Taking Care of the Party Finances and Planning for the Future
By Anthony Harris
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats
The Federal Finance and Resources Committee (FFRC) is responsible for the budget and finances of the Federal Party and overseeing the administration of the Party. A key element of its role is oversight of compliance with external regulatory bodies.
Guest Appearance by Geoff Payne (Chair of the Federal Conference Committee)
For this month's meeting we were joined by the Chair of the Federal Conference Committee (FCC), Geoff Payne, who provided an update on preparations for our upcoming virtual conference. Getting this event right, especially in these financially pressured times, is a real point of focus for FCC, FFRC, and the Party. We were impressed and thankful to our FCC colleagues for the hard work that has clearly gone in and we hope to see as many members as possible at the event. Our target (and that of the FCC) is to try break-even and we need your help to do this so please do sign up at https://www.libdems.org.uk/autumn-conference!
Keeping a Handle on Compliance
An update from our operations team highlighted the considerable amount of compliance activity generated by last year's elections on top of the normal end of year accounts. The challenges to both staff and volunteers of dealing with this even without the impact of 'lock-down' cannot be overstated. A healthy discussion took place on the need for support and mentorship to maintain our performance and limit any risks to the Party of sanctions by regulators. However, our compliance team cannot do this alone. They need the assistance of the many local party treasurers around the country who continue to fulfill the requirements of this important role. Thank you to all our treasurers and election agents!
Our finance team report monthly on the finances of the Federal Party in terms of income, expenditure, and performance against budget. Membership income is a key part of the Party finances and the membership team report on this monthly as well. The situation with Covid-19 has been particularly challenging for us as a Party (and continues to be so). Our grateful thanks to the members who continue to support us financially. 'Every little helps'! We are currently working to a revised budget which requires us to continually monitor all expenditure extremely carefully.
Budget and Budget Priorities
At this point in the year, we are setting parameters for the 2021 budget and a key part of the financial update was in considering the priorities for the budget. Next year sees the Holyrood Elections in Scotland and Senedd Elections in Wales at the same time as the local elections in England, so this is a critical year for the Party in terms of supporting our campaign activity.
Next month, at an extended meeting, we will be scrutinizing the budget proposals ahead of submission to the Federal Board.
As usual, Mike German the Party Treasurer gave an update on his activities and that of the fundraising team. Mike and the team are operating in particularly challenging times now and we know that he will be grateful for your financial support during his 'spot' at conference.