SWCD Admin Duties Administrative Duties Required of Soil and Water Conservation District Employees
Bookkeeping • In most cases, bookkeeping is done in house. You are in charge of keeping an accurate set of books for your district. Most SWCDs in Illinois are on a recent version of QuickBooks. QuickBooks is a simple program which allows ease of bill payment, invoicing, payroll and account tracking. It is also very easy to create reports for your board meetings. • You are required to submit a budget, prepared by your board of directors, to your Regional Representative by September 15 of each year.
Quarterly Report of District Operations Expenditures is due to the Bureau of Land and Water Resources (BLWR) at Illinois Department of Agriculture seven days after the end of each Quarter, i.e. September, January, April and July. • The Financial Management Report or an Audit is required by the BLWR by October 15 of each year. The Financial Management Report can be located on the DARTS website. • The Internal Controls Checklist is also required at the same time and can also be located on DARTS.
Elections/Annual Meetings • Elections are required to be held in January or February of each year. There are two means in which elections can be held: by General Election at a polling place or at an Annual Meeting. Complete election instructions and election forms are located on the DARTS website at www.agr.state.il.us/darts. • Petition to hold an election at Annual Meeting or Polling Place must be submitted to IDoA at least 20 days prior to the date of the meeting. • A nominating committee must meet at least 90 days prior to the meeting/election and must consist of at least three members. It may have more members, but it must be an odd number.
Election notices should be published in at least one newspaper in general circulation within the district at two points: 30 days prior and 15 days prior to the meeting/election. Posting in three prominent locations is also an option, unless there are no news outlets in general circulation, then posting becomes mandatory at 30 days prior to the meeting/election. • Election forms due to the BLWR by April 1 of each year include: Annual Report and Annual Meeting minutes, Organization of the Board form, Election Counting Record and Acceptance of Office forms.
Board Meetings • SWCD Board meetings are held monthly. An agenda of the meeting must be posted at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting at the physical meeting location. • Minutes from these board meetings should give a short, accurate description of the business discussed during the meeting. They should include the date, time, place and list of attendees/absentees.
Board meetings should follow an agenda which is set prior to the meeting, with additions being allowed at the discretion of the board. • Board meetings must follow guidelines set by the Illinois’ Open Meetings Act. This act contains requirements for setting/changing meeting dates/times/places (which must be done at least 48 hours prior to the set time), as well as rules for closed sessions (which must be audio and/or video recorded) and other protocol.
Electronic meetings or meetings by telephone may be utilized, however, any action taken must be approved at the next in-person meeting. • For a 5-member public body, 3 members of the body constitute a quorum and the affirmative vote of 3 members is necessary to adopt any motion, resolution, or ordinance.
Every public body shall designate employees, officers, or members to receive training on compliance with the Open Meetings Act. Each elected director must complete the Open Meetings Act certification: new directors must do so within 90 days of taking office and all other directors were to have completed it by December 31, 2012. • The complete act can be accessed at the Illinois Attorney General’s website at www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) • All records in the custody or possession of a public body are presumed to be open to inspection or copying. Any public body that asserts that a record is exempt from disclosure has the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that it is exempt. • Each public body shall, promptly, either comply with or deny a request for public records within 5 business days after its receipt of the request, unless the time for response is properly extended. • Failure to comply with a written request, extend the time for response, or deny a request within 5 business days after its receipt shall be considered a denial of the request.
The time for response under this Section may be extended by the public body for not more than 5 business days from the original due date. • Fees may be charged, but shall not exceed the actual cost of the supplies used. The Act limits copy charges of black and white copies to $0.15 per copy, after fifty copies. Charges for color copies must not exceed the district’s actual cost to reproduce the records. • Each public body shall designate one or more officials or employees to act as its Freedom of Information officer or officers. Certification of these officers must be done annually at the Illinois Attorney General's website at www.illinoisattorneygerneral.gov
Upon receiving a request for a public record, the Freedom of Information officer shall: • 1. note the date the request is received • 2. compute the date for which the period for response will expire and note that date on the written request • 3. maintain an electronic or paper copy of the written request until the request has been complied with or denied • 4. create a file for the retention of the original request, a copy of the response, a record of written communications with the requester, and a copy of other communications. • Exemptions: There are a number of documents/information which are exempted from the FOIA law. Please refer to the Act for specifics if you are in doubt.
Payroll Tax Forms • ILLINOIS WITHHOLDING—See Pub 130 on www.tax.illinois.gov • Form IL-W-4 • Your employee must complete Form IL-W-4, Employee’s Illinois Withholding Allowance Certificate. This is your record of the number of allowances that your employee is entitled to claim.
FEDERAL WITHHOLDING—See Pub 505 on www.irs.gov • Form W-4 • The amount of income tax your employer withholds from your regular pay depends on two things: • The amount you earn in each payroll period. • The information you give your employer on Form W-4.
Form W-4 includes four types of information that your employer will use to figure your withholding: • How many withholding allowances you claim (each allowance reduces the amount withheld). • to withhold at the single rate or at the lower married rate. • Whether you want an additional amount withheld • Whether you are claiming an exemption from withholding in 2013
Both the state and federal forms W-4 should be reviewed and changes made whenever any of the following occur: • Lifestyle change such as marriage, divorce or addition/loss of dependents • Changes in wage income such as pay increase, decrease, and/or loss or addition of second household income • Changes to taxable income, adjustments to income or changes to amount of itemized deductions or tax credits
Insurance • NEW EMPLOYEE • Employees working 37 or more hours per week are “Full Time” and will be eligible for fully funded Health Insurance (including dental and vision coverage) and Life/Long Term Disability Insurance coverage on the first day of the month following a 60-day waiting period. • Those same employees are eligible for Short Term Disability coverage at their own/district’s expense at the same time. • Employees working 50% of their district’s regular work week are eligible for the same coverage at their own/district’s expense after the same waiting period.
Required Forms: • To be submitted to Insurance Administrator • Personnel Status Form: Copies go to Admin, IDoA, AISWCD, NRCS and Regional Rep • LGHP Enrollment Form: This is the health insurance enrollment • Standard Life/LTD Enrollment: Employees are provided with $15,000 coverage. Additional coverage may be purchased for employee and/or their dependents • Short Term Disability Enrollment Form: This coverage is optional and must be paid for by district check, either through payroll deduction or provided by the SWCD board.
DEPARTING EMPLOYEE • A departing employee may be one who has been let go, has resigned or has retired
Required Forms: • To be submitted to the Insurance Administrator • Personnel Status Form: Copies go to Admin, IDoA, AISWCD, NRCS and Regional Rep • LGHP Change and Correction Form: This will be completed in the “Termination” section • Standard Life/LTD Enrollment and Change Form: Complete the “Change” section of the form by marking “other” and writing an explanation, i.e. “resigned”, “terminated”, etc. • Standard Life/STD Enrollment and Change Form: Complete as you would for the Life/LTD form • Coverage will remain in effect until midnight of the last day of the month in which the employee is terminated
CHANGES TO COVERAGE • Qualifying changes to coverage may be made any time during the year using the LGHP Changes and Corrections Form and the Standard Enrollment and Change Forms. • Qualifying changes include increase/decrease in hours worked, spouse/dependent losing their insurance coverage, change in work county, etc. • Other changes, such as a change in insurance carrier and additions or deletions of dependents must be made during the Benefit Choice Period in the month of May
FINALLY…… Assistance is never very far away. We are a close knit network of employees who are always willing to help when we can. You should always feel comfortable asking for help from employees in your neighboring counties, from your ISWCDEA reps, from your Regional Reps, technical committee reps, and your insurance administrator. Please don’t hesitate to use that network whenever questions arise!