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:

  1. 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.
  2. Holding committees and other structures under its care accountable to their charge.
  3. Collaborating with Quaker Life Council on matters of budget, planning, and communications for improved connections between Friends.
  4. Providing advice and support when requested for the General Secretary and clerk, as needed.
  5. 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.
  6. Bringing the matters of its substructures to the agenda of business meeting as needed, in consultation with the presiding clerk.
  7. Attending and reporting to yearly meeting at annual and continuing sessions.
  8. Implementing the PYM strategic directions; participate in strategic planning.
  9. 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.
  10. 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 the use of contracted services by a committee, the contract must be approved by the council and signed by the council clerk prior to any work by that contractor.
  • 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.

Administrative Council Accountability Role for Bridge Contacts

  • The council will appoint a Bridge Contact.

Administrative Council Accountability Role for Skills and Gifts Reservoir

  • The council is expected to use the Skills and Gifts Reservoir to help identify Friends who may serve our community through substructures in the council’s care.

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 council’s 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.