ARC minutes 2020-12-03
ARC Meeting Minutes 8th December 2020
Jane Carlin, Marnie Woodward. Staff: Lucy Crompton, Davina Johnson, Natasha Iles
Declaration of interest
Approval of previous minutes
Update on actions arising at last meeting
Add an action for risk register follow up for LCR and JC.
LCR gave an update on the office opening situation, DAJ outlined the post collection. DAJ says there is not enough post for it to be worth setting up a redirect.
JC noted that the tendering process of the auditors has moved on substantially.
DAJ gave an update on her progress with changes to the bank mandate and bank accounts.
Reserves Policy to be discussed in the meeting.
DAJ outlined the differences between the Q3 and Q4 forecast and reforecast. We are in a healthy position, with income higher than forecast and some savings in expenditure. We are projecting a surplus of around 21k at the year end.
Draft budget 2021-22
LCR talked to the commentary on the draft budget for 2021/22.
We’re presenting a break-even budget, with a grant of £345k from the Wikimedia Foundation which has yet to be confirmed (and which is a 3% increase on the current year).
JC commented that she thought the fundraising targets were quite low considering the growth in our fundraising capacity. LCR responded that it takes time for new fundraisers to increase revenue and that she doesn’t want our budget to be predicated on significant increases that may be impossible to achieve - but that she and NI will be discussing stretch targets. LCR also noted that our target for major donors is relatively ambitious considering the hit we are taking this year, but added that we have £5k pledged already towards the overall target of £25k.
The Arcadia Fund has indicated that they may be able to support us from 2022, so it hasn’t been included in this budget. LCR clarified that the Arcadia Fund is not connected with the Arcadia retailer in any way.
LCR noted that we have budgeted for a contribution of £1000 to the work of the EU advocacy group, despite Brexit, as the whole staff team felt that we wanted to continue to support this policy work. We also benefit from Dimi’s insight into copyright laws in the UK and have been talking to him about how he can support our domestic policy work.
We are anticipating that in person events may start up again around the middle of the year, and have based our budget on that assumption.
DAJ explained the increase in IT & telephony expenditure, which includes several major projects and more consultancy time from Veda.
It was noted that the 2020/21 comparison figures on the draft budget for next year need amending, and it was agreed that we should use the Q4 reforecast for this.
There was a discussion about proposed staff salary increases. It was agreed that the funding envelope was fine, but that in practice all eligible staff will receive a cost of living increase, and some may receive a small market adjustment uplift following a benchmarking exercise in early 2021.
DAJ went through the cash flow position for each bank account. The CAF and Co-operative bank deposit accounts are almost static, and DAJ is confident that the amount in Unity will be sufficient, even if we don’t receive our next grant instalment until February. A new bank account is in the process of being opened.
LCR outlined the updated paper on the proposed new methodology for calculating our organisational reserves target, and the draft policy statement. This encompasses the risk based approach introduced by DAJ with an additional four weeks’ operating costs to be held in reserve to reflect a possible time lag between a risk materialising and the board being able to take action. It was agreed by MW and JC that this was now ready to be proposed to the board for approval.
Appointment of Auditors
MW, LCR and DAJ were on the interview panel for the audit interviews. PKF Littlejohn were the preferred choice on the basis of their proposal, interview and fee (which was the lowest, and had been discounted). JC is happy for ARC to recommend PKF to the full board. MW commended DAJ on the process and the outcome. JC thanked everyone involved in the process.
Report from GovCom
LCR gave an overview of the GovCom meeting that took place the previous week. She noted that GovCom is proposing that board and committee meetings move to become online by default, with one in-person gathering for the annual away day. JC commented that online meetings are better for her, as they cut out travel time.
LCR has made provision in the Q4 reforecast for ARC recruitment. There was a discussion about whether we first try to recruit new committee members through our existing networks; however it was agreed that from an equality and diversity perspective it would be good to advertise. Action: LCR to draft application pack for ARC committee members and arrange advertising for early in the new year.
LCR explained that she had reviewed the Risk Register but that there were no changes to report. MW asked about the creation of a designated fund for programmes mentioned as a possible action, and LCR explained that this is something she is thinking about depending on the level of surplus at the end of 2020/21.
LCR and JC will be meeting to review the register.
Date of next meeting
2021 dates proposed to NP, will confirm when he’s approved. ARC will generally take place two weeks before the board meetings as agreed.
JC will need to step out of the board meeting for 15 minutes between 6 - 6:30pm.