News & Notes 914:Report of the FAMC over the month of February 2022

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914 icon.jpg   News & Notes 914
19 March 2022


Report of the FAMC over the month of February 2022



Members: Amy, Angelo, Jonas, Lisa, Marc, Palani, Ranjith, Stephan
Invitee: Under Secretary Mr. Srinivasamurthy
Guest: Mr. Kalyani (Office of the Secretary, AVF, auditor)
Secretaries: Svenja, Balaji
Finance Secretary: Madhan

The FAMC monthly report does not include regular liaison work with other working groups unless there is a final outcome, in which case the items may be reported in the reports of the respective working groups such as the Auroville Town Development Council (ATDC), Working Committee, Housing Board, Land Board, Auroville Council or the Budget Coordination Committee (BCC).

Please bear in mind that this is a report of decisions or events of a certain period and in the meantime changes, progress, or/ and collaboration might have occurred in any given subject.

Topics of special concern of the Office of the Secretary, Auroville Foundation (AVFO)

House occupation by non-Aurovilian in Equality community

The Secretary has not yet taken any action, as earlier requested by the FAMC, to use her authority as Estate Officer to remove the person from the house.

Outreachmedia – Summary position of the Auroville Foundation office

The FAMC was informed by the Under Secretary and Mr. Kalyani:

  1. That there is no established fact that the assets of Outreachmedia provided by the Foundation from a Government of India grant have been misused;
  2. That Outreachmedia has published information which is not acceptable to the Governing Board;
  3. That any communication from Outreachmedia should be in tune with the views of the Governing Board or Government of India and contradictions are not desirable;
  4. That creating two teams for the same purpose of media will not be in the best interest of the Auroville and that therefore a decision has been taken at the level of Chairman / Governing Board to have one Information & Public Relation Unit directly under Foundation;
  5. Therefore the assets of Outreachmedia have to be handed over to the Auroville Foundation Office.

Outreachmedia – Summary position of the FAMC.

  1. The FAMC has asked for a copy of the official instruction on the matter from the Governing Board. (Till date that instruction has not been received)
  2. The FAMC has further responded to Mr. Srinivasmurthy and the AVFO that the AVFO’s claims based on “source of funding” are invalid and unacceptable.
  3. Further, the FAMC does not accept the office order issued by Mr. Srinivasmurthy which appoints new executives of Outreachmedia;
  4. The FAMC has recommended to the Working Committee and Sysop that no email passwords of Outreachmedia should be shared by Sysop to the AVFO.
  5. The FAMC acknowledges that the Outreachmedia office is an integral part of the Auroville Archives and has only been made available to Outreachmedia in view of its need.

Units and Trusts issues

General

i. Tanto at Auromode

  1. Auromode Apartments was advised to expand its scope of work as the current one does not include a restaurant; this will require a Trust Resolution.
  2. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Auromode Apartments and Tanto for the usage of the name Tanto has been requested.

ii. Red Chilly Café, an activity under AFA. The location of the Café on the Auroville Main Road on land rented from a third party was subject of discussion. FAMC advised the Aurovilian to negotiate a more clear agreement with the land owner. As neither the ATDC nor the Land Board raised objections, this was approved. Manager: Mr. Vijayan Dhandapani.

iii. Afsanah Guest House. The FAMC has appointed Ranjith and Aniko as interim executives to take up the guest house responsibilities.

iv. Internal audit. The FAMC plans to do a financial health check up of entities. Criteria to qualify for an audit would include if the entity complies with existing policies and guidelines such as making the City Services contribution; routing the Aurovilian Maintenance via the City Services; and compliance with the Code of Conduct. In particular those entities would also be checked if they had consecutive delays in submission of their balance sheet, have continuous losses, and entities that deal with cash receipts – restaurants, boutiques and retail outlets. If the checkup shows sufficient reasons, the FAMC may request an external auditor to audit the entity.

v. Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) refund. The FAMC has sent the refund list to the BCC to double check any outstanding City Service contributions; the FAMC agrees to refund the TDS to the concerned units; for those with outstanding contributions, they will be reminded at this time.

vi. AV Consulting Solar Energy Pool proposal. The FAMC will form an assessment group to study the proposal and come up with proposals for community involvement.

vii. Neem Tree. The FAMC is of the view that Neem Tree needs to pay the outstanding City Service contribution asap, as it is currently an income-generating entity. The unit executives are encouraged to prepare and submit a budget to the BCC if they want to run the unit as a service. (The re-appointments of Mr. Parthasarthy Krishnan, and Ms. Mahavir Bos approval subject to payment of pending CS contributions.)

Appointment, reappointment or resignation of trustees, unit executives and activity managers.

Note: changes concerning trustees are approved in collaboration with the Working Committee.

i. Green Move, an activity under Auro Small Scale Activities (ASSA). Managers: Mr. Laxmanan Govindapillai and Mr. Joseba Martinez Burdaspar. Approved.

ii. Taboo, a unit under Team Trust. Executive reappointment of Ms. Ambra Feira, Mr. Kumbha Young Grenier and Mr. Fabien Bontems. Approved.

iii. Auroville Energy Products, a unit under Team Trust. Executive reappointment of Mr. John Johannes Zandbergen pending a regular financial review of the unit.

iv. Mira Boutique, a unit under Team Trust. Resignation of Mr. Marco Feira and Ms. Valerie Tait and executive appointment of Mrs. Ambra Fiera. Approved.

v. SEWA, a unit under Auroville Service Trust. Executive reappointment of Mr. Sandjivy Devarajan and Ms. Lata Iyer. Approved.

vi. Auroville Design Service (AVDzines), a unit under Auroville Service Trust. Executive resignation of Mr. Tixon Mohan. Approved.

vii. Naturally Auroville, a unit under GNP Trust. Resignation of Mr. Emanuele Scanziani and new executive appointment of Mrs. Stefania Mazzone (aka Estee). Approved.

New units and activities, and unit closure

i. AVE/EVA – Audio Visual Events, a not-for-profit activity under AVArts. Pending awaiting clarifications on the nature of the activity and time commitment of the proposed managers.

ii. Rainbow Café, an activity under Auroville Food Activities (AFA). Manager: Mr. Romel Chhadva & Mrs. Mimansha Chhadva. Approved for 1 year on condition that there will be no night activities at the Café.

Housing issues

a. New School Crafts, Aurobrindavan. A proposal to convert an asset registered with New School Crafts, an income generating unit, at Aurobrindavan, and have it stewarded by some Aurovilians, has been sent to the Housing Board. New School Crafts would donate the asset to the Housing Service which would then allocate the asset directly to the suggested Aurovilians. This was approved.

b. Late Werner Stoff’s house, Prayatna. The FAMC agreed that the former exhibition area is transformed into an office against a contribution. The Housing Board was requested to convert the upstairs 26 sqm studio into a single Newcomer apartment.

c. Imagination building. The FAMC has asked the Housing Board to convert the space into two Newcomer places after several open calls for proposals were not answered.

FAMC Subgroups

a. BCC membership. The FAMC has asked for community feedback for Ms. Verena Hargesheimer Geb Gemball to replace Cristina Bacci.

b. Housing Board. At the request of the Housing Board the FAMC endorsed the appointment of Ms. Amy Lucksted, currently the Housing Board secretary, as the new Housing Service coordinator.

Interaction with Auroville Town Development Council (ATDC)

Interpretation, minutes 57th GB meeting

The FAMC informed the ATDC that it does not agree with its interpretation of the minutes of the 57th meeting of the Governing Board that henceforth all Master Plan’s right of ways (Crown Road, Radials and Ring Road) will be stewarded by the ATDC. The FAMC has asked the ATDC for information which assets, in their view, would need to be demolished due to the Crown Path, the Outer Ring Road and the 12 radials. As yet no reply has been received from ATDC.

PTDC first floor extension

The FAMC is concerned about the inordinate delay in the tendering of the construction of the first floor of the PTDC. The process of approval of the construction has taken more than a year, and now again the work is delayed, which causes extra costs. FAMC has requested to meet with ATDC repeatedly to discuss this and other important matters.

Meetings between the FAMC and ATDC

Meetings between the FAMC and ATDC have not happened as the scheduled meetings have been repeatedly canceled by the ATDC at the last minute. FAMC awaits a proposed meeting after the last cancellation.


~ FAMC