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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Finance Management Committee


Mental health service users and personal health budgetsRole

Considers the College's financial policy and makes recommendations/reports to Council. Chaired by the Honorary Treasurer.

Membership

  • Professor Nick Craddock, Honorary Treasurer  (Chair)

Other representatives of Council:

  • Dr Chris Fear, Divisions’ representative
  • Dr Ian Hall, Faculties’ representative
  • Dr Jan Falkowski, Elected members’ representative

Staff

  • Chief Executive 
  • Director of Finance and Operations

A Committee Secretary will attend to minute the meetings and carry out the usual related tasks, but will not be a member of the FMC. Heads of Department or other appropriate staff should be invited to attend to present particular budgets or papers.

 

The Role and Remit of the Finance Management Committee

1. Purpose of Report
The purpose of this report is to set out proposals for formalising the role, remit and membership of the Finance Management Committee within the new College committee structure which took effect from July 2006.  This report was approved by Council (formerly known as CEC) in February 2007.

2. Background
The Finance Management Committee (FMC) was established approximately 12 years ago as an ad hoc group tasked with managing a situation of financial difficulty for the College.  At that time the membership included a representative of the College’s auditors, the Honorary Treasurer, the Chief Executive and the Head of Finance.  The constitution was not formalised nor the remit clearly spelt out.  That situation no longer pertains and over time the committee has developed its current role of scrutinising financial issues before they proceed to the Executive & Finance Committee and Council.

The College’s new committee structure became operational in July 2006, with Council and the Executive & Finance Committee being replaced by the new Council.  The FMC is recognised as a formal sub-committee of Council and this is an appropriate time to specify the FMC’s role and remit.

3. Remit
Council and E&F were never appropriate vehicles for detailed scrutiny of financial issues, as neither time nor the large membership enabled this.  The situation will be the same for Council. A way needs to be found to ensure that trustees are involved at this detailed level and the FMC can serve this purpose with appropriate membership (see below).  It is proposed that the primary purposes of the FMC should be defined as:

  • To monitor the current and longer term financial situation of the College by regular review of relevant management information.
  • To scrutinise all annual budgets
  • To scrutinise Research grant budgets when and if funding has been approved rather than at the point of application
  • To scrutinise in appropriate detail the financial implications of any new project, initiative, service or contract.
  • To review and make recommendations about travel and subsistence rates, staff cost of living increases, payments to users and carers and membership subscription & registration fees.
  • To develop further, monitor and analyse fund-raising activities in conjunction with  relevant groups.
  • To monitor income from all sources and to promote income generation.
  • To monitor risk management aspects of new and ongoing activities with particular regard to potential financial risks.

In practice, and on an annual cycle, this should involve:
 

(i) Budget scrutiny (annual)
Scrutinising Annual Business Plans from each Faculty, Section, Division and Special Interest Group, including proposals for prizes or bursaries.

Scrutinising the delegate fee recommendations from Programmes & Meetings committee for the Annual Meeting.

Scrutinising annual activity plans from the Examinations Department, the Post Graduate Educational Services Department, the Facilities & Office Services Department, the External Affairs Department and the CRTU together with a 3 year IT budget and annual staff training budget. The Publications Management Board, which includes in its membership the Honorary Treasurer, Chief Executive and Head of Financial Services, shall retain responsibility for its own financial affairs with the minutes of the Board being copied additionally if required.

(ii) Budget scrutiny (one off projects)
In principle any new initiative or project should be considered by the FMC with regard to financial & risk management implications. This would ensure that Council is presented with all the information needed to make policy decisions. 

Any substantial new proposal to be funded centrally by the College should be presented first to FMC, and no funding for new initiatives should be committed without the scrutiny of this committee. FMC may consider it necessary to forward proposals to Council which, as the constituent body of College Trustees, has the ultimate authority.

In this context “substantial” will usually mean involving expenditure in excess of £5,000 in any one financial year.  It might also refer to any initiative which is complex or unusual, or which has the potential for impact upon the reputation of the College.

If urgent action is required on substantial proposals action may be taken by the Chief Executive but always in consultation with the Honorary Treasurer.

The Chief Executive must approve the appointment of any new member of staff, consulting with the Honorary Treasurer if necessary.

(iii) Financial Monitoring
The following management reports should continue to be considered at each meeting:

  • Monthly management accounts
  • Cash Flow projections
  • Capital Expenditure summary
  • Conference budgets and outturns
  • Transactions on the College investment portfolio
  • Summary of FSDSIG balances
  • Subscription arrears outstanding

The FMC will also review the College’s annual accounts and liaise generally with the College auditors.  It is likely that other useful monitoring exercises may be identified and other reports added.

(iv) Financial & Administrative Recommendations
The FMC should:

  • Review  travel & subsistence rates annually
  • Recommend annual subscription & registration fee rates
  • Recommend any annual cost of living increase for staff
  • Review lists of members to be presented to Council for removal from the Register for non-payment of fees.
  • Make recommendations to Council for signatories to cheques/BACS payments and other College documents
  • Review investment strategies and make recommendations to the Council

(v) Other management information
It is likely that other management information from Departments would be useful for review and monitoring.  Examples might include numbers and 5 year trends in examination candidates, the monthly membership statistics already circulated to Officers and donations to the College.  Heads of Departments (HoDs) could agree specific examples.

4. Frequency & timing of meetings
In order to function effectively the FMC will need to take account of the Council meeting schedule.  It is suggested that the FMC meetings follow the Council meeting schedule and precede those dates by 2-3 weeks.  The FMC meetings should be included in the annual diary review and set at that time.


APPENDIX 1

Sample agendas:

Standing items

  • Financial reports, as above
  • New projects

Cyclical items (timings are notional):

January meeting

Cost of living increase

March meeting

Review of annual accounts

Following year membership subscription fees – initial review

May/June meeting

Membership fees – formal recommendation

Examinations budget for following year

September meeting

Departmental budgets for following year

November meeting

FSDSIG business plans for following year

Risk management (separate meeting inc Heads of Department)

Annual meeting budget

 


Number of meetings per annum
: 5


Updated 8 July 2013

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