Cover Image
close this bookGuidelines for the Management of Professional Associations in the Fields of Archives, Library and Information Work (UNESCO)
close this folder4. Governance of the association
View the document4.1. Social and political factors.
View the document4.2. General assembly or congress
View the document4.3. The council
View the document4.4. Council - relationships
View the document4.5. Council - operation
View the document4.6. Council - makeup
View the document4.7. Executive committee or bureau
View the document4.8. Sub-organisations
View the document4.9. Summary

4.4. Council - relationships

In addition to being the "legal face" of the association and being ultimately responsible for decisions on policies, activities and financial management - all of which are concerned primarily with the association's internal management - the Council also has to guide the association's work with bodies external to it. Particularly are these governments both local and state. In an effective association these. relationships will be subtle and probably complicated and for their successful operation consumate political skills will be required.

There appear to be two extremes for these relationships with a wide variety of mixes between them. At one end are relationships where associations are very close to government where they are perceived as being expert advisers to be consulted on major issues by the relevant government ministry or department. Judgment of the success of this type of relationship is based on how much, and how often, the advice of the association is taken and realised into government policies and actions. In such extreme cases the association may benefit from government support in terms of human and financial resources.

At the other extreme are the associations and governments' departments firmly independent of each other with government taking the view that there are many organisations. with which it could consult - many with opposing views - and the government will take the final decisions either in consultation with, or without, the associations. In such situations associations are forced into the role of pressurising government along with the other bodies in order to get acceptance for its views. This encourages them much more into being lobbying bodies or pressure groups of associations onto governments. In such situations an association is unlikely to be financially supported by government; nor would it be likely to want such support for fear of comprising its independence. Between these extremes are a range of comprise positions. A Council needs carefully to consider, in the political environment in which it operates, what position it will adopt.