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FIT Secretary General Powers Policy

Purpose of policy

This policy provides details as to the position, responsibilities and powers of the Secretary General, as outlined in the FIT Constitution 2011 (the Constitution), Rules 16, 35, 38 and 41.

Policy scope and application

The Secretary General performs a key role in supporting National Touch Associations (NTAs) across a wide range of governance and sport related activities, as well as providing support and expert advice to FIT Board Directors in managing their responsibilities, ensuring the work of the Directors remains consistent with FIT regulations, policies and plans.


Definitions identified below are specific to this policy and are critical to its effectiveness:

means a person who is appointed to fill a casual vacancy of the FIT Board, endorsed by the current Board members.
means the body consisting of the Directors as described in the Constitution, Rule 28.
Federation of International Touch
means the peak body for the administration of Touch throughout the world. The objects for which FIT is established and maintained are described in the Constitution, Rule 3.
National Touch Association
means an entity recognised under the Constitution, Rules 11 and 12 as the primary recognised peak governing body of Touch in each country with the object to promote, encourage foster, develop, extend, govern and control the sport of Touch in that country.
means the sport or game played under the rules determined by FIT from time to time.

Regulatory background

The Constitution and the operations of FIT are governed by the legislative requirements of the Corporations Act 2001 (Commonwealth of Australia) and the Associations Incorporation Act 2009 (New South Wales, Australia).

The Constitution may be amended by FIT NTAs in accordance with the processes described within the Constitution.

Policy statement

The position of the Secretary General provides a key interface between FIT and Member Associations (National Touch Associations (NTAs)) on a diverse and wide range of FIT related activities providing strategic and operational advice and direction in areas of Touch policy development, implementation and interpretation; dispute resolution; membership recruitment; and volunteers.

The position is also responsible for management and administrative activities which provide for effective Board operations, including the coordination of Board Meetings, and preparation of Meeting Agendas, Board Papers and distribution of Board minutes; as well as the coordination and preparation for FIT Annual General Meetings.

Secretary General powers policy

  1. Responsibilities and powers of the Secretary General
    1. The Secretary General has responsibility for ensuring resolution of disputes between Directors or between Committees. The Secretary General may not, however, direct any Director and any disputes must be resolved through discussion and agreement. In the event of a dispute arising between the Secretary General and another Director, or the Secretary General and the President, such disputes must be resolved under the direction of the full Board.
    2. The Secretary General supports the President in providing leadership to the Board ensuring that decision making is participatory and democratic and provides leadership in dispute resolution.
    3. The Secretary General, working with the President, must ensure consultative processes are followed in the formulation of FIT policy. The Secretary General also has an important role to play in initiating and contributing to policy through knowledge of FIT and its members’ issues.
    4. The Secretary General must ensure the Board, contractors and membership have the opportunity and the necessary information to contribute to FIT planning processes. The Secretary General must ensure that FIT has the opportunity and the necessary information to examine and ratify proposed plans and targets.
    5. The Secretary General, through day to day contact with Directors and contractors, oversees the management of the Federation.
  2. FIT Commissions
    1. The Secretary General is responsible for three FIT Commissions which fall within the Secretary General’s portfolio:
      • Policies Coordination Commission.
      • Membership Recruitment Commission.
      • Volunteer Commission.
  3. Board policy directives
    1. The constitutional powers of the Secretary General are, pursuant to Rule 35.3 of the Constitution, subject to the policy directives of the Board.
    2. The FIT Board specifically restricts the powers of the Secretary General as follows:
      • The Secretary General cannot, without Board approval, take any action of constitutional, strategic and/or governance significance.
      • The Secretary General cannot, without Board approval, take any action of financial significance, in particular, the Secretary General cannot seek to amend any financial related policy or offer any exceptions to such policies/decisions without Board approval.
      • The Secretary General cannot, without Board approval, take any action of legal significance including, but not limited to:
        • Entering into any contract, whether formal written contract, informal written and/or verbal agreements, or otherwise.
        • Varying any contract, whether by formal written variation, informal written and/or verbal variations, or otherwise.
      • If there is any doubt as to whether an issue involves a matter of constitutional, strategic, governance, financial and/or legal significance, the matter must be referred to the President for determination as to whether it is a matter for Board approval, or not.
      • Any Board approval relating to matters of constitutional, strategic, governance, financial and/or legal significance must involve the President in the decision-making process, unless the President appoints a nominee to take his/her place in the relevant decision-making.
    3. Notwithstanding Rule 35.1 of the Constitution, the Board determines that the legislative requirements of the Associations Incorporation Act 2009 (NSW) in relation to the Public Officer criteria, take precedence over the constitutional requirements, and so the Board has determined that it must:
      • Appoint a NSW resident over 18 years of age as Public Officer of the Federation.
      • Seek the NTA member’s approval to amend the Constitution to provide for as flexible a compliance approach as possible with the legislative requirements in relation to the appointment of a Public Officer.
    4. Notwithstanding Rule 35.4 of the Constitution, the Board determines that the Secretary General does not have the power to employ any personnel without Board approval (noting that employment involves matters of both legal and financial significance).
    5. In relation to the general management and administrative duties the Secretary General must operate within the limits of FIT policy and common practice.
    6. This description of powers serves to illustrate the scope and responsibilities of the position and is not intended to be an exhaustive list of duties. The Secretary General will be expected to perform other job related tasks requested by the Board and as necessitated by the development of this position and the ongoing development of FIT.
  4. Reporting
    1. In accordance with the Constitution, Rule 35.2, the Secretary General must ensure a thorough report of activities undertaken by the Secretary General is presented to Board members at every meeting.
  5. Induction of an incoming Secretary General
    1. Each time a Secretary General is elected, the outgoing Secretary General will be responsible for their induction. This will include responsibility for ensuring that the incoming office bearer is aware of the following:
      • Any operational or strategic plans set by the Board.
      • The details of any key or strategic priorities that are a focus for the role.
      • Policies and sections of the Constitution which relate to the role of the Secretary General and those that pertain to Directors.
      • The day to day administrative arrangements within FIT.
      • The progress of ongoing initiatives, campaigns, lobbying or sponsorship activities.
      • How to carry out the specific duties of the Secretary General’s position.
      • The role of contractors within the organisation.


Enquiries in relation to this policy should be directed to the FIT Secretary General.

Refer to the following related policies and documents:


This document has been authorised by:

Approval Authority
Responsible Officer
Secretary General
Date first approved
6 June 2016
Date last amended
6 June 2016
Effective start date
6 June 2016
Date to be reviewed
1 October 2017