Here is some important information that has been reviewed and approved by both the ABC Committee and the Service Network Committee.
We hope this is helpful in understanding:
- the purpose and function of ACA’s Annual Business Conference (ABC);
- the role of Delegates to the Conference;
- the relationship between the ACA Fellowship and the ACA WSO; and,
- how all are linked and guided by the ACA Twelve Concepts and the principles represented by the Inverted Pyramid.
The Role and Function of the ACA Annual Business Conference (ABC) and Delegates to the ABC
What is the Annual Business Conference (ABC)?
- The ABC, generally held annually in April, is where the ACA Fellowship has the opportunity to send a Delegate to represent their Meeting, Group, Intergroup, or Region to discuss and vote on fellowship business, including:
- Various issues related to the business of the ACA World Services Organization (WSO), including those brought forth by the Fellowship through the Ballot Proposal Process and/or through a Floor Motion and/or by the WSO Board of Trustees;
- Reviewing reports of the work of the WSO and its committees over the past year, and ask any questions as time allows;
- Ratifying Board Members for the WSO Board of Trustees – see the Operating Policy and Procedures Manual (OPPM) Appendix IV and ACA WSO Bylaws Article IX.5;
- Ratifying Committee Chairs (see OPPM p 23).
What is an ABC Delegate?
- An ABC Delegate is an elected representative of a registered ACA Group, Meeting, Intergroup, or Region who serves to communicate the voice of the group to the WSO at the ABC. They are given the autonomy to vote in a manner that represents their group’s conscience to the best of their ability, taking into account any new information that is presented. (see Concept III)
- Any member of the Fellowship can attend the ABC as an observer.
- See more at ACA WSO OPPM p 42.
What is the importance of attending the ABC?
- Attending the ABC provides the opportunity for a group to have a voice according to the Right of Participation as stated in The Twelve Concepts.
- Every group/intergroup/region is encouraged to elect a Delegate to represent their group conscience via voting at the ABC per Concepts II, III, VI, and XII.
Can a group have more than one delegate?
- An individual group may have only one registered Delegate at a time. Two individuals may alternate holding the position of voting Delegate for their group as long as they are both registered and have indicated how they will share their responsibilities, e.g., person A will cover the first day and person B will cover the second day.
Can an individual be a delegate for more than one group?
- No, an individual can only serve as a delegate for one registered group, whether it’s a meeting, an Intergroup or a Region
What are Ballot Proposals?
- Ballot Proposals are the specific actions or changes being sought from WSO, submitted by ACA Groups/Intergroups/Regions to be considered by Delegates as part of the agenda at the upcoming ABC. (see more at the OPPM, p 44-46)
What is the ACA World Service Organization (WSO)?
- ACA WSO is a service body and a legal entity
- The Fellowship created the WSO in 1991 to operate the day-to-day business, such as literature development and production. Per the Bylaws (see Article IX.4), during the ABC, the Fellowship gives direction to the WSO.
- See more in Concepts VI and VII
What is the “Inverted Pyramid”, and how does that relate to the ABC?
- The “Inverted Pyramid” is a term used across various 12-step programs. It is a fundamental principle regarding the relationship between service bodies (Intergroups, Regions, and WSO) and the entities that they serve (groups and individual members).
- The principle of the “Inverted Pyramid” specifies that decisions about the direction for those service bodies (including WSO) are to be made in a democratic fashion, by (representatives of) those they serve.
- From the ACA WSO Bylaws (IX.4) The group conscience obtained from the delegates in attendance shall provide direction, recommendations, and/or Special Committees to the Board for conducting the business of ACA WSO.
What are the Concepts, how do they relate to the ABC, and why are they important?
- The Twelve Concepts outline the relationship between WSO and the larger Fellowship. If the Twelve Steps are a guide to personal recovery work, and the Twelve Traditions are principles regarding organizing groups and service bodies, the Twelve Concepts are fundamental guiding principles around how the WSO ought to function and how it ought to relate to the Fellowship.
- Some of the ACA Twelve Concepts that outline the role of the ABC in the relationship between the Fellowship and the WSO include Concept II, Concept VI, Concept VII.
- Board Trustees sign a document saying they will follow the Concepts of service during their terms.
What is “The Conference”?
- There are two ways in which that phrase, “the Conference”, is used in English
- The event
- The set of people serving as Delegates at the event
- Each Delegate serves, collectively, with all other Delegates, at the ABC as “The Conference”