Traditionally, general service committees and intergroups/central offices (IGCOs) have performed different functions. IGCOs provide local services; general service committees maintain the link between the A.A. groups and the A.A. General Service Board by means of the Conference. So these two separate, but vital service structures, coexist in many areas in mutual cooperation and harmony.
Intergroups are service entities that focus exclusively on local needs (e.g. publishing local A.A. meeting lists, answering inquiries about A.A., receiving, arranging, and following up Twelfth Step calls, establishing local public information committees) and are not part of A.A.’s larger decision-making/service structure. You’ll notice they don’t appear in the upside-down triangle. But there is a connection between the two as shown in the picture.
“Unity is the glue that holds the intergroup/central offices and general services together, but it is communication that jumpstarts mutual cooperation and harmony — vital both in reaching suffering alcoholics and in being attuned to the needs of those who are recovering in A.A.” — Reprinted from Intergroup/Central Offices: A.A.’s Front Line — Box 459 – August/September 2007, with permission from A.A. World Services, Inc.
Though an intergroup falls within the broader definition of “general service” (service beyond the group level), it should not to be confused with “General Service”, shorthand for A.A.’s larger decision-making/service structure. Within SDI and many other places, Intergroups and General Service entities (Areas, Counties, Districts) coordinate with one another to divide up service responsibilities.
Further reading, please see our FAQ on the service structure of A.A..