Office-Holders and Organisers Checklist

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Introduction

The Monaro Folk Society is run with goodwill and good humour by a small army of generous volunteers, in an increasingly complex legal and insurance environment. As well as pursuing our basic objective of promoting folk activities and interests, the society must keep up with the times, with appropriate financial management and reporting, relevant insurances, risk management and so on.

The MFS operates under a decentralised management model that is particularly well suited to a “coalition of the willing” volunteer organisation like ours. This means that the office-holders, organising teams (or committees, sub-committees etc) and other organisers that report directly to the MFS Committee all have important rights and responsibilities. For ease of reference, let us call them "MFS Organisers", or just "Organisers". All other volunteers report to these organisers, and the organisers report to MFS Committee.

The phrase "report to" is used for the want of a better term. However "the grateful recipient of your help" would be a more accurate description of the role that you "report to" since we are all volunteers.

If you are an organiser, it is important that you take ownership of your wider responsibilities. Is your area properly described in the MFS budget and annual reports? Are your income, expenditure, assets and liabilities accurately reported, including nil returns if this is the case? Is your area accurately represented on the society web site? You are the one best-placed to deal with these matters, since no-one else has your knowledge and expertise in your area.

Purpose

This page is intended to provide a checklist for all MFS organisers.

Organisers should decide who is responsible for each of the various items in this checklist, and include coverage of all volunteers that report to them in their reports etc.

Background

Society volunteers are made up of

1) Individual organisers / office-holders like the Musings editor that report to the MFS Committee, and volunteers that report to the individual organisers.

2) Organising teams (or committees, sub-committees etc) that report to the MFS Committee, and volunteers that report to those organising teams. These organising teams include the Bush Dance Group committee, the End of Month dance committee, the Dance Sub Committee and the Merry Muse SubCommittee.

The MFS Committee is responsible for setting policy and strategies, and the office-holders and other organisers are responsible for their areas of operation, operating within those policies and strategies. Reporting to the MFS Committee is a key part of their responsibility.

The MFS Committee is appointed by MFS members and is accountable to the members. The MFS Committee appoints any new volunteers that will be reporting as office-holders directly to the MFS Committee, or on an organising team that reports to the MFS Committee. In the latter case, the MFS Committee takes into account the advice of the existing organising team members when making appointments.

Organising teams and office-holders are in turn responsible for appointing volunteers within their activity area, and for developing and managing those volunteers.

All MFS members are subject to the MFS Code Of Conduct.

MFS Organisers Group

The MFS Organisers Group is a Google Group that allows convenient communication from MFS Committee to all MFS organisers. It is not a separate organisational group, just an email address list for all organisers.

All MFS organisers are requested to join the MFS Organisers Group. MFS Committee members are also requested to join this group, so they will have a copy of emails sent to the group.

In addition, organisers are invited to join the MFS Doorkeepers Group where relevant, and to encourage all doorkeepers to join that group.

Web Content Management

The MFS Web Manager provides a framework and support for a decentralised web content management system known as "the Wiki". Organisers are responsible for updating pages that are related to their role, and all editors are encouraged to be bold, and if you see something that needs fixing, go ahead and fix it.

Organisers should decide on a title (eg "X Organising Team") and use this title consistently on the web site, in financial management reporting, and in all correspondence.

Then, the first thing to do is to Update Your Contact Details.

The Update Your Contact Details page includes an absolute beginners guide to updating the MFS Web Site. Please see also the MFS Web Sites Policy Document and, for general information about editing the Wiki, Welcome Members

Organisers should make sure that their Roles and Responsibilities pages are created and kept up-to-date, and that all their web pages are listed in the Index. If you do not find something where you expected it in the index, then please come back when you do find the page and add an entry to the index for posterity, or next time you are looking.

Financial Management

MFS organisers are subject to the ACT Associations Incorporation Act 1999, the MFS Rules Of Association, and policies set by the MFS Committee. In addition, 31(2) of the Associations Incorporation Act 1991 states: "If the model rules make provision in relation to any matter not provided for in the rules of an incorporated association, the rules of the association are taken to include the provision of the model rules in relation to that matter". The model rules are shown under "subordinate law" at http://www.legislation.act.gov.au/sl/1991-31/default.asp


The MFS needs clarity and certainty around our authorisation of people to make decisions and act on them. At the same time, we need openness and transparency of all our operations so that the MFS Committee can exercise responsible oversight of the affairs of the society as a whole. We also have statutory requirements that all financial transactions of the society are included in our reporting and able to be audited, and the MFS can face heavy penalties if we are in breach of the act.

Please see MFS Financial Reporting Policy for some details.

Budgets

All organisers are requested to prepare an annual budget by the May before the financial year

It is important that all organisers submit a budget, even if it is a nil return, because inclusion in the approved budget will show that you are running an MFS activity, thus providing all the protections that go with running activities as part of an insured and incorporated body.

The budget not only provides the financial estimates, it also formalises and if necessary updates the organisers' agreed responsibilities, goals and objectives, and the names of the appointed organisers. It is also an opportunity to report on issues, planned initiatives, actions requested from the MFS Committee, etc, for the new budget period.

Quarterly & Annual Reports and Reconciliations

Reconciling event results against the financial statements requires a joint effort by organisers and the Treasury team.

Organisers are responsible for reporting on their own areas of operation at a greater level of detail than is contained in the Society accounts.

As an example, organisers may list the results of each individual event, and reconcile this to the total amount banked and shown in the accounts. This will alert organisers if takings from an event are accidentally not reported and banked, as there will be an event date shown but the takings will not fit the pattern.

Assets & Liabilities

Organisers are requested to provide a listing of assets and liabilities as at 30 June each year, or a "nil return". Please see Recording MFS Assets for details.

Risk Management

Organisers should be familiar with the Monaro Folk Society Risk Management Plan and the Fraud Awareness page, and contribute to the continual improvement and updating of these documents to cover changes in the environment and MFS activities. The MFS Insurance and also the ACT Government require attention to risk management in all we do. Organisers should also take into account relevant health and safety standards.

Survey Results

Survey results are available to all members of the MFS Organisers Group.

This is NOT a voting situation. Anyone can repeat their opinion over and over. This is a new ideas area. Are there any ideas that we can pick up? Doesn't matter if they are raised one time or a hundred, are they good ideas? We have to judge that, ignoring the number of "votes", because these are not votes as we have chosen not to restrict the vote to one person one vote. To do that would require them to sign in, and that creates a barrier to participation.

Please take action on matters raised that are within your area of responsibility, and suggest actions for MFS Committee attention by email to secretary(at)mfs(dot)org(dot)au.

The surveys are:

Live Survey Form Survey Results
MFS Event Survey Form MFS Event Survey Results
mfs.org.au Survey Form mfs.org.au Survey Results

Other Material

The Document Catalogue contains links to on-line MFS documents. Organisers should be familiar with the catalogue, and help maintain the catalogue by adding references.



Content Manager: MFS Committee; Status: Confirmed by MFS Committee 10Feb15.

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