Can the Association move money into a personal savings account?
No money should be taken out of an Association account and be placed in a personal savings account unless that person has paid for something for the association and has given the association an invoice to be reimbursed. The payment would need to be recorded as a motion, proposed, seconded and accepted by the committee. Any motions that have been discussed and voted upon must be recorded in the meeting minutes of the Committee. The Association needs to make sure there is enough money in their working account to cover yearly outgoing expenses before putting cash into another account. If the Association has an abundance of cash, some of this can be placed in a short or long-term deposit to accrue interest for the Association. To perform this action also requires a motion which is proposed, seconded and agreed upon, by the committee. Any money going out of the Association’s account should be transferred with two signatories, usually the President and Treasurer, with another signatory in case one of the original people cannot be contacted or is away on holiday. This arrangement should already have been set up with your bank. Having two signatories avoids mismanagement of Association’s funds and leaves the Association’s finances transparent. Information regarding finances should all be in your constitution. See the example constitution under the resources in this website.
Are we doing anything illegal if we publish on (ie re post) someone's email, for example if an email is included in a message?
The inclusion of someone else's email in a post, re-post or forwarded message is illegal without their permission. See the Australian Privacy Act. When sending or replying to all on a public listserv, chat or other messaging service, be aware that these are PUBLIC services, ie. they are available to anyone. So, avoid using identifying names of people and organisations, as criticism or any negative commentary of a company or product may leave you and your organisation open to charge of defamation.
Do we have to use proper meeting procedure when conducting an association meeting?
Yes, you do. Meeting procedure provides auditors and members with an accurate record of what has been said at the meeting. Under your constitution you have to provide access of meeting minutes to all members upon request. Your meeting procedure/agenda and minutes should contain the following elements:
- Check – do you have a quorum – this will be in your constitution.
- Date, location and time of the meeting.
- Attendance record and any apologies.
- Acknowledgement of country.
- Acceptance of the minutes of the previous meeting – only attendees of that meeting can vote. Person putting forward the Motion and the Seconder must be recorded.
- Business arising from the previous minutes – any motion requiring expenditure must be put to the meeting and recorded and passed.
- New business - any motion requiring expenditure must be put to the meeting and recorded and passed.
- Other – opportunity for anyone to add to the agenda.
- Time meeting closed, date, location and time of the next meeting.