FIT Rules of Financial Procedure
as last amended by the XXth Statutory Congress in Berlin, August 2014 and adopted by the Council in March 2015
CHAPTER 1: RESPONSIBILITIES OF ELECTED OFFICERS
The management and administration of FIT are vested in the Council. The latter may exercise all powers and perform all such acts as may be lawfully done and performed by FIT within the scope of its By-laws and these Rules of Procedure. [Rules of Procedure, Rule 39]
The Council shall have the following special powers and/or obligations (…)
c) to authorize payments incidental to the development of FIT,
d) to appropriate, allocate and apply the funds of FIT to any of the objectives of FIT and, if necessary, to raise funds by any available legal means. [Rules of Procedure, Rule 40]
The Treasurer shall be responsible for the proper administration of all available resources and their appropriations. The Treasurer shall keep the Executive Committee informed of the financial position of FIT and submit accounts. Moreover, the Treasurer shall prepare a financial statement for and on behalf of the Executive Committee for each meeting of the Council. [By-laws, Article 43]
CHAPTER 2: PERMANENT SECRETARIAT
2.1. FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE PERMANENT SECRETARIAT
The Treasurer with the approval of the Executive Committee may delegate to the Permanent Secretariat such of his powers as he sees fit, but does not thereby delegate his responsibilities. [EC Resolution Shenzhen, 2009]
The Permanent Secretariat maintains the Federation’s books in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and the instructions of the Executive Committee.
2.3. FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
2.3.1. Should the Treasurer delegate to the Permanent Secretariat the power to disburse the Federation’s money that power is limited as follows [EC Resolution Shenzhen 2009]:
(a) Expenditure not exceeding US$20001 to a regular supplier of services to the Federation may be disbursed without further authority;
(b) Other expenditure not exceeding US$20001 may be disbursed on the authority of the Treasurer alone;
(c) Other expenditure exceeding US$20001 requires authorization by the Treasurer and either the President or the Secretary General.
2.3.2. Any cheque or wire transfer order made by the Federation must bear the signatures of two officers or delegated agents of the Federation [EC Resolution Shenzhen, 2009].
CHAPTER 3: ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
Not later than 30th April each year, the Treasurer, on behalf of the Council, shall submit a financial statement covering the calendar year ended to all member organisations. The financial statement included in this report shall be accompanied by a report in accordance with the International Standard on Review Engagements2. [By-laws, Article 44]
3.1. The financial year is a calendar year.
3.2. The Federation uses the deferral or cash accounting method to record financial transactions.
3.3. With effect from 1 January 2012, FIT’s currency of account is the Swiss franc. The Federation also uses the US dollar and the euro and may use other currencies as circumstances require, and it may open bank accounts in those currencies as necessary. Membership fees could be paid in various currencies, as long as the amount arriving in the FIT account corresponded to the fee in Swiss franc on the invoice.
3.4. Financial Statements are drawn up under the responsibility of the Treasurer by the Federation’s Permanent Secretariat with the assistance of a bookkeeper, and reviewed by a professional accountant. That professional may be called upon to audit the accounts or have them audited.
3.5. The Financial Statements must be submitted, together with the reports of the accounting professional, the Treasurer and any external auditor, first to the Executive Committee for comment and any necessary elucidation or amendment and then to the Council for comment, elucidation, amendment and approval before being circulated to the member organisations.
3.6. At each Congress, the Financial Statements for all accounting periods since the last Congress are submitted for adoption. Once the Congress has adopted them and given discharge to the Treasurer, they are deemed final and no further debate on them is allowed.
CHAPTER 4: THE BUDGET
The Treasurer, on behalf of the Council, shall submit at the latest by 31st December of each year to all member organisations a budget estimate covering the next financial period. [By-laws, Article 45].
Subject to ratification at the subsequent meeting of the Council, The Executive Committee shall have the following powers […)
(d) to pay all sums of money incidental to the development of FIT, in implementation of the budget for the current year as adopted by the Council. [Rules of Procedure, Rule 56]
There is no statutory requirement that the Treasurer should submit a budget to the Congress; when a draft budget for three years was submitted at Shanghai in 2008 the President advised the Congress against introducing uncertainty in the budget and against binding the incoming Council too much. In San Francisco in 2011 the outgoing Treasurer presented to the Congress an outline budget for one year based on the newly-voted changes in dues.
4.1. Task forces, regional centres and individuals must notify the Treasurer of their budget requirements no later than 15 September before the start of the financial year.
4.2. The Treasurer drafts the annual budget of the Federation in the light of the programme of activities and after consulting the Executive Director, the Council and the individual members of the Executive Committee. He presents his budget for discussion at the Executive Committee’s final ordinary meeting of the calendar year.
4.3. The budget must show at least the budgeted and consolidated actual income and expenditure of the current year, in so far as they are known at the time, and the projected income and expenditure for the financial year. Such annotation as the Treasurer deems fit may be appended to the budget.
4.4. Immediately after discussion by the Executive Committee, the budget must be circulated to the Council for approval, before being submitted to the member associations no later than 31 December before the start of the financial year.
4.5 Extraordinary extra-budgetary expense will be considered by the Council on a case-by-case basis. Such expense can only be authorized by the Council. No activity may be authorized by the Executive or the Council unless adequate financial provision can be made for it in the budget.
CHAPTER 5: MEMBERSHIP DUES
The financial resources of FIT shall be derived primarily from the dues received from member organisations. [By-laws, Article 42]
Each Member Organisation shall pay such annual dues as shall be fixed by the Congress upon motion by the Council. [By-laws, Article 46]
5.1. Membership year is the calendar year.
5.2. Membership dues are established by resolution of the Congress.
5.3 No later than 1 December before the start of each year, the Permanent Secretariat calculates the amount payable by each member organization and issues an invoice by electronic mail. Members requiring a hard-copy invoice may request one at any time.
5.4. Members’ annual dues fall due on 1 January and are payable no later than 31 March.
5.5. The member organization responsible for organizing the triennial Congress is exempt from dues during the year of the Congress.
5.6. Although FIT’s currency of account is the Swiss franc, until 2017 at least Member’s dues are also expressed in euros and dollars, applying the exchange rate calculated at the date of the invoice. The amount payable is nevertheless the Swiss franc total. This provision is to be reviewed by the Congress of 2017. [Congress Resolution, Berlin 2017]
5.7 Annual dues for 2015 are CHF 2.95 per capita. In 2016 and 2017, dues are CHF3.10 per capita. The maximum dues for 2015 to 2017 are raised to CHF 4500 [Congress Resolution, Berlin 2014].
5.8 Members associations from countries whose per capita gross domestic product is less than 66% of the world average as computed by the World Bank have their dues halved [Congress Resolution, San Francisco, 2011].
5.9 Associate members pay a flat rate fee of CHF 415 in 2015 and CHF 435 in 2016 and 2017. [Congress Resolution, Berlin 2014]
5.10 Observers pay CH 118 for 2015 and CHF 124 for 2016 and 2017 [Congress Resolution, Berlin 2014]. Observer status may be granted by the Council for a maximum of three years. [Bylaws, Article 11]. The Council decided that, with effect from October 2014, an observer member must apply for regular or associate membership at the completion of its three-year period in observer status. It may not renew the observer status for an additional term.
CHAPTER 6: TASK FORCES
Each Task force shall submit a budget together with its programme of work; the Council shall grant funds and authorize their release in accordance with the budget and after consulting the FIT Treasurer. [Rules of Procedure, Rule 74]
6.1. As a matter of principle, each Task force and Regional centre of the Federations is entitled to funding accordingly to the FIT Budget to cover its project, running costs and expenses
6.2. All expenditure claims must receive the prior approval of the Council. Items included in a committee or regional centre’s budget and covered by the FIT budget approved by the Council are thus deemed to have that approval.
6.3. In addition to the funds allocated in the FIT budget, task forces and regional centers may apply for advances and seed capital, both of which are subject to the availability of funds and normally repayable. The Council may consider claims exceeding the budget after seeking the Treasurer’s opinion.
6.4. Funds shall be released on presentation of paid invoices. Unpaid invoices may be submitted for direct payment.
CHAPTER 7: RESTRICTED FUNDS
7.1. The rules below apply to all restricted funds held by the Federation, unless otherwise provided in the individual Fund’s specific rules. The Solidarity Funds’ rules are published separately and were last amended by Resolution of the San Francisco Congress of 2011. The Travel Support Funds also has its own by-laws.
7.2. Ad hoc funds may be established by the Council or the Congress against specific and substantial future expenditure of the Federation.
7.3. The Federation’s restricted funds are held as though in trust on behalf of the members and the donors of those funds and are accounted for separately. They may but are not required be consolidated into a single capital sum and invested en bloc.’
7.4. The Federation’s operating account funds may be invested alongside the restricted funds but shall on no account be consolidated with them.
7.5. Restricted funds must be managed prudently and may under no circumstances be applied either directly or indirectly to currently speculation, commodities, investments in derivatives or any other speculative instrument, or forward transactions of any kind. They are managed by an Investments Task Force comprising the Treasurer and such other two or three members as the Council shall choose to appoint, in full consultation with the Executive Director and any other individual advisers they see fit to consult. No payment shall be made for investment advice received.
7.6. The proceeds of the restricted funds may be applied solely to the purpose for which the funds were created. Unless otherwise provided, the principal shall remain intact.
CHAPTER 8: REIMBURSEMENT OF MEETING EXPENSES
8.1. As a matter of principle, the burden of expenses relating to attendance at meetings of FIT is borne by the home association of each individual Council member. It is therefore necessary that this constraint be drawn to the attention of individual member organizations when calls are made for candidates for election to the Council.
8.2. By way of derogation from this principle, Members of the Executive Committee whose associations have difficulty meeting the costs of their attending EC meetings may be reimbursed reasonable travel expenses from FIT funds. This also applies to the expenses of the Federation’s Executive Director when representing the Federation or attending meetings of the Council and the Statutory Congress. Those costs may include:
8.2.1. Second class rail fare or tourist/economy class air fare where appropriate;
8.2.2. Reasonable bus, taxi or other fares to and from the railway station/airport;
8.2.3. Reasonable hotel accommodation for the duration of the meeting only.
8.3. Paragraphs 8.1 and 8.2 also apply mutatis mutandis to the expenses of Council members officially representing FIT.
8.4. Executive Committee members expecting to avail themselves of the provision of 8.2 above must so advise the Treasurer of the fact during the budget drafting process.
8.5. Expense claims must be submitted to the Permanent Secretariat, accompanied by originals of receipts and travel documents (rail or airline tickets), and must be approved by the Treasurer. Should the Treasurer find it necessary to submit a claim, such claims require the approval of both the President and the Secretary General. Claims must be submitted before the end of the accounting year in which the expenses were incurred. In the event that this is not possible, the Treasurer must be informed, in writing, of the value of such a claim.
CHAPTER 9: STATUTORY RESERVES
The Federation shall strive to constitute and maintain reserves equivalent to one financial year’s income from members’ subscriptions. [By-laws, Article 42]
Statutory reserves may be consolidated with the restricted funds when invested but must be accounted for separately. The return on their investment is credited to the operating account.
1 For the currencies used by FIT, please see para. 3.3.
2 The objective of a review of financial statements is to be enable a practitioner to state whether, on the basis of procedures which do not provide all the evidence that would be required in an audit, anything has come to the practitioner’s attention that causes the practitioner to believe that the financial statements are not prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with the applicable financial reporting framework (negative assurance)”… “For the purpose of expressing negative assurance in the review report, the practitioner should obtain sufficient appropriate evidence primarily through inquiry and analytical procedure to be able to draw conclusions.” See http://web.ifac.org/download/b010-2010-iaasb-handbook-isre-2400.pdf