Concept Six

The Conference acknowledges the primary administrative responsibility of the Trustees.

Just as the Al‑Anon groups can act decisively in world service affairs only by entrusting authority and responsibility to their World Service Conference (WSC), so must the WSC in turn entrust administrative authority to Al‑Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc. (AFG, Inc.), in order that its Trustees may act freely and effectively in the absence of the WSC.

For several important reasons, the Trustees must have freedom to act. Next to the WSC, Al‑Anon’s Board of Trustees should be our most influential group of world servants. We have to consider carefully the kind and degree of authority, responsibility, leadership and legal status the Trustees must possess in order to function effectively in the years to come. We need to define the kinds of professional and financial skills that will be required for an effective Board of Trustees. Thus we ensure the Board’s capability of future leadership.

We need to show how the Trustees ought to be related to the WSC and, in turn, to the Executive Committee and any other active service committees or corporations that may be needed in the future. In a general way these relations are indicated in our Al-Anon World Service Conference Charter (WSC Charter) and on preceding pages; however, there remains a need to interpret them in detail. These relations should never be frozen into a rigid pattern. However satisfactory and right our present arrangements are, the future may require changes that we do not yet envision. New conditions may require refinements or even considerable alterations. For this reason, our WSC Charter is capable of being amended by the WSC itself.

If later we do make changes that happen to work out poorly, the experience of the past will provide, in these articles, a point of safe return to tested procedure.

A careful review of the legal and traditional rights of the Board of Trustees indicates its administrative responsibilities. Its authority in this field is unquestionably great.

Why should our Trustees be given this wide latitude of judgment and action? The answer is that they are held responsible for all our
service activities, as well as for Al‑Anon’s worldwide public relations. They are expected to spearhead the formulation of Al‑Anon policy and its proper execution. They are the active guardians of our Twelve Traditions. The Trustees have ultimate responsibility for the preservation and prudent management of all Al‑Anon’s financial assets. They are accountable for the internal controls of funds received and the investment thereof. The wide range of their activities is further detailed under Concept Eleven.

While the Trustees must operate under the close observation, guidance, and sometimes the direction of the WSC, it is nevertheless true that only the Trustees can evaluate and handle most of the innumerable transactions involved in our World Service operation. In view of this great responsibility, they must be given a correspondingly large grant of authority and leadership with which to discharge it. It must be understood that the conduct of our World Services is primarily a matter of policy and business. While our objectives are spiritual, these aims can be achieved only by means of an effective business operation. Since our Trustees must function like the directors of any large business corporation, they must have ample authority to manage and conduct Al‑Anon’s business.

Al-Anon/Alateen Service Manual 2018-2021 (P-24/27), pg. 189-190