The Twelve Concepts of World Service & Area 61 Service Manual


  1. The final responsibility and ultimate authority for A.A. world services should
    always reside in the collective conscience of our whole Fellowship.
  2. When, in 1955, the A.A. groups confirmed the permanent charter for their
    General Service Conference, they thereby delegated to the Conference
    complete authority for the active maintenance of our world services and thereby
    made the Conference—excepting for any change in the Twelve Traditions or in
    Article 12 of the Conference Charter—the actual voice and the effective
    conscience for our whole Society.
  3.  As a traditional means of creating and maintaining a clearly defined working
    relation between the groups, the Conference, the A.A. General Service Board
    and its several service corporations, staffs, committees and executives, and of
    thus insuring their effective leadership, it is here suggested that we endow each
    of these elements of world service with a traditional “Right of Decision.”
  4. Throughout our Conference structure, we ought to maintain at all responsible
    levels a traditional “Right of Participation,” taking care that each classification or
    group of our world servants shall be allowed a voting representation in
    reasonable proportion to the responsibility that each must discharge.
  5. Throughout our world service structure, a traditional “Right of Appeal” ought to
    prevail, thus assuring us that minority opinion will be heard and that petitions for
    the redress of personal grievances will be carefully considered.
  6. On behalf of A.A. as a whole, our General Service Conference has the principal
    responsibility for the maintenance of our world services, and it traditionally has
    the final decision respecting large matters of general policy and finance. But the
    Conference also recognizes that the chief initiative and the active responsibility
    in most of these matters should be exercised primarily by the Trustee members
    of the Conference when they act among themselves as the General Service.
    Board of Alcoholics Anonymous
  7. The Conference recognizes that the Charter and the Bylaws of the General
    Service Board are legal instruments: that the Trustees are thereby fully
    empowered to manage and conduct all of the world service affairs of Alcoholics
    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 A.A. purse for its final effectiveness.
  8. The Trustees of the General Service Board act in two primary capacities: (a)
    With respect to the larger matters of over-all policy and finance, they are the
    principal planners and administrators. They and their primary committees directly manage these affairs. (b) But with respect to our separately incorporated
    and constantly active services, the relation of the Trustees is mainly that of full
    stock ownership and of custodial oversight which they exercise through their
    ability to elect all directors of these entities.
  9. Good service leaders, together with sound and appropriate methods of choosing
    them, are at all levels indispensable for our future functioning and safety. The
    primary world service leadership once exercised by the founders of A.A. must
    necessarily be assumed by the Trustees of the General Service Board of
    Alcoholics Anonymous.
  10. Every service responsibility should be matched by an equal service authority—
    the scope of such authority to be always well defined whether by tradition, by
    resolution, by specific job description or by appropriate charters and bylaws.
  11. While the Trustees hold final responsibility for A.A.’s world service
    administration, they should always have the assistance of the best possible
    standing committees, corporate service directors, executives, staffs, and
    consultants. Therefore the composition of these underlying committees and
    service boards, the personal qualifications of their members, the manner of their
    induction into service, the systems of their rotation, the way in which they are
    related to each other, the special rights and duties of our executives, staffs, and
    consultants, together with a proper basis for the financial compensation of these
    special workers, will always be matters for serious care and concern.
  12. General Warranties of the Conference: in all its proceedings, the General
    Service Conference shall observe the spirit of the A.A. Tradition, taking great
    care that the Conference never becomes the seat of perilous wealth or power;
    that sufficient operating funds, plus an ample reserve, be its prudent financial
    principle; that none of the Conference Members shall ever be placed in a
    position of unqualified authority over any of the others; that all important
    decisions be reached by discussion, vote, and, whenever possible, by
    substantial unanimity; that no Conference action ever be personally punitive or
    an incitement to public controversy; that, though the Conference may act for the
    service of Alcoholics Anonymous, it shall never perform any acts of government;
    and that, like the Society of Alcoholics Anonymous which it serves, the
    Conference itself will always remain democratic in thought and action.

Copyright © 1962
Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.
All rights reserved

Below is the Area 61 Service Manual which incorporates the actions taken by the Area Assembly through 2017.

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