News & Notes 734:Funds and Assets Management Committee (FAMC) Monthly Report - December 2017

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734 icon.jpg   News & Notes 734
28 January 2018


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


December found us in disarray, when Ayesha, our secretary, had to leave for a few weeks. With only Gijs, newly in a part-time position, holding the secretariat fort and new members being inducted into FAMC processes, our efficiency in dealing with the daily dose of issues was not at an optimal level. We apologize to working groups and individuals for our delay in responding to their queries. However, we took the time in December to review our annual work plan with the new members. We thank Elvira for facilitating this meeting and plan to have another follow-up meeting soon. We see the work plan as a rolling plan with new tasks being taken up by the new members, and in our annual report at the end of each financial year, we will publish the outcomes and objectives that we achieve each year.

Completed issues

Units and Trusts

  • Auro Lakshmi Construction (Discovery Trust) new unit: ABC endorsed and FAMC approved the creation of a new unit with Ms. SUHASINI AYER, Ms. U. LAKSHMI and Mr. EUGEN EIGENMANN as executives of the unit. The unit is to engage itself in the following activities: building construction, building repair and maintenance and material and labour contracts.
  • Bharat Nivas trust, Changes in trust board: Upon the recommendation of the Working Committee and the FAMC, the Secretary, Auroville Foundation approved the following changes to Bharat Nivas Pavilion of India Trust: Appointment: Mr. Chandresh Patel and Mr. Shankar Vengadesan; Resignation: Mr. Sanjeev Aggarwal and Mr. Jean Legrand. The other trustees are Ms. Deepti Tewari, Ms. Tapas Bhatt, and Ms. Aster Patel.
  • Lumiere (Ankur Trust; dormant unit located in Fraternity): As announced earlier to the community, we are inviting proposals from registered units and/or activities for use of the space previously occupied by this unit. Deadline for requestsis Jan 30.
  • Taxi units: Following the closure of the Auroville Transport Service (ATS) due to bankruptcy, ABC Trust and Swagatam Trust are requested to check on the management and billing processes of the remaining taxi units under them to ensure that similar mistakes, as committed by ATS, are not made.
  • Guest-houses and homestays (Guest House Trust) issues: Goodness Guesthouse (Guest House Trust) ABS recommended and we approved the appointment of Mr. Vengadesh Kalivaradhan (aka Venky), Mr. Luigi Fedele (aka Manohar) and Ms. Ingeborg Luxemberger (aka Ramu) as executives of this unit. We ensured that all executives were made aware of the Memorandum of Understanding FAMC had signed with Venky stating that the unit will contribute 40% of its turnover to City Services for 5 years due to building and running a guesthouse without NOC or Auroville registration.

Housing

  • Youth housing selection: We reviewed and approved the candidates selected for Humanscapes and Projects X&Y. We thank everyone for this work in making affordable housing available to the youth of Auroville.
  • Vibrance (building application): Vibrance (Phase 1&2) has now been taken up as a GOI-funded project of the Housing Board. After certain clarification of details and changes by the architects (Imago) and the project-holder (Housing Service), we approved this building application.
  • Friend of Auroville request for a house in Kalpana: There is an existing agreement that 10% of the total units in Kalpana can be given to Friends of Auroville. Even though this quota had already been reached, we made an exception for one couple to have a ground-floor unit. We approved the request for Patricia Praalder, recently announced as a Friend of Auroville, as her husband, Raymond, has special needs for accessibility. Our decision is based on the additional condition that the apartment will be made fully wheelchair accessible and follow international norms of universal design.

BCC related

  • City Services 2017-18 Budget: We reviewed the BCC budget for all the activities under City Services. We proposed a higher increase in children’s maintenance, which had not been increased for a few years. We also shared with BCC a maintenance module to facilitate their task. Last but not least, we made some suggestions for better procedures in making the budget and presenting it to us for review in a timely manner.

Policy and Guidelines

  • Allocation of unspecified funds as per FCRA: FAMC is required, as per Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), to allocate all Unspecified Funds that have been received by Unity Fund from abroad at the end of each financial quarter. We decided that if there are no specific requests for funding in a given quarter, then, by default, such funds would go to the Land Board for fencing.
  • Amendment to a FAMC Construction Guideline of 2016: Retainage Amount and Completion assessment for all construction projects (Effective from 1st February 2018): As announced separately to the community, all construction projects, estimated over Rs. Twenty Lakhs (above INR 20,00,000/-) are required to release all but 5% of the total agreed contract amount, to the builder / construction contractor, at the stipulated completion of the construction work. This 5% amount shall be held in the Unity Fund and released to the said builder / construction contractor after a period of 1 year of completion on approval of the project holders. (See complete policy elsewhere).

Miscellaneous

  • Allocation of unspecified funds for this quarter: At the end of this financial quarter, Dec 31, there was Rs. 64,000 of unspecified funds in Unity Fund that we had to allocate. Rs 25,000 was given to Promesse for specific community needs that had been promised to them during the time of land exchange. The remaining balance went to the Land Board for fencing as per our recent guideline.
  • AV Council (AVC) representative to BCC: BCC recommended and FAMC approved that Enrica replaces Renuka in BCC.
  • Community-at-large representatives to Housing Board: Auroville Council recommended and FAMC approved Sundar (Douceur) and Xavier (Reve Guest House) as community-at-large representatives to Housing Board.
  • Leave Auroville allowance: We processed Samadarshana and Stefania Leave Allowance Request and informed Working Committee that this couple has now left Auroville.

Ongoing issues

Units and Trusts

  • Nandini: Nandini and ABS requested a change in executive, but FAMC decided to wait on approving this change till the conflict among members of the Nandini team is resolved by Koodam.
  • Eternal Builders: We are still waiting for submission of balance sheets of the previous years; after which we can meet with the executives of this unit as was requested by them.
  • Imagination: Members of ABC-Support group are now actively helping us to resolve the issues between the two sections of this unit. We thank them for their support on this issue.
  • Sumark: We are working with the executives of Sumark and BCC to ensure that the unit’s City Services contributions are up-to-date, without pending arrears.

Miscellaneous

  • Leave Auroville allowance: Three other requests for Leave-AV allowance are still in process. The delay is largely due to the fact of not having enough resource people to help us process such requests.


In community,
FAMC (Bindu, Chali, Chandresh, Daniele, Dhruv, Lyle, Nicole, Prabhu, Yuval)