Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Blue Avocado on governance: abolishing board committees

There is a new blog and website for not-for-profits, Blue Avocado. It comes from across the Atlantic but a lot of the issues are the same.

Blue Avocado has just posed the question: Abolish Board Committees?

It goes on:

Too many boards are bogged down by committees that are inactive or maybe even semi-fictitious. And board members can feel compelled to be on three or four committees each!

It suggests time-limited, task-orientated taskforces or working groups. I do not have too much of a problem with that (especially for small community and voluntary groups) although I have seen working groups end up blurring the management-governance dividing line.

It is also noteworthy that Blue Avocado answers its own question by saying:

One permanent (standing) committee you'll probably need is the Finance Committee, which must oversee financial performance on a continuous basis.

I would also urge any organisations with internal audit (or some too small to have it) that an audit committee is fairly essential in good governance.

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