The Constitution of the Facility Management Association of Australia Limited was approved by the members at the Annual General Meeting in November 2007.
FMA Constitution review & changes
Following a recent review of its governance structure the FMA is in the process of refreshing its Constitution.
Why the change?
The Australian Institute of Company Directors notes that good governance “encompasses the rules, relationships, policies, systems and processes whereby authority within organisations is exercised and maintained”. An effective governance framework that reflects an organisation’s purpose and goals helps to drive enhanced organisational performance while aiding conformance with various requirements.
As it currently stands, the FMA Constitution is creating a number of significant barriers to meeting these fundamental goals. This includes the cost and cumbersome nature of administering specific changes to internal policies and procedures, as well as to those that are legally required to ensure the FMA continues to meet the regulatory requirements of a not-for-profit organisation.
Since the last governance review in 2006, the organisation has consolidated its purpose to not only support individuals as a professional association, but to represent the interests of the wider industry. This realignment allows facilities management professionals and organisations to take an active role in driving industry change through the Association, rather than being a passive player in the process.
The proposed changes to the FMA governance structure will ensure:
- The goals of an effective governance framework can be achieved
- The Constitution is capable of reflecting modern practice, allowing FMA to effectively and efficiently meet its obligations as a member of both the association and not-for-profit sectors.
- The purpose of the Association is clearly articulated and executed.
Summary of changes
Please note: Although some items are to be removed from the Constitution, allowing increased flexibility in managing certain aspects of governance, this will in no way reduce important safeguards around key areas, but rather ensure managing them is not a costly exercise. Examples of this include fiduciary duties, membership categories and clauses affecting financial management.
- Corporate Membership: the membership categories were previously set within the constitution and did not include the ability for corporate members.The revision will allow various headline membership categories (organisational, individual, etc) and provide a process for having sub categories endorsed
- Immediate Past Chair: removal of the immediate past chair as a constitutional position and providing the ability to appoint and independent chair
- Terms and Definitions: the addition and alteration of a number of terms and definitions to the constitution will ensure clarity in the meaning of certain terms throughout the document
- Purpose of the Company: this clause has been updated to reflect the current purpose
- clauses have been reviewed and inserted to support new membership categories and their respective voting and other membership rights.
- clarity has been included to ensure the process of joining, suspending and terminating members is unambiguous
- review of clauses has been undertaken to ensure the result of members becoming non-financial is clear
- Elections: clauses have been reviewed and inserted to ensure voting, counting and other aspects of the election process, such as managing a tied vote, are included.
- Directors and Committee members: adjustment to the constitution to allow for processes of appointment to be better reflective of current practice
- Financial Management: removal of the explicit prohibition of debt – this does not allow for use of credit facilities for day to day operations however, safeguards have been extended to ensure the Board has control of this function
- Divisions: inserting relevant clauses to support the development of Divisions (branches with a facility type focus)
- Typographical errors: a number of typographical errors such as spelling, reference pointing, etc. have been modified to be accurate
The Constitution is now in a final draft, having taken feedback from members over the past 12 months. Once the revised Constitution is adopted by the FMA Board, members will be notified.