Occupy Austin Finance Working Group Processes

 

Version 0.4, January 4th, 2012

Table of Contents:

1. About this Document

2. Transparency and Accountability

3. Meetings and Membership

4. Spending

5. Reimbursements

6. Donations

7. Fundraising

8. Bookkeeping and Accounting

 

About this Document

The goal of this document is to establish what can, and cannot, be expected of Occupy Austin’s Finance Working Group (FWG). The processes this document establishes below will never be “finished” and will always be subject to improvement and revision. Proposed revisions will be brought before the Occupy Austin (OA) General Assembly (GA) for approval.

 

Transparency and Accountability

1. All monetary transactions will be witnessed by at least three members of the FWG.

2. All monetary transactions will be recorded and verified by at least three members of the FWG.

3. All monetary transactions, and process governing those transactions (this document for example), will be reported to the public via the OccupyAustin.org website. Reports will be made on a regular basis, at a minimum of once per week.

4. All FWG meetings will take place at or nearby the site of OA occupation. Any OA participant may observe these meetings, but is asked to remain silent until we open up the general dialogue portion of the meetings.

7. Occupy Austin has a checking and savings account at University Federal Credit Union. The FWG will track monthly donations and take 10% of that and put in savings untouched until it reaches $2,000. This money will be used for emergencies only and will be frozen if funds fall below $1,000.  The GA will have the power to declare an emergency with a 90% consensus.

 

Meetings and Membership

1. FWG meetings will take place at least twice per week. On Tuesday and Sunday at 6:pm at Austin java.

2. Active participation by FWG members is extremely important. We define “active participation” as attending at least 50% of monthly meetings. All are welcome to attend and observe FWG meetings, but only active members will bring forth or vote on proposals.

3. For the sake of transparency, the FWG encourages observation of its meetings and activities by any participant in Occupy Austin. When the floor is open observers will be called upon to speak.

4. The FWG is responsible for recruiting new members in order to maintain sufficient size for operations. Ideally, membership to FWG will be capped at 11 members to ensure smooth operations. Five members make a quorum, and it will take  at least seventy-five percent to  reach  consensuses.

5.  If anyone in the FWG feels a member is unproductive or disruptive a proposal may be made to remove them from the FWG. Should consensus be reached to remove someone they will immediately relinquish their seat. Proposals to remove shall be witnessed by all.

 

Proposals
1. All proposals must be in writing and list the reason for disbursement, itemized costs, other avenues researched for funds and/or materials, and at least two contacts.

2. At least 48 hours before a proposal is brought to the General Assembly, the proposal documentation must be received by a member of the FWG.  The proposal will be posted online and made available to all members of the FWG at least 24 hours prior to the GA.  All members of the FWG will have the chance to express their concerns with the proposal and these concerns will be presented with the proposal at GA.

 

Expenses

1. Any expense, no matter how small, must be approved by at least three members of the FWG.

2. Any expense over $100 must be approved by the GA.

3. Any recurring expense (e.g., utility bill) no matter how small, must be approved by the GA.

4. For accountability’s sake, every effort will be made to pay for expenses with checks, which must be signed by three people. In some cases, expenses will be paid in cash.

5. To make cash payments, the FWG will  fund a petty cash bag with up to $100, when it falls below $50 it will be replenished back to $100

6.  The FWG must collect a receipt for every expense and all unused funds must be returned  and  signed by  a FWG member and the occupier returning  the receipt. Until the receipt and any change has been returned, no further money will be issued to that working group.

7. The FWG must store receipts in a safety deposit box associated with the OA checking account.

 

Reimbursements

1. The FWG may reimburse any person for goods or services purchased for less than $100. Reimbursements requests for amounts exceeding $100 will be referred to the GA.

2. No reimbursement request may be made to the FWG unless accompanied by a receipt.

3. At least three members of the FWG must approve every reimbursement request.  If one member of the FWG declines to approve a reimbursement, the reimbursement will not be issued until a quorum of five FWG members that includes the member who initially declined the request consents to issue the reimbursement.

4. Reimbursement transactions must be recorded as such.

5. If a reimbursement request is denied by the FWG, the requester has the right to bring his request before the General Assembly.

6. If you plan to be reimbursed for anything you should check with the FWG before buying any items to cut down chances of having your reimbursement request denied.

 

Donations

1. The FWG will be solely responsible for collecting monetary donations.

2. In-kind donations, such as food and supplies, are not the purview of the FWG.

3. All monetary donations to any working group, person or location operating under the name of Occupy Austin must be reported to the FWG within 72 hours of collection

4. Monetary donations for Occupy Austin will be regularly collected by FWG in at least two places: a “donation bucket” that resides at the Occupation, and at the Occupy Austin WePay account. The FWG’s involvement with other fundraising activities are addressed in the “Fundraising & Development” section.

1. The FWG will collect donations on a regular basis from a donation bucket located at the occupation.

a. This donation bucket will be a lockable or at least a secured container.

b. The funds collected from this bucket will go into general GA funds.

6. The FWG will collect donations from working groups at the GA.

7. The FWG will collect, count, record, report, and deposit all donations on a regular basis.

8. Online donations are to be collected through the Occupy Austin WePay account.

9. The FWG will automate the transfer of online donations to the Occupy Austin checking account.

 

Fundraising & Development

1. To ensure transparency and accountability, the monetary aspect of Occupy Austin fundraising activities will be handled through the FWG.

2. For offline fundraising events, such as rallies, actions, performances, etc., FWG members will collect donations. FWG will not necessarily be responsible for other fundraising activities, such as planning, promoting, and executing fundraising events.

3. Likewise for Development efforts, FWG will be responsible for the collection of funds, though we encourage development agents to ask that donations be made online.

4. For online fundraising events, FWG’s involvement will consist of ensuring that the proper online account is the recipient of donations. For now, the OA We Pay account is the proper account for all online donations to Occupy Austin.

5. Collecting, counting, recording, reporting, and depositing funds raised at events will be the responsibility of the FWG.

6. The GA can allow working groups to earmark funds from their fundraiser for a specific purpose.  Working groups cannot earmark funds or solicit earmarked funds from groups or individuals outside of the working group without the consent of the GA.

 

Bookkeeping and Accounting

1. The FWG will record all OA monetary transactions. For the sake of accountability, all information recorded by the FWG must be reviewed by a FWG other than the person who recorded it

2. For transparency’s sake, the FWG will report all OA monetary transactions to the OccupyAustin.org website on a regular basis.

3. Web-based software, such as Google Docs, will be used to do book-keeping and reporting. Only members of the FWG will have ‘write’ privileges on any online documents.

4. Quicken will be used to categorize and track all monies in and out.

5. All receipts will be saved and deposited weekly in a safe deposit box.  Before they are deposited, receipts will be stored with the ledger in a safe location.

6. The ledger will be maintained in accord with standard accounting practices.

Revised by: Cedric Bridgewater 01/01/2012 3:44 a.m. For Ga approval

 

FWG Approval date: 01/24/12

G.A. Approval date:

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