The Executive Committee
The executive committee of the owners corporation is a group which represents owners or owners’ nominees. It administers the day-to-day running of the strata scheme and is elected at each annual general meeting (AGM). The owners corporation decides the number of executive committee members for the coming year at each AGM. It can have from 1–9 members, but in a two-lot scheme both owners must be members.
Once the executive committee is elected, the members of the committee decide who is to hold the office-bearer positions. The owners corporation (OC) has the authority to dismiss some or all of its executive committee. An owners corporation may also employ a strata managing agent and/or caretaker to carry out some or all of the responsibilities of the executive committee.
The following people are eligible for election to the executive committee:
- an owner
- a company nominee of a corporation that is an owner
- a person who is not an owner but who is nominated by an owner who is not standing for election.
- co-owners can only be nominated by:
- an owner who is not a co-owner of that lot, or
- a co-owner of that lot who is not a candidate for the election
- if a vacancy occurs during the term of the executive committee, the OC must appoint a person to fill the vacancy until the next AGM.
Executive Committee Meetings
- One third of the executive committee members can request the secretary to hold an executive committee meeting. The Strata Schemes Management Act 1996 (NSW) does not specify how often meetings must be held.
- The quorum for an executive committee meeting is one half of the members.
- Each executive committee member has one vote. A decision on any motion at an executive committee meeting is made by a majority vote.
- The chairperson does not have a casting vote. A decision by the executive committee is deemed a decision of the owners corporation.
- A member can appoint another owner (member or not) to vote for them at an executive committee meeting though this must be approved by the executive committee.
- An owner can attend an executive committee meeting but cannot speak unless the committee agrees by majority vote.
- Meetings in writing can be held where the notice and agenda is given to each member.
A person nominated for election to an executive committee must disclose any financial, business or family connections they have with the developer or caretaker. The disclosure will need to be made at the meeting at which the executive committee is to be elected before the election is conducted and the disclosure must be recorded in the minutes of the meeting. Once elected, members of executive committees will also have to disclose any connection they subsequently develop.
ROLES OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
The chairperson presides over the meetings of the owners corporation unless the responsibility has been delegated to the strata managing agent. If the chairperson is not present then the members must nominate a replacement chairperson. This person must be entitled to vote, however upon acting in the role of chairperson will not vote. In addition the chairperson acts as the first point of reference in the relationship with the strata managing agent.
In practise, an elected secretary should ensure that:
- the strata schemes letterbox is cleared;
- executive committee notices and minutes are displayed on the noticeboard.
- Notice of an executive committee meeting must be on the noticeboard at least 72 hours before the meeting is held and the minutes are to be sent within seven days.
- In addition the secretary may convene a committee meeting independently of the strata managing agent.
In practice, an elected treasurer should review the accounting records and financial statements prepared by the strata managing agent. The treasurer may also elect to “sign off” some individual accounts prior to payment of invoices.