News & Notes 715:FAMC responds to community concerns on proposed BCC mandate changes
FAMC responds to community concerns on proposed BCC mandate changes
made to “reflect the reality” of BCC work
Last Thursday’s proposal by the FAMC to change the Budget Coordination Committee (BCC) mandate was done to “reflect the reality of the BCC’s actual work”, the BCC wrote to the community on Auronet on Friday this week. The proposed amendments met with a mixed response from the community, with some asking: why is the FAMC proposing these changes? The FAMC responded to those concerns on Auronet on Friday this week.
Please see the original (Aug 31) FAMC announcement here: [...]
Please find below a shortened version of the FAMC’s proposed changes and the FAMC’s explanation for each change:
Why have these changes been proposed?
- FAMC response: “the current mandate does not reflect the reality of the BCC’s actual work”
Why is the FAMC proposing these changes and not the BCC?
- FAMC response: “Revising the BCC mandate was initiated by the FAMC in accordance with the Residents Assembly-approved FAMC mandate (April 2016), which mandates that the FAMC shall “Constitute and oversee the functioning of the BCC”.
Why does the FAMC propose that the BCC no longer submit its budget to the community for approval?
- FAMC response: “The current mandate states that the BCC would present a draft budget to the Resident’s Assembly (RA) for approval. In fact, this has never been done. And should never be done. The BCC reviews the budgets carefully, the RA does not. RA involvement would essentially politicize a well-developed participatory process. Currently, the BCC requests activities to submit budgets. These are compared to the previous year and reviewed in light of the current year’s expected income and the actual need of the activity. Once the BCC completes its review, it forwards the budget to the FAMC for final approval. This process has been operational for over 10 years. The revised mandate simply acknowledges this process.”
Why does the FAMC want to reduce the number of BCC members from 18 to nine?
- FAMC response: “The revised mandate reduces the number of people on the BCC from 18 to nine because having so many people at meetings is not conducive to effective decision-making.”
Why does the FAMC propose to move the management of the Unity Fund to the FAMC?
- FAMC reponse: “The revised mandate removes responsibility for overseeing the Unity Fund from the BCC because it has become the direct responsibility of the FAMC, as detailed in the new RA-approved FAMC mandate (April 2016) which mandates that the FAMC shall “Constitute and oversee the functioning of the Unity Fund”. In fact, the BCC has never interacted directly with the Unity Fund or issued instructions to it. The Unity Fund’s primary function is to account for contributions that come into Auroville, and execute transfers in accordance with the donor and FAMC orders, and in accordance with Indian Law. The Unity Fund handles all contributions and not just those that are routed to City Services. For this reason, the FAMC is the correct body to oversee the Unity Fund’s functioning.”
Background: What does the BCC do?
- FAMC response: “The BCC, which is primarily concerned with City Services, has the following primary responsibilities:
- budgeting for more than 100 activities and services under City Services;
- distributing the budgets;
- monitoring the funds to ensure that they are spent in accordance with the budgets; and
- collection of contributions from over 350 sources.
The BCC also proposes policies related to these responsibilities (contribution and maintenance), and considers individual exceptions to the various policies."
Your Feedback Invited To send your feedback on the proposed new changes and to get more information, please don’t hesitate to email the FAMC at famc (at) auroville.org.in or the ras (at) auroville.org.in.