News & Notes 712:Funds and Assets Management Committee (FAMC) Monthly Report - July 2017

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712 icon.jpg   News & Notes 712
26 August 2017


Funds and Assets Management Committee (FAMC) Monthly Report - July 2017



July found us still in the flux. As a team, we continued the review process for some weeks in July, fleshing out details of how we wanted to work and what we wanted to achieve together. As a result of the continued reflection and review process, Auralice proposed to step down as chairperson for the FAMC meetings and instead to take on the role of facilitating activities related to our annual work plan. Says Auralice: “It was a pleasure and valuable learning experience to chair FAMC meetings for 6 months.” The group appreciates Auralice’s warm, goodwilled presence and positive attitude, so we are grateful for her continued offer of help as a resource person. Angelo has meanwhile stepped in to chair the regular FAMC meetings.

As was requested, we have informed the Residents Assembly Service (RAS) that FAMC is looking for replacement of two members this year--Stephanie, who had resigned earlier this year, and Ulli who had previously agreed to step out after a one year term.

Completed issues

Units and Trusts

  • ABC Trust trustee changes: the following trustee changes were endorsed by the Auroville Board of Commerce (ABC) support group and then approved by the FAMC and Working Committee (WCom): reappointment of Mr. Daniel Emdin, and Mr. Torkil Dantzer; resignation of Ms. Heidi Fellensiek (aka Chinmayi); and appointment of Mr. Nicola Porro. A letter to the Office of the Secretary, Auroville Foundation, was sent from the WCom office, to issue a revised Office Order.
  • Freeland executive changes (under Swagatam Trust): the following changes were endorsed by the ABC and then approved by the FAMC: resignations of Mr. Remi Boutinet, and Mr. Denis Henley; and appointment of Mr. Lemaire Arnout Jozef Fernand (aka Arnout). The other current executive is Mr. Yannick Rolland (aka Yagna). An FAMC Resolution was issued.
  • Auroville Road Service executive changes (under Auroville Service Trust): the following change was endorsed by the Auroville Board of Services (ABS) and approved by the FAMC: appointment of Mr. Jacques Rosier. The other current executives are Mr. Alain Grandcolas, and Mr. S. Manickam. An FAMC Resolution was issued.
  • Atithi Griha Guest House executive changes (under Bharat Nivas Pavilion of India Trust): the following changes were endorsed by the trustees and then approved by the FAMC: appointment of Ms. Divya Karun, and Mr. Aamit Bawa. The other current executive is Ms. Kiran Singh. An FAMC Resolution was issued.
  • Auroville Consulting executive changes (under Swagatam Trust): the following changes were endorsed by the ABC and approved by the FAMC: resignations of Mr. Vikram Devatha, Mr. Chandresh Patel, and Mr. Raghu Kolli; appointment of Mr. Vimal Bhojraj. The other current executive is Mr. Martin Scherfler. An FAMC Resolution was issued.
  • Svaram executive resignation (under Swagatam Trust): the following resignation was endorsed by the ABC and approved by the FAMC: Mr. Chandresh Patel. The remaining executives are Mr. Jan van der Dikkenberg and Mr. Alfred Hammer (aka Aurelio). The FAMC Resolution was issued.
  • Auroville Vehicle Service, a new unit (under Auroville Service Trust): the FAMC approved the creation of the unit, Auroville Vehicle Service with Mr. Krishnaraju Subrayan (aka Raju), Ms. Lea Alidiere, and Mr. Prabakaran Munusamy (aka Prabhu) as executives, as recommended by the ABS. The FAMC Resolution was issued.
  • CAG Audit issues (Discussions with the Secretary, Auroville Foundation, Mr. Chunkath (IAS) and Mr. P. R. Srinivasamurthy (Finance and Administration Officer (FAO)):
    • Late submission of Trust balance sheets: At the time of our meeting, approximately 15 of 47 Trusts/entities had not submitted their balance sheets as per the given deadline. Delay in submitting Trust balance sheets means a consolidated balance sheet cannot be created and this in turn can have unintended consequences for Auroville. For example, delayed submission of accounts can affect future grant allocation from the Government of India. It was suggested that a meeting be held in September or October 2017 to discuss problems encountered and propose solutions to improve the annual submission of the balance sheets.
    • Straight line depreciation method for assets: Unfortunately, lack of clear guidance has resulted in confusion and not all units have switched from the declining-balance method to the straight line method. This means that this is likely to be a continuing CAG audit point into the next financial year.

Policies and Guidelines

  • Proposed Code of Conduct: This document, which will replace the “Guidelines for Commercial Trusts & Units of the Auroville Foundation”, August 2014, is due for presentation for approval by the Governing Board at their upcoming meeting. To come up with the final version, the FAMC, WCom, and ABC had a joint discussion as well as meetings with the Secretary, Auroville Foundation. The document was posted on the Auronet
  • Eatery contributions: The FAMC decided that the City Services contribution for Aurovilians working in eateries is considered part of the 5% contribution on turnover, and we have accordingly informed ABC, ABS, and the Budget Coordination Committee (BCC).

Loans

  • Mallika housing loan request: FAMC approved a housing loan request of Rs. 6 lakhs to Mallika, in accordance with the recommendation from the Housing Board.

Housing

  • Big Boys’ Boarding (BBB): We are happy to announce that both unapproved and illegal occupation of BBB have been resolved. The Auroville Foundation Office played a significant role in resolving this long standing problem. Housing Service is now looking into improving the dilapidated structures and making arrangements for future stewardship.

Land

  • Land exchange proposal: FAMC approved the Land Board proposal for the land transaction negotiation that would result in Auroville acquiring BO110-3b2 located between Ami and New Lands in exchange for the Auroville plot TH170-5 located near Aurobrindavan.

Miscellaneous

  • FAMC representative for an appeal decision, implementation and monitoring: at the request of the Auroville Council (AVC), Chandresh has joined the Implementation and Monitoring Group. The appeal Sheril made concerning a decision by L’avenir, involving a building asset in Progress community, is completed. The appeal decision will now be implemented.
  • FAMC project budget: the FAMC has been allocated funds from the Government of India (GoI) grant in the amount of Rs. 9 lakhs for the current financial year. It was agreed to utilize Rs. 3.7 lakhs to create Asset Registers that will consolidate data for the Town Development Council, FAMC, and the Land Board. Further consideration for use of the grant balance allocated to the FAMC is under discussion.
  • Promesse community support request: Promesse residents requested financial support of Rs. 20,000 to move their entrance gate and establish a waste-management system, as well as Rs. 25,000 for loss of cashew harvest income (Rs. 5,000 per year for 5 years) due to exchange of non-residential land in Promesse. Both the Land Board and the FAMC are considering support for the entrance gate. Regarding compensation for reported loss of income, the FAMC asked the residents to submit evidence that they were earning Rs. 5,000 per year previously. No documentation has yet been received.

Ongoing issues

Units and Trusts

  • Auroville Service Trust: We are in an ongoing dialogue with the trustees and the ABS to strengthen the Trust by appointing new active trustees.

Interim Town Development Council ((iTDC) aka L’avenir d’Auroville) related

  • Building Permission for Invocation Radial Project: The Invocation Radial Project envisages having ground floor units allocated for commercial activities, while upper levels will be residential. The FAMC is concerned that this arrangement might reduce interest in the residential units and could impinge upon the financial viability of the project. We have asked iTDC if the ground floor units could be made convertible and used for either purpose. We also need some additional financial information from Sumark Construction, the project holder before we can make a decision.

Miscellaneous issues from previous months

The following issues that were mentioned in previous monthly reports are still pending:

  • Abundance Guest House loan request;
  • BCC mandate revisions;
  • Martuvam Healing Forest fencing request and homestay application;
  • learning about the Goods and Services Tax (GST).


In community,
Amy, Bindu, Chali, Chandresh, Lyle, Prabhu, Ulli, and Yuval (FAMC)