RACGP councillors are potentially owed back pay of more than half a million dollars between them and are relying on members to approve it at next month’s annual general meeting.
The college’s financial report, released last week, revealed that payments for ‘professional and technical’ services — such as advocacy, hosting events or talking to media — were suspended in October 2017 because of “constitutional ambiguity”.
A governance review found that professional and technical services were not defined in the constitution, which could cause a problem. Therefore, payments were suspended.
To clear up the ambiguity, the college will ask members to vote yes to a constitutional change that will allow councillors to receive directors' fees instead.
According to the financial report, councillors were owed a total of $640,888 for the last financial year.
But the college said “many of the payments” in the financial report were contingent on the outcome of the AGM to take place during the annual conference, which will be held on the Gold Coast from 11 October.
“The 2018 AGM is the appropriate forum to seek member endorsement of the clarifying amendment,” president Dr Bastian Seidel said.
Councillors received these payments for a range of services, including talking to the media, government advocacy, peer support, hosting education events, representing the college on external committees and coordinating state-based awards, he added.
The RACGP constitution was adopted in 2010.
A new constitution, including a contentious proposal to strip power from the council, was drafted in 2017 but rejected by 2600 members at an extraordinary general meeting.