CARE Act Title II Manual - 2003 Version
VI. Planning Bodies
2. Planning Body Policies and Procedures
- Policies and Procedures Manual
- Key Questions to Consider
Planning Body Policies and Procedures
In order to operate effectively, planning bodies require policies and procedures to guide their planning and decision making. They should be developed and approved by the entire membership, with copies provided in the form of a manual to all members. Changes will naturally occur over time as proposed by members or committees.
Provisions should cover such areas as the mission of the body; membership; meeting and decision making procedures (e.g., conflict of interest); roles for officers, board members, and committees; lead agency procedures; and enforcement.
Policies and Procedures Manual TOP
A policies and procedures manual should included the following:
- Mission and objectives (including legislative requirements)
- Bylaws (if applicable)
- Body’s structure and current workplan
- Membership provisions (including recruitment strategies)
- Committee policies and procedures
- Job descriptions for all officers, board members, general members, and committee members
- Lead agency duties (if applicable)
- Meeting procedures including attendance requirements and voting procedures
- Definitions and a glossary of frequently used words and acronyms
- Confidentiality policy, including sanctions for breaches
- Conflict of interest policies
- Conflict resolution policies
- Documentation of needs assessment, priority setting, and evaluation procedures
- Description of fund distribution process (if this is a responsibility)
- Processes for adopting and changing policies and procedures
- Process for evaluation of service providers (if applicable), and
- Other policies and procedures related to the body’s role in the community.
Key Questions to Consider TOP
In developing policies and procedures, consider the following questions.
- What is the mission?
- Will there be formal bylaws?
- What are the body’s responsibilities?
- How will performance be evaluated?
- What is the conflict of interest policy and process?
- What is the confidentiality policy?
- What policies and processes govern conflict resolution?
- How will staff be evaluated?
- What is the relationship between the body and the State?
What outreach procedures exist to recruit new members?
- What outreach procedures exist to identify and recruit PLWH?
- How will members be selected?
- Are there policies to help ensure the membership includes historically underserved groups and that it reflects the demographics of the local epidemic?
- How will voting privileges be established?
- What roles are specified for members? What job descriptions exist?
- What will be the duration of a term of membership? What are the criteria for continuing membership?
- Will members be required to sign a commitment statement?
- What is the process for removing members?
- What is the member grievance process?
- What are the attendance requirements?
- Does each member have one vote or is there one vote per organization?
- What is the decision making process (e.g., consensus, voting)?
- What are ground rules for discussion at meetings?
- What are the rules for discussions and deliberation (e.g., Robert’s Rules of Order)?
- Is attendance through telephone conference call permitted?
- Who chairs meetings?
- Who takes meeting minutes?
- Is there a quorum requirement? What is it?
- How will meetings be announced?
- When will meetings be held?
- How will reasonable accommodations be made for participants with special needs?
- Are alternate members designated to attend meetings for members who are unable to attend? If so, when are the alternates allowed to vote?
Officers and/or Board Members Procedures
- What are the officer and/or board member positions?
- How will officers and board members be selected?
- What are the roles and responsibilities of each officer and board member?
- What authority does each officer or board member have to make decisions?
- What is the process to remove officers and board members?
- How will officers’ and board members’ performance be evaluated?
- What are the standing committees?
- What, if any, ad hoc committees are needed?
- What written instructions, such as a charge to the committee, are provided, and who is responsible for preparing them?
- What are the roles and responsibilities of each committee?
- How are committee members be selected?
- What authority do committee members have to act independently of the committee or the full consortium?
- How can committee members be removed?
- How is committee performance be evaluated?
Lead Agency Procedures
- What are the roles and responsibilities of the lead agency?
- What is in the document that establishes the relationship between the body and the lead agency (letter of agreement or memorandum of understanding)?
- What is the relationship of the lead agency to the body?
- What authority does the lead agency have to act independently of the body?
- What process is used to distribute funds?
- How will the availability of the funds be announced to potential service providers?
- What are the guidelines or criteria for selecting service providers?
- Who selects service providers?
- How is conflict of interest avoided?
- What is the funding appeals process for service providers who apply?
- How, and by whom, are providers evaluated?
Planning Bodies Responsible for Multiple Funding Sources
- What are the relationships between the different funding sources including CARE Act programs, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Prevention Community Planning Groups, Housing Opportunities for People With AIDS (HOPWA), and State general funds?
- What are the specific program requirements for each funding source?
- What are the specific reporting requirements for each funding source?
- What specific policies and procedures will need to be developed for each funding source?
- What policies and procedures govern the overall process?
Enforcement of Policies and Procedures
The body as a whole must agree to enforce its own policies and procedures. While one or two people may be assigned to monitor compliance, the responsibility for agreeing to ensure the effective functioning of the group rests with every single consortium member. Hence, the body will set its own culture or “tone” of compliance with and enforcement of its own policies and procedures.
While the body needs to stay flexible about changing requirements from funders and outside authorities, members should be encouraged to speak up if they feel that policies and procedures are not being followed by the membership. Options include reconsidering the policy or procedure because it is not being used or no longer applies, or enforcement of provisions. Such a consensus should stipulate specific actions that will result when members disregard policies or procedures.
Technical assistance can be provided by the Title II grantee (i.e., State) to ensure that policies and procedures are developed, implemented, and maintained. In rare circumstances, direct interventions may be required by a Title II grantee to ensure that legislative mandates are carried out. Ultimately, the Title II grantee is responsible for ensuring that the body within their State complies with Federal and State requirements and guidance and for keeping the body informed about changes in requirements.