26
Jun
09

gimmie my money!

A couple of weeks ago, I received the following email regarding the reimbursement policy for clubs and constituencies for the AMS (emphasis mine):

Dear Treasurers,
Effective immediately, all cash disbursements and cheque requisition forms submitted without receipts will be placed on hold for 4 weeks, before they are processed.
Regards,
Elin Tayyar

This seems like a relatively reasonable policy to me, in order to ensure that the clubs are not being bilked out of their money by unscrupulous executives. I know most execs are good people who are in the club for the love of the club, but with over 300 clubs and another handful of constituencies (which typically have more money) out there, this seems reasonable.

I wrote back asking when this decision had been made, and which body had deliberated upon it. It was apparently decided by the Finance Committee (which, to my knowledge, doesn’t exist – but I’ll just assume that they meant the Commission, an executive body, rather than a Committee, a legislative one) on June 17th, the day before the email was sent out.

Now, I am betting that there was some discontent amongst my clubby brethren on this issue, as I have subsequently received another message from the esteemed Vice Chair, stating the following:

Dear Treasurers,
Based on feedback from fellow treasurers, the Finance Commission has decided to revise and update the rules on cash disbursements and cheque requisition forms. Until the policy changes are finalized, you can follow the previous policy, as outlined in the Treasurer’s handbook.
If you have any concerns, feedback, or opinions regarding this, please contact me so that I can raise the issue with the Finance Commission.
Regards,
Elin Tayyar

Now, this is not particularly surprising to me, as running a club is a somewhat arduous process, and every little restriction that the AMS puts on the clubs is somewhere between and annoyance and an encumbrance. However, my whole qualm with this is that SAC and FinCom have violated the AMS Code.

SAC does not have the power, as such, to make decisions and implement them immediately. Council has the power to block such decisions, as it does for any commission, by refusing to ratify the minutes. To this end, I cite Section VIII (A), Article 1, Sub 8, which states:

The minutes of all meetings of all Commissions shall be signed by the Chair (or other person presiding over a given meeting) and forwarded to Council within eight (8) days (including weekends) after a meeting during the School Year, or one (1) month after a meeting outside the School Year. Commission resolutions have no force or effect until the minutes containing them are approved by Council.

I don’t know how stringently this rule has been followed in the past. I actually suspect is has been more honoured in the breach than in the observance. However, Code is there for a reason, and if there is a problem with the actions of the committees or of commissions (or thier sad cousins, planning groups), the rejection of minutes is the way that Council can deal with them.

I think that the rules should either be changed to accommodate the quick response nature of the executive branch (yay, more work for Code), or the rules should be followed.

I wonder how many Councilors knew that they were ending Twoonie Tuesday when they voted to approve Business Operations Committee minutes?

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2 Responses to “gimmie my money!”


  1. 1 Kommander Keg
    June 26, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    Excuse me? Ending Toonie Tuesday?!?!?!?!??!? This is an outrage.

    I can assure the public that my handler had no idea that such an heinous crime was being committed when he voted in favour of said minutes.

    This is a classic case to point at in favour of weekly Minute distributions instead of omnibuses dating back to February!!!!! Where is the Committee/Commission accountability if what they are doing is going without the consent of Council?!?!? And even then, how many Councillors have the time, nay the energy! to read through minutes dating back to February.

    Where is the oversight?

    Where is the accountability?

    Where are these minute takers and why have they not been publicly flogged for inexcusable tardiness?

    This Keg demands justice.

    This Keg will demand reconsideration of this practice of do first, ask no questions later. And most importantly, bring back Toonie Tuesday!

    Over and Out,

    -KK

  2. 2 Neal Yonson
    June 26, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    I think the real burning question in all of this is: did Elin Tayyar fix his email signature? That’s how you really know you are making a difference in the AMS.


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