21st April 2017

The British Union Conference (BUC) Executive Committee on 16 March 2017 appointed Paul Lockham to the position of Associate Executive Secretary of the BUC to work alongside Executive Secretary John Surridge

John Surridge in his presentation to the Executive Committee provided the following rationale for the position of Associate Executive Secretary.

Strategic Role of the Associate Executive Secretary

Over the last decade the General Conference has been seeking to strengthen the governance structures and procedures of the Church. The unity of the world Church is heavily reliant on robust policies that are implemented consistently around the world, and Secretariat personnel at all levels are key to this implementation.

Secretariat is heavily involved in the day to day running of the Church, handling a vast range of procedural matters, many of which are mission critical. This heavy administrative burden can lead to the department becoming entrenched in a cycle of bureaucracy which stifles strategic development. Creating an environment for genuine governance improvement requires workload sharing, with the Secretariat team working in close harmony to free up time for strategic planning, without jeopardising the integrity of Church operations.

In keeping with the example of the General Conference and the Trans-European Division, the British Union Conference is committed to reviewing, improving and where appropriate establishing new systems of governance. This process was started at the BUC Session in 2006 when the position of Associate Executive Secretary was first proposed and budgeted for. Finding the right person for the job has, however, proved to be difficult. Technical competence is not enough to implement strategic plans and policy change across an organisation. The right candidate must have a thorough working knowledge and extensive experience of high-level Church administration, policies and procedures, as well as a thorough grasp of the local working environment, with its unique legal frameworks and diverse church congregations.

The qualities which are required for change management may not necessarily be the same as those required for some future, more stable, governance structure. With the BUC currently engaged in a two-year investigation into possible restructuring, it is conceivable that the period of transition will last for at least the current quinquennium. During that time it is anticipated that a training and development path for future Executive Secretaries may be established; potential candidates perhaps being identified early on and then given experience in Mission or Conference administrative positions before progressing to Union Associate Executive Secretary and, ultimately, Union Executive Secretary.

It is with these principles in mind that the job description for BUC Associate Executive Secretary (see below) has been drawn up. It has been informed by the General Conference Constitution (Article V sec 10 b; VI sec 1 a; Article IX sec 1 & sec 5), General Conference Bylaws (Article IV); and General Conference Model Union Constitutions (D10 Article II sec 10; Article VI sec 1 b & sec 2; D10 Article VII sec 10), as recorded in TED Working Policy 2015-2016, and the BUC Constitution (Article 9 b; Article 10 (a) (ii); Article 12). It is modelled on the TED Job Description for Associate Executive Secretary, with specific additions for the local BUC context, following extensive consultations with the TED Executive Secretary. It is fully approved and recommended by the Officers of the British Union Conference

BUC Associate Executive Secretary Job Description

The Associate Executive Secretary shall answer directly to the Executive Secretary. He/she shall support and act on behalf of the Executive Secretary whenever requested, either by the Executive Secretary or by the other Executive Officers. He/she shall be intentional in helping to implement the strategic plans of the BUC, supporting and complementing the Executive Secretary in the development of new approaches and solutions to meet the challenging compliance and legislative environment of the twenty-first century.

Areas of Responsibility

In addition to assisting the Executive Secretary in the wider work of Secretariat (50% of time) as specified in the job description for that role (see above) the Associate Executive Secretary shall have further responsibility for the following:

A. Pensions Coordinator (25% of time)

1. Ongoing pension coordination (dealing with enquiries)

2. Processing of individual retirement applications (SDARP), giving support and advice where appropriate

3. Liaising with Barnett-Waddingham (SDARP & SDAGPP) on all pension matters

4. Serving as a permanent invitee to SDARP Pension Trustees' meetings

5. Serving as the principal contact for The Pension Regulator, for both SDARP and SDAGPP

6. Organisation of ballot and nominating process for member-nominated trustees

7. Involvement with, and communication of, the valuation of the Pension Plan every three years

8. Management of issues following the death of a pensioner: notify payroll and Barnett-Waddingham; correspond with family of deceased; facilitate payment of funeral allowance; and arrange pension for dependents when appropriate

B. Human Resource Development (25% of time)

1. Training, support and development of those involved in the processes of Secretariat, from Conference Executive Secretaries to local Church Clerks

2. Induction of new office employees (support staff and directors)

3. Maintenance of contracts and service records; development of new systems for handling them

4. Maintenance of Adventist Office (online work, travel and expense) records; training of ministers and other employees in using the system

5. Maintenance of Credentials and Licences records; involvement in the required assessment processes

6. Processing of service requests, AVS, and visa applications

7. Processing of International Service Employees and Inter-Division Missionaries

Upon his appointment, Paul Lockham humbly remarked of his willingness to serve the Church and to offer his services to the betterment of the Church and ultimately to the glory of God.

[Richard Daly]

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