BYRON SHIRE COUNCIL

                                                                                                                               13.5 - Attachment 1

Cover Page_Section 355 Guidelines


BYRON SHIRE COUNCIL

                                                                                                                               13.5 - Attachment 1

INFORMATION ABOUT THIS DOCUMENT

Document History

Doc No.

Date Amended

Details Comments eg Resolution No.

#160617

10/8/99

Adopted Res No. 8899

 

22/11/07

Res 07-666 Terms of Reference for Mullumbimby Civic Memorial Hall

#815939

27/11/08

Res 08-725 appointment of Councillor delegates

 

18/12/08

Res 08-811 (Delete S355 Mullum Civic Hall consider other management options)

 

18/12/08

Res 08-813 (Delete Pocket Valley Tennis Courts consider other management options)

 

9/4/09

Res 09-142 – incorporate Bangalow Clay Tennis Courts into the Heritage House Bangalow area of operations

 

8/4/10

Res 10- 201 referenced Policy Section 355 Management Committees/Boards – Receipt of Donations Policy

E2012/4701

30/08/2012

Review of Guidelines, Adopted Res 12-736 30 August 2012

E2012/23745

3/12/2012

Updated to include reference to Work Health Safety Policy 12/016 adopted 9/11/12

E2015/8592

11/12/2014

Res 14-604 Updated to include payments to committee members

E2016/53594

3/8/2016

Review of Guidelines – draft reported to Council 25 August 2016

Further Document Information and Relationships

Related Legislation

http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/

Section 355 Local Government Act (Committees)

Section 377 Local Government Act (Delegations)

Section 441-443 Local Government Act (Pecuniary Interest)

Related Policies

Section 355 Management Committees – Receipt of Donations Policy
Procurement and Purchasing Policy
Code of Conduct 2016
Code of Meeting Practice
Community Halls and Sporting Facilities – Management by Community Groups
Gifts and Benefits Policy
Smoke Free Outdoor Areas Policy
Social Media Policy
Sponsorship Received by Council Policy
Volunteering with Council Policy
Work Health Safety Policy

Related Procedures/ Protocols, Statements, documents

Documents are available on Council’s Web site at http://www.byron.nsw.gov.au/ or hard copy by contacting the Community Development team at Council on 6626 7000.

·       Adopted Fees and Charges

·       Section 377 Delegations

·       Engagement of Volunteers Procedure

The following templates are yet to be updated to accompany these reviewed Guidelines:

#1241652              Staff contact details
#1241669              Appointed Councillors and contact details
#1241705              Facilities and Terms of Reference

Templates
#E2012/4697        Committee Nomination Form
#1168831              Volunteer Registration Form
#805303                Delegation of Authority
#1099124              Agenda Template
#1146848              AGM Agenda Template
#1099104              Minute Template
#1171468              Advertisement Template AGM
#1131920/3          Public Liability Template (Casual and Regular Hirers)
#1131920/4          Public Liability Template (Any other hirers)
#1143380 Word   GST Calculations (Instructions and Lodgement Form)
#1143359 Excel   GST Calculations (Instructions and Lodgement Form)
#1148496              Hire Agreement and Conditions of Use
#1168614              Annual building Inspection and Management Report
#1171583 Word   Monthly/Yearly Financial Reporting (Instructions and Lodgement Form)
#1171541 Excel   Monthly/Yearly Financial Reporting (Instructions and Lodgement Form)

Note: Reference material and templates will be updated as required.


BYRON SHIRE COUNCIL

                                                                                                                               13.5 - Attachment 1

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

SECTION 1: FUNCTIONS AND DELEGATIONS.. 1

1.1       Introduction.. 1

1.2       Delegation of Function.. 1

1.3       Why Does Council Have Section 355 Management Committees?. 1

1.4       How are Section 355 Management Committees Established?. 2

SECTION 2: RESPONSIBILITY.. 2

2.1       Responsibility. 2

2.2       Limitation of Powers. 2

2.3       Code of Conduct 3

2.4       Accountability. 3

SECTION 3: APPOINTMENT AND MEMBERSHIP.. 4

3.1       Appointment 4

3.2       Committee Membership. 4

3.3       Dissolution of Committee. 5

3.4       Vacation of Office. 5

3.5       Procedure for obtaining new membership. 6

3.6       Representation on Committee. 6

3.7       Committee Executive Positions. 6

SECTION 4: MEETING PROCEDURES.. 9

4.1       A Quorum.. 9

4.2       Agenda. 9

4.3       Conduct of Business. 9

4.4       Correspondence. 9

4.5       Minutes of Meeting. 10

4.6       Voting. 10

4.7       Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interest 10

SECTION 5: FINANCIAL MATTERS.. 12

5.1       Financial Issues. 12

5.2       Control 12

5.3       Accounting. 12

5.4       Out of Pocket Expenses. 14

5.5       Honorarium Payments to Committee Members. 14

5.6       GST. 15

SECTION 6:      RISK MANAGEMENT/INSURANCE.. 17

6.1       Property Insurance. 17

6.2       Committee Members’ Public Liability and Personal Injury cover 17

6.4       Casual and Regular Hirers’ Insurance Liability. 18

6.5       Other hirers’ insurance Liability. 18

6.6       Definitions 18

SECTION 7:      MANAGEMENT OF THE FACILITY.. 20

7.1       Conditions of Hire. 20

7.3       Fees and Charges. 21

7.4       Bonds. 22

7.5       Keys and Security. 22

7.6       Cleaning. 22

7.7       Purchasing of Goods and Services. 22

7.8       Development Application (DA) Requirements. 23

7.9       Legal Issues. 23

7.10         Correspondence. 23

7.11         Letterhead. 23

7.12         Purpose of Correspondence. 24

7.13         Filing. 24

7.14         Signatures. 24

7.15         Clerical Support 24

7.16         Sub Committees. 24

7.18         Use of Council logo. 25

7.19         Marketing and Promotion.. 26

7.20         Social Media. 26

SECTION 8:      MAINTENANCE AND SERVICES PROVIDED TO THE FACILITIES.. 27

8.1       Repairs and Minor Maintenance. 27

8.2       Council responsibility. 29

8.3       Committee’s Responsibility. 29

SECTION 9:      COMMITTEE MEMBERS’ ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES.. 30

9.1       Chairperson/President’s Responsibilities. 30

9.2       Vice Chairperson/President’s Responsibilities. 31

9.3       Secretary’s Responsibilities. 31

9.4       Treasurer’s Responsibilities. 31

9.5       Bookings Officer’s Responsibilities. 37

9.6       Role Of Committee Members. 38

SECTION 10:        STANDARD FORMATS FOR MEETINGS AND CORRESPONDENCE.. 39

10.1         Standard Format – Ordinary Meeting Agenda. 39

10.2         Standard Format – Annual General Meeting Agenda. 40

10.3         Standard Format – Meeting Minutes. 40

10.4         Standard (formal) Procedure– Motions/Recommendations. 41

10.5         Standard Procedure – Correspondence. 41

SECTION 11:        COUNCIL POLICIES.. 43

 


 


BYRON SHIRE COUNCIL

                                                                                                                               13.5 - Attachment 1

 

SECTION 1: FUNCTIONS AND DELEGATIONS

 

1.1     Introduction

 

Byron Shire Council recognises the important part volunteers and community groups play in providing and managing Council facilities or services.  There are a number of Committees/ Boards which are constituted under the powers provided by the Local Government Act, and this document refers to these Committees. Where the word ‘committee’ is used, it also refers to Management Boards.

 

Upon formal approval of a Section 355 Management Committee/ Board (Committee) by Council, its members are required to adopt and adhere to the conditions set out in this document.  Adherence will ensure Committee members are aware of their responsibilities and adequately covered by insurance.

 

Byron Shire Council provides advice and direction on matters associated with these Committees and members can seek Council’s assistance in this crucial role at any time.

 

Committees can have different responsibilities and for this reason some clauses of these Guidelines will not necessarily apply or be relevant to each Committee.  A Council resolution is required if the Committee are not acting in accordance with these guidelines.

This manual has been prepared to:-

 

·      Provide a comprehensive guide on the management responsibilities, functions and operations of community facilities;

·      Provide good practices and operational issues for the Committee; and

·      Clarify Council’s and the Committee members’ role in this partnership.

 

Committee members have a right:

 

·     To work in a healthy and safe environment;

·     To be adequately covered by insurance.

·     To be provided with sufficient training to undertake their role.

 

1.2     Delegation of Function

 

Under the Local Government Act 1993 Council is able to delegate some of its functions to a Committee of Council.  Council uses this delegation and appoints community people to manage its facilities or functions through a Section 355 Management Committee.

 

Hiring a facility is central to the purpose of the Committee. Making the facility readily accessible to the community, whilst at the same time, raising funds for its maintenance and future improvements are some of the main objectives of the Committee.

 

1.3     Why Does Council Have Section 355 Management Committees?

 

The Committees provide a mechanism by which interested persons can have an active role in the provision / management of Council facilities or services.  This provides a two-fold benefit by giving protection to the Committee operating under the banner of Council, and by providing Council with assistance in the carrying out of its functions.

 

As the Committee are acting on behalf of Council, it is important to uphold the principles of equity, accessibility and inclusivity, providing for the whole community.

 

Research shows that community involvement in managing community facilities provides better outcomes for locals whilst engaging and including local people, both new and existing residents, and providing an opportunity to participate in local community life.

 

1.4     How are Section 355 Management Committees Established?

 

Committees are established under Section 355, with delegations from Council under the provision of Section 377, of the Local Government Act.  Section 355 allows Council to exercise a function of Council and Section 377 allows Council to delegate functions of Council.  These terms refer to the Section of the Local Government Act in which the authority for such a Committee to be formed is identified. 

 

 

SECTION 2: RESPONSIBILITY

 

2.1     Responsibility

 

The Committee will be responsible for activities as determined when the Committee is established.  Terms of Reference for each facility are to be adopted at the beginning of each term.

 

2.2     Limitation of Powers

 

The Committee may not make decisions concerning the following:

 

a)      Fixing of charges or fees (the Committee may submit recommendations for approval by Council in relation to the fixing of charges and fees for use of the facility under its control), including a policy for exemption from fees and charges.

 

b)      Borrowing of monies.

 

c)      The sale, lease, sub-lease or surrender of land and or other property vested in its care under the provisions of the Local Government Act 1993 (as amended).

 

d)      The acceptance of tenders which are required to be called by Council.  (The Committee may invite and accept quotations for minor works, goods and services covered within the scope of its authority or as agreed with Council).

 

e)      The payment or making of a gift (other than a token gift), to its members, notwithstanding Resolution 14-601 regarding the payment of Honorariums to committee members. This includes the payment of allowances or travelling expenses incurred whilst attending Committee meetings. Token gifts are as per the Gifts and Benefits Policy and Code of Conduct.

 

f)       The payment of monies outside the scope of the Committee’s function.

 

g)      The carrying out of works on or to the facility including alterations, reconstructions or construction without the prior consent of Council (does not include minor maintenance works).

 

h)      Unreasonably withholding consent for the letting of the facility to an organisation which agrees to comply with and adhere to the rules adopted for use of the facility, providing an acceptable letting period is available.

 

i)        Vote monies for expenditure on the works, services or operations of Council.

 

The exercise by the Committee of its power and functions will be subject to such limitations and conditions as may from time to time be imposed by law, specified by resolution of the Council or in writing by the General Manager to the Committee.  The Committee will observe the Rules and Regulations made by the Council, in relation to the facility/function under its management and control.

 

If the Committee is deemed to be functioning outside the limits of its powers as described herein, powers may be revoked by written notice to the Committee signed by the General Manager or his/her representative.

 

2.3     Code of Conduct

 

Byron Shire Council has adopted a Code of Conduct that is applicable to elected Councillors, employed staff and Committee members.  This Code of Conduct sets out the principles to ensure the business of Council is carried out in an efficient, honest and impartial way.

 

As Committees are operating on behalf of Council, it is important for Committees to be aware of, and abide by, this Code of Conduct. 

 

Council’s Committees have the responsibility to ensure the following:

 

a)      Access is available to the entire community and is not denied because of ethnicity, gender, disability or religion.

 

b)      Priority of use should be given to non-profit making community groups and organisations.

 

c)      That the facility not be aligned with, or advocate or advertise for or on behalf of, a political party or person/s.

When appointed as a community member on a Committee you will receive a copy of Council’s Code of Conduct Policy and agree, when carrying out your duties as a Committee member, to comply with the Code of Conduct.  Note the failure to comply with the Code of Conduct could result in your removal from the Committee.

 

A “Volunteer Registration Form” is required to be completed by appointed Committee Members. (Refer Section 7.17 Volunteers)

 

2.4     Accountability

 

The Committees need to be aware that accountability is required to Council, user groups and the general community.  Committees are required to:

 

a)   Hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) to elect office bearers. (Refer to clause 3.7.2)

b)   Provide reports, minutes and annual financial statements to Council as required.

c)   Ensure that affected persons are aware of the Committee meeting details.

 

 

See Template - Advertisement for Annual General Meeting


SECTION 3: APPOINTMENT AND MEMBERSHIP

 

Council aims to appoint Committees which are representative of the local community or interest groups for the function and tasks which the Committee manages.

 

3.1     Appointment

 

a)   To hold office and be responsible for the management of a Council facility, all community Management Committee members will be assessed against a set of criteria and appointed by Council.  The selection criteria are:

i)     Have established ties to the Byron Shire community, and

ii)    Experience (professional, amateur, volunteer) working in either; venue management, event management, conference organising, music promotion, theatre production, design, marketing, or related technical areas such as accounting, managing people or business, community services or groups or fundraising.

 

b)   Council must also appoint new members before they are able to vote and take part in meetings of the Management Committee.

 

c)   The Council may dissolve a Management Committee at any time.

 

d)   The term of office for Committees will be the same term as the current Council, with the addition of an extra three months after the General Election of Councillors, unless as a sunset Committee, ie, with a finite time specified.

 

Nominations for Committees are formally submitted in writing to Council for appointment. Refer to Clause 3.5 for procedure to obtain new members when a vacancy occurs.

 

3.2     Committee Membership

 

The optimal number of a well functioning committee or board is 7 or 9 members. Committee membership will number not less than five and not more than nine and each committee will state the actual number in their Terms of Reference unless otherwise decided by Council. The exception will be the Bangalow Parks (Showground) committee which numbers twelve. Council reserves the right to appoint up to two Councillors to each Committee. The total number of members includes office bearer committee members and Councillor members which are appointed by Council. 

 

Whilst no particular qualifications are necessary (not withstanding 3.1.a), a commitment to the activities of the Committee and a willingness to be actively involved in Committee issues is essential. Committees work best when the workload is shared amongst committee members and there is evident goodwill and cooperation amongst members. Some tips collected from existing committee members are shown below:

 

What works well?

Tips for a well functioning committee

A good strong committee

Schedule meetings to suit all

Working well together

Share a big picture/ vision for the venue

Boundless goodwill

Develop the venue and extend its use

Engaged and enthusiastic

Share the load – don’t let one or two people burn out

Enormous amounts of positive energy

Seek out new activities, new ways to engage with the community

Cooperation, work as a team

Brand and visibility are important

Communication

Common goals, structured meetings, good minutes, regular meeting attendance

 

Committee members are expected to have access to a computer and able to use email as the major form of communication.

An application for Committee membership must be completed.

 

See Template - Committee Nomination Form

 

3.3     Dissolution of Committee

 

The Council by resolution can dissolve a Committee at any time:-

 

a)      To carry out the control of the facility itself.

b)      If the Committee is not complying with the roles and responsibilities of the Committee.

In the event of membership dropping to less than 4 persons, in this respect Council may:

a)      Give the Committee 6 months to be re-established to a viable membership;

b)      Dissolve the Committee and take over the responsibilities, consideration will need to be given to the long term viability of the facility or function.

Upon the Committee being dissolved, assets and funds of the Committee shall, after payment of expenses and liability, be handed over to Council.

 

Committee members are eligible for re-appointment.  Council will advertise for and receive nominations.

 

3.4     Vacation of Office

 

The office of a member on the Committee will become vacant in any one of the following circumstances.

 

a)       upon the death of the member;

 

b)       if the member becomes bankrupt, applies to take the benefit of any law for the relief of bankrupt or insolvent debtors, compounds with his or her creditors or make an assignment of his or her remuneration for their benefit;

 

c)       if the member becomes a mentally incapacitated person;

 

d)       if the member resigns membership by notice in writing to the Committee;

 

e)       if the member is absent for more than three consecutive meetings without leave of the Committee;

 

f)        if the member ceases to be a member of the organisation which he/she represents, (representatives of organisations will be given preference) unless the Committee otherwise resolves;

 

g)       while serving a sentence (whether or not by way of periodic detention) for a felony or other offence, except a sentence imposed for a failure to pay a fine;

h)       Council passes a resolution to remove the member from the Committee;

i)         if the member holds office of profit under the Committee, without prior approval of Council;

j)         if the member fails to disclose a pecuniary interest in a matter with which the Committee is concerned and takes part in the consideration, discussion or votes on a question relating to the matter; or

 

k)       if the member fails to comply with Council’s Code of Conduct.

 

Resignations, or a Committee member ceasing to hold office because of any one of the above circumstances, will be reported to Council for information and any action if required.

 

3.5     Procedure for obtaining new membership

 

When a position on a Committee becomes vacant or the Committee determines it requires further members, the Committee may:

a)      for an urgent appointment, put a recommendation to Council for the appointment of further known interested member(s) and reason for the urgent appointment; or

b)      request Council to advertise for a further member(s), to assist the Committee in a particular position. 

Note:

a)      Unless a Committee member is urgently required it would be usual practice to advertise the vacancy.

b)      Advertisements for Committee members can be placed at the direction of the Committee or Council.

c)      Determination of the appointment of new members will be in accordance with Clause 3.1(b).

 

3.6     Representation on Committee

 

Committee membership is made up of interested community members. Some committees may include the community organisations which use the facility, keeping in mind potential conflict of interest matters (refer to Section 4.7). Where there is a dispute on representation a final determination will be made by Council.

3.7     Committee Executive Positions

 

Committees consist of office bearers (also known as the Executive) and other Committee members.  The Committee elects the office bearers at its first meeting and thereafter at each Annual General Meeting. Office bearers are elected for a twelve month period. Particulars of all appointments must be notified in writing to Council as soon as possible after appointment is made, eg committee position, name, address, contact number and the user group represented (if any).

 

Committee members need to have a certain degree of commitment to their role as Committee members.  One of the advantages of Committees is that the workload can be shared between the different Committee members. The roles listed beloware only some of the committee’s work, other tasks include scheduling maintenance jobs, marketing and promotion, and engaging with the local community. It is important each member understands this role and what is expected from the community.

 

 

3.7.1  Office Bearers/Executive

 

Office bearers do not have greater decision making powers than other Committee members, other than the chairperson who has a casting vote in the event of a tied vote.  Whilst office bearers usually have defined roles, each Committee member plays an important part in the functioning of the Committee.

 

Office bearers must have access to a computer, have basic computer skills and be able to use email as a major form of communication.

 

At a minimum the Committee must have:

 

a)  Chairperson (also known as the “President”)

·     Manage the operations of the Committee including meetings;

·     Act as official representative on the Committee;

·     Act on behalf of the Committee in an emergency or urgent situation;

·     Assist the Committee members by providing direction, forward planning and vision for the community.

 

b)    Secretary

·     Deal with correspondence to and from the Committee;

·     Issue the Agenda with instructions from the Chairperson (if required);

·     Take and distribute meeting minutes;

·     Ensure there is a flow of information to and from the Committee;

·     Ensure that official files and records are kept and maintained;

·     Notify members of meetings.

 

c)  Treasurer

·      Liaise regularly with the Bookings Officer or Venue Coordinator;

·      Handle the movement of money within the Committee;

·      Record income and expenditure. Preferably, be able to manage accounts electronically. That is, track accounts either in specialised software or in excel spreadsheets, pay accounts electronically, manage internet banking and the like;

·      Report on income, expenditure and cash flow;

·      Financial Planning;

·      Submit financial records to Council for auditing and GST purposes (if required).

 

d)  Bookings Officer

·    Handle the bookings for the activities associated with the facility, including keeping accurate records of bookings; (Note: A record of the history of bookings is essential for an insurance claim to be made by casual or regular hirers of the facility.)

·      Authorise the release of bonds.

·      Must be able to accept email bookings and respond accordingly.

·      Venue briefings for hirers and inspections.

·      It would be desirable to have the skills to be able to update an online booking calendar on the committee’s website.

 

Note: Council are currently looking into web-based online bookings to reduce the administrative burden on booking officers.

 

A Committee member may fill more than 1 role (maximum 2 roles).  The responsibilities of 1 position may be shared between 2 Committee members if desirable.

An executive member may request general Committee members for assistance with the role as needed.

The Committee may outsource some of the more ‘workload heavy’ positions, such as the Bookings Officer or bookkeeping or part of the position, if funds permit and approved by Council. See also Section 5.5 re payment of honorariums to committee members.

 

Further information on the responsibilities of each of these positions is shown in Section 9 – Committee Members Responsibilities.

 

3.7.2  Election of Office Bearers and AGM

 

An Annual General Meeting should be held each year (usually November/ December) to elect/ re-elect office bearers, to connect with the users of the facility and the general community. This provides an opportunity for the committee to let users know what is happening with the facility, obtain feedback and also to execute the committee’s responsibility to be accountable to the general community about the running of the facility. The meeting may be held in conjunction with an ‘open day’ for the venue.

 

At the AGM, Office Bearers of the Committee stand down and their positions are declared vacant.  A Returning Officer, appointed at the meeting, takes the chair and calls for nominations for the positions of Office Bearers (also known as the Executive).

 

3.7.3  Procedures for Election

 

Nominations can be accepted in two ways:

 

·      in writing, duly seconded, and signed by nominee, prior to the AGM; or

·      verbally from the floor to the Returning Officer.

 

If two or more persons are nominated for a single position a vote must be taken.  Persons nominated for election are entitled to vote for themselves.  If a tied ballot occurs, the name of each candidate is written on a separate, identical piece of paper, and drawn ‘from the hat’ by the Returning Officer (or an impartial observer).  The first name drawn is elected to the Office.

 

A list of duly elected office bearers / executive must be recorded together with the names of nominators and seconders.  Minutes of the AGM with the list of duly elected Office Bearers must be sent to Council for approval within 5 working days.

 

 

 


SECTION 4: MEETING PROCEDURES

 

Meetings are to be conducted to standard guidelines (based on the Code of Meeting Practice), which are detailed in the following section and include:

 

a)   that a quorum be present;

b)   that appropriate notice is given;

c)   that business on the agenda is properly conducted;

d)   that correspondence and minutes are recorded.

 

Committee members should work together to schedule meetings at a mutually convenient time for all. Ideally, meetings are held at the hall or facility, however if scheduling suitable meeting times becomes difficult due to bookings, they may be held in another public space, such as a café, park, etc. Meetings should not be held on private property.

 

4.1     A Quorum

 

This refers to the minimum number of members who must be in attendance to transact business.

 

Council regulations state:

 

(a)   A quorum will consist of one half of the total number of appointed members plus one,

 

(b)   If a quorum is not present within half an hour after the appointed starting time, the meeting will be adjourned to a time fixed by Chairperson; or those present can hold an informal meeting to discuss matters.  However, decisions taken by the Committee are not recognised until a meeting has ratified them where a quorum is present.

 

4.2     Agenda

 

The agenda is an organised list of headings of the major items, in order, that will be discussed at the meeting.  A copy of the agenda is distributed to the Committee members at the commencement of the meeting, or before if it is possible.  Late matters can be added to the agenda at the opening of the meeting as the chairperson calls for discussion on the agenda.

 

Each item of business to be discussed at the meeting needs to be put on the agenda. 

 

Unfinished business and reports on actions taken since previous meetings are included in the agenda under ‘Business arising from previous minutes’.

 

If items on the agenda are not discussed due to limitations of time, they are carried over to the next meeting agenda. 

 

See Template  - Agenda Template

 

4.3     Conduct of Business

 

Each item of business is discussed in the order in which it appears on the agenda.  Allow adequate time for discussion on important issues.  Ensure relevant information on the matter under discussion is available at the meeting.

 

4.4     Correspondence

 

A list of correspondence received (Inwards) is presented at the Committee meeting by the Secretary.  This action is to inform members of new issues that may have arisen and to report on letters received in response to matters raised at previous meetings.  A list of correspondence sent out (Outwards) is provided to inform the members of the action taken on their behalf. 

 

Correspondence will be suitably filed together for future reference.

 

4.5     Minutes of Meeting

 

Minutes of the meeting must be recorded and a motion/recommendation put forward by the Committee members.  The motion/recommendation after being voted on by the Committee should be recorded as “carried” or “lost”.  (See voting 4.6 below)

 

This document is to be an accurate recording on what happened at the meeting.

 

The Minutes of each meeting must be sent to Council within 14 days after the meeting and confirmed at the Committee’s next meeting.

 

On receipt of the Minutes by Council they will be reviewed and the Committee may be contacted if required. Council will not act on Minutes recommendation/motions alone, a request for information/action etc. by Council must also be put in writing from the Committee.

 

The Committee needs to be aware of the importance of minutes because of their legal status and their liabilities to subpoena in court cases. Minutes of each meeting are provided to the general public via Council’s website in the interests of transparency and accountability. 

 

Most of the records of Council Committees should be kept for at least 7 years. 

 

See Template  - Minute Format

 

4.6  Voting

 

Voting allows members to express their agreement or disagreement.  Voting can be conducted in one of three ways.

 

a)     Vote verbally

        The chairperson asks people to say ‘for’ or ‘against’ and then decides which group is the largest.

 

b)     Vote by show of hands

The chairperson asks people in favour of a decision to raise their hands, firstly those in favour, counts hands and announces the total, and does the same for those against.

 

c)     Vote by secret ballot

Members vote on paper and put into general pool, the secretary and a member not standing for a position, count the votes.  (Requests by members for secret ballot cannot be denied.)

 

For motions/recommendations, the Committee needs to have an agreement concerning the way a vote will be conducted (either a), b) or c) above), eg. For the vote to be carried, you will need a simple majority (more than half). If it is a tied vote the Chairperson has the casting vote and where this happens, this should be recorded in the Minutes.

 

4.7     Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interest

 

Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interest may be defined as an interest that a Committee person has in a matter, as a member or employee of a company or other body, because of a reasonable likelihood or expectation of appreciable financial gain or loss to the person, or another person with whom the person is associated.  Such other person includes the spouse or de-facto partner or relative of the Committee person. Pecuniary refers to possible financial gain whereas non-pecuniary refers to any other type of interest.

 

Disclosure of Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interests

 

a)    Interest should be declared and noted in the meeting minutes if

 

(i)    A committee member has a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in a matter being considered or about to be considered at a meeting; or

 

(ii)   *   the interest appears to raise a conflict with the proper performance of the member’s duties in relation to the consideration of the matter,

*   the member must, as soon as possible after the relevant facts have come to the member’s knowledge, disclose the nature of the interest at the meeting.

 

b)    A Committee must ensure that:-

 

(i)    Particulars of disclosures made under this clause are recorded in the minutes; and

(ii)    That the minutes are available for inspection (ie committee meeting minutes are placed on Council’s website).

 

c)    After a member of a Committee has disclosed the nature of an interest in a matter, the member must not,

 

(i)    be present during the deliberation of the Committee with respect to the matter; or

(ii)   take part in the decision of the Committee with respect to that matter.

 

d)    For the purposes of the making of a determination by a Committee under subclause (4), a member who has a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in a matter to which the disclosure relates must not –

 

(i)    be present during the deliberation for the purpose of making the determination.


SECTION 5: FINANCIAL MATTERS

 

5.1     Financial Issues

 

Committees are given authority to operate by Council and are subject to the same rules and regulations.   These rules are set out in the Local Government Act, and Local Government Regulations and Accounting standards and must be adhered to.

 

Committees are, as the name suggests, established to benefit the community and are made up of members of the community.  Funds raised, received or spent are subject to public scrutiny, just the same as Council.  The concept of public accountability involves a responsibility to ensure that Committee funds are used in the manner for which they were intended and that a clear and full disclosure of the Committee’s financial activities is available.

 

5.2     Control

 

The General Manager has the authority to direct Committees to process their financial records through the Council’s financial system if he / she is of the opinion that this is a most appropriate method of recording those financial transactions.

 

5.3     Accounting

 

Council requires the following conditions in relation to Committees:

 

If the Committee is not operating through Council’s financial system, such as:

 

·      Durrumbul Community Centre

·      Bangalow Parks (Showground)

 

a)     a bank account must be opened at a branch of a recognised bank or Credit Union with an office in the Shire of Byron.  Such account will be in the name of the Committee.

 

b)     Monies received by the Committee must be banked within 24 hours or as soon as practicable.

 

c)     The Committee is authorised to draw on its account for such sums as it may require in the performance of delegated function but under no circumstances will the account be overdrawn.

 

d)     Information on income and expenditure must be kept either electronically (preferable) or hard copy. An excel spreadsheet or suitable accounting software should be used. Or if the accounts must be kept manually, a suitable cashbook, receipt book, bank deposit book and petty cash will be maintained and kept up to date. (Refer to the Treasurer’s role and responsibilities in Section 9.4.

e)     Receipting: Preferably, payments are accepted via direct deposit into the Committee’s bank account. Where cash or cheque are received, receipts, in the name of the Committee, will be issued for charges and other monies received and duplicates of receipts will be retained for audit.

 

f)      Purchasing: Payment should be made by EFT (electronic funds transfer), or only when necessary, can be made by cheque. In every case evidence of the need for the payment Tax Invoice is required to be obtained and attached to payment records. A credit card receipt is not a Tax Invoice, please ensure receipts say ‘Tax Invoice’ and clearly show any GST charged.

 

g)      The Committee may authorise its Chairperson, treasurer and one other person to sign on its behalf on the basis that two authorisers/ signatories are required on each payment.

 

h)      Records will be made available for inspection whenever required by an inspector of local government accounts, Council’s auditor, Councillors, or an authorised officer of Council.

i)        It is recommended the financial report summarising the income and expenditure and including a bank reconciliation be reported (where available), to each ordinary meeting of the Committee. 

 

j)        A quarterly report of the financial affairs must be provided to Council in line with GST reporting. At each quarter this report should include profit and loss statement, balance sheet and BAS and needs to be received by Council in the second week of the following month. (See Section 5.6 re GST)

 

k)      The Committee will be entitled to spend the monies raised in the management of the facility under their control.  These monies can only be expended strictly in accordance with conditions imposed in these Guidelines, by the Council, and their delegations, and only upon the facility of the Council for which the Committee has been constituted.

 

l)        In the event that the Committee receives a financial contribution from Council, this payment will be made in the form of a grant and appropriate evidence of expenditure documentation will be required by Council.

 

m)     An annual Profit and Loss Statement for the Committee must be submitted to Council within 30 days from the end of the financial year.

 

Committees operating through Council’s financial system being:

 

·      Brunswick Heads Memorial Hall

·      Brunswick Valley Community Centre

·      Byron Bay Library Exhibition Space (Lone Goat Gallery)

·      Cook Pioneer Centre Mullumbimby

·      Heritage House, Bangalow

·      Ocean Shores Community Centre

·      Senior Citizen’s Hall Byron Bay

·      South Golden Beach Community Centre

·      Suffolk Park Community Hall

 

a)      A bank account to be set up in the name of the Committee with at least 2 Committee members signatures and details of the account be provided to the Finance department.

b)      A balance of $5,000 will be made available for expenditure by the Committee (ie a bank account float). Note this delegation is available to the Committee as a whole and approval for expenditure needs to be noted in the meeting minutes.

 

c)      Council has provided Committees with the delegation to approve financial transactions to the value of $5,000.

 

d)      Monies received by the Committee must be banked within 24 hours or as soon as practicable.

 

e)      The Committee is authorised to draw on its account for such sums as it may require in the performance of delegated function but under no circumstances will the account be overdrawn.

 

f)    Information on income and expenditure must be kept either electronically (preferable) or hard copy. An excel spreadsheet or suitable accounting software should be used. Or if the accounts must be kept manually, a suitable cashbook, receipt book, bank deposit book and petty cash will be maintained and kept up to date. (Refer to the Treasurer’s role and responsibilities in Section 9.4.

g)   Receipting: Preferably, payments are accepted via direct deposit into the Committee’s bank account. Where cash (not encouraged) or a cheque is received, receipts, in the name of the Committee, will be issued for charges and other monies received and duplicates of receipts will be retained for audit.

 

h)   Purchasing: Payment should be made by EFT (electronic funds transfer), or only when necessary, can be made by cheque  and in every case evidence of the need for the payment (Tax Invoice) is required to be obtained and attached to payment records. A credit card receipt is not a Tax Invoice, please ensure receipts say ‘Tax Invoice’ and clearly show any GST charged.

 

i)    At the end of each month, income generated from the hall should be banked into Council’s Bank Account. Income will be shown on the Committee’s monthly report provided by Council on the date the deposit is actually banked (refer point k below).

j)    After the end of month reconciliation, Tax Invoices paid by the Committee are required to be submitted to Council for reimbursement of funds monthly.  This allows for appropriate GST reporting on expenditure and maintaining of records in line with Tax guidelines.

k)   Council will provide the Committee a excel spreadsheet of their income and expenditure monthly. The spreadsheet will show income and expenditure as recorded in Council’s finance system. Please ensure that income for the month is deposited into Council’s account prior to the end of the month so it shows in the correct month as received. Same with expenditure, ensure expenditure reimbursements are submitted to Council to be recorded in the appropriate month.

l)    The Committee is required to review Council’s spreadsheet with its own records of income and expenditure and any discrepancy be brought to the Finance Department immediately.

m)  The Committee is required to confirm the spreadsheet at their next available meeting.

 

5.4     Out of Pocket Expenses

 

A Committee member cannot incur out of pocket expenses without prior approval by the Committee.  This approval and a monetary limit is required to be recorded in the meeting minutes.

 

Tax Invoices  for these out of pocket expenses eg fuel, stationery, telephone, are required to be presented to the Treasurer before reimbursement is made.

 

5.5     Honorarium Payments to Committee Members

          (Based on Council resolution 14-601 made on the 11/12/2014)

1.   Section 355 Committee’s may vote to pay an honorarium (allowance) to Committee members or agents for duties undertaken in their role on the committee as follows:

 

a)    Up to $100 (excl. GST) maximum per week for Booking Officers or other roles determined by the Committee (eg Volunteer co-ordinator).

b)    Up to $100 (excl. GST) maximum per month for other Administration positions such as treasurer, secretary, etc.

These payments must firstly be recommended by the Committee and recorded in their Meeting Minutes.  Approval by Council’s Finance Manager is required prior to implementation to ensure the income generated from the facility is sufficient to sustain these costs.

2.       Regular cleaning of facilities and venues should be contracted out to professional cleaners (refer to Section 8). If a Committee Member is involved in ad hoc cleaning (for example, when a hirer has not adhered to their conditions of hire), a payment of $20 (excl. GST) per hour may be paid provided Work Health and Safety procedures are in place and the maximum hours are agreed to by the Committee and recorded in the Committee Minutes.

3.       That Committee members or agents receiving payments note that:

a)      The positions are not permanent and can be ceased by the Committee or Council at any time;

b)      Payments are performance based and positions will be reviewed by the Committee as required with the assistance of Council;

c)      Payments requested outside Point 1 or 2 will require approval of Council.

 

5.6     GST

 

1.       For Committees not banking their income through Council the following information is provided:

 

The Committee is undertaking activities under the banner of Council, with Council having delegated the appropriate authority under Section 355 and 377 of the Local Government Act 1993,

 

Council as an entity is required by law to have an Australian Business Number (ABN) and be registered for GST.  This requirement means that this also applies to the finances relating to the Committees as they are carrying on a function on behalf of Council.  In this regard it is requested that Committees:

 

a)      Utilise the Australian Business Number of Byron Shire Council being 14 472 131 473.

 

b)      Apply GST to fees and charges for use of the facility where appropriate in accordance with Council’s adopted fees and charges.

 

c)      Provide Council with a summary of revenue and expenditure at the end of each quarter during the financial year and the amount of GST collected on revenue and the amount of GST that can be claimed as input tax credits on expenditure.

 

d)      At the end of each quarter during the financial year if the GST amount collected on revenue exceeds GST input tax credits on expenditure then remit the difference to Council.

 

e)      At the end of each quarter during the financial year, if the GST amount collected on revenue is less then GST input tax credits on expenditure then Council will reimburse the Committee the difference.

 

f)       Council will then include the quarterly summary from the Committee in its Business Activity Statements lodged with the Australian Taxation Office.

g)      Financial records that relate to the GST calculations are to be kept for at least 7 Years.  Should Byron Shire Council be audited by the Australian Taxation Office, financial records will be requested

See Template - GST Calculation for BAS, GST Calculation Worksheet

 

.         2.       For Committees banking their income through Council:

 

                   a)      Quarterly GST calculations will be carried out through Council’s Finance Department to be lodged with the Australian Taxation Office.

                   b)      The Committee will be advised of the calculation and either the reimbursement to the Committee or the further payment of GST if required.


SECTION 6:   RISK MANAGEMENT/INSURANCE

 

6.1     Property Insurance

 

Council facilities are covered for risks such as fire, theft and malicious damage.  Committees should be aware of the excess applicable to this policy which is currently $5,000.

 

6.2     Committee Members’ Public Liability and Personal Injury cover

 

6.2.1       Public Liability Cover: The appointed Committee members are covered by the public liability policy of Council (currently $400 million) anywhere in Australia. 

 

Members of the Committee should note that they are only covered by public liability insurance when acting within the scope of their delegation.

 

This Policy also covers Council and the Committee against claims made by members of the public for personal injury or injury to personal property arising from a negligent act or omission of Council and/or the Committee.

 

This insurance does not preclude the Committee from due diligence and council policies must be adhered to.

 

This Public Liability Policy for Council and Committees is subject to a claims excess which is currently $12,500 for each and every claim.

 

Committee members are also covered under the Councillor and Officer Liability Insurance, should a casual hirer take legal action directly against a Committee member.  This is subject to appropriate Conduct, ie criminal, fraudulent, dishonest or malicious act or omission committed by a Committee Member will negate Insurance cover. 

6.2.2    Personal Injury: Committee members are covered when injured whilst undertaking duties relating to their role in the Committee.

 

 

6.3       Contractors insurance: Council’s insurance does not provide any cover for Contractors. Where Members of the Committee have authority to appoint Contractors, the types of insurances that should be held by Contractors (available to be sighted by Council if required) include Workers Compensation, Public Liability and where a vehicle is being used on Council property, Third Party Motor insurance.  

 


 

6.4     Casual and Regular Hirers’ Insurance Liability

 

A Casual and Regular Hirers’ Policy ($10 million) exists in order to cover persons using Council facilities on a non-permanent and not-for-profit basis.


Eg. Weddings, birthday celebrations or the like are covered under Council’s Casual hirer’s insurance Policy.


For a Casual or Regular Hirer the claims excess is $1,000 for each and every claim, payable by the casual or regular hirer.

 

A record by the Committee of the history of bookings is essential for a claim to be made.

 

Note:  Fundraising for an individual, a charity or community organisation or group will be covered under Council’s Casual Hirer’s Policy if the hirer:

 

a)      Is not a sporting group, club, association, corporation or incorporated body;

b)      Is not a sole trader or registered business;

c)      Is not making a personal financial gain from the activity;

d)      Is not a commercial activity;

e)      Is not a large (eg the halls capacity) evening event where alcohol will be sold or BYO.

f)       Provides the Committee a signed statement from the hirer and beneficiary that identifies the hirer and the intended beneficiary will be receiving all proceeds made from the activity.

g)      The hirer acknowledges that they are responsible for the claims excess, being $1,000 or $2,000, as applicable, for each and every claim under the policy arising from their event within Council premises.

 

6.5     Other hirers’ insurance Liability

Persons or groups, not defined in 6.3 must have and provide the Committee with proof of their Public Liability insurance policy in the sum of not less than $10 million if they fit into one of the following categories.

a)      Creates an income or profit from the activity eg. yoga, art, Pilates classes charging a fee for service, workshops by charging door entry, participation fee, prepaid fee.

b)      Makes a personal financial gain from the activity.

c)      Is a sole trader or registered business.

d)      Corporation or Incorporated bodies.

e)      Sporting body, club or associations of any kind.


It is the Committee’s responsibility to ensure that users of the facility that meet any of the above categories have adequate Public Liability insurance.

If there are situations not identified above where a hirer of the facility does not have its own Public Liability Insurance and there is uncertainty as to whether the hirer meets the “Casual or Regular Hirer” or “Other Hirer Guidelines” it may be referred to Council to check with its insurers.

 

6.6    Definitions – as per Statewide Mutual Liability Scheme – Casual and Regular Hirers’ Liability Scheme Wording.

 

         Casual Hirer     Person or group of persons (not being a sporting body, club, association, corporation or incorporated body), who hires a council facility for non-commercial or non-profit making purposes, less frequently than once per calendar month or 12 times per calendar year.

 

         Regular Hirer    Person or group of persons (not being a sporting body, club, association, corporation or incorporated body), who hires a Council facility for non-commercial or non-profit making purposes, more frequently than once per calendar month or 12 times per calendar year.

 

         Personal Injury 1.      Bodily injury, death, sickness, disease, disability, shock, fright, mental anguish and mental injury;

 

                                    2.      False arrest, false imprisonment, wrongful eviction, wrongful detention, malicious prosecution and humiliation;

 

                                    3.      Assault and battery not committed by or at the direction of the Casual or Regular hirer unless committed for the purpose of preventing or eliminating danger to person or property.

6.7    Checklists

 

See Template - Checklist for Casual and Regular Hirers

See Template - Checklist for Other Hirers


 

SECTION 7:   MANAGEMENT OF THE FACILITY

 

Hiring a facility is central to the purpose of the Committee. Making the facility readily accessible to the community, whilst at the same time, raising funds for its maintenance and future improvements are some of the main objectives of the Committee.

 

7.1     Conditions of Hire

 

            It is essential that hirers sign a Hire Agreement which shows that they abide by the Conditions of Hire set out by the Committee and in accordance with Council policies. It is a good idea for the bookings officer or a committee member to ensure each hirer understands their obligations when hiring the facility, going over the conditions with the hirer if required.

 

See Template - Sample Hire Agreement

 

7.2       Inclusion

 

As mentioned previously, the Management Committee are acting on behalf of Council, and it is important to uphold the principle’s of equity, accessibility and inclusivity, providing for the whole community.

 

            Consideration of disability and inclusion is now managed by new legislation, the Disability Inclusion Act 2014. The Act requires all government departments and certain public authorities, including councils, in NSW to have a Disability Inclusion Action Plan.

 

            The Plan will focus on four key areas:

 

1.   Attitudes and behaviours

2.   Liveable communities

3.   Employment, and

4.   Systems and processes

 

            There is a greater emphasis on consultation at all stages of planning, implementation, monitoring and direction on how to conduct inclusive consultation. There is new public monitoring and reporting requirements through Local Government Annual Reports. Council are currently developing a Disability Inclusion Action Plan with the aim of submitting a final plan by 1 July 2017.

 

            For Section 355 Management Committees, this means that inclusion needs to be considered in all areas of planning and operation of the hall or facility. Critical areas this needs to be considered include access to the hall and facilities (including toilets and kitchen), making written and web materials available to sight and hearing impaired people and supporting access to sporting and recreation opportunities.

 

Council has an Access Consultative Working Group that work with Council specifically on access and inclusion matters. The group have begun undertaking access audits of Council’s halls and facilities and will continue to do more as resources allow.

 

Below is an excerpt from the NSW Disability Inclusion Action Plan Guidelines that provides further background.

The case for inclusion

Personal choice and control is only possible when communities are inclusive for all people with disability (and their families and carers), including those with physical, intellectual, cognitive, sensory disabilities and those with mental health conditions. Real diversity cannot be realised unless people with disability are provided with the opportunities inherent in truly inclusive communities. Local Government plays a key role in both protecting the rights of people with disability and in promoting the value of diversity and inclusion across the community.

 

There is an underlying social responsibility for Local Government to work to remove barriers to people with disability fully participating in society. There are also sound economic reasons to increase inclusiveness such as reduced reliance by people with disability on others or on specialist services.

 

7.3     Fees and Charges

 

            The schedule of fees and charges is set by Council, taking into the consideration the recommendations of the Committee and the operating requirements of the facility.

 

            Only Council has the power under the Local Government Act to set fees and charges.  Committees are to review their fees annually and make recommendations to the Council.  The Committee will be contacted by Council each year prior to the adoption of the Budget with regard to the fees applicable for the following financial year. The time line for reviewing Fees and Charges and notifying Council is generally as follows:

 

November       Committee is contacted to review fees and charges for the following financial year

End January    Committee recommendations are due to Council

February          Fees and Charges are considered by Council’s Finance Committee

April                 Recommended Fees and Charges are considered by Council

May                 Fees and Charges are publicly exhibited for 28 days

June                 Final Fees and Charges are adopted by Council, ready for start of new financial year.

 

            Figures submitted should show the GST (Goods and Services Tax) exclusive amount to which Council will add the ruling rate of GST.  Once the Council has adopted the fees and charges, a list will be supplied to each Committee.

 

            The Committee is not able to provide subsidies or waive hire fees.  Requests concerning fee reduction must be referred to Council.

The Committee may use the facility free of charge if fundraising for the facility.  Note this is not applicable to a third party hirer even if they are fundraising for the facility.

The Fees and Charges may be set with a “Commercial Rate” and/or a “Community Rate” which definitions are as follows:

 

Commercial - Rate payable by

§ a person, group or organisation or business charging a fee for profit or gain.

§ A private event, not open to members of the public, and hire by a non-resident of the Shire

 

Community -  Rate payable by

§ Not for profit legal structure and a registered office with the Byron Shire

§ No wages or gratuities being paid to an individual

§ Income being donated to community organisations

§ Raising money for charity

§ Supports a community group

§ Registered as an income exempt tax exempt charity (ITEC) with the ATO

§ A private event, not open to members of the public, and hire by a resident of the Shire.

§ A person (or group) who freely offers to perform a service to undertake a task

 

7.4     Bonds

 

            As a safeguard against possible damage, the Committee can hold a bond for the facility or equipment, or to cover the need for additional cleaning, where appropriate.

 

            Hirers should be advised that this will be refunded if conditions of hire are adhered to.

 

            Abnormal costs associated with the hire of the facility will be deducted from the bond including GST.  This may include extra removal of garbage, extra cleaning etc.

 

7.5     Keys and Security

 

Committee’s are encouraged to manage keys and access to the facility in an efficient manner. This may include installing a key safe for key pick ups and drop offs. If a key safe is used, the combination should be changed regularly for security purposes (eg weekly). Committees are encouraged to include key bonds/ deposits for regular user’s that hold keys in their fees and charges.

 

A complete change of locks may be required if there are too many outstanding or lost keys distributed throughout the community. The Committee should manage keys with the utmost security in mind. Key deposits or bonds collected may help fund a change of locks from time to time. Some halls and venues hire a security contractor to patrol the venue at key times throughout the week.

 

7.6     Cleaning

 

            The Committee has the responsibility for the overall cleanliness of the facility under its control.

The Committee is responsible for the employment of the cleaner and this should be contracted out to a professional cleaner with the appropriate public liability insurance and an ABN.

 

Note if a Committee Member is involved in ad hoc cleaning (for example, when a hirer has not adhered to their conditions of hire), payment to this Committee Member must be in accordance with Section 5.5.

 

7.7     Purchasing of Goods and Services

 

Under the Local Government Act 1993, Council can assist Committees by purchasing goods to be used in association with the Committee-approved function.  The benefit to the Committee is that the item would be free of GST and utilise the purchasing power of Council to reduce costs.

 

       Council is required to authorise a Committee to purchase goods and services as below:

 

·    For purchasing of goods and services:

·    For works valued under $100, a verbal quote is acceptable;

·    For works valued between $100 and $1,000, one written quote is required;

·    For works over $1,000, a minimum of three quotes, and Council approval are required.

 

In some cases, Council has contracts with suppliers where a Council rate may be obtained for the delivery of a good or service. These are listed in Section 8.

The quotations must be recorded in the minutes of a meeting and the successful quotation recommended by the Committee prior to approval by Council.

 

The Committee must ensure that suppliers of goods and services, including cleaning and minor maintenance works, are carried out by licensed contractors who must:

·     Provide a copy of the public liability insurance and workers compensation Policy (if not a sole trader) ($10 million cover) to the Committee;

·     Show compliance with WH&S standards and regulations. 

·     Comply with the Building Code of Australia and relevant Australian Standards.

·     Have an ABN.

 

Refer to Section 8 – Maintenance and Services provided to the facilities


7.8     Development Application (DA) Requirements

 

Council’s consent as owner or Reserve Trust Manager on a DA being lodged by the Committee or a third party will only be given where there is a copy of the Minutes of the Committee showing the Committee has given its consent for the DA to be lodged.

 

A DA relating to Crown Land requires the consent of Council’s Reserve Trust Committee and / or the Minister for Lands.  Council manages this process as the Reserve Trust Manager.

 

7.9     Legal Issues

 

From a legal perspective it is important for Committees of Council to be aware that they are in fact acting on Council’s behalf.  Legally, the Committee is ‘Council’ and an action, which the Committee undertakes, is Council’s responsibility.

 

Committees sometimes believe they are responsible in their own right and that their actions are independent of Council.  This is not the situation.  Council delegated its authority to the Committee to act on Council’s behalf and Council can withdraw this delegation if it deemed it to be necessary.

 

7.10   Correspondence

 

Correspondence from the Committee is effectively, correspondence from the Council, as the Committee acts on Council’s behalf.  Hence stringent conditions are required to ensure appropriate use of Council’s name and logo (refer to 7.15 below).

 

7.11   Letterhead

 

a)      If there is an occasion when the Council letterhead needs to be used by  the Committee, the letter must be approved and signed by the Council’s General Manager (or delegate).

 

b)      The use of separately designed letterhead is limited to those Council Committees and areas of activities which:-

 

(i)      may have a benefit in being identified in a slightly different way to normal Council activities and where a separate image or presentation may be appropriate, and

(ii)     may be strongly community based.

 

c)      The letterhead design must be approved by Council and indicate that the function is a Committee of Byron Shire Council.

 

7.12   Purpose of Correspondence

 

Usage of correspondence using Council logo and name, is limited to the activities of each specific authorised functional area of the committee and specifically limited to: -

 

a)      provision and seeking of information

b)      extension of invitation

c)      expressions of thank you  

d)      seeking of sponsorship (after approval of General Manager)

e)      general correspondence not committing the Council or making public comment.

 

7.13   Filing

 

Copies of correspondence from the Committee under Council’s letterhead must be placed in Council’s filing system within 1 day of the letter being sent.

 

7.14   Signatures

 

The signing of correspondence being limited to the Mayor, General Manger, a member of staff duly authorised by the General Manager, or a chairperson of the Committee duly authorised by Council.

 

7.15   Clerical Support

 

It is not the normal practice of Council to provide clerical support to Committees.  A Committee may however apply for support and Council will make a determination on whether assistance will be forthcoming.

 

In general terms, clerical support will only be offered if a Council employee is a member of the Committee and the assistance is an extension of the employee’s duties.

 

If support is offered, the level of assistance will be subject to negotiation between the Committee and Council and strict duties established.  Council supports the principle that a Committee should be self-reliant and provide its own office bearers.

 

7.16   Sub Committees

 

The Committee may appoint working groups to report back to the Committee.  These ‘sub Committees’ can be made up of non-committee members, have no legal standing and must recommend back to the Committee for ratification.

 

Members of sub Committees must be duly noted in Committee meeting minutes and will be covered in accordance with this policy.

 

7.17   Volunteers (non-committee members)

 

Volunteers may from time to time, come forward to assist with events or functions or other activities in relation to the Committee’s work.

 

Council adopted a new Policy on Volunteering with Council in 2014 and developed comprehensive procedures at the same time. The Guidelines and Procedures for the Engagement of Volunteers have been developed using best practice practices in volunteer management. The manual has a number of templates which may be useful for Section 355 Management Committees utilising volunteers.

 

Some volunteer roles require more preparation than others. For example, a volunteer working with the committee to help deliver a function or event, may be different to undertaking a longer term project (over a few months for example) on behalf of the Committee.

 

The latter example will require more preparation for the volunteer role, such as a project plan and training. In all cases, it is advisable to develop a clear job description and provide a basic induction for any volunteer roles. You may need to proactively recruit volunteers for larger projects/ events and perhaps provide further training for the activity they will be undertaking.

 

All volunteers need to complete an Expression of Interest (application form) and a Volunteer Agreement (Volunteer Appointment Registration Form). Volunteers should have their names noted in the Committee minutes and the application paperwork filed in a safe place. Whilst working under the care and control of Council (ie the Section 355 Management Committee of Council), volunteers are protected against public liability claims: Volunteers of Council are covered whilst engaged in voluntary activities for Council, including journey to and from the activity.”

 

See Resource - Guidelines and Procedures for the Engagement of Volunteers

 

7.18   Use of Council logo

 

Committee’s are encouraged to use Council logo (subject to conditions).

 

·    Use of Council logo MUST be approved prior to use.

·    Contact Council to obtain the appropriate file format, size and colour of the logo suitable for the use.

·    Use of the logo is outlined in Council’s Logo Style Guide which has been developed to ensure that Council’s corporate identity is used correctly. The logo is Council’s signature.

 

Council’s logo was refreshed in August 2013 and the old logo should no longer be used.

 

bsc_logo300dpi The new logo has been developed with the intention of portraying a contemporary and dynamic Council whilst reflecting the natural beauty of the region - from the hinterland to the sea.

 

The structure is based on the old Byron Shire Council logo and encompasses the natural elements of the area and its residents.

 

The colour palette has been modernised to reflect the relaxed style of Byron Shire Council and to also feature the pristine coastline and landscape.

 

The font style is clean and contemporary to assist in legibility and flexible applications.

 

Symbolic elements of the logo include:

 

1.      A triangular shape pointing eastward that depicts the Byron Shire Council local government area as the most easterly of all councils and shires within mainland Australia.

2.      A stylistic wave formation taking up the right hand side of the symbol is representative of the South Pacific Ocean to which Byron Shire has extensive borders.

3.      An outer green profile that represents the Byron Shire landscape and the green cauldron mountains that hugs the sea and all the people who live within.

4.      The yellow profile is the beach the coastal residents as they sit along-side the hinterland.

 

Within the yellow profile (sand) is a red Binning (turtle) which depicts Council’s strong connection with our local Indigenous people and reflects the Bundjalung totem that was developed in conjunction with Arakwal in 2012.  Byron Shire Council, in partnership with Bundjalung of Byron Bay Arakwal People, commissioned local Indigenous artist, Shaun Kay, to depict a totem for use on Council materials.  The turtle (Binning) was selected as an animal that connects the ocean and land. 

 

7.19   Marketing and Promotion

 

Hiring a facility is central to the purpose of the Committee. Making the facility readily accessible to the community, whilst at the same time, raising funds for its maintenance and future improvements are some of the main objectives of the Committee.

 

Marketing and promotion of the facility is necessary to maintain a level of awareness amongst the community for many reasons:

 

·    To keep the facility top of mind for residents. This reminds people of its availability as a venue and will assist in encouraging locals to get involved in some way towards using the facility or volunteering in some capacity.

·    Helps engender a sense of community ownership and pride in the venue.

·    To encourage the facilities use with the aim of increasing revenue to maintain and improve the halls features.

·    To promote the hall/ facility as a Council asset delivering benefits to the local community as a critical focal point.

 

Some ideas for marketing and promotion from existing committee members are provided to stimulate discussion for your hall or venue:

 

1.   Develop a vision for the hall/ venue – where would you like to be in five years time?

2.   How would you like to engage with your local community?

3.   What are the target groups for your venue to increase revenue to pay for hall upkeep?

4.   Have an easy to use website with online bookings and calendar.

5.   Advertise in local newsletters, etc. (Council’s e-newsletter is available to use)

6.   Develop flyers for local noticeboards/ to place in local businesses

7.   Have community open days and allow hall user’s to showcase their activity

8.   Provide a community function or event, such as a bush dance

9.   Have regular curry nights or other themed social function

10. Consider facebook and other social media avenues

 

Council would like to work with committees further on marketing and promoting venues, so please contact Council with your ideas or for assistance. Whilst Council does not have a separate budget specifically for marketing halls, there are economies of scale in working together to promote the halls throughout the Shire.

 

7.20   Social Media

 

Council’s Social Media Policy and Social Media Procedures apply to Section 355 Management Committee members. The General Manager, or their delegate, must approve all Byron Shire Council official social media sites and official use of social media.

 

The Social Media Procedures outline how social media needs to be used transparently, responsibly and with respect. Social media posts need to be relevant, accurate and timely.

 

See Resource – Social Media Procedures (E2014/23304)


SECTION 8:   MAINTENANCE AND SERVICES PROVIDED TO THE FACILITIES

 

8.1     Repairs and Minor Maintenance

 

Each Committee has the responsibility for ensuring that the facility under its control is maintained in a state of reasonable repair and does not present hazards to its users.  This may entail regular maintenance (eg. cleaning, replacement of consumables – paper towelling, etc., mowing and watering) and periodic maintenance (eg repairing, replacement of worn or broken items).

 

The NSW Department of Fair Trading defines minor maintenance/cleaning as non-structural maintenance (including minor repairs) or cleaning of existing works/structures/buildings. (See also below definitions of minor maintenance and small scale improvement work.)

 

Council’s staff will inspect the facilities from time to time but the Committee is expected to keep Council informed on any substantial repair or upgrading work required on the facility under their control.

 

Repair work not able to be repaired by the Committee’s own finances (or under the Committee’s delegation of $1000) must be referred to the Director Corporate and Community Services and will only be delivered depending on the availability of funds and the urgency of the works.

 

Works considered necessary or desirable but beyond the means or over the delegation of the Committee should be referred to Council in writing so that early consideration might be given to their inclusion in a Works Program or the annual Budget.

 

An annual Building Inspection and Management Report is requested by Council from the Committee by the end of December each year. A template has been designed to assist you with this inspection.

 

Minor maintenance is defined as a sensible and practical repair on a like for like basis for the continuance of preservation, protection, repair to and upkeep, day to day maintenance. Priority should always be given to statutory and other health and safety requirements and any work relating to emergencies such as major electrical failures; floods; fire damage and the like. Small scale improvement work is defined as work of a non-routine nature that is considered to not be reactive maintenance.

 

As per Section 7.6, Council is required to authorise a Committee to purchase goods and services as below:

 

·     For purchasing of goods and services:

·      For works valued under $100, a verbal quote is acceptable;

·      For works valued between $100 and $1,000, one written quote is required;

·      For works over $1,000, a minimum of three quotes, and Council approval are required.

 

·     Council has provided Committees with the delegation to approve financial transactions to the value of $5,000.

 

·     In some cases, Council has contracts with suppliers where a Council rate may be obtained for the delivery of a good or service. These are listed below.

·     The quotations must be recorded in the minutes of a meeting and the successful quotation recommended by the Committee prior to approval by Council.

 

The Committee must ensure that suppliers of goods and services, including cleaning and minor maintenance works, are carried out by licensed contractors who must:

·     Provide a copy of the public liability insurance and workers compensation Policy (if not a sole trader) ($10 million cover) to the Committee;

·     Show compliance with WH&S standards and regulations. 

·     Comply with the Building Code of Australia and relevant Australian Standards.

·     Have an ABN.

 

Note that different maintenance tasks may require professional licences/ accreditation such as working at heights, operating machinery (including chain saw), working in confined spaces, etc. If you are unsure, please check with Council with regards to Work, Health and Safety requirements.

 

Tasks which possibly do not require professional licencing include:

 

·    cleaning

·    mowing

·    gardening

 

Most other tasks will probably require some form of accreditation or licence. Please note that all contractors require the correct public liability insurance and an ABN, as per Section 6.3. If a contractor does not hold an ABN, for example a Sole Trader, an Australian Taxation Office form “Statement by a Supplier” is to be completed and held with Council.

 

Current list of Council’s contractors 2016  (ask for Council rate for the good/ service):

Category

Supplier

Mowing

Byron Shire Mowing (Shane Austin)

Mowing

Leaf It To Us

Mowing

Summacoast Slashing

Mowing

House With No Steps

Electrical services

Coughran Electrical

Air conditioning maintenance and services

Northernair

Equipment hire

Coates Hire Operations

Facilities management services

Connected Building Maintenance    

Fire equipment and maintenance services

Douse Fire Protection

Locksmith supplies and services

Ballina Locksmiths

Carpet cleaning and floor polishing

Electrodry (A Whistle & Co Pty Ltd)

Carpet cleaning and floor polishing

Elite Carpet Dry Cleaning Northern       Rivers

Window cleaning

Reflections Window Cleaning

Graffiti removal

The Graffiti Eaters


See Template - Annual Building Inspection and Management Report Template

 


8.2     Council responsibility


Generally, Council will be responsible for major maintenance, improvements and services as follows:

·     Health and Safety Requirements;

·     Accessibility and Inclusion;

·     Compliance matters;

·     Asset Protection (Asset management plan eg re-roofing, external painting, structural inspections etc.);

·     Security

 

Note: Other major maintenance eg building extensions and major alterations required to the facility must be made by a Budget Submission and received by Council by 31 December of each year.  This will then be considered by Council and where possible will be included in a following financial year’s budget.


The annual maintenance and upgrade program run by Council will include a number of community buildings each year. The program is generally based on the results of building condition assessments and audits and consultation with Section 355 committees.

 

The relevant section 355 Committees for facilities where works are planned will be notified after the adoption of each annual budget and the works will need to be programmed into the facility calendar.

 

 

8.3     Committee’s Responsibility

From the income generated by the facility, the Committee is generally responsible, unless otherwise agreed to by Council, for the costs of such items, but not limited to, such works and services as follows:

·       Cleaning

·       Internal painting (under 2.4m high)

·       Plumbing maintenance (only by licensed plumbers)

·       Electrical maintenance (only by licensed electricians)

·       Minor repairs, such as broken windows and fittings

·       Telephone charges

·       Hygiene Services

·       Electricity

·       Gas

·       Installation of new internal fittings, such as cupboards

·       Excess water

·       Provision and maintenance of furniture and equipment

·       Insurance premiums adjusted per facility

·       Music copyright licenses (APRA and PPCA)


SECTION 9:   COMMITTEE MEMBERS’ ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

 

The following information sets out the duties and role of the positions on the Committee:

 

·     Chairperson/President

·     Vice Chairperson

·     Secretary

·     Treasurer

·     Bookings Officer

·     Committee Member

 

9.1     Chairperson/President’s Responsibilities

 

The Chairperson generally has the following specific duties, which make up the major part of their responsibility;

 

(i)         Before a meeting

 

·     prepares the agenda (in consultation with the Secretary or members or can delegate this role to the Secretary), setting out the items of business to be considered.

 

·     ensures meeting is properly convened in accordance with the organisation’s rules ie. proper notice of a meeting is given and a quorum is present.

 

(ii)        During the meeting

 

·     chairs meetings, opens meeting, welcomes and introduces members and guests, subject to the right of the Mayor at his/her discretion, to take the chair at a meeting he/she attends

 

·     keeps individuals and the meeting focused on the topics being discussed and encourages members to participate, ensuring adequate opportunity is given to members who wish to speak

 

·     ensures correct meeting procedures are followed and control of the meeting is maintained, keeping track of time (or delegates to someone to do this)

 

·     makes sure members are aware of decisions being made and that the minute taker has recorded decisions of the meeting

 

·     acts impartially and uses discretionary powers in the best interests of members and in accordance with the agreed standing orders ie. method of conducting meetings, and ensures statutory regulations and organisation’s rules are observed

 

·     closes meeting after business at hand has been properly concluded.

 

The Chairperson needs to be aware of certain issues and procedures and the importance of establishing and maintaining a working relationship with Council, particularly in regards to Government funding, the facility budget, Council and community involvement and requirements.

 

The Chairperson is responsible for providing assistance to members of the Committee and ensuring that they fulfil their respective roles.  The Chairperson is the ‘spokesperson’ for the organisation and is the one to communicate with government departments and other relevant bodies.

 

The Chairperson may vote on a motion considered by the meeting and in the event of a tied vote, the Chairperson may exercise a second or casting vote.

 

9.2     Vice Chairperson/President’s Responsibilities

 

If appointed the Vice Chairperson’s role shadows that of the Chairperson.  The Vice Chairperson should be able to stand in for the Chairperson at short notice.

 

9.3     Secretary’s Responsibilities

 

The organisation’s secretary usually carries a great deal of responsibility and often has more knowledge than anyone else on what is happening.

 

(i)      Before a meeting

 

· draws up the agenda, (in consultation with the Chairperson)

· makes copies of the agenda if required

 

(ii)      During the meeting

 

· takes minutes

· reads minutes of previous meeting if necessary

·   provides a list of correspondence in order and summarises the important points

·   records the motions and/or decisions of the meeting including, mover and seconder.

 

(iii)          After the meeting

 

· types the minutes and distributes to Committee members as soon as possible

· ensures that accurate minutes are kept

·   writes the letters as decided (this can be a shared role with another Committee member).

·   Keep a record of action items and how they are progressing to report back to the committee at each meeting. Where possible, action items from a meeting should be distributed fairly amongst committee members.

 

(iv)         Outside of meetings

 

·     keep a register of correspondence that has come in and gone out, and file copies of letters written

·     in between meetings inform other Committee members of correspondence requiring urgent attention.

 

9.4     Treasurer’s Responsibilities

 

To establish an effective financial system, Committees will need to maintain the following electronically (books and forms in hard copy are being phased out).

 

1        Income and expenditure recorded in an excel spreadsheet or suitable accounting software

2        Expenditure documentation

3        Income documentation

4        Monthly bank account reconciliations and providing necessary paperwork to Council for reimbursements

5        Quarterly GST Reporting and Annual Reporting to Council (only if not using Council’s bank account)

6        Keeping records.

 

9.4.1. Income and Expenditure recording

 

Income and expenditure needs to be recorded in an excel spreadsheet or suitable accounting software. This record is sometimes called the Journal or Ledger.  The Income and Expenditure Record is the organisation’s record of what money is received and spent, the transactions (both incoming and outgoing) that have occurred, and how much cash is on hand at any one time.

 

Update the records on a regular basis so it does not become a big job. Bank fees, interest, etc should be recorded in the month they appear on the bank statement. This will ensure the reconciling of the records to the bank statement at the end of each month.

 

 

9.4.2. Expenditure/ Payments documentation

 

A Tax Invoice is required to make a payment to a supplier for goods or services.  A Tax Invoice shows the supplier’s ABN and whether GST is charged or not. These should be kept in payment order and noted with the internet banking receipt number (or cheque number) and date of payment for easy reference and to prevent double payment. 

 

Where a Tax Invoice is not supplied a “Statement by a supplier” (on an approved ATO Form) must be supplied with the account for payment. Note the ‘Statement by supplier’ will only be required once per year for each supplier that does not have an ABN.

 

Payments to suppliers should be made by electronic funds transfer where possible (internet banking).

 

9.4.3. Income/ Receipts documentation

 

Hirer’s and users of the facility should be encouraged to pay by direct deposit into the Committee’s bank account.

 

A receipt must be issued for every payment received and monies should be banked regularly.  Internet receipts are acceptable, or if you receive a cheque as payment, a manual receipt will be needed. For further information about manual receipting, refer to point 9.1.1. The receipt of cash is an area where strict control is required.  The safest method is to have only a limited number of approved people who have the responsibility for receiving funds, issuing receipts and banking monies.

 

9.4.4. Monthly bank account reconciliations

 

The Treasurer should reconcile the committee’s bank account at the end of every month and submit to Council:

 

1.   A copy of income/receipts taken for the month

2.   A Request for Reimbursement of expenses for the month

 

To reconcile, check off the amounts received and payments made in the income and expenditure record against the bank statement figures. From this, you can compile a list of outstanding income/ payments. If the bank statement and records don’t agree, find the discrepancy.

 

It is a good idea to provide an up-to-date financial report to each Committee meeting held.

 

For committees banking through Council, a monthly report will be provided to the Committee that is required to be reconciled in accordance with Section 5.3.

 

9.4.5. Quarterly GST Reporting to Council and providing Council with Annual Financial Statements

 

If the committee is not operating through Council’s bank account, the treasurer will need to undertake a quarterly reconciliation and submit to Council:

 

1.   A profit and loss statement

2.   A balance sheet

3.   Completed BAS

4.   At the end of the financial year, a profilt and loss and balance sheet for the entire financial year will need to be submitted

 

9.4.6. Keeping records

 

Committees are required to keep complete and accurate records.

 

The following guidelines and procedures have been prepared to give members of Committees a greater understanding of the tasks they have undertaken.

 

Steps Required to Keep Complete and Accurate Records

 

1        Open and maintain a bank account in the Committee’s name.

2        Make as many payments as you can electronically (internet banking).  Avoid paying cash.

3        Bank receipts promptly into the bank account.

4        Record details in the electronic income and expenditure record. Keep the record updated regularly – at least monthly

5        Reconcile the bank account regularly –monthly or each time a bank statement is received and at the end of the financial year.

6        Keep a record of wages (Council approved payments to members) (if applicable).

7        Retain supporting documentation or evidence of payments.

 

The Income Tax Assessment Act requires records to be retained for seven years.   It is important to retain invoices and other supporting documentation.

 

9.4.7 Manual account records

 

All of the section above (9.1) applies, and below is information about how to keep accounts manually.

 

To keep accurate accounts records, Committees need to maintain the following books and forms.

 

A.   Cheque Book

B.   Expenditure documentation

C.  Receipt Books

D.  Cash Book

E.   Bank Deposit Book

F.   Reporting of financials to each meeting

G.  Monthly bank account reconciliations and providing necessary paperwork to Council for reimbursements

H.  Quarterly GST Reporting and Annual Reporting to Council (only if not using Council’s bank account)

 

A.  Cheque Book

 

The cheque book should normally be held by the treasurer and must only be drawn upon with the joint signatures of two of the executive. Payments on behalf of the Committee made by cheque will be crossed and marked “Not Negotiable” .

 

Payments will have some form of supporting documentation. 

Payments will be authorised by the Committee.

Payments must be entered in the Cash Book under the appropriate cost heading.

 

B.  Expenditure/ Payments Documentation

 

A Tax Invoice is required to make a payment to a supplier for goods or services.  These should be kept in payment order and noted with the cheque number and date of payment for easy reference and to prevent double payment. 

 

Where a Tax Invoice is not supplied a “Statement by a supplier” (on an approved ATO Form) must be supplied with the account for payment. Note the ‘Statement by supplier’ will only be required once per year for each supplier that does not have an ABN.

 

C.  Receipts/ Income Documentation

 

Receipt books must bear the Committee’s name (a stamp will do), have a fixed duplicate copy and be numbered. A recept book can be supplied by Council. A receipt must be issued for every payment received and monies should be banked regularly.  The receipt of cash is an area where strict control is required.  The safest method is to have only a limited number of approved people who have the responsibility for receiving funds, issuing receipts and banking monies.

 

Keep a record of receipt books detailing the number and location (ie. in use or not).  Record receipt number in the Committee’s Cash Book under the appropriate income heading and on the Deposit form retained by you.  Never give change for a cheque payment.

 

Avoid altering amounts on receipts.  If it is necessary to alter a receipt, cross through the incorrect entry and insert the correct amount.  Always initial alterations.  It is more acceptable to cancel a receipt and retain both the original and duplicate in the book, than to alter a receipt.

Amounts must show whether it is “GST inclusive” or not.

 

D.  Cash Book

 

This book is sometimes called the Journal or Ledger.  The Cash Book is the organisation’s record of what money is received and spent, the transactions (both incoming and outgoing) that have occurred, and how much cash is on hand at any one time.

 

A twelve (12) or eighteen (18) column cash book gives most Committees enough room for details or an electronic accounting may be used.  It is essential to have receipts and payment on separate pages or in some cases, separate section of the cash book.  Across the page the columns are headed to allow the date, receipt or cheque number, cost or income allocation and totals.  Have appropriate and sufficient cost or income headings for frequent transactions, try not to have too many items under sundries or miscellaneous – it makes things difficult when preparing end of year figures.

 

Update the Cash Book on a regular basis so it does not become a big job.  The totals down the page should always equal the totals across the page – do this each time you rule off a page.  Check that the totals carried forward onto the next page are correct.

 

Bank fees, interests, etc. wherever possible should be written in the Cash Book in the month they were raised or when bank statements are received.  This assists with reconciling the cash book to the Bank statements.

 

Show payments made either by cheque or direct credit, during the month in the cash book whether they have been presented or not.  Show income received during the month whether banked or not.


For Committees banking through Council a monthly report will be provided to the Committee that is required to be reconciled in accordance with Section 5.3.

 

E.   Bank Deposit Book

 

If not banking through Council, the bank you have nominated supplies this book and it is where the income is recorded for deposit into the Committee’s account.

 

F.   Monthly Bank Account Reconciliations

 

Check off the amounts received and cheques written out in the cash book against the bank statement figures.  From this, you can compile a list of outstanding deposits or un-presented cheques and it also verifies that an incorrect figure does not appear in either records.  Tick or cross entries only once – there is no need for multiple marks against each entry.  Simply compare the cash book entry against the bank statement and if they agree, mark each once only.  If the bank reconciliation does not agree, find the discrepancy.  It will be either a mistake in the Cash Book or on the statement.

 

The Treasurer should submit to Council at the end of every month:

 

1.    A copy of income/receipts taken for the month

2.    A Request for Reimbursement of expenses for the month (see templates)

 

G.  Keeping the books

 

Committees are required to keep complete and accurate records.

 

The following guidelines and procedures have been prepared to give members of Committees a greater understanding of the tasks that need to be undertaken.

 

Steps Required to Keep Complete and Accurate Records

 

i.    Open a bank account in the Committee’s name.

ii.    Make as many payments as you can by direct credit or cheque.  Avoid paying cash.

iii.   Record details on the cheque butt.

iv.  Bank cash receipts promptly into the bank account.

v.   Write up the Cash Book regularly – at least monthly

vi.  Reconcile the bank account regularly –monthly or each time a bank statement is received and at the end of the financial year.

vii.  Keep wages book (Council approved payments to members) (if applicable).

viii. Retain supporting documentation or evidence for cheques drawn.

 

Writing up the Cash Book

Cash books are available in various sizes from stationers and office supplies such as Newsagents.

 

a.       Cash Payments

 

·    Enter appropriate headings in the book, ensuring the first column is “Bank” and the last one “Sundries”.

·    Enter cheques in cheque number order.

·    Ensure every cheque is recorded in the book.

·    Record cancelled cheques, but at no value.

 

b.       Cash Receipts

 

·    The same procedures as for cash payments.

·    Amounts received must be receipted.

 

c.       Reconciliation

 

Bank reconciliations need to be performed regularly because:

 

1)  they keep track of cheques that are outstanding and possibly lost

2)  they ensure that a complete record is kept of transactions

3)   they enable your accountant to prepare a balance sheet and accounts for your Committee, and can therefore save you considerable money in professional fees.

 

·    Take the monthly bank statement and write items such as bank fees, direct debits, etc. into the cash book.

·    Total up the columns; ensure they add the same across as well as down.

·    Tick off items appearing in the cash book against the bank statements, noting those that are outstanding.

 

Finally, to complete reconciliation:

 

       Take – total Cash Book balance (brought forward from previous financial year)

       Plus – Income received to date in current financial year,

       Less – payments to date in the current financial year,

This should equal – the balance on the bank statement; - (less unpresented cheques) – (plus unbanked deposits).

 

d.  Retention of Records

 

The Income Tax Assessment Act requires records to be retained for seven years.   It is important to retain invoices and other supporting documentation.

 

The financial reporting may be done electronically.  A copy of the accounting must be backed up and available to the Committee upon request.

 

To assist you with the Financial Reporting please see the following attached templates.

 

See Template - Monthly/Quarterly Financial Reporting Template

 

See Template - Annual Financial Reporting Template


 

9.5     Bookings Officer’s Responsibilities

 

Each Committee will have a contact person who is responsible for the bookings of the facility.  It is anticipated that the person’s name, telephone number and the appropriate contact email address is well publicised for the benefit of the community.  The bookings officer is to have access to the facility’s email address. (Council can provide a mobile telephone and number for the bookings officer if required.  Note payments with regard to the phone are required to be paid by the Committee).

 

To make a booking, a person or group contacts the booking officer and books the facility for a particular day and time.

 

The booking officer will advise the hirer of the:-

 

·     Fees to be charged;

·     Bonds and deposits required;

·     Public Liability insurance requirements;

·     Conditions of Hire.

 

Enter the relevant information immediately into the Bookings Record.  This is preferably an online or electronic diary, but could be a hard copy diary which more than one person on the Committee should have access to. Council would prefer the committee to have an online booking calendar on the facilities website.

 

The booking should clearly show:

 

i)    Date when preliminary booking was taken

ii)   Name, address, telephone number and email address of the hirer

iii)   Type of function

iv)  Times of Hire

v)   Hire charge and Bond (if required)

vi)  Public Liability requirement

vii) Receipt details; reference  or receipt number, amount paid and date of payments as they are received

viii) Caretaker’s comments on the condition of the facility and equipment after the function

ix)  Payment details, amount and date of issue when the Bond is refunded

x)   Amount forfeited and reasons why, if applicable.

 

The Bookings Officer is to advise potential hirers that fees are subject to change and that this usually occurs from 1 July when Council adopts the Fees and Charges for the financial year.  Fees charged are to be those applicable for the time the function actually takes place and not when the venue is booked.  (eg if a booking is made in March for an event in August – if the fees increase in July, the new increased fee is to be charged.  This information should be provided on the Conditions of Hire form.)

 

The Bookings Officer should meet hirer’s and brief them on the Halls use and conditions of hire, and then follow up with inspections after use regularly.

 

The Bookings Officer is to ensure moneys are forwarded to the Treasurer for banking if not paid by an electronic funds transfer (EFT).

 

The Bookings Officer would be required to liaise regularly with the Treasurer to ensure fees are paid.


 

9.6     Role Of Committee Members

 

Committee members’ role is important and ensures the democratic process is followed.  Members’ responsibilities are:

 

a.       Attend most Committee meetings.

b.       Participate in meetings – this involves:

·    being on time;

·    sticking to the agenda;

·    contributing to the discussion where appropriate;

·    being objective, listening to others’ views;

·    volunteering to do some of the necessary tasks required.

c.       Support the office bearers in carrying out their roles, for example assisting with maintenance arrangements, the coordination of volunteers.

d.       Assist in organising the Annual General Meeting.

e.       Attend and participate in fundraising days that may be held.

f.       Ensure members of the Committee are accountable for their actions in relation to the activities of the Committee.

 


SECTION 10: STANDARD FORMATS FOR MEETINGS AND CORRESPONDENCE

 

10.1   Standard Format – Ordinary Meeting Agenda

 

See Template - Template for Ordinary Meeting Agenda

 

1.     Open Meeting

Action:   The Chairperson welcomes members and visitors, declares the meeting open, ensures everyone has an agenda, and asks for extra items suggested by members.

 

2.     Attendance and Apologies

Action:   The Secretary records those present and apologies.  An attendance list or book may be circulated.

 

3.  Confirmation of minutes of the previous meeting

Action:   Two Committee members in attendance at the last meeting are asked to confirm that the record of minutes are true and correct.  Amendments or changes need to be recorded and included in this meeting’s minutes.

 

4.  Business arising from previous minutes

Action:   Deal with matters that have arisen or were to be completed since the last meeting.

 

5.  Correspondence

Action:   Includes both Inwards and Outwards correspondence.  A member, usually the Secretary, reads out in full or in summary the letters received or sent since the last meeting.  The business arising from these letters is dealt with as it is read, and recorded in the minutes.

 

6.  Treasurer’s Report

Action:   The Treasurer gives a report on the financial position of the group, including income and expenditure since the last meeting and gives an overview of future budget estimates.

 

7.  Other Reports

Action:   Reports from other office bearers.

 

8.  General Business

Action:   Items on the agenda are discussed.  Also remind members of coming events.

 

Note: General Business often contains the important discussions and decisions.  Efficient meetings work through the early business quickly to leave sufficient time for general business.  Specific items that arise in items (1) to (5) can be deferred to General Business if appropriate.

9.  Close Meeting

Action:   Establish the date and time of next meeting.  Chairperson thanks members and visitors for attending and declares the meeting finished or closed.

 

10.2   Standard Format – Annual General Meeting Agenda

 

See Template - Annual General Meeting Agenda

 

Chairperson presides over the following items:

 

a.         Welcome

b.         Apologies

c.         Minutes of previous AGM

d.         Reading Reports, ie. Chairperson, Treasurer, etc.

 

Positions are declared vacant and the Returning Officer appointed by the meeting takes the chair and presides over the following items:

 

a.         Acceptance of nominations from Committee members.

b.         Election of Office Bearers

 

Returning Officer then hands the chair over to the newly elected Chairperson who is responsible for:

 

a.         Thanking the Returning Officer

b.         Welcoming New Committee

c.         Consider recommendations “carried” by way of motion from the floor

d.         Getting agreement on meeting dates for coming year.

 

Closure of AGM Meeting.

 

10.3   Standard Format – Meeting Minutes

 

See Template - Meeting Minutes

 

1.  Keep them short, clear and concise, and consistent.

 

2.  Set them out – not too cramped, use headings, and underlining so the subjects, decisions and actions to be taken (and by whom) stand out and are easy to read.  Use the Agenda as a basis for the format of minutes.

 

3.  Don’t try to record every statement made at the meeting.  The minutes are a record of the decisions made and action items – each decision or resolution must be accurately recorded.

 

4.  A copy of the minutes without errors or additions (unless initialled and signed by the Secretary and Chairperson, after adoption at the meeting) are to be kept.  It is the Chairperson’s responsibility to see the minutes are unaltered after adoption and are signed as an accurate record. Minutes should be forwarded to Council within 14 days of a meeting to be placed on the committee’s web page.

 

5.  You can record the names of the mover and seconders of each motion or amendment.  Record the numbers for and against if specifically requested by those present.

 

6.  List correspondence, business arising and items for general business by number.  Organise your papers in this order and try and see that the agenda follows this order.  Shuffling reams of paper, lost items and trying to take minutes while finding the next item is a hassle.  Decisions can also be noted on the business papers and then transferred to the minutes later.

 

7.  If minute-taking is a shared or revolving duty, allow each person to perfect their skills by taking minutes for at least 3-4 consecutive meetings.

 

8.  Draft minutes can be viewed with the chairperson, or if done by the minutes secretary, with the secretary.  Two heads are better than one to remember events.

 

9.  Remember, minutes should communicate and assist evaluation.  They ensure accountability and are a permanent record of the group’s activities.

 

10.    Send them out as soon as possible after the meeting, so that follow-up action is more easily taken.

 

11.    Include a record of the place, date and time of the next meeting.

 

10.4   Standard (formal) Procedure– Motions/Recommendations

 

1.         A motion needs to be lawful, productive, relevant, appropriate, easily understood and be positive in its intent, eg. “I move that the facility be an alcohol free zone”.  If the motion does not meet these requirements, the Chairperson can reject it.  Reasons must be given for this decision.

 

A motion must be “seconded” before it can be accepted by the chairperson and opened for debate.  There is no legal requirement to record the mover and seconder however; it can be done at the Committee’s discretion. If there is no seconder, the matter lapses. Once a motion has been moved and seconded, the order of debate is

 

·    Mover  (raised original motion)

·    Seconder  (allows debate on the motion)

·    Speaker against the motion

·    Speaker for the motion

·    Speaker against the motion

·    Speaker for the motion.

 

The debate continues in this manner until there are no further speakers.  A member of the Committee may speak no more than once to each motion or amendment at the meeting.  The mover may then speak again, but in doing so closes the debate.  Once the mover has closed the debate the chairperson must put the motion to a vote.

 

2.         Amendments

 

Amendments may be made after the motion.  The amendment must:

 

·    be clear and be part of the motion being considered

·    have a seconder

·    not exceed the power of the meeting

·    not be a direct negative of the motion

·    be put to the vote before the motion

 

10.5   Standard Procedure – Correspondence

 

The following information is provided to assist you but may be deviated from if the Committee agrees.

 

1.  Keep a hard copy of correspondence sent out on behalf of Committee.

 

2.  Set up a correspondence book (or an electronic file) to record correspondence of the Committee.

 

This should include:

 

·    A section for Inwards correspondence/mail

·    A section for Outwards correspondence/mail

·    A space to record the date of receipt or dispatch of mail

·    A numbering system for both Inwards and Outwards to enable correspondence to be easily located if the need should occur

·    A space to identify whose responsibility it is to act on, eg Secretary.

 

3.  Enter correspondence in the relevant section of the book (or an electronic file) ensuring date and number are recorded.

 

4.  Place letter received since the last meeting in a folder marked, Correspondence Inwards, for the meeting.

 

5.  Record action required and which Committee is responsible for this action.

 

6.  Establish and maintain a filing system for mail, both In and Out.

 

7.  Correspondence can be filed numerically or by subject.

 

8.  Related items of correspondence can be placed together.

 

9.  If using electronic systems for filing etc., data must be backed up regularly and be able to be provided to the Committee when required.


SECTION 11: COUNCIL POLICIES

 

Committee members are to aware of certain adopted Council Policies where they relate to you as a Committee Member or the facility you are managing, namely but not limited to:

 

·      Code of Conduct

·      Code of Meeting Practice

·      Section 355 Committees, Boards – Receipt of Donations

·      Community Halls and Sporting Facilities – Management by Community Groups

·      Smoke-free Outdoor Areas Policy

·      Procurement and Purchasing Policy

·      Work Health Safety Policy

·      Gifts and Benefits Policy

·      Social Media Policy

·      Sponsorship Received by Council Policy

·      Volunteering with Council Policy

Policies can be viewed on Council’s Web site at http://www.byron.nsw.gov.au/policies .  Paper copies of the policies can be requested by contacting the Governance Officer.