22 April 2013

Sub-Committees and Task Teams

Induction, Part 3c

Sub-Committees and Task Teams

So far, for the purposes of this first iteration of our course, we have not yet found a good document discussing sub-committees and task teams. We await the discovery of a suitable discussion text. Please assist if you can.

Sub-committees are an integral part of the overall structural system that is used by political parties, parliaments and councils, businesses and co-operatives. Sub-committees are normal.

In the South African Communist Party, the Central Committee is a sub-committee of the National Congress, and the Political Bureau is a sub-committee of the Central Committee.

“Working Committees” such as the National Working Committee of the ANC, are sub-committees, and in that specific case, a sub-committee of the National Executive Committee. Similarly, a Provincial Working Committee in the SACP is a of the corresponding Provincial Executive Committee.

In a Branch of the SACP or the ANC, the Branch Executive Committee (BEC) is a sub-committee of the Branch, and is therefore subordinate to the Branch General Meeting (BGM).

In the SACP, the Provincial Working Committee reports to the Provincial Executive Committee (PEC), and the PEC reports to the Provincial Council or to the Provincial Congress.

In practice such sub-committees have a lot of freedom, but the above is the constitutional position and it becomes the practical position if and when there are disagreements between main committees and their subordinate structures. In the case of such disagreements, higher structures rule, and lower ones submit.

Task teams, or ad hoc committees, may be set up to perform tasks of limited duration.

Specialised sub-committees may be formed for the delegation of particular, but on-going, responsibilities. Such could be a Political Education Sub-Committee, or a Fundraising Sub-Committee, for example.

In sub-committees, all the functions of any structure are reproduced, but because sub-committees are usually smaller in numbers, it may happen that functions have to be combined in the same individual. A “Convenor”, for example, might have to combine the functions of Chairperson and Secretary.


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