With divine assistance the Administrative Council maintains the health and integrity of the finances, property, personnel, and long-term vision of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. It ensures that resources are well managed in a sustainable manner.
The members of the Administrative Council are nominated by the Nominating Council and approved by the body of the yearly meeting. The Administrative Council will consist of not more than fifteen appointed members. The General Secretary, Clerk, and Treasurer of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting participate in the Administrative Council in an ex-officio capacity. Members may serve two consecutive three-year terms. The General Secretary may invite staff members to attend meetings as needed. The clerk may invite the rising clerk to attend meetings as needed.
Scope: Authority, Responsibilities, And Accountability
The Administrative Council holds full authority and responsibility for managing the affairs of PYM except for the authority and responsibility assigned to the Quaker Life Council or reserved to yearly meeting in session, the yearly meeting officers, or staff. Its authority and responsibility shall include, but not be limited to: property, finance, budget preparation, audit, investments, development, grant-making, personnel and periodic strategic planning.
In addition, it holds authority and responsibility for:
- Appointing and laying down its own committees as needed, assigning responsibilities, and appointing committee members who need not be members of the Administrative Council but are asked to do related work and, when it wishes, appointing clerks to those committees.
- Holding committees and other structures under its care accountable to their charge.
- Collaborating with Quaker Life Council on matters of budget, planning, and communications for improved connections between Friends.
- Providing advice and support when requested for the General Secretary and clerk, as needed.
- Communicating the activities of the Administrative Council and the yearly meeting to the people of the yearly meeting on a regular and consistent basis, so that Friends in the yearly meeting may always know the business before the Council.
- Bringing the matters of its substructures to the agenda of business meeting as needed, in consultation with the presiding clerk.
- Attending and reporting to yearly meeting at annual and continuing sessions.
- Implementing the PYM strategic directions; initiating strategic planning.
- Naming the clerk of the Nominating Council and the appointments to the Nominating Council which are not named by the Quarters. These appointments are brought to yearly meeting in session for approval.
- Performing annual evaluation of the General Secretary; manage the hiring, supervising, and terminating of the General Secretary; collaborating with the Nominating Council on the appointment of a General Secretary search committee.
The Council shall maintain a document describing the processes it uses to fulfill its responsibilities.
Administrative Council Accountability Roles
The Administrative Council has specific roles of authority and responsibility with the bodies in its care, including holding them accountable to their charges, ensuring that they are meeting their responsibilities, and using their authority in service to our yearly meeting. Specifics are below.
Administrative Council Accountability Role for Committees:
- Given the call to simplify our structures, it is expected that the councils will use committees sparingly.
- When formed, the Council enumerates the goals of a committee so its progress can be measured by those goals moving forward. Periodically, the council will review the committees under its care to support them and to determine whether the goals of that work are being met and continue to be needed.
- A committee can be comprised of council members and anyone else that the council
appoints. It is expected that one council member will serve on each committee. The council will appoint people to committees who have the skills, experience, and/or gifts to do the work of the committee. The council is encouraged to choose individuals who will approach the task with a diverse set of views and are sensitive to maintaining the yearly meeting as a safe place for
all. It is particularly encouraged to choose from under-represented portions of our community with respect to geography, age, and race.
- The council may remove members from committees.
- The council may lay down committees in their care when their work is complete or no longer needed or when it feels the work of the committee is not meeting expectations.
- The council will receive and review an annual written report from the clerk of each committee. It will invite the clerk of each committee to report in person on an identified cycle (quarterly, bimonthly, annually).
- In the event that a committee has a budget, the council will supervise the committee’s spending. Councils will respond to committees’ requests for financial support for travel or childcare.
- Contracted services should be rare. If the council approves a committee’s use of contracted services, the contract must follow the Approved Policy on PYM Contracts, dated July 2019.
- The council grants approval for the use of communications and logistical resources requested by committees.
Administrative Council Accountability Role for Sprints
- Sprints under the care of the Administrative Council do not have authority on their own. Their authority falls within the parameters of the authority the council, and any additional parameters identified by the council.
- The council is responsible for approving the goals and timeframe for sprints in its care.
- A sprint may be laid down by the council if it seems not to be moving forward.
- The council grants approval to sprints for the use of communications and logistical resources requested by sprints.
Accountability of the Council
The council is held accountable to the yearly meeting in session, which has responsibility for the direction and care of the councils. The yearly meeting body defines the purpose and priorities of the yearly meeting, and the body approves the council members and the budgets under which the councils function. The body of the yearly meeting may reclaim or reassign any authority or responsibility assigned to the Administrative Council, the Quaker Life Council, or Nominating Council, and may revise the governance structure of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting.