Q&A Part 2
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#4 There is concern of lack of Financial statements relevant to each Committee/Function (Income and detailed expenditures)
There is one set of financial statements prepared by an accountant for the entire organization. In 2017 we had the statements prepared to a Review Engagement Level (Just shy of an audit) with a clean bill of health.
Each committee prepares a month to month budget each year. Variance reports are reviewed throughout the year to ensure the entire organization and all its various committees and events are performing to budget.
Every two months a transaction report is sent to each committee and event that lists the transactions for those two months in their general ledger accounts. It is then that the Treasurer of that committee/event can catch errors, ask where something is and have it corrected. We require those transaction reports to be sent back to the Financial Administrator with an “a-ok” and if they do not, they are followed up with. The only of our committees without a treasurer is the Bralorne Community Advisory Committee (BCAC). Our Board Treasurer has been performing that function for them.
An Income/Expenses report (Profit and Loss) for all dates is also provided to each committee. This report shows the net balance for that committee or event.
There are also any number of other types of reports that can be produced for Each committee so they have a full understanding of their finances. When asked our Board Treasurer and the Financial Administrator will help and that the Board of Directors will support. We have worked very hard in our decentralized system to improve our reporting and record keeping and to try and respond with what Committee/Event Treasurers need, it isn’t perfect and is very much based on trial and error to produce useful situation.
Currently we have requested the committee budgets and will also be working on the core budget.
#5 The legitimacy of an Executive Ctte and their decision- making without full disclosure to Board/Committee/Community consultation has been considered “sneaky” . There is a feeling that there has been interference from Tabled Directors in other Committees; that there is no discussion as to operations Eg. The Museum.
Within the Board structure, the President as per the bylaws is the Chief Executive Officer supervises the other officers on the Board, Vice – President, Treasurer, Secretary. In our case we also set up a supervision committee which operates when we do not have a paid supervisor. At various times through the years it has been one, two or three people. The President, the other officers and the supervision committee have at times met to address immediate and emerging operational issues. An example would be an employee who is having challenges, an immediate liability problem that crops up or administrative/logistical challenges (such as what happened at the AGM). Once the immediate issue is dealt with a report is put on an open (or closed if personnel) at the next meeting. However, governance decisions as per the policy are never made by the “executive” group as it is referred to. Those decisions have always been made by the Board and are well documented in ten years of minutes. This was set up by a motion some years ago and can certainly be revisited to set up their exact parameters in the policy.
We are not certain what the comment re interference actually means and if we receive a more clear description of the concern we will answer it. There is a management agreement between the Bralorne Pioneer Museum Society and the Bridge River Valley Community Association. The BRVCA Heritage Committee oversees the operational aspects of the Museum. The Bralorne Pioneer Museum Society receives a report each year that goes along with the budget. Once the BPM Board approves the budget, through the year Variance reports are produced for the financials. This system has worked very well as we now have heritage experts and people who understand the history of the valley overseeing the work of the Museum and it is beginning to operate in a sustainable fashion. The heritage committee minutes are all available on the website and the Heritage Committee chair is available to meet with anyone. The Heritage Committee meetings are advertised publicly and any member of the public is welcome to attend.
#6 Given misunderstandings that have occurred, and the lack of clarity as to the roles of the Directors, perhaps the Society’s Constitution and By-laws need to be revisited, at the least clarified.
Misunderstanding perhaps, lack of clarity no. And yes, perhaps a lack of communication. The Board of Directors and their responsibilities whether officers or other area clearly laid out in both our bylaws and policy. Those that do not understand or know are welcome to ask questions. Revisiting the Constitution and Bylaws will be in the realm of the next Board of Directors.
#7 It has been suggested that “out of town” representation may re-considered within the Constitution and the possibility of some type of mechanism considered for those who are not necessarily full time residents to participate, given the demographics of Gun Lake and Bralorne.
The BRVCA has members and involves people in all areas of the Bridge River Valley including Tyaughton Lake and Marshall Lake. We also have corporate members and members with primary interests in various areas that we work in. As of Monday, September 16 we had very close to 100 members.
In ten years the BRVCA has had more than 15 people at an AGM maybe once or twice. All directors have been acclaimed in that entire time. There has been no need of a proxy vote or a distance voting system. BRVCA stopped having their AGMs in larger venues because of the cost and the lack of need for such a large venue. That said, given this recent experience, there is a general consensus that the bylaws need to be worked through to be very clear, explicit and tight in their meanings. There is a legal process to do that, and there will be no potential approval until the next AGM.
However, in consulting a lawyer who is an expert in non-profit societies , it needs to be understood that the provincial law and the bylaws of BRVCA grant general authority to the Board of Director’s to make judgement calls. We have done this many times over the last ten years. This past week’s postponed AGM meeting is an example of where the discretion can be used in the best interests of the Society.