RETURNED AND SERVICES LEAGUE (Victorian Branch) Inc Sub Branch Committee Executive Seminar 2012
Introduction David McLachlanState President
ANZAC House Services & Overview by Key Staff Mike AnnettChief Executive Officer
Overview of ANZAC House Services & Key Staff • Appeals & Membership – Peter Smith • Aged and Health Support – Wendy Bateman • Veteran Welfare and Entitlement Support – Jeff Jackson • Membership, Rules and Branch Administration including State Executive and Tribunal Matters – Mike Annett • Finance, Property, Quality Assurance, Patriotic Funds –Mark Sherlock • Licensed Sub-Branch Group including Corporate Member Services and Marketing – Brian Cairns.
Mike Annett & Frank Bell Introduction Branch Rules And Bylaws
Branch Rules and Bylaws • National Constitution • National Bylaws & Standing Policy • Branch Rules and Policy Statements • Branch Bylaws • Corporate Governance Charter (Bylaw 11) and Compliance Manual
Branch Rules and Bylaws Questions of Precedence And Interpretation. • Key Bylaws • 4&5 Treasurer and Secretary • 7: Patriotic Funds • 8: Appeal Monies • 10A&10B: Model Rules for Licensed Sub-Branches • 11: Corporate Governance • 19:Sub-Branch Disciplinary Proceedings
Mike Annett & Frank Bell Duties Of Presidents, Secretaries And Treasurers
President Responsibilities • Rules provide a guide only, particularly in the case of the President. • Branch Rule 13.6(p) “The President shall provide a general supervision over the staff and the Sub-Branch’s administration”
President Responsibilities • What Does This Mean? • Must be inclusive – First amongst Equals • Involve Committee and seek consensus, noting the particular role of the Executive in this • Ensure League’s Welfare and Commemorative objectives are met. • Lead Committee members and other vital appointments • Public & Community face of the RSL • Provide direction, goals and oversight to Manager, Staff and Volunteers • Keep State Branch abreast of issues and seek guidance or authority where appropriate
Secretaries Responsibilities • Bylaw 5 • Smooth administration of Sub-Branch • See obligations under Constitution, Rules and Bylaws met • Support President in his role, especially as Secretary of the Committee and ensuring information is disseminated.
Treasurer’s Responsibilities • Bylaw 4 • Meet financial reporting requirements of Sub-Branch, including preparation for Annual Audited Statement • Meeting of QA and Patriotic Funds reporting obligations (ATO Deed of settlement) • In Licensed Sub-Branches, work with Manager and staff to maintain financial health of Sub-Branch in terms of operational cash flow, statutory and creditor obligations and debt servicing.
Mike Annett – Chief Executive Officer Conduct Of ElectionsAGMS & Disciplinary Hearings
Sub-Branch Elections Rule 13.7/13.8 • Key Issues • Notices Given: Timing and Form • Appointment of Returning Officer/ Scrutineers • Postal Ballot v AGM Voting • (proposed secret ballot mandatory in LSBs) • Affiliate Representation and “60/40 Rule” • Social member position on Committee • Voting Method: Keep it simple and understood by members • Probity and Transparency: “Seen to be done”
AGM’sRule 13.9/13.9A • Key Issues • Timing and notice to members • Quorum and chairing of meetings • Vital Business • a) Presidents report • b) Audited Financial Statement (already approved by Committee) • c) Elections/ Declaration of Ballot • d) Auditor Appointment • e) Honorariums • f) Other Business – items on agenda only? • g) Members open forum? Back to back GM? • Not less than one ordinary GM, in addition to AGM required in the year. (One required within sixty days prior to State Conference)
Conduct of Sub-Branch Disciplinary Hearings • Sub-Branch Processes cannot be arbitrary • State Branch Tribunal and its role • Vital to get this right to deal with unacceptable behavior • Sub-Branch – Bylaw 19 • State Branch Tribunal – Bylaw 18 • National Rule 19 governs the above; the role of National Tribunal.
Jurisdiction • Service, Affiliate and Social members essentially entitled to same process at Sub-Branch level. • Natural justice and procedural fairness embedded in the Rules/Bylaws • Service and Affiliate can appeal to State Branch (Hon Peter Heerey Chairs Tribunal) • Service can appeal to National, where hearing is • initiated at State Branch level.
Issues • Notice to accused – Clearly stating offence • Full particulars of conduct to accused and provision of relevant documents before hearing • Opportunity to question statements/witnesses and be heard by Sub-Branch Committee Disciplinary Hearing. • Quorum? • Advice of decision in writing and appeal rights and method • Sub-Branch powers of punishment: Service, Affiliate and Social
Other Matters • Sub-Branch appearances before Tribunal in appeal cases • Use of Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 and OH&S Regulations as alternative or adjunct?: Legislation’s proper role and how it complements the League’s Disciplinary Procedures. • The continuing value of the “Caution” by Sub-Branch President/ Secretary as an alternative to formal disciplinary action (But document it or have a witness)
Bryan Arendse– Patriotic Funds Administration Of Patriotic Funds
The Veterans Act 2005 The Victorian Veterans Council: • Replaced the Patriotic Funds Council • Is an independent statutory body which reports directly to the Premier on issues relating to the Victorian veteran community • It provides advice to the Minister of Consumer Affairs on matters relating to the regulation of Patriotic Funds.
The Veterans Act 2005 The Director of Consumer Affairs • Is the regulator (not the controller) of Patriotic Funds • The Office of the Director of Consumer Affairs approves/monitors the transfer of monies from all Patriotic Funds, the lodgement and review of annual returns and the recording of office bearers.
The Trustee For Sub-Branch Patriotic Funds • The RSL State Branch is acknowledged by CAV to be the Trustee for all Welfare and Building Patriotic Funds • As Trustee, it may delegate certain financial responsibilities to Sub-Branch Patriotic Fund officers • Sub-Branches may give direction to the State Branch for its consideration as Trustee.
What is a Building Patriotic Fund? • Building Patriotic Funds are/have been established in accordance with a Building Patriotic Fund Trust Deed • All assets of a Sub-Branch are held in the BPF and include but are not limited to halls, clubrooms (purchased or leased) investment properties, equipment, motor vehicles, plant and equipment, furniture and equipment and memorabilia.
May be used for Purchase of property, plant and equipment, furniture, motor vehicles and memorabilia Upgrades, renovations and maintenance of property, plant and equipment. Note These items of expenditure need to be submitted to the State Property Sub-Committee for its consideration for recommendation to the State Executive It also needs to be in the annual budget of the Building Patriotic Fund. May not be used for Salaries Honorariums Items that should be paid for by a Licensed Sub-Branch under the terms of the lease with the BPF. THE USE OF BPF
What is a Welfare Patriotic Fund? Welfare Patriotic Funds are/have been established to: • Raise funds to be used in necessitous circumstances for the welfare of veterans and their dependants. Funds are raised from the ANZAC Day and Poppy Appeals, donations, bequests, interest from investments, raffles, bingo and other sundry income.
The Veterans Act mentions, but does not define necessitous circumstances. We believe that it relates to the financial circumstances of the veteran or in other words “in financial need” • Generally it means that the veteran or the dependant cannot afford to purchase the goods or services they need to live, in an appropriate and acceptable manner.
Who is a Veteran? • A veteran is someone who has served in the Australian Defence Force, Peacekeeping Force or other Commonwealth Forces and resides in Victoria • A veteran does not have to be a member of the RSL to receive assistance.
Who is a Dependant? • The wife or husband of a veteran (living or deceased) is a dependant • The son, daughter, grandchild who are solely dependent on the veteran are dependants • A dependant does not have to be a member of the RSL to receive assistance.
Eligible expenses which will assist the Sub-Branch Welfare Patriotic Officers to discharge their responsibilities. The needs of eligible beneficiaries may be classified as: • Financial • Medical • Social or • Psychological.
Financial Before assisting a Veteran or a dependant with financial assistance, the Committee must exercise a degree of discretion to determine that such assistance is required. i.e. that the Veteran or the dependant does not have their own funds to pay for their needs. Financial assistance may include the following: • Rental assistance • Food vouchers • School fees • Medical expenses • RSL membership fees • Short term loans which must be documented and signed by the borrower • Minor repairs to a Veteran’s home.
Bereavement • Death notices incorporating the RSL badge for Service members • Death notices for affiliates including badge where these affiliates were a close relative of a Veteran • Wreaths • Funeral costs (if the family is unable to meet the costs).
Hospitalisation of a Veteran or a Dependant • Fruit baskets/bowls • The expenses of volunteers who do hospital visits • Flowers • Cab fare/Cab Charge for the veteran/dependant to hospital • Get Well cards.
Aged-Care Coordinators (where employed) and Volunteers Expenses • All reasonable expenses incurred by them in providing services to Veterans or their dependants • These may include motor vehicle, accommodation and telephone.
Salaries and on-costs of Aged-Care Co-ordinators • The appointment of an Aged-Care co-ordinator must be ratified by the State Branch in consultation with a particular Region’s Sub-Branches • The ongoing employment, activities and performance of the Aged-Care co-ordinator will be facilitated by the State Branch in conjunction with the Region and particular Sub-Branches acting as the employer • Salaries and the terms of employment will be the subject of a specific agreement between the Region and the State Branch.
Mobility Needs and other Specialised Equipment Including: • Mobile scooters • Wheel chairs • Walking frames The above equipment remains the property of the Welfare Patriotic Fund and must be returned to the Sub-Branch when no longer required Such equipment must be recorded in the Asset Register of the Welfare Patriotic Fund The equipment can also be hired and in many cases this is the best approach • Hearing Aids • Emergency Alarms.
Other NATURAL DISASTERS • Emergency relief when a Veteran or dependant is inadequately or not insured Utilities paid for the comfort of Veterans and their dependants when attending a traditional Sub-Branch and where that Sub-Branch does not conduct fund-raising • Gas • Electricity • Water • Rates.
Income Tax Exempt Charity Status • All RSL Victorian Sub-Branches and their Welfare and Building Patriotic Funds have the status of being an Income Tax Exempt Charity (ITEC) • The criteria for this status is that a Sub-Branch must be able to demonstrate that its predominant purpose and activities are charitable by nature • Items A, B and C below may be paid out of the General Account of a Sub-Branch (more so a licensed Sub-Branch) to demonstrate that it is carrying out is charitable activities.
National Police Record Checks • Required for Volunteers • Administration expenses of the Welfare Office • Postage • Stationery • Telephone expenses • Internet expenses • Computer expenses • Consumables • Newsletters • A portion of the overall cost of producing and mailing the newsletter of a Sub-Branch to its Veterans and/or dependants.
Expenses incurred during the ANZAC Day and Poppy Appeal • Any reasonable expenses incurred by volunteers collecting for the above Appeals may be paid out of the Welfare Patriotic Fund • These may include travelling expenses, parking, and telephone calls • Dinners or lunches arranged to commemorate ANZAC Day or Remembrance Day may notbe paid out of the Welfare Patriotic Fund.
Transfers from a Welfare Patriotic Fund to another Patriotic Fund • The Act allows the transfer of assets or money between Patriotic Funds • Transfer forms, available from ANZAC House, detailing the need for the transfer, must be lodged with the State Branch (as Trustee) for its recommendation for approval by CAV.
Transfers from a Welfare Patriotic Fund to a charitable trust or charitable corporation • The Act allows for the transfer of funds to establishments that assist with the welfare of Veterans and/or their dependants • These include hospitals and aged care facilities who require assistance with the provision of equipment and furniture for the comfort and well being of veterans and/or their dependants • Transfer Forms, available from ANZAC House, detailing the need for the transfer, must be lodged with the State Branch (as Trustee) for its recommendation for approval by CAV.
BANKING ARRANGEMENTS • Each Fund must have its own bank account to record all monies raised and expensed by the Fund • There must be two signatories to each transaction • Changes to cheque signatories must be advised to the Trustee on the prescribed form • A listing of cheques drawn must be presented at each meeting.
INCOME TAX EXEMPT CHARITY (ITEC) STATUS OF PATRIOTIC FUNDS • All Patriotic Funds are registered with the ATO as an ITEC • This privilege must be protected through the diligent handling of Patriotic Fund monies so as not to lose this status.
ANNUAL AUDITED PATRIOTIC FUND STATEMENTS • Each Sub-Branch is required to submit audited Statements on the prescribed form direct to ANZAC House by the 21st February immediately following the end of the financial year (1st January to 31st December) • Audits for funds exceeding gross receipts of $50,000 must be conducted by a: • Member of The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia • Registered company auditor • Member of The Australian Society of Certified Practising Accountants • Member of The National Institute of Accountants.
Funds with gross revenue less than $50,000 may have their accounts audited by a person authorised to take statutory declarations. E.g. JP, Australian lawyers, Police force members, bank managers • Patriotic fund financial accounts do not have to be audited if total gross annual receipts do not exceed $10,000 unless required by the Director of CAV.
STATISTICAL INFORMATION ON RSL VICTORIA SUB-BRANCH PATRIOTIC FUNDS • Welfare Patriotic Funds 31st Dec 2010 Number of Funds = 280 2010 Revenue $4.96M Net Assets $6.90M • Building Patriotic Funds 31st Dec 2010 Number of Funds = 204 2010 Revenue $17.37M Net Assets $440.25M