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Thread: AGM..... eekk

  1. #31
    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    Since when has receiving and adopting/ agreeing the Accounts at the AGM not been required?

    Kind of the whole point of the AGM is to set an annual marker that all is well, surely?
    i wondered that,

    i did a copy and paste from a "how to run your AGM" that the scouts publish...

  2. #32
    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    i wondered that,

    i did a copy and paste from a "how to run your AGM" that the scouts publish...
    Just checked POR - 3:23a iv It is required.
    Ewan Scott

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  3. #33
    a quiver full of barbs merryweather's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    Just checked POR - 3:23a iv It is required.
    sorry guys but you need to read again carefully.

    big chris said: 'receive and adopt...'

    bushfella said: '...receiving and adopting/agreeing...'

    the task of the group council meeting, the AGM, is to receive and consider....

    this means: they get a copy of the report and accounts, have a read, and then consider, which is effectively ask any pertinent questions relating to the report and accounts.

    it is not the AGM's responsibility to adopt and/or agree the report and accounts.

    so big chris's 3 and/or 4 should say: here's the report and accounts, have a read, and if you have any questions get back to us. it is good practice to allow for a short question and answer session about the report and accounts, if there are any questions. if a question cannot be answered at the AGM then it should be given in a written reply later. the GEC may decide not to take questions at the AGM and answer any on request by written reply afterwards.

    the responsibility to adopt and agree - meaning 'approve' - the report and accounts is that of the GEC. this should be done before they are published to the parents/AGM. In my old group we used to set aside a GEC meeting about a month before the AGM as a formal approval meeting. it is not the responsibility of the AGM.

    I think it's 3.23b clause ii

    (no doubt people will check my failing memory!)

    the AGM is not called to approve the report and accounts.

    TM
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  4. #34
    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merryweather View Post
    sorry guys but you need to read again carefully.

    big chris said: 'receive and adopt...'

    bushfella said: '...receiving and adopting/agreeing...'

    the task of the group council meeting, the AGM, is to receive and consider....

    this means: they get a copy of the report and accounts, have a read, and then consider, which is effectively ask any pertinent questions relating to the report and accounts.

    it is not the AGM's responsibility to adopt and/or agree the report and accounts.

    so big chris's 3 and/or 4 should say: here's the report and accounts, have a read, and if you have any questions get back to us. it is good practice to allow for a short question and answer session about the report and accounts, if there are any questions. if a question cannot be answered at the AGM then it should be given in a written reply later. the GEC may decide not to take questions at the AGM and answer any on request by written reply afterwards.

    the responsibility to adopt and agree - meaning 'approve' - the report and accounts is that of the GEC. this should be done before they are published to the parents/AGM. In my old group we used to set aside a GEC meeting about a month before the AGM as a formal approval meeting. it is not the responsibility of the AGM.

    I think it's 3.23b clause ii

    (no doubt people will check my failing memory!)

    the AGM is not called to approve the report and accounts.

    TM


    I see what you are getting at. We also have an Exec meeting to approve. However, if the AGM raised issues with the accounts and did not accept them as they stood, then business would have to stop until this was resolved. If the AGM said, sorry, these accounts are a croc ( and I have been at AGMs where that was exactly what they were) then they need redoing.

    Example - Exec agreed accounts. I am sitting at the AGM as DC rep. Accounts come up. Total income is £3000 for the year. I do some quick calculations, this group charges AMS once a year, the rest of the time the members pay £3 per week. They have 50 members, so £150 per week for 40 weeks a year that's £6,000 straight off the top of my head. Plus, I know that they rent out the hall to a playgroup... Plus they have a summer camp... where has all the money gone? How has it been recorded?

    Turns out, in sectional accounts that are not represented in the Group Accounts - the accounts were not a true representation of business and they had to go back and do them again. Turned out that this was how they had done this for years and no-one had said a thing. If they had ever had any parents attend an AGM, I am sure one of them would have. It would be wrong for an AGM to simply accept accounts that were patently incorrect. So, we will have to disgree on the point about the accounts being approved by the AGM.

    The Council at the AGM CANNOT knowingly agree to accounts that are incorrect. So they do have to approve them.
    Ewan Scott

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  5. #35
    a quiver full of barbs merryweather's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    I see what you are getting at.
    the group's annual report and accounts are the responsibility of the GEC. only they may approve. trustees - i.e. members of the GEC - should be aware that if they approve accounts they know to be incorrect they may be committing a criminal offence under the charities acts.

    so if you're a trustee and you believe your treasurer has been squirrelling money off to his cayman islands account then you are obliged to inform the district treasurer (district has supervisory responsibility) and quite likely the police.

    if you're a trustee and believe the accounts to be inaccurate then you should refuse to consent to them being signed off and if not corrected then report the matter to the district.

    there is a SORP that must be followed.

    if the IE or scrutineer is unwilling to sign-off the accounts then they should say that in their report. if they believe their report will be 'adjusted' - which in itself is a criminal offence - then they should withhold such report. they should also report observations as appropriate.

    the IE report and accounts must be approved as one, thus a statement of accounts without an IE/scrutineer report is invalid. a competent district treasurer will pick this up and investigate.

    We also have an Exec meeting to approve. However, if the AGM raised issues with the accounts and did not accept them as they stood, then business would have to stop until this was resolved. If the AGM said, sorry, these accounts are a croc ( and I have been at AGMs where that was exactly what they were) then they need redoing.
    the function of the AGM (members of the group council) is to consider the report and accounts. what issues would the AGM raise? the AGM has no responsibility to accept or reject the report and accounts. if it believes them to be inaccurate, in error, or false, then it should report them to the appropriate authorities. one would hope that the representative of the district (which has supervisory responsibilities) in attendance would also pick them up and refer appropriately.

    Example - Exec agreed accounts. I am sitting at the AGM as DC rep. Accounts come up. Total income is £3000 for the year. I do some quick calculations, this group charges AMS once a year, the rest of the time the members pay £3 per week. They have 50 members, so £150 per week for 40 weeks a year that's £6,000 straight off the top of my head. Plus, I know that they rent out the hall to a playgroup... Plus they have a summer camp... where has all the money gone? How has it been recorded?
    oh dear. did you have an idea why this amount was seemingly missing?

    Turns out, in sectional accounts that are not represented in the Group Accounts - the accounts were not a true representation of business and they had to go back and do them again. Turned out that this was how they had done this for years and no-one had said a thing. If they had ever had any parents attend an AGM, I am sure one of them would have. It would be wrong for an AGM to simply accept accounts that were patently incorrect. So, we will have to disgree on the point about the accounts being approved by the AGM.
    accounts are not approved by the AGM. the trustees alone have legal responsibility.

    the AGM does not accept or reject the annual report and accounts. its function is to consider them.

    if the district, which has supervisory responsibility, is unhappy with the accounts then the DEC should take the appropriate action. what that will likely be will vary and depend on circumstances.

    if the 'error' was a genuine mistake then a report to the district, followed by support/re-training, the quoshing of the report and accounts, and then re-doing, followed by re-approval and a new extra-AGM, is likely.

    if there was something more suspicious then i would think the authorities might get involved.

    the 'missing' accounts should have been picked up by the IE. why not?

    The Council at the AGM CANNOT knowingly agree to accounts that are incorrect.
    no action is required by the AGM. they are not ever knowingly agreeing to them.

    So they do have to approve them.
    no they don't.

    the group council is simply the electoral body of the scout group. its job, among others, is to consider the report and accounts produced by the trustees. if it doesn't like the job that the trustees are doing it then it has the ultimate sanction to sack most of them. members have the right to report any unusual behaviour they perceive to the authorities, especially the district.

    one would hope that if there was serious anomaly that the IE would pick this up and report.

    there are checkpoints along the way to publication to the AGM.

    TM
    Last edited by merryweather; 17-07-2017 at 05:07 PM.
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  6. #36
    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    We are going to disagree on this. The example I gave was real. I could not sit back and let accounts that were so blatantly incorrect go through.

    I think that you are splitting hairs. If I attended any AGM of any club or company where there were glaring errors in the accounts, I would not simply say, oh, it isn't my place to object or insist these accounts get revisited.

    If such an issue arises at an AGM, then the accounts will be returned for correction, they de facto, need to be agreed by the AGM. The reality is that such cases will be rare. They will be rare because most groups will do their accounts more or less correctly, and they will be rare because most AGMs do not have the attendance of parents or others who might spot the errors. They are rare because most people attending, if they spot the error, will say nothing because it is not their problem ( they feel).

    I have twice seen AGMs halted because of errors in accounts, once in Scouting and once in another association. I have also seen an AGM accept/pass a set of accounts that it should not have passed because the parents who complained were browbreaten by the Exec who had cocked up the accounts.

    If any Group is to be run correctly, then it must be held to account ( no pun intended) at least at the AGM by its members. Otherwise the AGM becomes a completely pointless exercise of rubber stamping whatever the exec has decided to do, or not to do. That is not what the AGM should be about.

    - - - Updated - - -

    We are going to disagree on this. The example I gave was real. I could not sit back and let accounts that were so blatantly incorrect go through.

    I think that you are splitting hairs. If I attended any AGM of any club or company where there were glaring errors in the accounts, I would not simply say, oh, it isn't my place to object or insist these accounts get revisited.

    If such an issue arises at an AGM, then the accounts will be returned for correction, they de facto, need to be agreed by the AGM. The reality is that such cases will be rare. They will be rare because most groups will do their accounts more or less correctly, and they will be rare because most AGMs do not have the attendance of parents or others who might spot the errors. They are rare because most people attending, if they spot the error, will say nothing because it is not their problem ( they feel).

    I have twice seen AGMs halted because of errors in accounts, once in Scouting and once in another association. I have also seen an AGM accept/pass a set of accounts that it should not have passed because the parents who complained were browbreaten by the Exec who had cocked up the accounts.

    If any Group is to be run correctly, then it must be held to account ( no pun intended) at least at the AGM by its members. Otherwise the AGM becomes a completely pointless exercise of rubber stamping whatever the exec has decided to do, or not to do. That is not what the AGM should be about.
    Ewan Scott

    It seems that there are a lot of Nawyecka Comanch around....





    Nawyecka Comanch'": "Means roundabout--man says he's going one way, means to go t'other" Ethan Edwards - The Searchers



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  8. #37
    AESL & AGSL shiftypete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    Since when has receiving and adopting/ agreeing the Accounts at the AGM not been required?

    Kind of the whole point of the AGM is to set an annual marker that all is well, surely?
    The Exec approve the accounts as they do the annual report, the AGM just have them presented for comment.

    Peter Andrews AESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Assistant Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
    www.falkonerscouts.org.uk

    Wike, North Leeds District Campsite - www.wikecampsite.org.uk
    www.leeds-solar.co.uk
    Please note all views expressed are my own and not those of any organisation I'm associated with

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  10. #38
    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    We are going to disagree on this. The example I gave was real. I could not sit back and let accounts that were so blatantly incorrect go through.

    I think that you are splitting hairs. If I attended any AGM of any club or company where there were glaring errors in the accounts, I would not simply say, oh, it isn't my place to object or insist these accounts get revisited.

    If such an issue arises at an AGM, then the accounts will be returned for correction, they de facto, need to be agreed by the AGM. The reality is that such cases will be rare. They will be rare because most groups will do their accounts more or less correctly, and they will be rare because most AGMs do not have the attendance of parents or others who might spot the errors. They are rare because most people attending, if they spot the error, will say nothing because it is not their problem ( they feel).

    I have twice seen AGMs halted because of errors in accounts, once in Scouting and once in another association. I have also seen an AGM accept/pass a set of accounts that it should not have passed because the parents who complained were browbreaten by the Exec who had cocked up the accounts.

    If any Group is to be run correctly, then it must be held to account ( no pun intended) at least at the AGM by its members. Otherwise the AGM becomes a completely pointless exercise of rubber stamping whatever the exec has decided to do, or not to do. That is not what the AGM should be about.
    Ewan Scott

    It seems that there are a lot of Nawyecka Comanch around....





    Nawyecka Comanch'": "Means roundabout--man says he's going one way, means to go t'other" Ethan Edwards - The Searchers



    www.upperdearnevalleynavigators.org.uk

  11. #39
    Very Old Member BigBadBaloo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merryweather View Post
    ...................if the IE or scrutineer is unwilling to sign-off the accounts then they should say that in their report. if they believe their report will be 'adjusted' - which in itself is a criminal offence - then they should withhold such report. they should also report observations as appropriate.

    the IE report and accounts must be approved as one, thus a statement of accounts without an IE/scrutineer report is invalid. a competent district treasurer will pick this up and investigate.....................

    ..........................the 'missing' accounts should have been picked up by the IE. why not?........................


    TM
    Not to be a nitpicker, but I understood that a scrutineer only needs to be appointed where the Groups income is below £25k and the trustees wish to appoint one. Appendix 1 of this factsheet says:

    1. Where gross income does not exceed £25,000

    The Trustees may appoint a Scrutineer, i.e. an independent person...........................

    [my emphasise added]

    So presumably, the trustees equally may not appoint such (not that I would recommend such a course of action, given my day job!)
    Peter

    Former CSL - 2nd Bracknell


    A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.Ě Lao Tzu (600 BC - 531 BC)

  12. #40
    a quiver full of barbs merryweather's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    We are going to disagree on this. The example I gave was real. I could not sit back and let accounts that were so blatantly incorrect go through.
    i pretty much guessed your example was real!

    however, it is not the responsibility if the AGM to approve or disprove the accounts, it does not have the authority either in POR or in (charity) law. besides the accounts have to be approved by the GEC prior to the AGM; thus they had already 'gone through'.

    however, the fact that the section accounts were not consolidated and then reported means that there was a clear breach of POR and SORP. this should have been reported by the IE. what did the IE's report say? if there was no IE's report then the approval is invalid. district have supervisory responsibilities to ask why there was no independent examination/scrutinising undertaken. if the group was registered then the commissioners should ask this question.

    I think that you are splitting hairs. If I attended any AGM of any club or company where there were glaring errors in the accounts, I would not simply say, oh, it isn't my place to object or insist these accounts get revisited.
    i am merely being precise. of course you can object! of course you can report the failings and ask for them to be investigated! but the AGM can't 'unapprove' them so to speak.

    If such an issue arises at an AGM, then the accounts will be returned for correction, they de facto, need to be agreed by the AGM.
    the failings in the accounts should be reported to the proper authorities. once that action has been undertaken then if they have been found to be illegal they will be set aside legally and a new GEC constituted, because the GEC members who prepared them probably will not be left in position if found liable, and then they will be re-done and pre-presented.

    that is the process. the responsibility of the AGM is to consider the report and accounts. it is not its responsibility to usurp that of the GEC and to approve or not.

    the group council has no legal liability for the annual report and accounts; the GEC holds that liability.

    The reality is that such cases will be rare.
    i suspect they are rare.

    They will be rare because most groups will do their accounts more or less correctly, and they will be rare because most AGMs do not have the attendance of parents or others who might spot the errors. They are rare because most people attending, if they spot the error, will say nothing because it is not their problem ( they feel).
    it is the role of the scrutineer/IE/auditor to check the veracity of the report and accounts and report any anomalies that they find or suspect to the proper authorities. it is the responsibility of the district to see that reports and accounts follow the SORP and rules laid down in POR.

    it is not the responsibility of those attending the AGM.

    if there are clear errors which a member of the group council spots but which go unnoticed by the IE or district then one suspects that district and the IE may not have done their jobs!

    if someone spots an error they are free to report it, either back to the GEC, or to district, or to the commissioners, &c.

    I have twice seen AGMs halted because of errors in accounts, once in Scouting and once in another association.
    and that can happen!

    I have also seen an AGM accept/pass a set of accounts that it should not have passed because the parents who complained were browbreaten by the Exec who had cocked up the accounts.
    but AGMs are not responsible for accepting or approving a set of accounts. they have no legal standing in such matters in the charity acts. if they suspect the accounts are in error or have been falsified then they should report it to the appropriate authorities.

    If any Group is to be run correctly, then it must be held to account ( no pun intended) at least at the AGM by its members. Otherwise the AGM becomes a completely pointless exercise of rubber stamping whatever the exec has decided to do, or not to do. That is not what the AGM should be about.
    the group is held to account by the electoral nature of the group council; the GEC is responsible to the group council, which can vote against membership of the GEC for anyone that is not in its favour.

    it does not rubber stamp!

    TM
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  13. #41
    a quiver full of barbs merryweather's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBadBaloo View Post
    Not to be a nitpicker,
    but you are!

    one of your better qualities may i add?

    good oversight is always good.

    but I understood that a scrutineer only needs to be appointed where the Groups income is below £25k and the trustees wish to appoint one. Appendix 1 of this factsheet says:

    1. Where gross income does not exceed £25,000

    The Trustees may appoint a Scrutineer, i.e. an independent person...........................

    [my emphasise added]

    So presumably, the trustees equally may not appoint such (not that I would recommend such a course of action, given my day job!)
    yes you are correct in the first part.

    the group may appoint one of three types of independent examiner: scrutineer, independent examiner, auditor; but these depend on amounts involved and the financial standards required. essentially each varies in the level of their financial qualifications. a scrutineer is someone who is deemed competent in financial recording, a simple bookkeeper say. an independent examiner will have a higher level of qualification, a qualified bookkeeper, accountant or a bank manager, maybe. an auditor is someone who must be a legally registered auditor. the bigger the accounts, the more complex, the higher qualified examiner.

    you can use an auditor to examine accounts which are less than £25k, but such qualified people charge very large fees and would be way OTT for what is needed.

    most scout groups choose to use an independent examiner.

    you are incorrect in your reading in the second part.

    for accounts under £25k the trustees may appoint a scrutineer, or an independent examiner, or (if very well off!) an auditor, but they must appoint someone.

    you are 'presumably' in saying 'they may not' are reading this wrong!

    it is a requirement of POR that the accounts are examined by an appropriate independent person (as detailed in the factsheet you quoted).

    now i know you're going to ask me the rule. grrrr! guessing POR 3.48, about 1/3 way down, iirc, so try clause f or g or h - i'm sure it's one of those!

    the independent examiner (or other as appropriate) has an outline that they must follow in their examination, iirc appendix 3 of that factsheet you quoted. you should see in that list, iirc again 1/3 way down, a remark to say that they must check that all accounts (from all sections, &c) are consolidated in the statement of accounts and they must report if this is not so.

    so, in the case reported by bushfella, the IE should have reported that the accounts were not consolidated. this should have warned the trustees of an anomaly, or error, or falsification by the treasurer and the accounts should not have been approved. if this note was ignored by the trustees then they are potentially liable for a criminal act. if no IE report was given then again the trustees should have withheld their approval.

    i am extremely pleased i do not undertake your day job.



    TM
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  15. #42
    Very Old Member BigBadBaloo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merryweather View Post
    but you are!

    one of your better qualities may i add?

    good oversight is always good.

    Thank you.


    Quote Originally Posted by merryweather View Post
    yes you are correct in the first part.
    Thank you again.

    Quote Originally Posted by merryweather View Post
    you are incorrect in your reading in the second part.
    You are correct in that I completely misread the second part! ;( My only excuse is that it was late-(ish) and I wasn't thinking and reading clearly!


    Quote Originally Posted by merryweather View Post
    i am extremely pleased i do not undertake your day job.



    TM
    You may well have been very successful if you had done so! Someone needs to check the checkers (one reason why I always run my understanding of anything difficult past my boss!)
    Peter

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    A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.Ě Lao Tzu (600 BC - 531 BC)

  16. #43
    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merryweather View Post
    i pretty much guessed your example was real!

    however, it is not the responsibility if the AGM to approve or disprove the accounts, it does not have the authority either in POR or in (charity) law. besides the accounts have to be approved by the GEC prior to the AGM; thus they had already 'gone through'.

    however, the fact that the section accounts were not consolidated and then reported means that there was a clear breach of POR and SORP. this should have been reported by the IE. what did the IE's report say? if there was no IE's report then the approval is invalid. district have supervisory responsibilities to ask why there was no independent examination/scrutinising undertaken. if the group was registered then the commissioners should ask this question.
    Hang on, so, rather than take the reasonable approach of saying, stop, you have this wrong, you need to revisit this, The whole thing should be turned into an official complaint/ investigation.

    It was, in this case, perfectly clear that the group was struggling, it barely had an Exec, The Exec met, I think, twice a year. They were completely unaware of their duties and responsibilities and to be frank were not interested in learning what they were. They were "only helping out at Scouts".

    The fact that the AGM is the point where the accounts are considered and questioned, (Hah!) gives a point at which they can be sent back for reconsideration, resubmission.

    And as for the IE report, it is actually pretty worthless in a case where they can only examine the paperwork that they have been handed. If I were an IE and someone handed me the paperwork that supported an income of £3,000 and the books balanced, then if unless I knew otherwise I would be compelled to sign them off as an accurate representation. I cannot assess what I am not given, and an IE not knowing the census return, not knowing how the Group was structured would not spot the errors.

    It is a failure of the system that most Scout Groups have Execs who do not fully understand their roles and responsibilities. I could go further and add that the example I use is a perfect one for showing why sections should not operate separate accounts ( because it gives the Treasurer the responsibility of checking the accounts not of the Group as a whole but also of each section in order that they can ensure the whole account are presented and not just part of them. But that is another argument.

    i am merely being precise. of course you can object! of course you can report the failings and ask for them to be investigated! but the AGM can't 'unapprove' them so to speak.

    the failings in the accounts should be reported to the proper authorities. once that action has been undertaken then if they have been found to be illegal they will be set aside legally and a new GEC constituted, because the GEC members who prepared them probably will not be left in position if found liable, and then they will be re-done and pre-presented.
    Which is all well and good, but if this option were exercised it would result in the closure of the group with a knock-on effect in recruiting elsewhere. There have to be pragmatic solutions and the AGM, considering the acounts, identifying issues and sending them back is a very real and possible option. To do what you suggest is the legal route when this situation arises would label those involved as, at best, incompetent, and we could say goodbye to their involvement in Scouting.

    I have never been a diplomat, but sitting watching the farago of that AGM, (and others) I realised that we have to apply a modicum of compromise, or paragmatism, to make the machine work. There is a story, I think from the Great Western Railway. The company engineer ws tired of the costs of repairs and downtime on locomotives that could be attributed to bad machinework. So, they set about removing all the slack from their new locomotive. On paper they had all the tolerances down to the finest measurements. They built a frame that would not flex. They built the perfect locomotive. They ran its mechanism cold and it all seemed to work perfectly. When they fired up the boiler, and tried to move the locomotive, it had locked solid, it had stopped working. They discovered that despite the theory, they needed to allow flexibility and greter tolerance. Both of which created other problems, but at least the locomotives worked. The same applies to running a scout group. You and I may have an idea of the rules and how it should perform, but without the tolerance and flexibility many would simply grind to a halt.
    Ewan Scott

    It seems that there are a lot of Nawyecka Comanch around....





    Nawyecka Comanch'": "Means roundabout--man says he's going one way, means to go t'other" Ethan Edwards - The Searchers



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  18. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    Hang on, so, rather than take the reasonable approach of saying, stop, you have this wrong, you need to revisit this, the whole thing should be turned into an official complaint/ investigation.
    Hold on: letís make sure weíre singing off the same hymn sheet!

    as I have said, the AGM cannot Ďunapproveí nor can it force a revision because it has no legal powers under the various charities acts or POR to do so; it does not hold this responsibility. However, it can point out errors or mistakes in the report and accounts (Ďconsiderí) and ask the GEC to consider correcting them. The AGM cannot force the correction but it can advise. The final decision rests with the GEC.

    I have been to one or two AGMs where a mistake Ė a genuine mistake Ė was found in the published accounts and the treasurer on behalf of the GEC was happy to correct.

    But your example had undertones of illegal activity. If the AGM suspects this it again can ask the treasurer and GEC to correct this; however, the decision to correct still rests with the GEC. If it does concur with the error then it can withdraw publication, correct and re-present at a later date/time. If it decides to ignore a request to correct and not withdraw then the AGM has no alternative but to report. It cannot usurp the responsibilities of the GEC. It is then for the authorities to take action.

    It was, in this case, perfectly clear that the group was struggling, it barely had an Exec, The Exec met, I think, twice a year. They were completely unaware of their duties and responsibilities and to be frank were not interested in learning what they were. They were "only helping out at Scouts".
    Then the group/GEC should have been made aware of their duties and responsibilities before the AGM regarding the report and accounts. The IE should have made this clear in their report that they were lacking in competence, which would have been seen in the few GEC meetings held and minutes that they read. (The IE can ask for relevant minutes of GEC meets and if not given access to these should be prepared to offer this evidence in their notes.) The district should have been aware of such difficulties beforehand as it has supervisory responsibility. It should never have gone this far. Okay so it did; the district then needed to act through suspensions or appropriate actions effectively stopping publication. However, that regulation comes from powers within POR and the charities act, it is not the responsibility of the AGM.

    The fact that the AGM is the point where the accounts are considered and questioned, (Hah!) gives a point at which they can be sent back for reconsideration, resubmission.
    But the AGM cannot force the necessary changes! It has no authority to do so. That authority in law and within the rules lies with the GEC and regulatory bodies. If the GEC accepts there are mistakes and withdraws to correct thatís their decision. If it wonít do so then itís up to the appropriate supervisory bodies to take action. The AGM holds no responsibilities in this respect.

    And as for the IE report, it is actually pretty worthless in a case where they can only examine the paperwork that they have been handed. If I were an IE and someone handed me the paperwork that supported an income of £3,000 and the books balanced, then if unless I knew otherwise I would be compelled to sign them off as an accurate representation. I cannot assess what I am not given, and an IE not knowing the census return, not knowing how the Group was structured would not spot the errors.
    While this is a possibility it would clearly have to be done through deliberate fraudulent behaviour. The DEC should step in at this point and investigate. If they were able to hide stuff away from the IE and this was only spotted by someone at the AGM, then the responsibility then is to report to the appropriate authorities. You cannot Ďunapproveí and you cannot force the report and accounts back to the GEC and force them to correct. Why would you want to do that if you suspect fraud has taken place?

    It is a failure of the system that most Scout Groups have Execs who do not fully understand their roles and responsibilities. I could go further and add that the example I use is a perfect one for showing why sections should not operate separate accounts ( because it gives the Treasurer the responsibility of checking the accounts not of the Group as a whole but also of each section in order that they can ensure the whole account are presented and not just part of them. But that is another argument.
    Itís not a failure and itís not most groups. It is the responsibility of the supervisory body to ensure that GEC members are made aware. It is why nowadays all GEC members are required to submit to personal enquiry.

    How the various bank accounts in a group are structured is down to the GEC. If a section has a hidden account, unknown to the treasurer, then those leaders are running a real risk. If the treasurer is not aware of where money in a section is going then they should investigate.

    Which is all well and good, but if this option were exercised it would result in the closure of the group with a knock-on effect in recruiting elsewhere.
    If it has to beÖ.que sera sera!

    What you are suggesting is that the AGM should be a supervisory body over the GEC in sall matters. But the AGM/group council isnít structured to be so and cannot effectively hold such a role. The supervisory bodies are the DEC and the charity commissioners (in E&W)

    There have to be pragmatic solutions and the AGM, considering the accounts, identifying issues and sending them back is a very real and possible option. To do what you suggest is the legal route when this situation arises would label those involved as, at best, incompetent, and we could say goodbye to their involvement in Scouting.
    The AGM can consider the accounts and it can advise that they be withdrawn but they canít force decisions on to the trustees which are the responsibility of the latter alone. If they really are incompetent or taking criminal actions why would you want them in scouting? If they have made a genuine mistake then itís up to them to recognise such or be advised by the district of such and then take action to correct.

    I have never been a diplomat, but sitting watching the farago of that AGM, (and others) I realised that we have to apply a modicum of compromise, or pragmatism, to make the machine work.
    But when people are deliberately breaking the rules or the law and will not listen to advice or reason to stop such acts then one has to resort to the legal.

    The supervisory responsibility to see that the GEC is competent lies with the district.

    Compromise or pragmatism does not extend to breaking the law.

    No reason why the district could not have stepped in and assuming its supervisory powers stopped the AGM and referred the matter to the DEC.

    It is not the responsibility of the AGM to consider approving or Ďunapprovingí. The AGM is not an authoritative body but an electoral body.

    TM
    retired 21 March 2017

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    Hang on, so, rather than take the reasonable approach of saying, stop, you have this wrong, you need to revisit this, The whole thing should be turned into an official complaint/ investigation.
    I think the point is not so much what you can 'choose to suggest' to the AGM for the GEC to take into consideration: i.e. "I think you have a problem with these accounts, I suggest the GEC reconsider them." as opposed to what you have a 'right' to do i.e.: "I am refusing to accept these accounts and therefore you must reconsider them."

    You have the right and the moral obligation to do the former - and if the GEC were to ignore you, you would then turn to the formal complaint process.

    You do not have the right to do the latter.

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