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arajca
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 4,350

« Reply #100 on: November 30, 2006, 02:23:17 PM »

Before wing cuts a check from a squadron account, they need paperwork. Most units already use some kind of reimbursement request form that requires the commander's signature at a minimum. Without this form, wing cannot legally cut the check. If wing is doing so, you have bigger problems than the wing bank.

Deposits can be made as frequently as the unit wants. One principle in choosing a large, state-wide (where possible) bank is the availability of local branches for deposits. If you want to make a deposit every day, go for it.

As for turnaround, I haven't had to use it personally, but member I have talked to have been favorably impressed. Form signed Monday night (meeting night). Sent to wing Tuesday. Members have reported receiving their checks by Friday or Monday at the latest. those who have longer turnarounds delayed sending in the request. Admittedly, it's still not as fast as same night, but it's not the three month period everyone had been fearing.

With some planning, checks can be cut in advance, i.e. holiday party food. Again, based on my experience with the information that has been based down the chain.
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ELTHunter
Seasoned Member

Posts: 346
Unit: SER-TN-170

« Reply #101 on: November 30, 2006, 04:00:05 PM »

It would appear to me that the people that are unhappy or questioning this are probably the squadron commanders and squadron finance people.  We do need some type of slush fund or ability to run day to day business, such as refilling cake machine, giving change, etc. 

Do we carry the money around for the rest of the week until we can get to the bank of their choice?  Do we deposit the cash in our own accounts and write Wing a check from our accounts to  cover the cash amount?  the members handling the money on a day to day basis are going to be more inconvenienced by this than they know.

While NHQ is doing this to make the Corporation's books as a whole more transparent, I believe it will probably have the opposite effect.  While the "official" finances will be visible, I think the inconvenience of this program, or at least the suspicion of inconvenience, will cause folks to keep "off the books" funds for day-to-day purchases, thereby having the opposite of the desired effect.

If you throw up road blocks in the way of people trying to do their job, they will find away around them.

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Maj. Tim Waddell, CAP
SER-TN-170
Deputy Commander of Cadets
Emergency Services Officer
RiverAux
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 10,978

« Reply #102 on: November 30, 2006, 11:25:12 PM »

Quote
Did your sqdn have a van? If yes how was the fuel purchased?
Wing credit card.  On rare occassions during missions fuel was bought by individuals reimbursed by wing. 

Quote
Did your sqdn host events such as ALS or FTXs? If yes how was the food purchased?
Did your sqdn ever need office supplies? If yes how did that get purchased?
Member bought stuff and squadron reimbursed via check. 
Ours was a very active squadron too. 

Quote
everyone being together in one place versus geographically seperated by hundreds of miles which creates more of the us-vs-them attitude.
The staff for my part of the org is about 8 people, more than 100 are scattered out across the state, many in about 10 regional offices.  Extremely equivalent to CAP. 

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smj58501
Seasoned Member

Posts: 221

« Reply #103 on: November 30, 2006, 11:54:42 PM »

It would appear to me that the people that are unhappy or questioning this are probably the squadron commanders and squadron finance people.  We do need some type of slush fund or ability to run day to day business, such as refilling cake machine, giving change, etc. 

Do we carry the money around for the rest of the week until we can get to the bank of their choice?  Do we deposit the cash in our own accounts and write Wing a check from our accounts to  cover the cash amount?  the members handling the money on a day to day basis are going to be more inconvenienced by this than they know.

While NHQ is doing this to make the Corporation's books as a whole more transparent, I believe it will probably have the opposite effect.  While the "official" finances will be visible, I think the inconvenience of this program, or at least the suspicion of inconvenience, will cause folks to keep "off the books" funds for day-to-day purchases, thereby having the opposite of the desired effect.

If you throw up road blocks in the way of people trying to do their job, they will find away around them.



I find it refreshing to see this many posts on a topic that does not revolve around uniforms.  :)

Seriously, this is good discussion. The above post spells out what I feel are the key points of the issue at hand.

I don't think anyone disagrees that better visability was needed of all the various accounts floating around "out there". That is what this new program should have been limited to, however. In other words, WHYdoes the wing NEED to control the checkbook in order to establish the visibility levels sought? There are other ways to address the visibility issue without going to this level. The establishment of the "one checkbook" process is an overreaction to the stated problem at hand.... and in the spirit of "take care of the member" and/or "get 'er done", the road block detours as detailed above will undoubtedly occur if this indeed is fielded across the board. We could end up back where we started, or the situation could end up worse than it is now.

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Sean M. Johnson
Lt Col, CAP
Chief of Staff
ND Wing CAP
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« Reply #104 on: December 01, 2006, 03:01:34 AM »

No.  I'm not saying hide anything.  What I'm saying is, we don't have to go and tell them everything if they demand it.  Really, it isn't their business unless we decide to make it their business.  I don't think that we should say... "Hi.  I'm with CAP.  We have all these internal issues and the money could be used for something that we as members here in City X don't like because it could be in City B.  So, would you donate money?"  Guess what, that shoots you in the foot.  (Or cuts off your nose like Bob said.)  Because, if you state it the way you are presenting it, I wouldn't donate money.  Presenting the facts are one thing.  It's all about how you present them.  (I won't donate to a disgruntled person... as I think they'll be taking my money...)


Iím obviously presenting my point of view on this just as poorly as National has presented the WBP. For what itís worth, Iím as educated about this program as anyone is. I would love to know more about it, but so far the only thing Iíve managed to get is people running the other way when I start asking questions. And that includes people all the way up to National. And yes, I did ask very nicely and politely. Let me say again, I am not opposed to the concept that is at work here, I am simply amazed at how poorly this program has been implemented.

My point is that there should never be a reason that anyone would have a problem with discussing their financial program, or its controls with a potential donor. For the record, I am not talking about a $5.00 or even a $200.00 donation. I am talking about situations where a local squadron approaches a local individual, business, or government agency and solicits funds for their local people, their local programs, or to support their local people in a CAP activity. There may not be many of them, but there are squadrons out here who receive thousands of dollars each year from their local community. Iím sure they realize that CAP is a national organization, but in their minds they are donating money, sometimes in significant amounts, with the expectation that it is going to be used in their local area, for their local people.

As soon as these people, companies, government agencies, find out that their money is going to be moved out of the local area, and out of the control of the local people, you can bet that the next time you go ask for help, it isnít going to be there. Am I wrong? There is a reason this thread is titled Georgia, I was hoping that someone would be speaking out by now so I could try and learn a little more.

My point is that you can, and most likely will be asked about your financial controls. I would say itís a highly possible from an individual or a business, and I guarantee it will happen from a government agency, especially if the donation involves tax dollars, meaning money which is appropriated from the local citizens. You may be right, legally you may not have to tell anyone anything, but ethically, you are asking for trouble if you donít.

The point that NHQ has never taken money from a local squadron is irrelevant. For what itís worth, I donít think there will be a problem with NHQ trying to confiscate any local squadron funds. I don't have the same feeling about the Wings. Until the implementation of WBP there was no easy way for them to get at squadron funds.  Now, that wonít be a problem. They are going to already have them, and the local squadrons are going to have to request them. Unless, and until there is some official regulatory guidance from National the Wings can simply re-write their ďGuideĒ and say whatever they want, because thereís nothing to stop them. Whats to stop them from implementing a Monthly "Service Charge"?

Am I working with the program? Unfortunately I am right in the middle of it. Iím glad things are going well at your location. Is it a good program? If itís working well at your location, great. I hope you manage to keep good, ethical people over the program at your wing level, because they are working under guidance that could change tomorrow. Unfortunately, not everyone who is being told that they are going to have to surrender all their funds is comfortable with this program, but that doesnít mean that we arenít allowed to question the decisions that are being made.

Personally, at this point, I canít trust National to follow the CAP Constitution or their own regulations, why should I trust them with my squadronís funds?
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RiverAux
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« Reply #105 on: December 01, 2006, 04:02:22 AM »

Quote
My point is that you can, and most likely will be asked about your financial controls. I would say itís a highly possible from an individual or a business, and I guarantee it will happen from a government agency, especially if the donation involves tax dollars, meaning money which is appropriated from the local citizens. You may be right, legally you may not have to tell anyone anything, but ethically, you are asking for trouble if you donít.

And I think you will be better off saying the local funds are tracked as part of a national system that (hopefully) will receive the highest favorable audit rating.  If I was at all concerned about how the finances are run by the unit I want to give money too that would make a much better impression on me than "Well, Dave keeps the checkbook and we have a coffee can with a few hundred dollars in the back room". 

Basically we are dramatically improving the controls over CAP funds to make it more difficult for fraud, waste, and abuse to happen at the local level.  How can this not make them feel better? 

Quote
Until the implementation of WBP there was no easy way for them to get at squadron funds.
  Wings have always had the right to them and I've never heard of it being exercised. 
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ADCAPer
Member

Posts: 89

« Reply #106 on: December 01, 2006, 06:49:37 PM »

So, NHQ doesn't have all the information on the website.  They might have a good reason for it that we're not privy to.

From the CAP National Web Site: CAP/CC Letter, Changes to CAPR 5-4, Publications and Blank Forms Management

1. As we move toward achieving the Civil Air Patrol National Board goal of becoming a paperless organization, we are implementing the following new operating procedures.

a. The CAP web site is the official source for CAP National Headquarters numbered regulations, manuals, pamphlets and forms. These publications and forms are available at http://level2.cap.gov/index.cfm?nodeID=5211. Use of this ďofficial sourceĒ assures access to the most current policy and information.

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ELTHunter
Seasoned Member

Posts: 346
Unit: SER-TN-170

« Reply #107 on: December 01, 2006, 06:57:51 PM »

So, NHQ doesn't have all the information on the website.  They might have a good reason for it that we're not privy to.

From the CAP National Web Site: CAP/CC Letter, Changes to CAPR 5-4, Publications and Blank Forms Management

1. As we move toward achieving the Civil Air Patrol National Board goal of becoming a paperless organization, we are implementing the following new operating procedures.

a. The CAP web site is the official source for CAP National Headquarters numbered regulations, manuals, pamphlets and forms. These publications and forms are available at http://level2.cap.gov/index.cfm?nodeID=5211. Use of this ďofficial sourceĒ assures access to the most current policy and information.



This could be a separate thread, but here is another example of NHQ putting more burden on the members and local units, although I'm sure it's an unintended consequence of going paperless.  Units that do not have internet access at their meeting place need a hard copy of the regulations and manuals.  In preparation for our unit SUI, we audited our regulations to make sure we were all up to date.  I had to print out several copies of the regs from the net.  I was able to do this at work, which is a good thing, because it required quite a bit of paper and ink.  So the cost of publishing the regulations now has to be borne by either the unit or the members themselves.
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Maj. Tim Waddell, CAP
SER-TN-170
Deputy Commander of Cadets
Emergency Services Officer
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Posts: 89

« Reply #108 on: December 01, 2006, 07:14:39 PM »

This could be a separate thread, but here is another example of NHQ putting more burden on the members and local units, although I'm sure it's an unintended consequence of going paperless.  Units that do not have internet access at their meeting place need a hard copy of the regulations and manuals.  In preparation for our unit SUI, we audited our regulations to make sure we were all up to date.  I had to print out several copies of the regs from the net.  I was able to do this at work, which is a good thing, because it required quite a bit of paper and ink.  So the cost of publishing the regulations now has to be borne by either the unit or the members themselves.


Not completely on target for this thread, but it just adds to my general sentiment about how National is running things.  Can you guess which regulation this statement is from?

"...Supplements and waivers are not authorized, except as specifically noted, or when approved by National Headquarters."

I'll give you one clue; it is unfortunately not from a financial regulation!   ???
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TankerT
Seasoned Member

Posts: 308

« Reply #109 on: December 01, 2006, 07:19:27 PM »

I wanted to comment on this topic, as I think many people will ignore what I have to say about the program, and how well it has been implemented from my point of view. 

I seriously think that most of the strife is due to people complaining as their chain of command hasn't told them anything.  I think that probably says more about their Wing's chain of command than anything.  My Wing CC, Office Manager and FO have been very helpful when dealing with this topic.

(And, yes, I have been burned by an unethical person when he asked on our general financial process worked.  He managed to take that information, twist it, and get an organization that donated to us annually to change their donations to his organization.  There was a happy ending to this on our part, but that's a long and irritating story.  That's why I'm not saying don't tell people, I'm saying we should be careful before doing so.)

Overall, NHQ has been very helpful, and this program (in my wing) is fairly easy to use.  Yes, it may create some work/issues, but it also removes a lot of headaches at the same time.  Overall, I think it is an improvement. 

All arguments about how regulations work and whatnot, I see the big picture on this.  1- It helps all of us by allowing NHQ to apply for other grants that we would not normally be eligible for. 2- It takes away a lot of the reporting/paperwork requirements from the units.  (Cripes... they're taking away a lot here folks... it's a nice change there... having them remove some requirements from the Squadron for once!)

If anyone has any specific questions, please PM me.  I'd be happy to answer them.  Otherwise, I won't be reading this tread anymore as I think some people are on it just to complain, and I don't need to really waste my time or be stressed about this.
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/Insert Snappy Comment Here
ADCAPer
Member

Posts: 89

« Reply #110 on: December 02, 2006, 02:34:45 PM »

I seriously think that most of the strife is due to people complaining as their chain of command hasn't told them anything.  I think that probably says more about their Wing's chain of command than anything.

I absolutely agree, however, what can they realistically tell you? Because of the way that National has attempted to implement this plan, they have placed the wing staffers in a position where they can tell you nothing that is definitive, because there is no legal guidance out there? At this point their only option is to say ďYouíre going to do it because the Wing CC says so.Ē

This appears to be the source of about 90% of the problems that seem to be occurring at the local levels. There is no one who can answer a question and then back it up in writing, so they are resorting to saying ďbecause I said so!Ē Well, thatís rarely a good answer, and when people are raising ethical and legal questions it does nothing but create resistance.

That's why I'm not saying don't tell people, I'm saying we should be careful before doing so.)

My point is that we are representing a National organization. If Iím going to ask someone for thousands of dollars to support my local squadron, I should not ever have to worry about being careful when talking to them about how those funds are going to be controlled. Unfortunately, in my experience anyway, when you deal with people on a local level, especially when it involves large sums of money, they want to know their contribution is going to be used in their local area. Right now, I canít guarantee that they would be, because CAP as a corporation owns everything, and now you no longer have the physical control of your funds, or the direct authority to obligate them, you can only "request" them and trust the wing to cut the check.

All arguments about how regulations work and whatnot, I see the big picture on this.  1- It helps all of us by allowing NHQ to apply for other grants that we would not normally be eligible for.

This may be great for National, and if they can make it work then great, however I doubt that there will be enough of these funds trickling down to the local level to make up for what is going to be lost.
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Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 29,657

« Reply #111 on: December 02, 2006, 02:54:54 PM »

This may be great for National, and if they can make it work then great, however I doubt that there will be enough of these funds trickling down to the local level to make up for what is going to be lost.


Another bull’s-eye!

Everything, I mean EVERYTHING, NHQ decides should be filtered through the eyes of the members at the unit level.

The average member has a vague idea we've got "planes-n-stuff", but KNOWS about local donations and bureaucracy.

Its the one extra form, or hassle in getting a bill paid that may be the reason we lose a member who has “almost had it”,
or a streamlined process that saves one.

Anything that makes the rank-and-file members’ life harder / more expensive / less fun is a retention issue.
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