Ad Hoc Committee

What is an Ad Hoc Committee?

Definition: An ad hoc committee is a group of people assembled to address a specific issue. It is a task force that deals with a particular topic.

An ad hoc committee typically formed for very specific situations and its members are usually not limited to a particular field of expertise or an academic branch.

These committees in effect, act as a temporary task force to deal with a particular problem or issue.

In business environments, ad hoc committees are normally assembled to tackle specific company issues like finances, production or marketing scenarios.

With the exception of standing committees, most committees are of the ad hoc variety.

What Does Ad Hoc Committee Mean?

These types of committees are gathered in very specific situations and they are not limited to a particular field of expertise or an academic branch. Normally, the committee’s participants are experienced individuals with sufficient skills and knowledge to address the issue professionally. By gathering a so-called “multidisciplinary team”, these committees increase the odds for a better-than-expected result to be achieved.

In business environments, ad hoc committees are normally assembled to tackle specific company issues like finances, production or marketing scenarios. External consultants, individuals with no direct work relationship with the company, are frequently summoned to attend the committee’s meetings, to provide an “outsider” perspective to the topic at hand. One key feature of these committees is that they have a due date. Since they are assembled for a specific reason, once the final expected product is produced or achieved (which could be a decision, a report or a judgment) the group should be dismantled.

Example

A company in the automobile industry is currently facing a sales problem. They have a nationwide presence but it seems that in key states, where more than 50% of the revenues are generated, the company’s sales are decreasing. After a meeting with the Board of Directors the company’s CEO decided to assemble an ad hoc committee to investigate the issue and come up with new strategies to get those states back on track.

The committee was formed by ten individuals, some of them from inside the company and others hired externally for that particular purpose. The CEO of the company chaired the meetings and handled the agenda. He also assigned the tasks to each individual according to their field of expertise. The committee’s participants consisted of four marketing experts, three economists and two sales representatives.

Special or ad hoc committees are temporary committees established by the board of directors to address a specific issue. Examples include the following:

  • Budget Committee. Prepares a draft budget for the next fiscal year.
  • Decorating Committee. Makes recommendations on paint colors, carpeting, etc. for a specific project.
  • Rules Committee. Updates the association’s rules for final approval by the board and/or holds violation hearings and makes recommendations to the board regarding penalties.
  • Insurance Committee. Investigates appropriate levels of coverage and carriers that offer competitive pricing.
  • Litigation Committee. Formed to address legal issues.

Duration of Committee.

Ad hoc committees have limited duration.

Committees cease to exist automatically whenever a new board is elected. This is true even if there is a partial change in board membership, i.e., only two of five directors are elected at the annual meeting. However, this does not apply to the individual replacement of directors who resign or who otherwise vacate the their seats.

Once an assigned project has been completed, the committee automatically dissolves unless the board assigns additional projects to the committee. An exception to the automatic termination of an ad hoc committee may occur when a committee is tasked with researching a matter that may extend into the term of the next board. Committees created for a specific purpose continue to exist until the duty assigned to them is accomplished. For example, a committee preparing recommendations for redecorating the lobbies would continue its work despite the election of a new board.

Committee members and chairmen can be removed by the board without prior notice and without cause.

Entire committees may be dissolved or decommissioned at any time with or without prior notice or cause.

Committee Members

Boards can staff ad hoc committees exclusively with homeowners, renters or board members, or with a mix. Unless the governing documents state otherwise, appointing committees is entirely at the board’s discretion.

Size of Committee

Committees can be as small as one person or as large as the board may choose.

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