Finance commission

Proposed by the Swedish Union of Journalists

The World Congress of the International Federation of Journalists, meeting in Angers from June 7th – 10th 2016,

recalling that the Finance and Constitution Commission that worked during the Dublin Congress in 2013 recommended establishing a permanent commission “to oversee the budgetary process between Congresses, working in partnership with the Honorary Treasurer”. The aim was to improve the management of the IFJ´s funds and, as a result of that, the IFJ’s economy;

further recalling that the Executive Committee appointed a relatively large commission (nine members), including members of the ExCom. The Honorary Treasurer is a “non-voting participant”, according to the rules for the FC that the Executive Committee has adopted. The members of the FC were supposed to meet by teleconferences, normally every quarter after receiving quarterly financial reports from the secretariat. None of this has happened;

believing that this is obviously not enough, neither to improve the management of funds nor the financial situation. The regular “meetings” of the FC have not taken place as foreseen. The different levels of participation/activity of FC members and the differences of opinion about the situation between members of the Executive Committee have made the work of the FC neither efficient nor helpful. The IFJ’s finances are a serious cause for alarm;

further believing that the future of the IFJ is dependent on the organisation’s ability to do the necessary work as well as the members’ confidence in same. That, of course, takes more than money but the finances, the responsible management of them and transparency are nevertheless crucial;

noting that the responsibility for the financial management of the IFJ is shared by several levels of the organisation and unevenly distributed between them. It is time for the IFJ to review and change the management of their finances, including the roles and responsibilities of the Executive and Administrative Committees, the Honorary Treasurer and the Secretariat.

Most non-profit organisations, including trade unions (e.g. the EFJ) elect lay auditors to complete the work of the professional auditors, to ensure the members’ insight and access to information – and to raise alarm if necessary. The present FC should be replaced by a commission elected by Congress and with a different objective. The new FC must be independent from other bodies of the IFJ but have the full co-operation of those bodies and access to all documents regarding finances;

Congress therefore instructs the incoming Administrative Committee to make sure that the new FC receive quarterly reports on the finances of the IFJ, that teleconferences are made available to the FC to the extent that the commission wishes and that physical meetings can take place at least once a year, together with members of the AdCom and relevant staff.

An interim finance commission is to be appointed in the following manner:

  • Following the close of congress, the general secretary is to send a circular to member unions inviting nominations for the three lay auditor positions available.
  • Nominations must be received by the general secretary by close of business on July 31
  • The General Secretary will then propose three members of the interim finance commission to the Administrative Committee.
  • The interim finance commission will serve as the finance commission until the next congress.