Role and Composition of the Jurisdictional Committees
Jurisdictions are the lifeblood of the College and s.15 of the current Constitution outlines the establishment, roles, and procedural requirements of jurisdictions and Jurisdictional Committees. The current Constitution is not clear about the relationship between the two and does not directly link the role of the Jurisdictional Committee with the functions attributed to the jurisdiction. The College has attempted to link the two using terms of reference for the committees and Position Descriptions for roles such as Jurisdictional Coordinator of Training (JCT). There are significant differences between the jurisdictions including the number of Members, some have financial reserves, and some have developed their own terms of reference and additional roles within the committees to best serve their jurisdiction.
Jurisdictions and their committees are not separate corporate entities from RACMA, and therefore may not open bank accounts, sign contracts, or generally make arrangements or statements on behalf of RACMA without approval of the RACMA Board.
The Constitution currently lists the following as the roles of the jurisdiction:
- Provide opportunities for professional interaction and development for Members who reside in the jurisdiction or who have joined the jurisdiction
- Assist to ensure effective communication between the College and its Members
- Assist the College to ensure efficient and effective administration within the jurisdiction
- Advise the Board and/or the College on relevant issues affecting Members who reside in the jurisdiction or issues affecting the practice of medical administration in the jurisdiction area
- Promote and support the activities of the College with the jurisdiction
- Such other roles as delegated to it from time to time
The Constitution describes Jurisdictional Committees in the following way:
Each jurisdiction must elect a Committee consisting of a chairperson who is a Fellow, and at least three other Members, as determined by the jurisdiction:
- The committees must be comprised of Members who reside in the jurisdiction (or those Members who reside outside of Australia who nominate a particular jurisdiction for membership) and the majority of members of the Committee must be Fellows
- The Committee is responsible for leading the jurisdiction in all its activities and
- May exercise any power delegated to it by the Board from time to time but in the absence of a specific delegation will act in an advisory capacity only
The Constitution is prescriptive in terms of the requirements for the Jurisdictional Committees including:
- That they are required to meet at least twice a year and the number of members who must be personally present for a quorum
- What should occur with minutes of those meetings, that the minutes must be signed by the chairperson of the meeting and sent to the Board
- That a general meeting must be held once each calendar year
- Who presides over meetings
- That only Fellows may vote on resolutions
Furthermore, the Constitution requires a meeting between the Board and the Chairpersons of the Jurisdictional Committees at least annually and is prescriptive about how the agenda and minutes of such a meeting are conducted.
There are no requirements for term lengths of committee members or for roles such as JCT or CPD Coordinator formalised in the Constitution.
Retaining such prescriptive requirements for jurisdictions, Jurisdictional Committees, and RACMA provides no room for flexibility, innovation, and responsiveness to the needs of the jurisdictions or the College.
- Reference to the Jurisdictions and Jurisdictional Committees to remain in the Constitution.
- The operational detail of the Jurisdictional Committees to be transferred from the Constitution to newly authored ‘College Regulations’.
- The new ‘College Regulations’ to include items such as approved terms of reference and position descriptions for key roles such as Chair, Jurisdictional Coordinators of Training and CEPD Coordinator.
- Jurisdictional Committee matters such as elections and maximum terms should be discussed when the new College Regulations are drafted