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Just a bit of background. In 2016 during renovation works to our building our Treasurer created a survey for choosing Balustrade design and paint color. We ended up with the design and color that the Treasurer had chosen in the first place.
Giving the Treasurer the benefit of doubt, it could have been the choice made by a majority of owners. But we would never know because neither the owners nor committee members had visibility/access to the response received.
Yesterday, the Treasurer created an online survey for owners to provide feedback on items that are already tabled in our upcoming AGM agenda. The Treasurer wants to compile results for decision making at the AGM.
Just to highlight, the Treasurer is the only person who will have visibility to the survey responses from all owners.
Also, our Strata Manager had already an email requesting agenda items to be tabled for upcoming AGM, giving us all an opportunity to provide our input/concerns that need to be addressed. The AGM Agenda was finalized and posted to all owners in Dec 2017.
My concern is the lack of visibility to all the survey responses to make an informed decision that would equally benefit all.
The treasurer is collecting and compiling the results of the survey without collaborating with other committee members.
Can a non-transparent, non-collaborative survey replace having a Strata Committee meeting? Is this methodology acceptable?
Thanks in advance.
Surveys can provide a valuable indicator of how the majority of owners are thinking – or if they are thinking about a topic at all – but, like the polls before a political election, they are not a substitute for the real thing when votes have actual consequences.
In your position I would put a motion to your committee that any report on these straw polls should:
- present a summary of how many owners or residents were contacted
- how they were contacted
- the total number of responses
- the results be presented to the strata committee for consideration before they were presented to the owners corporation as the basis for any motions to a general meeting.
I would add as a footnote that any perceived lack of transparency undermines the credibility of what could and should be a valuable tool in the management of your community.
rhea said But we would never know because neither the owners nor committee members had visibility/access to the response received.
Then, for goodness sakes, how do others know what the responses were and if they were indeed actually made? Openness in these matters is paramount.
Considering that many OC/BC decisions in many states can actually be made by electronic means or by poll, this is an important matter for the Treasurer to respond to.
rhea said Just to highlight, the Treasurer is the only person who will have visibility to the survey responses from all owners.
If the Treasurer is claiming to represent the OC, that information must be open to anyone in OC. Else it’s hearsay from the Treasurer.
If the Treasurer is only representing themselves (as I suspect they are), then the information is likely to be irrelevant to any official vote. An official vote still has to be made.
Since the Treasurer told us that the consolidated data would be emailed to us, I have requested an access to the raw survey data and to provide other information as per Jimmy T’s suggestion.
Also, I have asked the Treasurer that all future surveys created should be in collaboration with the committee.
I am assuming when creating a Survey via “Survey Monkey” one has to provide an email address, where all survey results are sent. In this instance, the Treasurer has provided her personal email address.
I do not know if there is a tool that would give an access to the raw data unless the Treasurer gives the password to her email or forwards each survey result to the committee. If the committee agrees we could create a group email box for future surveys.
I am not overly familiar with it, but there is a functionality to export results in Survey Monkey:
I think in any case if you push the your Treasurer into a corner there is a risk the situation will deteriorate. But it my be necessary as there is no place for autocratic behaviour in an OC/SC, and he’s otherwise likely to keep using the same process to justify anything he likes!
Just like votes at an AGM are generally public, any survey that is non sensitive should be transparent to everyone.
I am not aware of Strata legislation that enforces sharing of information collected by office bearer via survey.
All owners are entitled to see any records or correspondence made to the Owners Corporation (or committee) conducted as part of the management of the strata scheme. Asking people for their opinions and getting them would surely be considered correspondence.
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