The first step to utilize a committee for your association is to create a charter. Each Committee should have written charter specifying the purpose, number of members, the identified chairperson, a description of the issue the Committee is addressing, the budget, the period for fact-finding and recommendations, and the authority given to the Committee, if any.
Typically, there are two categories of committees: Ad Hoc and Standing.
Ad Hoc Committee
An Ad Hoc Committee is purely advisory with no authority. This Committee is formed for a specific purpose and once that purpose is completed, the Committee is normally dissolved. An Ad Hoc Committee gathers information, reviews the facts and presents potential solutions to the Board of Directors. The Board is responsible for making a decision and taking action.
A Standing Committee is typically created by the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws or a Resolution, which is adopted by a majority of the Board of Directors. These Committees have specific duties and functions. A Committee created by Resolution must specify the amount of authority being given and the limits placed on the Committee. While the members of a Standing Committee may change, the Committee itself is a permanent body.
When implemented the right way, Committees operate with a full understanding of the specific charge for the group, the reporting requirements, the budget allotment, if any, or the period of time to complete the task.
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