Structure and Guidelines of North Florida Area Conference.
Revised: November, 2014
North Florida Area Conference
Structure & Guidelines
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
These guidelines are not intended to replace the current A.A. Service Manual. Each Area is autonomous and these guidelines are to assist in clarifying matters which pertain specifically to the North Florida Area Conference (NFAC).References to the A.A. Service Manual are included to make these guidelines a concise service reference for members of the NFAC.
In these guidelines, the following definitions apply:
- The North Florida Area hereafter known as the North Florida Area Conference* is the geographic region designated as Area 14 by the General Service Conference of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services.
- The NFAC Committee is made up of Area Officers, Service Coordinators, Administrative Committee Chairpersons, and District Committee Members (DCMs).
- The NFAC is a meeting, with proper notice, of the Area Committee and the General Service Representatives (GSRs) of registered A.A. groups within the Area that desire to participate.
- The NFAC is considered the muscle and blood of general services and is the democratic voice of the membership expressing itself, according to the A.A. Service Manual (pg S36).
- The NFAC is the entity through which business is conducted. References to the A.A. Service Manual are to the current edition of the Service Manual.
Any proposed amendment to these guidelines shall be submitted in writing to the NFAC Chairperson, with a copy for the Delegate and Secretary. The proposed amendment may be sent to the appropriate Administrative Committee at the discretion of the Chairperson. The Chairperson shall include the proposed amendment on the assembly agenda. A two-thirds (2/3) vote in favor by the GSRs, DCMs, NFAC Officers and Service Coordinators present and voting shall constitute adoption of the amendment.
The NFAC Assembly shall convene on a quarterly basis in a fixed location. The dates shall be determined by the Site & Agenda Administrative Committee and hotel per contract. Once every two years, the Southeastern Regional Trustee will be invited to the NFAC Assembly. Non election October NFAC Assemblies include an inventory conducted by the South Florida Area 15 Delegate or if not available as designated by NFAC Chairperson.
Saturday: Workshops of the Service Coordinators listed in Section 5 will take place. Workshops will be chaired by the Service Coordinators or their alternates. A DCM and Officers meeting and a GSR workshop. Minutes of workshop meetings shall be taken and such minutes shall be given to the Secretary.
Saturday night: Features an open speaker meeting except during the fourth quarter of even years when the business session of the NFAC Assembly will convene on Saturday night.
Sunday: The business session of the NFAC Assembly will convene. All business of the NFAC Assembly will be conducted at this time with only members of the NFAC or individuals approved by the Chairperson participating. Except during the fourth quarterly of even years when the election of Officers as described in Section 7 shall take place. Robert's Rules of Order (as modified by the current General Service Conference information handout, copy of which in adopted and incorporated herein as Appendix A) have been adopted by the NFAC. Any eligible voter who is not in attendance for Roll Call at the start of the Assembly shall have their voting privileges suspended for that Assembly.
Other meetings, sessions or committee meetings may be scheduled from time to time as decided by the Chairperson.
The qualifications of the Service Coordinators are described in Section 12. The Service Coordinators and other members of Administrative Committees are appointed by the NFAC Chair. Additional Service Coordinators and Administrative Committees may be authorized by following the procedure in Section 3 for amending these guidelines. Requests for authorization of additional Service Coordinators and Administrative Committees shall be referred to the Growth, Site & Agenda, and the Finance Committees, following which, if the request receives favorable consideration by the Committee, the matter shall be considered a proposed amendment and be placed on the agenda for the next Assembly. The NFAC Chairperson may appoint members of the NFAC Assembly to serve as a temporary Service Coordinator as may be required to assist the Chairperson or other NFAC Officers in the performance of their duties (e.g., an elections coordinator, as described in Section 9 of these guidelines). Temporary Coordinators automatically cease to exist upon completion of their prescribed service assignment.
The NFAC Assembly includes the following Service Coordinators (pg S46, Other Officers):
Accessibilities: This Service Coordinator coordinates the work of individual A.A. members and groups in carrying the message to those who have problems which limit their attendance at regular A.A. meetings, and also enlightens A.A. members and groups to their special needs.
Archivist: This position is to be voted on in non-electoral years for a two (2) year term not to exceed six (6) years. This position is to be voted on by voting members of the NFAC Assembly. This office does not have a vote at the assembly. This position shall attend NFAC Assemblies and work closely with the Archives Service Coordinator.
The qualifications for this office include.
- He/She should be knowledgeable of the NFAC history.
- He/She should have experience with archival and conservation procedures as well as handling of historical records.
- He/She should be thoroughly familiar with our primary purpose and our AA Traditions so as to ensure privacy and protect anonymity of the members whose names are included in the collected documents.
- The elected individual should be an AA member.
The Duties for this office include:
- The Archivist is responsible for preserving the documents, artifact items and maintaining the physical integrity of the collection.
- The Archivist collects, organizes and preserves material of historic interest to the NFAC.
- The Archivist will work closely with the Archives Service Coordinator to ensure the integrity of the NFAC archives inventory.
- The Archivist maintains and updates the NFAC Archives Inventory and assisting accumulation of historical material and information pertaining to the NFAC.
Archives: The Archives Service Coordinator conducts workshops and displays on the AA and NFAC history.
Cooperation with the Professional Community (CPC): TThis Service Coordinator recommends activities that will help carry the message to the still-suffering alcoholic through third party professionals such as probation officers, clergy, doctors, etc.
Corrections: This Service Coordinator encourages A.A. members to assume responsibility for carrying the message to those in jail or prison.
Grapevine/La Viña: This Service Coordinator educates the membership about our unique "Meeting in Print".
Intergroup: This Service Coordinator serves as a liaison between Intergroups and the members of the NFAC, facilitating "sharing common problems and solutions” (pg S41).
Literature: This Service Coordinator informs Groups, Districts or NFAC members through displays or other suitable methods, of all available Conference Approved Literature, audio visual material or other special items.
Public Information (PI): This Service Coordinator is creates greater understanding of—and preventing misunderstanding of –the A.A. program through the public media and also educates A.A. members and groups about Alcoholics Anonymous. This Service Coordinator is also in charge of the video library.
Treatment Facilities: This Service Coordinator coordinates the work of individual A.A. members and groups in carrying the message to clients of treatment centers and other recovery institutions.
THE FOLLOWING ADMINISTRATIVE COMMITTEES EXIST TO ASSIST WITH THE BUSINESS OF THE NFAC. ALL MOTIONS FROM ADMINISTRATIVE COMMITTEES ARE SECONDED AND READY FOR DISCUSSION WHEN BROUGHT TO THE FLOOR.
Finance: This committee is responsible for reviewing the budget prepared by the Treasurer before it is submitted to the NFAC Assembly. The Committee also reviews the Treasurer's quarterly report and any proposals that may require funding in order to:
- Provide financial guidance.
- Make recommendations.
- Encourage the development of long-range financial policies.
- To monitor expenditures as compared to the approved budget.
- Maintain a current inventory of NFAC Assembly property as described in Section 20.
Growth: This Committee receives and reviews requests for changes in District boundaries and provides suggestions for effective management of Districts as an alternative to splitting the District. The Committee, with an eye always on the future of the NFAC, monitors and helps manage growth to keep the NFAC as inclusive as possible. Each January this Growth Committee shall review the references in Structures and Guidelines to page numbers in the Service Manual and provide the Secretary with a list of changes for Structures & Guidelines. Such changes will be made without need to publish and vote.
Site & Agenda: The prior Panel Committee solicits, obtains and reviews bids from hotels/motels
willing to provide facilities for NFAC Assemblies.
All hotel bids need to be finalized and submitted to the Site and Agenda Committee by the first Quarter Assembly. The Site and Agenda Chair negotiates the hotel bids once submitted. It is suggested that the Site and Agenda Chair should present the Committee’s recommendation at the 2nd Quarter Assembly. This Committee is responsible for overseeing the logistics of each NFAC Assembly and, whenever possible, uses their experience to develop written procedures and guidelines for future NFAC Assembly hosts. The logistics include the following: Manages the A/V needs for Workshops, Panel Members, & the Sunday Business Meeting, works with the hotel to set up & sign the Banquet Event Orders, arranges for a Spanish Translator and/or ASL, as needed, for the Assembly weekend, acts as the liaison between the AA Fellowship & the host hotel, settles the Assembly bill with the Area Treasurer, develops the Saturday Agenda with the Area Chair to meet the needs of the Panel and the Assembly Attendees, and conducts & coordinates the GSR afternoon Workshop on Saturday.
Web Site: This committee will review and select the preferred candidate for the position of Web Master. The contract for the Web Master’s Services will be executed by both the Web Site Chairperson and the NFAC Chairperson. Ensure Advisory Actions and Structures and Guidelines per all motions are passed are updated on the website.
Web Site Chairperson- This chairperson shall be appointed by the NFAC Chairperson and shall attend NFAC assemblies. This Chairperson is responsible for setting up the meeting and coordination information within the committee. This Chairperson is to insure that the Web Site (aanorthflorida.org) meet the recommendations of the Committee and/or the NFAC Assembly.
Web Master- This person shall maintain the Web Site and only add or remove data from the Web Site when directed by the Web Site Committee and/or NFAC Assembly. The Web Master shall be responsible for the bulk emailing of the minutes 30 days before the next assembly.
Parliamentarian: This appointed office will be for a two (2) year term, to coincide with the current rotation. This position is appointed by the incoming Chairperson. The Parliamentarian does not have a vote at the NFAC Assembly and shall receive lodging for one night at the hotel/motel where the NFAC Assembly takes place and mileage reimbursement for the NFAC Assembly only.
The qualifications for Parliamentarian include:
- He/She should have a good working knowledge of Robert's Rules of Order as amended by the General Service Conference.
- He/She has the time and desire to be present at the NFAC Assemblies.
- He/She has, or is willing to gain, a good working knowledge of the NFAC Structure & Guidelines.
The duties of this office are, but not limited to:
- Be present at the Saturday/DCM Officers meeting at the NFAC Assembly.
- Be present at all Sunday business meetings of the NFAC Assembly.
- Assist the chairperson in keeping the NFAC Assemblies operating within Robert's Rules of Order as amended by the General Service Conference and the NFAC Structure & Guidelines.
NFAC Convention Oversight Committee: To provide oversight of the Florida State Convention when it occurs geographically within the North Florida Area.** The Convention scope & procedures are set forth in the Advisory Actions under the Structures & Guidelines April 2006 and revised January 2014
NFAC Assemblies shall be scheduled for a minimum of a year and preferably for a two year period beyond the current year. Consideration shall be given to any state or regional A.A. functions to avoid conflict when setting the date for assemblies. The NFAC Chairperson sets the agenda.
The Registrar shall mail a notice of each Assembly to the NFAC Committee, DCMs and GSRs at least 30 days in advance of the Assembly. The mailing shall also include the minutes of the previous Assembly meeting and the proposed agenda. All information regarding the NFAC Assembly should be forwarded to the Secretary sufficiently in advance of the mailing deadline to ensure its inclusion in the mailing.
The order of business for the business session of each Assembly is:
- Roll Call
- Secretary’s Report
- Treasurer's Report
- Delegate's Report
- Alternate Delegate's Report
- Registrar's Report
- Reports of Service Coordinators
- Cooperation with the Professional Community
- Grapevine/La Viña
- Public Information
- Treatment Facilities
- Administrative Committee Reports
- Site & Agenda
- Old Business
- New Business
The agenda mailed to the members of the NFAC Assembly shall include specific items of business scheduled to be submitted for discussion and voting. Other items of business brought before the NFAC shall be added to the agenda if appropriate. Business not on the agenda can be brought before the NFAC Assembly from the floor.
The NFAC shall convene at the Assembly every even year to elect the NFAC Officers listed in Section 11. Unless directed otherwise by the General Service Conference, all Officers of the NFAC Committee shall be elected at this time in the manner described in the A.A. Service Manual (S38) and sections 7 through 10 of these guidelines. The terms of office for all Officers shall be concurrent and of two years duration.
The following are eligible to stand for Delegate and Alternate Delegate: All current and past DCMs and Alternate Delegates.
The following are eligible to stand for all other NFAC offices:
All current and past DCMs, all current and past GSRs, all elected NFAC Officers.
Others may be eligible for NFAC office if accepted by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the Assembly.
It is strongly suggested that candidates have at least five (5) years of continuous sobriety. It is also strongly suggested that the spirit of rotation prevail.
All candidates should have a thorough understanding and appreciation of the A.A. Steps, Traditions and Concepts and be prepared to place principles above personalities at all times.
At the assembly immediately prior to an election assembly, all current and past DCMs and Alternate Delegates shall be queried to determine if they would be available to stand for Delegate. All current and past DCMs shall be queried to determine if they would be available to stand for Alternate Delegate. All current and past DCMs, GSRs, and elected NFAC officers shall be queried to determine if they would be available to stand for any of the other NFAC Offices.
“Eligible individuals may indicate their willingness to stand for office at the Election Assembly. Those who are not eligible, who chose to stand will need to be approved by (2/3) majority at that time.
The voting body should have a choice of at least two candidates for each office, whenever possible.
The following persons are eligible to vote at NFAC elections;
GSRs or their alternates
DCMs or their alternates
Administrative Committee Chairs
A person may cast only one (1) vote. For example, if the DCM is also a GSR or Service Coordinator, he/she may cast a single vote. He/she may allow the Alternate DCM, alternate Service Coordinator or alternate GSR to register and cast the other vote. Only GSRs from groups registered with the NFAC Registrar shall be eligible to vote. Absentee ballots and proxy voting are not permitted (pg S37). Any eligible voter who is not in attendance for Roll Call at the start of the Assembly shall have their voting privileges suspended for that Assembly.
TTo assure fairness to all, the following procedure will be used to qualify persons eligible to vote: A separate voter registration table will be set up and staffed by election committee members appointed by the NFAC Chairperson. The Registrar shall provide the elections coordinator with a roster of registered groups. Eligible voters will sign the roster of groups and then be given a colored tag or sticker which must be displayed on the name badge of each voter. Only persons wearing a name badge bearing the appropriate tag or sticker will be eligible to vote in elections held Sunday morning.
All voting will follow the Third Legacy Procedure set out in the A.A. Service Manual (pg. S21 – S22). To recap: names of persons standing for office will be posted on the blackboard at the front of the room. Voting will be by written ballot. It is suggested that different colored paper be used for each ballot.
Election coordinators will select enough non-voting A.A. member ballot handlers prior to the elections to equal approximately one (1) handler for every forty (40) qualified voters. Ballot handlers will be assigned specific areas. Ballot handlers will give one (1) ballot to each qualified voter, as designated by her/his tagged name badge who is in the room at the time of the vote. Ballot handlers will collect the ballots and give them to the election coordinator or designated counters to tally. It is suggested that past Delegates present at the election assembly be asked to tally the ballots.
The number of ballots cast for each candidate will be displayed on the blackboard. The first candidate to receive two-thirds (2/3) of the total vote cast in that ballot is elected. On second (2nd) and subsequent ballots, the candidate list will be shortened per the Third Legacy Procedure. Up to five (5) ballots may be required to determine the winner, if any. If no one receives two-thirds (2/3) of the votes cast by the fifth ballot, the winner will be decided by lot (drawn from a hat by a non-voting member of A.A.).
The order of the election of officers is at the Chairperson's discretion, but it is suggested that the Officers be elected in the following order;
Although each Office has its own individual duties as described below, there are common qualities that each person seeking office should possess. Each officer should have the ability to work well with others and the time & willingness to do the job effectively. It is suggested that you speak with the current officer, holding the office you seek, to get a good understanding of what the office entails and the time the job requires. Over the past decade many of the Officers jobs require additional skills in the advancing technological age. Computer skills are necessary for performing many of the job tasks and communicating with other panel members and the fellowship in general. It is suggested that those considering standing for a NFAC office have the ability to operate a computer. Any officer who is given Area equipment is responsible for that equipment & should give an inventory accounting to the Area Finance Chair. Each Officer has the responsibility of submitting reports timely to the Secretary after each Assembly and returning Budgets to the Treasurer on or before the April Assembly.
DELEGATE (PG S48-53)
Duties: The Delegate is the NFAC Representative to the annual General Service Conference. He/she works with the Chairperson in preparing the agenda for Assemblies. He/she should be prepared to deliver Conference reports to District meetings when requested and be available to participate in NFAC or District activities if called upon. The Delegate attends the Florida State Convention, the annual Southeastern Conference as well as the February mini-conference Southeastern Delegates "Get Together" in Atlanta. The Delegate also attends the Southeastern Regional Forum held every other year and the International Convention, which is held every five years. The Delegate provides leadership, especially in training new GSRs and DCMs, and participates in training activities or workshops whenever possible. The Delegate should be able to prepare a good service talk, not just a factual report. The Delegate should be cooperative, cheerful and available. Delegate Elect attends the Southeast Regional Forum that is held every other year.
Qualifications: The Delegate must have the time and desire to serve the NFAC. Must be a past DCM. Delegates should be able to offer and accept suggestions as well as criticisms. They are not final authorities on all A.A. matters, but should be aware of where to locate the information needed. They should know the Traditions and how they apply to local needs, be able to organize and lead, have an intense desire to see A.A. thrive and prosper and in so doing, live in such a way that his/her example may influence many people.
ALTERNATE DELEGATE (pg S48-53)
Duties: The Alternate Delegate attends Assembly meetings and becomes familiar with Assembly topics. He/she also attends the Southeastern Conference and the February mini-conference Southeastern Delegate "Get Together" in Atlanta. The Alternate Delegate should be prepared to replace the Delegate at any time. The Alternate Delegate shall serve as the Chairperson of the Growth Committee and the NFAC Florida State Convention Oversight Committee.
Qualifications: The Alternate Delegate should have the same qualifications as the Delegate, as he/she may well be required to assume all or part of the Delegate's term of office due to unforeseen circumstances.
CHAIRPERSON (pg S44-45)
Duties: With assistance from NFAC Officers, the Chairperson prepares the agenda for Assemblies, keeping in mind that full use of time should be made. The NFAC Chairperson conducts the NFAC Assembly business session, determines the agenda items for the Assembly meetings in time for mailing to members of NFAC at least 30 days prior to the assembly, and otherwise acts as Administrative Officer of the Assembly. He/she appoints the Service Coordinators, Parliamentarian and other members for the Administrative Committees listed in Section 5. The Area Chair is the Administrative Officer and is responsible for overseeing all Area operations. Chairperson Elect attends the Southeast Regional Forum that is held every other year.
Qualifications: The NFAC Chairperson should have the time and desire to serve the NFAC. This individual must have the ability to prepare agendas and conduct meetings in an orderly manner.
ALTERNATE CHAIRPERSON (pg. S44-45)
Duties: The Alternate Chairperson shall assume the Chairperson's duties in the Chairperson's absence, and assist and support the Chairperson in carrying out duties as needed. The Alternate Chairperson shall serve as Chairperson of the Site & Agenda Committee.
Qualifications: The Alternate Chairperson should have the same qualifications as the NFAC Chairperson.
TREASURER (pg. S46)
Duties:The Treasurer receives and records contributions from A.A. groups and other sources, and maintains a record of all monies received and all disbursements made. The Treasurer will settle all bills with the hotel/motel where each assembly is located, as well as issue checks for other expenses. The Treasurer opens and maintains a bank account for deposits and disbursements, and a savings account for the prudent reserve. The NFAC Assembly will have a signature card signed by the Delegate, Chairperson and Treasurer and all checks shall require the signature of two of the above. The Treasurer shall report to each Assembly and provide a written in-depth report of all transactions each year. The Treasurer prepares a one-year proposed budget to be presented to the NFAC for approval. He/she should monitor expenditures by Committees to help ensure spending is within budget limits. At the first Assembly of each year the Treasurer shall present to the Finance Committee a report of “large differences” between actual costs for the prior year and the approved budget for that year, for review and consideration by the Committee. The Treasurer also serves on the Finance Committee. The NFAC Assembly will have a signature card signed by the Delegate, Chairperson, and Treasurer and all checks shall require the signature of two of the above and, in the case of an online payment, written or electronic review of invoice and approval by two of the signors on the account prior to disbursement.
Qualifications: The Treasurer must have the time and ability to keep accurate records, provide a written report on a quarterly basis, and prepare a one (1) year proposed budget for the NFAC Assembly. The Treasurer should have the skills to use a computer and the ability to be firm and diplomatic. The Treasurer should have a working knowledge of QuickBooks & Excel or be willing to learn. QB is a bookkeeping software program and requires knowledge of double entry bookkeeping. QB reports are exported to Excel and formatted for quarterly reports. An Excel Database, provided by the Registrar, is also used to help credit Group Contributions correctly. The Treasurer needs to be able to perform online functions or be willing to learn. Sales Tax & Corporate Annual Tax reports are filed online. The Finance Chair is to have access to the online checking account and it is the Treasurer’s job to see that is in place. Managing the Area’s monies requires the ability to do monthly bank reconciliation, preferably making weekly deposits, be aware of the banks guideline and have the time to research the best interest rates in the management of the Prudent Reserve. It is also suggested that Treasurer make a commitment to attend the Officers Interim Meeting held in between NFAC Assemblies quarterly for reporting purposes and reimbursing panel members for expenses. As a member of the Finance Committee it is suggested the Treasurer involve the Finance Chair in the annual budgeting process. Since Groups will contact the Treasurer regularly, it is suggested emails be checked frequently. The Treasurer should have the time to speak with Group Treasurers that need advice or help and attend District Workshops if asked.
REGISTRAR (pg. S45)
Duties: The Registrar is responsible for maintaining the roster of NFAC GSRs, DCMs, Officers, Past Delegates, Service Coordinators and Groups in a format which can be used for mailing labels and for a written roster for the use of the NFAC Committee. The Registrar is responsible for maintaining all the data of NFAC voting members & Past Delegates in the North Florida Area Conference. This position requires inputting & organizing data, creating spreadsheets, managing databases, composing correspondence and reports. The Registrar will provide rosters & mailing labels when they are requested. The Registrar conducts the roll call at NFAC Assembly Business meetings and gives the official count to the Chair and submits the Registrar’s Report and Attendance Report to the Area Secretary for the minutes.
Qualifications: The Registrar should have the time and skills to use a computer, maintain an accurate and up-to-date mailing list of the members of the NFAC Assembly. This individual should be cognizant of the confidentiality of this roster and that it is not to be used for any purpose other than for NFAC business. Any other distribution must be approved by the NFAC Assembly.
SECRETARY (pg S45)
Duties: The Secretary should have the time and skills to use a computer. The Secretary is responsible for keeping accurate minutes of the NFAC Assembly and quarterly officers' meetings. He/she will also prepare these minutes in a form to be mailed & emailed to all NFAC Officers, DCMs, GSRs, Past Delegates and any A.A. member who requests a copy by mail or email and gives them to the Registrar with enough time to meet the mailing requirements of at least thirty (30) days prior to the next Assembly. The mailing will also include the meeting agendas for both Saturday & Sunday, hotel reservation form, and any other material, as directed, if submitted in time and inserted into the mailing envelopes for the Registrar. The Secretary, working with the Registrar will arrange for the delivery of the minutes for mailing and the number of copies required. The Secretary prepares the motions after each Assembly & emails to the Webmaster in adequate time that they can be posted, on the North Florida Website, within ten (10) days following the Assembly. The Secretary updates Advisory Actions and Structures & Guidelines per all motions passed.
Qualifications: The Secretary should have the skills to take accurate minutes, as well as to prepare these minutes in a publishable form in a timely manner. This individual should be able to organize a filing system for minutes and be prepared to research and find past procedures when asked.
Service Coordinators (see Section 5, NFAC Service Coordinators) are responsible for organizing the activities and facilitating the sharing of experiences among those attending Service Coordinator workshops. Therefore, interest in the NFAC, willingness to learn, and an enthusiasm to carry the message are more important qualifications than knowledge of the particular area. It is suggested that Service Coordinators have a least two (2) years of sobriety.
Service Coordinators are appointed by the incoming NFAC Chairperson after his/her election. They will chair their first Service Coordinator workshop at the first meeting of the following year. Persons desiring to serve as a Service Coordinators should present their name to the incoming NFAC Chairperson after the election assembly. Each Service Coordinator should select an Alternate Service Coordinator to serve concurrently with them.
General Service Representative (GSR) (pg. S25-30): The GSRs are the link between their groups and A.A. as a whole. They represent the voice of their group conscience in two (2) ways:
- By attending the NFAC Assembly and voting their group conscience in manners affecting the NFAC.
- Reporting their group conscience to the DCM.
The GSR also brings back to the group information on problems which affect A.A. unity, health and growth, as well as suggested remedies. The GSR should be available to attend District and NFAC meetings. Two (2) years of sobriety is suggested.
District Committee Member (DCM) (pg S31-35): The DCM is the link between the GSR and the NFAC Delegate. Four (4) years of sobriety is suggested, as well as past activity in Group and District affairs. The DCM receives reports from groups through the GSRs and personal contact with the Groups in the District. The DCM also holds regular GSR meetings in the District, attends NFAC Assemblies, obtains up-to-date Group information, and keeps GSRs informed about Conference activities. The DCM serves on NFAC Administrative Committees as assigned.
Alternate District Committee Member (pg S31-35): The Alternate DCM assists and participates in District responsibilities and should be prepared to serve as DCM if the DCM is unable to fulfill his/her responsibilities.
It is suggested that elections be held every two (2) years and that the GSRs and DCMs serve their terms concurrent with the NFAC Panel.Local Committee Member (LCM) (pg. S33): If the number of groups in a district increase, the responsibilities of the DCM can be met by adding additional committee members called LCMs. The office of LCM does not carry a vote at the NFAC Assembly.
The NFAC is divided into Districts as described in Appendix B and includes a Hispanic Linguistic District that is area wide. Panel 59 Growth Committee recommendation to accept the boundary changes agreed upon by Districts 12, 15 & 23.
Nominations for Southeastern Regional Trustee and Trustee At-Large U.S. will be held at the fourth (4th) meeting in every second (2nd) even year, if the NFAC chooses to make a nomination. The NFAC Committee may select the candidate at a meeting of the NFAC Committee, or at the NFAC Assembly. The decision as to how to select this candidate will be determined by the NFAC Committee. Third Legacy procedures should be used in voting. The term of office of Trustees is set in the BYLAWS of the General Service Board, Inc. as published in the A.A. Service Manual (pg. 107-120).
It is recommended that all Groups contribute monthly or quarterly to the NFAC as suggested in the A.A. Service Manual, to provide necessary funds to enable the NFAC to fulfill its responsibilities. These contributions are not dues or fees, but are voluntary contributions. Necessary funds must be available to give financial assistance to the Delegate and the Alternate Delegate to perform the duties described elsewhere in these guidelines, NFAC Officer funding (see next section) provides for mailing and other expenses as approved by the NFAC Assembly, as well as expenses for the Assembly meetings (pg.S47).The NFAC will not finance, affiliate with, or lend the A.A. name to an enterprise that is not a part of the NFAC.
The Delegate will receive expenses for attending NFAC Assemblies. The General Service Office each year sends a request for funding to cover the Delegate expenses to the General Service Conference. The Delegate is allocated funds to help defray his/her expenses at the Conference in New York as well as to report on the General Service Conference to Districts requesting such reports. There are also funds available to defray costs to the Southeastern Conference, February mini-conference Delegate "Get Together" in Atlanta, the Southeastern Regional Forum, International Convention and the Florida State Convention. The Delegate is reimbursed for telephone and mailing expenses incurred in the performance of his/her duties. In the event the Delegate is unable to attend any of the above functions, the Alternate Delegate will receive the Delegate's funding to attend unless the Alternate Delegate is already funded to attend. To defray expenses for attending the Assemblies, all other NFAC Officers, Administrative Committee Chairs, Service Coordinators, Parliamentarian, and Archivist will receive lodging for one night at the hotel/motel where the Assembly takes place and a mileage reimbursement at a rate set from time to time, by the NFAC. Except the Alternate Chair, Grapevine and Archives which will receive two nights lodging. NFAC to pay a Webmaster up to $150.00 per quarter beginning with the July 2013 assembly.
- An overage evaluation shall be made by the Treasurer at the end of each calendar year after all bills are paid.
- Any overage shall be reported to the NFAC at its next Assembly.
- Any such overage shall be reported in the minutes from that Assembly, and distribution of the overage shall be decided on at the next NFAC Assembly by the NFAC Assembly body.
- NFAC Prudent Reserve shall be between 9-12 months of the annual budget, including cash on hand.
When a District has grown such that the DCM can no longer effectively serve all groups (thirty (30) or more), the District may petition the NFAC Assembly (pg S33 -34) to elect multiple DCMs (one for each fifteen (15) groups). The multiple DCMs will perform all the duties of a DCM and will have a vote at the NFAC Assembly.
- The DCM must receive approval from the Groups involved. A letter of authorization should be sent to the NFAC Chairperson by the DCM. It must always be remembered that principles must be placed before personalities.
- The DCM then petitions the Growth Committee of the NFAC, to discuss the above in the Growth Committee administrative meeting. If approval is granted, the petition will be taken to the NFAC Assembly business meeting for a final vote.
- When district(s) want to change their boundaries, a letter from each District(s) DCM so stating the change and approval by the Districts involved, shall be sent to the Growth Committee for review and brought to the floor as a motion from the Growth Committee for approval by the NFAC Assembly.
Under the control and direction of the Finance Committee, property owned by the NFAC, including but not limited to computers, printers, recording equipment, other office equipment, the Archives and fireproof containers, may be assigned to the appropriate elected or appointed members of the NFAC who requires the use of the property to fulfill their assigned NFAC duties. The location of such property is determined by the needs of the person who assumes possession and responsibility for same. At the end of their respective terms of office or completion of assigned duties, all property in their possession shall be turned over to their successor, or the NFAC Chairperson. It is suggested that any trusted servant receiving possession of NFAC property have a minimum of two (2) years sobriety.
Any eligible voter who is not in attendance for Roll Call at the start of the Assembly shall have their voting privileges suspended for that Assembly
How the Conference Operates
Generally speaking, The General Service Conference follows Robert's Rules of Order, and proceeds on as informal a basis as possible consistent with the rights of all concerned. It is important to remember that the purpose of rules of order is to make it easier for the Conference to conduct its business; rules exist to allow the Conference to do what it need to do to carry out the will of the Fellowship by reaching and informed group conscience. Over the years the Conference has adopted some exceptions to Robert's Rules, which help to proceed more closely in accord with the spirit of A.A. tradition.
A Conference quorum — tow-thirds of all registered members — is required to conduct Conference business.
To the extent possible, important matters to come before the conference will be handed via the "Committee system." This assures that a large number of questions can be dealt with during Conference week. Members are encouraged to trust the process. Each Committee considers carefully the items before it and presents its recommendations to the Conference as a whole for acceptance or rejection. Recommendations of Conference committees are automatically motions that have been made and seconded. Members are are asked to refrain from spontaneoulsy amending the work of hte Committee; there are no "friendly" amendments under Robert's Rules.
All matters of policy (Conference Advisory Actions) require substantial unanimity, that is, a two-thirds majority. Any actions, including amendments, that affect an Advisory Action, or motions that might result in such and action, also require a two-thirds majority. Because the number of members present in the hall during the week of Conference varies from time to time, the phrase "two-thirds majority" is taken to mean two-thirds vote of the Conference members voting, as long as the total vote constitutes a Conference quorum.
After each vote on a matter of policy, the side which did not prevail will always be given an opportunity to speak to their position. If the motion passes the tow-thirds vote, the minority may speak. If the motion receives a majority vote, but fails to pass for lack of a two-thirds vote, the majority may speak.
Remember that saving "minority opinions" for after the vote, when there is no rebuttal, is a time-waster, for it can force the conference body to reconsider a question that might well have been decided the first time around if it had been thoroughly examined from all sides.
General Rules of Debate and Voting
(Agreed at the beginning of each Conference)
- People who wish to speak line up at the microphones and are called on in order.
- Each person may speak for two (2) minutes.
- No one may speak for a second time on a topic until all who wish to have spoken for the first time.
- Full discussion of a recommendation should take place before each vote.
- Everyone is entitled to, and should, express his or her opinion. However, if your perspective has already been stated by someone else, it is not necessary to go the mike and say it again.
- Our experience is that premature actions such as amending motions early in the discussion or hastily calling the question can divert attention from the subject at hand, confusing and/or delaying Conference business.
- Voting is by show of hands unless the Conference decides otherwise.
Motions Made During Conference
When making a motoin, come to the microphone and address the chair. There are various types of motions we use to help reach an informedgroup conscience. The specific rules governing each are on the next page.
Tabling a Motion
Tabling a motion postpones discussion to a later time during the same Conference.
Motion to Recommit
The motion to recommit returns a motion or proposal to the respective trustees' committee for further consideration. A motion to recommit must be seconded, as debatable and can be ammended.
Calling the Question
Calling the question brings debate to a halt while Conference members decide whether to proceed directly to a vote (the question) or go on with the debate.
A motion to reconsider a vote may be made only by a member who voted with prevailing side, but it can be seconded by anyone. If the majority votes to reconsider, full debate, pro and cons, is resumed.
Floor actions may be introduced at anytime during the Conference except at the Sharing Sessions. When a floor action is to be heard, its maker will be given two (2) minutes to state the rationale behind the action, after which the chair shall ask if there is a motion that the Conference decline to consider the floor action.
Declining to Consider a Floor Actions
A motion to decline to consider a floor action is made without comment.
Summary of Conference Procedures
|MOTION||Requires a second?||Is Debatable?||Vote Required for Approval||Minority Voice Heard?|
|Committee Recommedation||Presented in the committee report.||Automatically seconded||YES||Two-thirds||Yes|
|Amending a Motion||A motion on the floor is owned by the entire Conference body, no longer by the Committee which recommended it.
The committee is not asked to vote on the motion to amend; any motion to amend a main motion depends on the approval of the Conference.
|Tabling a Motion||Made without comment.||YES||NO||Simple Majority||NO|
|Moving to Recommit||Made without comment.||YES||YES||Two-thirds||NO|
|Calling the Question||Made without comment.||YES||NO||Two-thirds||NO|
|Reconsidering a Vote||May only be made by a member who voted with the prevailing side.
No action may be reconsidered twice.
May be seconded by either side
|Making a Floor Action||Made without comment.
Introduced any time during the Conference except at the Sharing Sessions.
Is submitted in writing by the maker to the Conference secretary.
|Declining to Consider a Floor Action||Made without comment.
May be made after the maker of ta floor action is provided time to state the rationale for it.
Computers assigned to officers, committee chairs or assembly members at large, when deemed necessary by the Area Chair will be subject to reading and understanding the computer usage policy outlined below.
It is mandatory that prior to release of equipment, a form affirming receipt of same will be completed. The form will be so arranged to facilitate checking out equipment from the Finance Committee, while transferring from past user to current user. The form will have spaces for serial numbers that must be filled out in order to enable the Finance Committee to accurately track the location of specific equipment.
Computers, which are North Florida Area property, are limited in use solely for purposes of the NFACAA. It will be agreed by trusted servants that preferred or personal software will not be installed on NFACAA equipment. Conversely, no personal or business computers/software shall be used for work of the NFACAA; thereby compromising possible errors between dissimilar file formats.
All documents created for, or containing official business of the NFACAA will be on the current preferred software of the NFACAA. To this end, documents will be cross compatible. Data on computers shall be considered the intellectual property of NFACM therefore falling under the ultimate stewardship of the Finance Committee.
CHANGE OF NFACAA PREFERRED SOFTWARE
As the NFACAA is compelled to upgrade software, care must be taken to save copies of the software for archival purposes. It is not prudent to rely entirely on "reverse" compatibility: for opening existing files. Hardware, software, and data files require climate control. Hardware is susceptible to electronic damage and data corruption. Software is subject to physical damage and/or data loss.
Historically, the NFACAA has intentionally selected the simplest software to complete the job at hand. The purpose being to make service positions where computer use is necessary to be available to as many assembly members as possible. Should the preferred software be changed, updated copies of old software shall be implemented into the NFACAA archives for simplest method of opening backed-up documents or originals off disk.
NFACAA Data Backup Policy
An up to date, redundant backup will be performed at the optimum time between quarterlies; i.e., when all data input is completed for that quarter two (2) disks of backed up data per computer.
- Keep with the computer in case of hardware failure for restoration purposes.
- The other backup disk will be sent to archives for storage in a fireproof lock box. This disk is to protect against catastrophic failure at the computer location. Proper dates and clear labeling is essential for this system to work optimally.
Anyone who needs a computer system will go through the Finance Committee. The computer system policy will be read and comprehended before the signature process. It will be the end users' responsibility to sign off when their duties with said system are complete.
Mailing List Confidentiality
Assembly mailing list is confidential property, data on computer or disk; therefore intellectual property under stewardship of the Finance committee. Historic requests of mailing lists; i.e., State Conventions, will be honored upon Assembly approval. New mailing list requests must pass committee and motion must be passed by substantial unanimity during assembly.
The resource page as published in the minutes is bound by the same restrictions as listed above.
Until such time as adoption of Internet Policy, it is strongly urged that information on lists not be posted to a home page, World Wide Web, or the Internet. Officers, DCM's, GSR's and AA members are entrusted with this information understanding our policy on Anonymity.