Wednesday 19th July 2006 - Afternoon Session
Article 105 - Report of Treasurer and Budget
Agenda Item 12k - Report Synod Treasurer
Agenda Item 8v - Letter FRC West Albany re Deputies Expenditures
Agenda Item 13a - Audit of the Books of the Synod Treasurer and discharge of the Treasurer
Agenda Item 14 - Draft Budget and Calculation and sharing of Synod costs
II. Recommendation from committee appointed by Synod to come with a proposal:
This committee was not given a mandate for its work. Further, it has not had the time to confirm whether some of these matters have been raised, worked on and decided upon previously.
Our Treasurer has highlighted a number of concerns, which this committee has chosen to address. At the same time we have also considered the submission from the FRC West Albany. Br Hordyk advises; "Synod must analyse whether the cost benefits are really there for each and every Synod expenditure. That is not the task of the Treasurer".
There is no question that Synod and Deputies spend a lot of time on their work, often during their own time and at their own expense. In doing so, they incur loss of income, which they do not claim on Synod, and, they either fully cover or share the travel and accommodation costs with their personal or business expenses. However, our Treasurer expresses concern over what he believes to be the unrestrained spending of Synods and Deputies. The FRC of West Albany also urges Synod to show restraint in allocating funds. They also ask that the Churches not be burdened unnecessarily. The focus on the concerns centres on the increasing costs particularly for IT, sound and travel. This committee finds it difficult to address these concerns properly, as the term restraint is difficult to determine in financial matters and our time to deal with it was limited.
There seems to be a lack of procedural guidelines for the Treasurer, Synod, the Deputies and this committee to follow. This creates confusion and may even give the impression that Synod and the Deputies pay little attention to financial matters. Some examples:
- some deputies have not provided any draft budgets to the Treasurer;
- both the convening church and the auditors had to be followed up in order for the Treasurer to complete his work.
It would be good practice that, where possible and convenient, the Synod Treasurer presents the financial reports and draft budget directly to Synod. This has not been done in the time that Br. Hordyk has been Synod Treasurer.
On page 2 of the draft budget, our Treasurer mentions that he sought but did not receive direction on the matter of the tokens of appreciation to host families. Further he asks that the amount be capped and that delegates claim a refund from the Treasurer.
In response, we refer the Treasurer to Article 99 of Synod 2003, under Decisions, number 6 which reads - To adopt the Synod Treasurer's recommendation that gifts to host families up to the value of $50 may be reimbursed by the Synod Treasury.
- To accept the Synod Treasurer's Financial Report which comprises a Statement of Receipts and a Statement of Expenditure and a Statement of Funds for the period 5 March 2003 to 11 April 2006.
- To receive the Report of the Auditors for the Synod Treasury (Church of Kelmscott as deputies).
- To adopt the Budget for 2006 to 2009 as may be amended by Synod.
- To thank our retiring Treasurer, Br A. Hordyk, for the work done, and provide him with a token of appreciation for over 18 years of service to our Synods, and, to discharge him. (Synod Rockingham 2003 Synod also thanked deputies for the work done and discharged them. As br A. Hordyk was and is the only deputy and has already been discharged, we propose that we don't adopt the same resolution).
- That Synod considers the appointment to the position of Synod Treasurer and an alternate.
- To include in the Acts both the Treasurer's Financial Report and the adopted Budget.
- To adopt the cost sharing arrangement as proposed by the Synod Treasurer.
- That where possible and convenient, Synod invite the Synod Treasurer to a Synod session to present the financial reports and draft budget material in consultation with the appointed advisory finance committee. This should only occur when this can be arranged without cost, ie when Synod is held in the city where the Synod Treasurer resides.
- Synod encourage Deputies to ensure they have their proposed budgets to the Synod Treasurer well before the next Synod convenes. The budget can then be easily adjusted as may be required following any Synod decision.
- Synod remind the convening church that as part of their preparation, they should request the Synod Treasurer to provide a Financial Report and Draft Budget at least 3 weeks prior to Synod.
- Synod reaffirm the practice that the churches are to order and pay for the Synod Acts themselves.
- In light of the comments of our Treasurer and the FRC of West Albany, Synod appoint 2 deputies to prepare a proposal for the next Synod that:
- clearly defines the task and responsibilities of the Synod Treasurer and the advisory Synod finance committee;
- provides guidelines on how, why, and when Synod expenditure should be authorised and processed;
- provides guidelines on the interaction between the convening church, the Synod Treasurer, the Synod Deputies and Synod on financial matters and reports. This should include guidelines on ways that expenditure might be monitored and controlled, and a timeline for the submission of financial material. Consideration should be given to the appointments, process and mandate for 2 Synod delegates to the finance committee during each Synod to study Synod's financial papers. This is particularly important should the Treasurer be unavailable. This finance committee should be appointed early in Synods sitting. Amongst other things this committee can then monitor any decisions made during the course of the Synod that may impact on the Synod budget, and, have sufficient time to prepare any required material when they report with the Treasurer.
- if he would be available, that the moderamen consider appointing Br A. Hordyk as one of these deputies.
That Synod adopt the following increases as proposed by Synod and the Treasurer:
- Loss of Income - approve an increase from $160 to $180 per day.
- Reimbursement of travel costs for travel between Albany and Perth - approve an increase from $240 to $280 per round trip.
- Treasury Operating funds 2006 - approve an increase to $45,000. This is based on the assumption that Legana is the convening church for Synod 2009. Most of the delegates travel costs will fall within the time before revenue for budget 2006-2009 is received from the Churches.
- Deputies contact with other churches - approve budget amounts to be confirmed by available deputies and Synod.
Article 106 - Deputies for Synod Venue and Infrastructure Coordination
- To discharge the Deputies for Synod Technical Equipment from their task.
- To appoint two deputies as Synod Venue and Infrastructure Coordinators with the mandate to:
- Provide and operate a sound system which includes the ability for both delegates and audience to hear the discussion clearly;
- Provide and maintain a computer system for delegates which includes but is not limited to:
- Central data storage;
- Convenient printing;
- Secure internal email facilities;
- Data backup;
- To liaise with convening committees and coordinate the organisational matters of the Synod venue preparations;
- To be present and able to assist at all Synod sessions;
- To provide full computer and sound support;
- To provide a general logistical support role during Synod for delegates.
- To allow for a budget for one deputy to attend the next Synod in Tasmania.
- Synod has been able to do its work with a minimal amount of fuss and stress from technical equipment provided:
- Delegates must be able to clearly understand each other;
- The audience must be able to hear the delegates;
- The flexibility to expand as the number of delegates changes;
- Synod needs a computer system that can service Synod with:
- Emailing facilities;
- a central storage that all delegates can access documents/reports they require
- A printing service to print documents and reports.
- a central backup system.
- Current deputies already do this work behind the scenes for the benefit of Synod delegates.
- This role will enhance the smooth preparation and operation of Synod:
- It is the responsibility of the convening church to care for the venue and infrastructure of synod;
- Synod delegates have enough to concentrate on without concerning themselves with the general day to day operations of running a Synod;
- Synod has become more and more complex in its technical equipment requirements.
- Synod 2009 is scheduled to be in Tasmania.
- Extra equipment may need to be hired locally at commercial rates, which requires a larger allowance in the budget.
Presbyterian Churches of Eastern Australia (PCEA)
Agenda Item 12b - Report Deputies for Contact with the PCEA
To thank the PCEA for the discussions which our deputies could have with their deputies, but to regretfully inform them of our decision to discontinue contact with them.
After more than a decade of discussions with the PCEA, no progress has been made in overcoming the impediments highlighted by past synods that prevent us offering sister church relations to the PCEA. Furthermore, the PCEA's toleration of the views expressed by Dr. Roland Ward with respect to Genesis 1-11 form a further impediment.
To replace the ground as follows:
After more than a decade of discussions with the PCEA, no progress has been made in our discussions with them.
The amended recommendation is put forward as follows:
- To thank the PCEA for the discussions which our deputies could have with their deputies, but to regretfully inform them of our decision to discontinue contact with them.
- To discharge the deputies.
- To inform the PCEA of this decision.
After more than a decade of discussions with the PCEA, no progress has been made in our discussions with them.
Article 108 - Pizza
It is the habit of delegates to Synod to scatter to different locations in order to be nourished. It would be a good idea if delegates could decide to stay together for once in order to indulge in less nutritious food than usual. It will also help delegates to adjust again to the home situation where they will go back to after Thursday.
Synod delegates decide to consume pizza's together as a last meal on Thursday and if at all possible, an alternative meal will be provided for those who require a higher level of dietary purity.
To accept this proposal even though it has not come through the minor assemblies.
- It is a free meal and there is no further cost to Synod.
- Although not the most nutritious, none of the churches have presented evidence of any health risk if we adopt this proposal.
- In a combined meal of this nature unanimity can be expressed for junk food that will remain unrivalled by any of the other proposals Synod has had to vote on this Synod.
- The different toppings available on pizzas will accommodate many of the different flavours of opinions into one combined statement of desire for this food.
- Synod could go into closed session if it so desires in order to cover up this indulgence.
Article 109 - Adjournment
Br Amoraal invites all present to sing Psalm 84:3 and 6 and leads in prayer. The Chairman adjourns Synod.
last updated 21 Jul 2006