheme, regardless of the number of lots they own, they may only nominate 2 people to the committee.
- If there is only 1 nomination received for the positions of Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer, the nominee will be automatically elected at the Annual General Meeting.
- If more than 1 nomination is received, the Body Corporate is required to conduct either an Open or Secret Ballot depending on the Module and what motions if any have previously been resolved by the Body Corporate.
- If nominations are not received for positions, nominations will be called from the floor of the Annual General Meeting.
Role of Chairperson
- The Chairperson's role is not particularly outlined in the legislation, however there are responsibilities that are evident the Chairperson is required to do on behalf of the Committee.
- The Chairperson has no executive authority to act on behalf of the Committee, however is normally appointed the liaison person between the Committee and/or the BCM and RUM
- The Chairperson's main responsibility is to chair and conduct meetings.
- As part of the meeting's procedure the Chairperson is responsible for the following:
- Calling a meeting in the absence of the Secretary
- Opening the meeting
- Declaring whether or not a quorum is present
- Ensuring the agenda is followed and order is kept at all times
- Inviting discussion for and against each item of business
- Dealing and identifying any conflicts of interest between parties present on matters requiring discussion or voting.
- Ensuring that restricted matters are not decided by the Committee and that expenditure limits are not exceeded
- Closing the meeting
- At a General Meeting the Chairperson is also required to:
- Know who is eligible to vote
- Rule a motion out of order if required and giving reasons as to why
- Accepts written voting papers at the meeting
- Conducts ballots if required
- Declare the results of voting
- The Chairperson does not have a casting vote.
Role of Secretary
- In most cases the Body Corporate will have a Body Corporate Manager who is authorized to carry out some of the duties and responsibilities of the Secretary, in accordance with their Agreement.
- Some of the Secretary's duties are:
- Keeping the roll of the Body Corporate and other statutory records
- Accepting notices on behalf of the Body Corporate
- Making arrangements for inspections of the Body Corporate records
- Issuing certificates on behalf of the Body Corporate
- Calling all General and Committee Meetings
- Preparing agendas and paperwork for each meeting
- Preparing minutes and circulating to all lot owners
- Attending to incoming and outgoing correspondence on behalf of the Body Corporate
- Attending to the renewal of insurance policies
Role of Treasurer
- Like the role of the Secretary the Body Corporate will normally have a Body Corporate Manager who is authorized to carry out some of the duties and responsibilities of the Treasurer.
- The Treasurer is generally responsible for all the financial matters of the Body Corporate such as:
- Preparing budgets
- Preparing financial statements
- Authorising invoices for payment
- Maintaining the Body Corporate bank account
- Calculating and collecting levies on behalf of lot owners
- Recovering unpaid levies
- Keeping all accounting records
Role of Ordinary Committee Members
- Ordinary Committee Members are appointed by lot owners to assist the Executive Committee and to implement decisions of the Body Corporate.
- Required to attend Committee Meetings.
- A Committee member may become ineligible to hold their position under the following scenarios:
- Resignation via written notice to Chairperson or Secretary
- Non attendance in person or by proxy at two consecutive Committee meetings without the Committee's leave.
- Conviction of indictable offence
- Removal from office by Ordinary Resolution of the Body Corporate.
Role of Non-Voting Committee Members
- Non-Voting Members were introduced into the BCCM Act in the amendments in December 2003.
- Non-Voting Members are automatically elected to the Committee and are defined in the BCCM Act as follows:
- The Body Corporate Manager for the scheme
- The Caretaking / Service contractor for the scheme
- Non-Voting Members means exactly that, they cannot vote at Committee Meetings however have the right to attend the meetings.
- The Committee can decide that a Non-Voting Member must not be present at a meeting when the following subjects are being discussed:
- Any disputes between the Body Corporate, any lot owner or occupier and the service contractor/BCM
- The engagement of a service contractor/BCM
- Any other items the Committee consider necessary for the BCM/service contractor not to be in attendance for.
- Non-Voting Members are not included when a quorum is being counted.
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