The LAG membership is open to everyone living within the LAG boundaries and it is the members who are the most important resource for the LAG's operation. Most LAGs set up a small membership fee in order to collect private funds and better commit the members in the LAG activities. *Both private persons and local public/private organisations can become members. The number of members is a good indicator on how widely the LAG is known and recognised on its territory.
The LAG must be an accountable, registered body but otherwise it can freely organise itself internally, according to its statutes. The General Assembly where all LAG members are invited once or twice in a year is in charge of selecting the Board and the President among the LAG members. The selection must follow the public-private partnership principle as well as territorial, gender and age equity. The General Assembly also has many other formal duties defined by the statutes like approving the annual reports, accounts and financial statements of each year. It also has power to change the LAG's statutes.
Board / Executive Commitee
The Board uses the highest power in everyday decision-making of the LAG and is also legally and financially responsible for its operation. The size of the Board is defined in the statutes: typically it is between 10 and 15 persons. The LAG President leads the Board that typically has 6-12 meetings per year. All Board members must sign a statement of confidentiality as regards to all information obtained in their position, through the project applications for example. Due to their family or business relations the Board members may sometimes face a conflict of interests situation, when they cannot take part in the project selection decision-making.
The Board may nominate sub-committees to prepare and evaluate material to be presented for the Board decision-making. Project evaluation, project monitoring and cooperation sub-committees are typical examples, where these issues can be discussed and prepared more in depth than in the Board.
The Board hires the LAG staff. This must be done within the LAG's administrative funds, which can be a maximum of 20 per cent of the LAG's overall public funds budget. As the LAG budgets and administrative tasks are highly variable so is their amount of staff persons, varying from less than one person annually to five. The Manager works as an executive director of the LAG. Project advisor, community advisor, business advisor, transnational coordinator and office assistant are other typical titles of the LAG personnel.
Accountant & auditors
An accountant can also be a LAG staff member but more usually he/she is outsourced. Anyway this person plays a key role in successful LAG management and completes the LAG's structure together with the financial auditors. Keeping the accountant informed on all financial matters ranging from the approval of invoices to LAG's administration funding decisions pays back in all reporting. The auditors can give good administrative and financial advice throughout the year, not only when auditing the accounts every Spring