The International Missionary Benefit Society, with a concern for efficiency, flexibility and proximity with the member communities and beneficiaries has a decentralised administration.
They are located around the world and have a crucial role in the functioning of the association. Indeed, as well as the administrative management of the beneficiary members of the groups, they guarantee an essential local role. Their spirit mission of Christian solidarity is acknowledged and appreciated by all the communities.
The Sections are created by the Steering Committee as required. They are established in full agreement with the competent religious bodies. Their management is entrusted to an Episcopal Conference or a religious Institute.
The first, in 1966, were created by existing mutual societies (Union Mutuelle St Martin, Mutualité des clerges de Belgique., etc.), benefiting from their administrative structures. The West Africa, Central Africa, Madagascar and East Africa sections, with the agreement of the Episcopal Conferences, were set up by the IMS in 1967, 1973 and 2007. The Central Africa, East Africa and Central America Sections currently have a religious Institute as their management community.
Initially French-speaking, the Sections have grown and opened up to English- and Spanish-speaking regions.
The Sections are responsible for the direct management under the control of Head Office of the following: registration of memberships, collection of contributions, payment of assistance, dissemination of information, contact with the group managers, development.
Although they manage a working capital fund as well as the social fund, they do not have financial autonomy; accordingly, they are not under the control of the local authorities. The Sections are placed under the management of the Central Office in a relationship of trust.
Contacts of the religious communities (religious institutes, dioceses, etc.) are with the Section. The Sections work through the Central Office and correspond with it. The ICOD computer system installed in 2008, now the same for all the sections, is able to manage all currencies, gives a clearer and faster view and allows disparities between regions and countries to be taken into account and malfunctions to be identified.
The purpose of the Sections is to:
- reconcile the two necessities of national responsibility and international solidarity.
- allow everyone the right to healthcare without discrimination on the grounds of race, nationality, place of residence or age.
- allow solidarity between each of the IMS members in the world. The Sections have no negative impact on the application of the rules of solidarity which are managed at the international level of the institution.
The Section provides the administrative management for which it is accountable to the Central Office.
The Section is organised to manage requests for assistance from the Social Fund and proposes the review of additional requests at the international level.
It forwards requests for reduction of contributions and special membership to the ad hoc committees.
It chooses the delegates for the General Assembly.
Each Section uses 5% of its contributions for its everyday management: administrative expenses, telephone, internet, mail, salaries, travel for international development.
The surpluses of an accounting year are transferred to the Head Office, which also covers any deficits.
Its nature, mission, relations with the Head Office and the managing community are set out in the Management Agreement.