Concept 10 – Every service responsibility should be matched by an equal service authority – the scope of such authority to be always well defined whether by tradition, by resolution, by specific job description or by appropriate charters and bylaws.
Our service structure cannot function effectively and harmoniously unless, at every level, each operational responsibility is matched by a corresponding authority to discharge it. This requires that authority must be delegated at every level – and that the responsibility and authority of every entity are well defined and clearly understood.
Let’s begin with the group. Concept I states the “final responsibility and ultimate authority” resides with the A.A. groups, and they delegate this authority to the Conference (Concept II). The detail of which topics for discussion or items of concern are forwarded to the Conference by the Groups via the GSR is discussed at our District meetings and at our Area Assemblies.
The Conference, in turn, delegates to the General Service Board the authority to manage A.A.’s affairs (Concept III) in its behalf. The detail of what topics and /or items are forwarded by the Conference to the General Service Board are reported to the Fellowship via a printed Final Report distributed to the Fellowship following the annual meeting of the General Service Conference.
The General Service Board is in authority over its subsidiary operating conditions – A.A. World Services, Inc. and the A.A. Grapevine Inc. The General Service Board delegates to the directors of those corporations the authority necessary to run these service entities.
The directors of AAWS and the AA Grapevine are in authority over the executives of these corporations, but delegate to these officers the authority needed to carry out their administrative responsibilities.
And lastly, the executives of AAWS and the AA Grapevine delegate to the General Service Office and Grapevine staff members and other employees the authority necessary to carry out their important service jobs.
The benefit to the Fellowship of this delegation of responsibility and authority is immense.
Many of our members receive their monthly edition of the AA Grapevine with news and stories of and by our members. The Grapevine also provides books, CD’s, and an abundance of informative materials used by our members on their journey.
Our service entities receive service materials (pamphlets, guidelines, displays, etc.) vital to their efforts to carry the A.A. message to the still suffering alcoholic.
Our groups have access to the books, pamphlets, displays, wallet cards, etc., etc. used in our scheduled meetings to achieve our primary purpose as defined by Tradition 5.
I hope this brief look at Concept 10 has been helpful. I am forever grateful for the experience I have enjoyed in my service to the Fellowship. I know I’ve been guided by the hand of God through the application of these Twelve Concepts for World Service in my endeavors. And I would like to say Thank You for allowing me to share a little of what I’ve learned in the process.
Past Delegate, Panel 55, Area 69 – State of Utah