Scope: Authority, Responsibilities, and Accountability

The council which forms a committee shall give it distinct and clear authority as is appropriate for its work. The council will delineate clearly what the committee can do without the council’s additional permission. As an arm of the council, all work completed by the committees must be within the approved expectations of the councils. If, in the course of a committee’s work, it finds it wants or needs to go in a new direction, a committee is welcome to explore possibilities but must gain approval from the council for expansion of its authority before acting or making decisions outside its defined scope. The council should provide clear goals and give the committee the latitude to develop those goals effectively.

The council shall define the responsibilities of the committee clearly and distinctly. In addition to responsibilities defined by the council, all committees are responsible for:

  • preparing communications about the progress, achievements, discoveries and concerns of their work so that others in the yearly meeting community can be aware of it.
  • appointing a Bridge Contact and staying in touch with the wider life and witness of the yearly meeting activities.
  • keeping their members’ contact information current with the database coordinator.
  • planning ahead in their need for any resources or support and for knowing what is available, the requirements for accessing those resources and supports and doing so in a timely manner.
  • appointing their own clerk unless the council claims that responsibility.
  • doing their work in a way that is in alignment with the seventh strategic direction with attention to work in the committee itself and its impact in the wider community.

Committees will hold accountable any subcommittees, sprints, or other substructures in their care, ensuring that they are meeting their responsibilities and functioning at their best. Committees may lay down subcommittees, sprints, or other substructures in their care.

The committees are held accountable for their work by the council responsible for their healthy functioning. The committees will maintain a strong line of communication with its council. This will be accomplished in two ways. First, the clerk of the committee will be responsible for reporting to council and for ensuring that the council knows its general status and state. Second, as there will generally be at least one member of the council on the committee, the council member may help communicate the work of the committee to the council as needed. The councils provide care, support, and direction as needed. They may ask individuals to step off committees and they may lay down the full committee.