Committees play a vital role in the day-to-day administration of bodies corporate.
As non-voting committee members, resident managers have an interest in supporting their committees and educating other committee members on the requirements of the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 to support good governance in community titles schemes. The information provided in this article is for readers’ general information and should not be relied on as advice.
Calling committee meetings – It is essentially up to the committee itself to determine how often it will meet. However, a meeting must be called within 21 days of a written request from 50% of committee members. The secretary must give seven days written notice to all committee members (unless it is an emergency) and to each lot owner. Notice of the meeting must be placed on a notice board if the body corporate maintains one.
The notice of the meeting must contain an agenda of the items the committee will be addressing as well as information about where and when the meeting is going to be held. Unlike a general meeting of the body corporate, the committee can consider other issues that were not listed in the notice of meeting.
Attendance at committee meetings – The BCCM Office often receives enquiries regarding attendance at committee meetings of people who are not on the committee. Lot owners can attend committee meetings provided they give the secretary written notice not less than 24 hours before the start of the meeting. A person who is not a lot owner is not entitled to attend committee meetings unless the committee has invited them. Lot owners can be asked to leave if the committee is going to be discussing certain business, for example breaches of the by-laws or a dispute between the body corporate and a lot owner. A lot owner can only speak at a committee meeting if they are invited to.
The flying minute – Voting by a committee outside committee meeting is commonly referred to as a VOC or flying minute. Decisions may be made in this manner if all committee members (or, in an emergency, as many as practical) are given notice of the motion. Additionally, all lot owners must be given advice of the motions being considered. If a majority of the voting members of the committee gives written agreement to the motions, the motions are passed. Motions voted on in this manner must be confirmed at the next meeting of the committee. If a scheme is registered under the Standard Module the committee must wait an additional seven days, to allow for any notice of opposition to be received, before acting on the resolutions passed.
Committee meeting minutes – The regulations state the committee must take full and accurate minutes of its meetings and keep a full and accurate record of any motion voted on other than at a meeting. A copy of the minutes or record must be given to each committee member and lot owner within 21 days of the meeting or the date the resolution was passed.
The act provides that full and accurate minutes means:
– the date, time and place of the meeting
– the names of the persons present and details of the capacity in which they attend
– any proxies tabled
– the words of the questions decided at the meeting
– the number of votes for and against each question
– details of any correspondence or reports tabled, and
– the time the meeting closed
Full and accurate records mean:
– the date notice of the motion was given
– the names of the committee members who were given a copy of the notice
– the words of the motions voted on
– the names of the committee members who voted on the motion, and
– the number of votes for the motion.
Adjudicators have held that a minute must record a decision made by the committee. General discussion and who said what need not be recorded. Minutes are not a transcript of what was said. However, where a discussion is recorded it should be recorded fairly and accurately.