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Executive Committee Meetings
Willie
FlatChatter
22/09/2011 - 9:52 am
Member Since: 04/07/2011
Forum Posts: 17
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10

The SCA online education course for EC members is an excellent resource. As it is one size fits all it can be a bit basic in some areas but this is a small price to pay.

Highly recommend.

struggler
NSW
StrataGuru
19/09/2011 - 4:19 pm
Member Since: 02/11/2010
Forum Posts: 449
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Rightly or wrongly, when on our EC we often made decisions for what we considered the little things via email.  Anything big, structural changes, changes to common property or use of, continuous breaches of strata by laws, major works to the complex, were all done with meetings.  Otherwise we would have had to have meetings every second week!

It was hard enough to get replies from some committee members.  And when we did try to organise meetings it could take 2 weeks before we (a) got a response or (b) found a mutual time/day.  Not everyone in this complex works 9 – 5 as I believe would be the case in most complexes.  And people do have lives and other interests outside of where they live.  If we didn't do the email thing, could have been a backlog of decisions.

PeterC
Canberra
StrataGuru
18/09/2011 - 8:55 pm
Member Since: 19/04/2011
Forum Posts: 298
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The problem with being too pedantic and formal for simple approvals is that owners get frustrated at having simple matters held up waiting for approval so they go ahead in any case. This breeds a culture in which approvals are not sought and regrettable changes are made, not always bad enough to justify heavy-handed action to reverse but part of a gradual erosion of the appearance of the property. Prompt approval by email with later minuting at a formal meeting encourages people to do the right thing and get approval. That makes it easier for the committee to intervene before it is too late to get improvements in owners' proposals that avoid the cumulative erosion of the architectural style of our set of townhouses. 

In practice, past committees have been very timid about reversing unilateral actions of owners so it is good to develop a culture of compliance. Our present committee is the first in 30 years (to my knowledge) to issue Article Infringement Notices (after talking and nice letters), the first step in the formal process leading to a ruling from ACAT (the ACT equivalent of CTTT). All that is to remove some fences erected by owners on common property, that would be within our power to just demolish if we cared to go that way. 

Billen Ben
Flat(chat)Mate
18/09/2011 - 8:36 pm
Member Since: 05/05/2011
Forum Posts: 235
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Mr Strata said:

Dear all,

…………..

An EC must formalise any decisions they want to make via a committee meeting, giving 72 hours notice, either by placing notice on the notice board (if the by-laws for the scheme require the scheme to have a notice board and the scheme has a notice board), or sending notice to all owners. This is to allow owners (1/3) the opportunity to object to a decision the EC are seeking to make.

…………….

If the EC enact a decision without proper process any individual owner could object to this, taking the matter to the CTTT and have the decision and action overturned, which could prove costly to the OC.

Mr S

I see Mr. Strata as an excellent guide to have when traveling through the strata maze. A top poster whose comments i find accurate and informative.
Without trying to diss what Mr. Strata says I can say I have been to CTTT over failures to follow the processes above. I sent minutes from over a years worth of meetings.
No quorum, no proper notice, no detailed agenda, introduced matters, a non owner/visitor made Chair, repeated failures to record some received and sent correspondence, the power of veto is useless as owners have little idea what business the EC will deal with.

Every EC meeting requirement in the Act my EC has broken, and generally the non compliance is repeated or ongoing and the real tragedy is that CTTT did nothing so it all still goes on.

Perhaps i asked for the wrong orders, perhaps these breaches do not constitute dysfunctional management, perhaps they are not absolute duties of the OC.

It is regrettably wishful thinking that the Act means what it says given the results i get from CTTT — but CTTT is notoriously inconsistent so what they ignore here they may well enforce elsewhere.

As usual Mr. Strata is right on the money as to what should be going on.

Mr Strata
Flat(chat)Mate
18/09/2011 - 8:30 am
Member Since: 04/07/2011
Forum Posts: 123
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Dear all,

There are at times reasons to address matters informally between committee meetings however there are still statutory requirements contained within the act regarding how an Owners Corporation and also EC make decisions and this all stems back to allowing proper democratic process to occur.

An EC must formalise any decisions they want to make via a committee meeting, giving 72 hours notice, either by placing notice on the notice board (if the by-laws for the scheme require the scheme to have a notice board and the scheme has a notice board), or sending notice to all owners. This is to allow owners (1/3) the opportunity to object to a decision the EC are seeking to make.

It is good to have discussion and a lot of this can occur via email/phone prior to the meeting so that the decisions at the meeting can be simple yes or no decisions on the detailed agenda that is distributed before the meeting, making the meeting efficient, but still allowing healthy debate on any matter required.

If the EC enact a decision without proper process any individual owner could object to this, taking the matter to the CTTT and have the decision and action overturned, which could prove costly to the OC.

Mr S

Jimmyt53
Admin
17/09/2011 - 9:16 pm
Member Since: 06/01/2014
Forum Posts: 2823
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Email meetings are exactly the same as "ringarounds" and casual chats – they are a way of getting things done quickly and efficiently but they are informal and every decison has to be backed up at subsequent EC meeting.

The reason for this is that proper meetings at which decisions are taken and minuted have to have an agenda and other processes in place, not least of which is the ability for owners to attend (which they obviously can't do in these cases.)  They're a great tool for any EC but sooner or later everything has to be formalised and they are no substitute for regular meetings.

PeterC
Canberra
StrataGuru
17/09/2011 - 7:48 pm
Member Since: 19/04/2011
Forum Posts: 298
Offline

Our EC quite often approves various things out of session by email when it is something really simple and exactly the same as things we have approved previously, consistent with our published guidelines etc. However, we then make a point of minuting such approvals at our next formal meeting. If the proposal is more complex or unusual we wait till our next formal meeting which is typically about once every 2 months. 

Jimmyt53
Admin
17/09/2011 - 6:14 pm
Member Since: 06/01/2014
Forum Posts: 2823
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I have to concur, obviously, with Billen Ben but can I just add that it's not just for the uninitiated.  I can think of some rusted-on EC members and office-bearers who could use a refresher course.

Maybe we should all propose a motion to our respective ECs asking if they are aware of the course, if they are planning to do it and if not, why not.  Could get some interesting responses.

Meanwhile, I'll have a go myself as soon as I get back to OZ although I dread discovering which of my strongly held beliefs don't stand up to scrutiny.

Billen Ben
Flat(chat)Mate
17/09/2011 - 4:26 pm
Member Since: 05/05/2011
Forum Posts: 235
Offline

Hi Willie,
Jimmy reports to the Flat chatter a new resource available via the Strata Community Australia (SCA) website (formerly the Institute of Strata Title Managers).
It is a free training course for people involved inthe managment of their OC.

The following relates to ECs;
As representatives of the Owners Corporation an Executive
Committee’s forum for decision making is at a duly convened meeting. Due notice must be given in accordance with the provisions of the SSM Act and accurate minutes kept of these decisions.

If your issues and approvals are being handled via email without duly formed meetings then the approval may not be valid and the lack of a proper meeting is the real issue.

Fortunately there are no real strata police and you can probably get away with what you are doing even though it is not compliant as long as nothing serious comes of anything you decide or approve.

Drop by the SCA website (HERE) and have a look at the free training; it is fairly extensive and offer a good starting point for those uninitiated in strata.

Willie
FlatChatter
17/09/2011 - 9:26 am
Member Since: 04/07/2011
Forum Posts: 17
Offline

I have recently bought a unit and am a member of the Executive
Committee for about 6 months.

Other than at the AGM for the Body Corporate the EC do not have
any face to face meetings. All issues, approvals etc are handled by email.

I have no issue with email, 80% of my job evolves dealing by
email but I question the effectives for the EC administration. All the EC members live in the block and whilst email is useful for some issues I believe it would be more effective if we had formal meetings at least quarterly.

Is there any requirement under the Act for the EC to have
formal meetings or any other way to get regular formal meetings?

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