Concept Seven: The Conference recognizes that the Charter and the Bylaws of the World Service Board (W.S.B.) are legal instruments; that the Trustees are thereby fully empowered to manage and conduct all of the world service affairs of Cocaine Anonymous. It is further understood that the Conference Charter itself is not a legal document; that it relies instead upon the force of tradition and the power of the C.A. purse for its final effectiveness.
May 24 – 29, 2010 WSBT Quarterly Minutes p. 36 of 143.
That “power of the C.A. purse” identifies the area, district or group’s right to withhold funding. It is also important to recognize in the Twelve Concepts from World Service on page 29 it states, “And finally, in any great extremity, it would rest upon the undoubted ability of the delegates to deny the General Service Board the monies with which to operate -” This also recognizes the right to withhold funds.
The Twelve Concepts for World Service Illustrated p. 14-15
This Concept attempts to clarify the relationship and “balance of powers” between the Conference and the World Service Board. On the one hand, “the board is invested with complete legal power over C.A.’s funds and services; on the other hand the Conference is clothed with such great influence and financial power it could overcome the legal rights of the board.
“Thus, the practical power of the Conference is, in the final analysis, superior to the legal power of the board. This superior power derives from the traditional influence of the Conference Charter itself; from the fact that the delegates chosen by the groups always constitute more than two-thirds of the Conference members”; and finally from the ability of the delegates to cut off financial support by the groups.
The Conference “recommends”—though its recommendations have the force of directives to the board. The board executes these recommendations. The board does have the legal authority to veto a Conference recommendation—but in actual practice, it never has done so.
“If…the Conference will always bear in mind actual rights, duties, responsibilities and legal status of the World Service Board, and if the trustees…will constantly realize that the Conference is the real seat of ultimate service authority…neither will be seriously tempted to make a ‘rubber stamp’ out of the other…In this way, grave issues will always be resolved and harmonious cooperation will be the general rule.”
Clarifying Questions and Answers:
Q: What does Concept Seven attempt to clarify? A: The relationship and “balance of powers” between the Conference and the World Service Board.
Q: What does the Conference recognize about the Charter and the Bylaws of the World Service Board? A: They are legal instruments. That the Trustees are thereby fully empowered to manage and conduct all of the world service affairs of Cocaine Anonymous.
Q: How does the Conference differ from the W.S.B’s? A: The practical power of the Conference is, in the final analysis, superior to the legal power of the board.
Q: What does the Conference Charter rely upon? A: The force of tradition and the power of the C.A. purse for its final effectiveness.
Q: How does the power of the purse work? A: The delegates are chosen by the groups and always constitute more than two-thirds of the Conference members;” thus the delegates via the Groups who have appointed them, have the ability to cut off financial support.