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Responsibilities

1. To act in accordance with the Constitution

The Committee of Management is autonomous and takes responsibility for good governance in accordance with Beaconsfield Neighbourhood Centre’s Constitution. The Office of Fair Trading, under the Incorporations Act, recognizes the Constitution a legal document, and an elected Committee of Management is required by legislation. The Constitution is the most basic policy document. It sets out:

  • Aims and purposes
  • Membership rules
  • General meetings and annual general meetings
  • Management committee structure and rules
  • Financial structure
  • Grievance procedures

2. To remain democratic and representative of the community

It is compulsory to be a member of Beaconsfield Neighbourhood Centre to be part of the Committee of Management. Membership is defined in the Constitution, and members must hold an annual general meeting where they receive annual reports, including financial reports, and elect a management committee to make decisions on their behalf in the year ahead.

3. To guard the values and ethics of the organisation

The Committee of Management is responsible for ensuring that the organisation operates in accordance with the Beaconsfield Neighbourhood Centre Statement of Aims and Purposes and policies. All Committee of Management members are required to sign a Code of Conduct.

4. To monitor compliance with legislation

A lot of government legislation is relevant to Beaconsfield Neighbourhood Centre, and sets standards that there is a legal obligation to meet. Such legislation covers childcare, food handling public liability insurance, taxation, incorporation, occupational health and safety, industrial relations, and funding guidelines. The Committee of Management needs to be alert to changes in legislation that affect the organization directly. The Committee may delegate responsibility for ensuring Beaconsfield Neighbourhood Centre is compliant with legislation, but is ultimately responsible for compliance.

5. To identify community needs and develop a business plan and policies that set main directions

Committee of Management decisions deal mainly with planning and policy. An annual business plan must be completed for funding compliance. The Committee of Management usually delegates the task of drafting policies to a sub-committee or to the Coordinator. The Committee of Management then discusses the draft policy, amends if necessary, and adopts it with a motion recorded in the minutes.

6. To oversee budgets and costs & be financially accountable

The Committee of Management is responsible for the expenditure of funds. Incorporation requires that an annual report, including a financial report, is received at an annual general meeting and submitted to the Office of Fair Trading by the public officer. Tax laws demand high standards of book keeping, and the expenditure of public funds require that high standards of financial risk management are documented and implemented. Any committee member, or ex-officio person in attendance, who may benefit financially from a decision must clearly stand aside from the decision, usually by leaving the meeting while the decision is taken.

7. To employ staff

The Committee of Management is ultimately responsible for good working relationships and fair working conditions for paid and voluntary staff. The Committee must select staff through a transparent and fair selection process.

8. To delegate the power to act between meetings

The committee meeting is usually no more than two hours every month. Authority to act for the organization in between meetings of the Committee of Management is delegated. The Coordinator is delegated to run Beaconsfield Neighbourhood Centre operationally between meetings.

Paid staff, volunteers, and office bearers of the Committee of Management and Subcommittees have written statements, terms of reference or position descriptions that set out their authority to act to avoid misunderstandings.

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