Resource Subcommittee terms of reference

1. Constitution

The Sub-committee shall be a committee of the Council of Assembly established by the Council.

2. Objectives

The primary objective of the Sub-committee is to assist the Council of Assembly (the Council) in discharging its responsibilities relative to financial management and reporting, stewardship of the Church’s resources, and financial risk management.
The secondary objective of the Sub-committee is to advise the Assembly Executive Secretary (AES) in the implementation of Council policy, to review policy proposals from the AES or from task groups the Council or the AES have appointed, and to assist in implementation when it is appropriate on invitation by the AES.

The secondary objective of the sub-committee is to advise the Assembly Executive Secretary (AES) in the implementation of Council policy, to review policy proposals from the AES or from task groups the Council or the AES have appointed, and to assist in implementation when it feels appropriate on invitation by the AES.

3. Membership of the Sub-committee

Members of the Sub-committee shall comprise members appointed by General Assembly on the recommendation of the Nominating Committee.
Members shall be appointed because of their knowledge, experience and/or governance skills relating to the responsibilities with consideration being given to a breadth of perspective.  

The number of Members of the Sub-committee shall be not less than six and not more than ten. 

The term of membership shall be four years after which Members may be reappointed for further terms, total service not to exceed six years (unless approved by General Assembly).

The General Assembly on the recommendation of the Nominating Committee shall appoint a Sub-committee convenor and a deputy convenor to serve for four years, which may be in addition to the maximum period of six years.

A Representative of each of the Church Property Trustees, Synod of Otago and Southland, Te Aka Puaho and the PI Synod may attend meetings.  Representatives shall serve a term that is determined by their representative body.

A Member appointed by the General Assembly may also be appointed as a Representative.

The Assembly Executive Secretary (AES) and Finance Manager shall be Associates.  

Members and Representatives shall have one vote (the Voting Persons).

Any Member appointed by the General Assembly and as a Representative may only have one vote.

Associates do not have voting rights.

4. Administration and meetings

The sub-committee shall appoint a secretary.

A quorum of the Sub-committee shall be half of Voting Persons.

As well as Members, Representatives and Associates, the Sub-committee may have in attendance and/or consult such members of the Service Team (in agreement with the AES) and such other persons, as it considers necessary.

Reasonable notice of meetings and the business to be conducted shall be given to the members of the Sub-committee, the Finance Manager, and the AES.

Meetings shall be held not less than three times a year having regard to the Council’s meeting times and the financial reporting cycle.  Meetings may be held via telephone conference or other electronic means as determined by the convenor.

Minutes of the meetings shall be kept.

5.    Responsibilities

The Sub-committee shall:


Advise the Council regarding Assembly financial management and information, risk management, and use of resources and report to the Council.

This responsibility includes:


Make available on request monthly financial summaries to the Council



Overview of Assembly income and expenditure, use of property and other resources;



Oversight of financial management capability;



Oversight of management of Assembly property and investments;



Assessment of the performance of financial management;



Review of Assembly annual Financial Statements and audit;



Consider and advise Council regarding Assembly budget;



Regularly review collection of Assembly income; 



Review of accounting policies;



Oversight of compliance with Book of Order and statutory responsibilities (including Charities Act and Financial Reporting Act), financial and other requirements in so much as it relates to management of resources;



Assessment of internal and external reporting with recommendations to Council;



Oversight of Assembly Health and Safety policies and reporting



Appointment of at least one representative on the Insurance Advisory Group;



Appointment of at least two representatives on the Audit Committee;



Oversight of the development of the Statement of Investment Policy and Objectives (SIPO) for General Assembly Funds, including a regular review of the policy not less than every two years;



Oversight of compliance with the SIPO and reporting to Council;



Oversight of the Assembly’s Risk Management Framework.

In relation to risk management:



Ensure that the Council and the Office of the General Assembly have and maintain an appropriate Health and Safety and Risk Management framework and policies;



Ensure an adequate financial risk management framework is in place;



Advise the Council of any matters it considers present a risk to the General Assembly;



Provide advice and recommendations to the Audit Committee on the audit requirements of Council.


Note: The Council and the Church Property Trustees have a joint Audit Committee to which the Sub-committee may delegate part of its functions.  Council representation on the Audit Committee shall be appointed by the Sub-committee and shall report to it and the Council.


Advise the AES regarding financial management and information, financial risk management, and use of resources at its own instigation or at the request of the AES.  In the event of the AES declining to take advice the matter may be referred to the Council.


Consider policy advice referred by the AES or any Task Groups she/he appoints in the Sub-committee’s area of responsibility and advise the AES and/or Council as appropriate regarding proposals, and as appropriate recommend any policy or policy change to the Council.


Assist the AES in implementing Council and/or AES decisions at the invitation of the AES and as it considers appropriate.


Make decisions on behalf of the Council where there are specific delegations to the Sub-committee, and report to the Council.  These include:

The Sub-committee shall, after consulting with affected Presbyteries:


Have limited discretion to write off parish unpaid Assembly levies in circumstances where a parish in unable to pay the amount outstanding, taking into account the current and likely level of parish assets and liabilities


Have authority to write off up to $10,000 of parish and non-parish unpaid assembly levies, and refer sums over this amount to the Council for consideration


Report to Council any unpaid assembly levies written-off in excess of $5,000.

The Sub-committee shall have:


Unlimited discretion to vary parish Assembly Assessment in circumstances where anomalies arise in the interpretation of what is assessable income for any parish or where the burden of payment is excessive because of externally imposed expenditure commitments.


Unlimited discretion to vary parish Assembly Assessment where the variation is part of a presbytery initiative that is revenue neutral for assembly assessment when taking the presbytery as a whole.


Unlimited discretion to defer payment to a particular date in circumstances where the parish is unable to pay currently, and where the Resource sub-committee believes payment is likely to be received at the deferred date.


Unlimited discretion to vary the terms of payment to provide incentives to improve cash flow.

The Sub-committee shall have:


Within the limits of the total level of expenditure approved by Council discretion to authorise any substantial reallocation of expenditure, if recommended by the AES, and provided the expenditures are to meet the overall purposes of the Council Strategic Framework


Authorise increased expenditure in excess of the total expenditure level approved by Council, if recommended by the AES, and where revenues have been projected to exceed budget estimates.


Any variance of more than 20% or $10,000 (whichever is the lesser) in a functional budget must be referred to the Council for approval.


Communicate with the wider Church and other appropriate bodies on behalf of and as requested by the Council regarding financial management and information.


Assist the Council and the AES to assist presbyteries, sessions/parish councils in stewardship of finance and property resources.


Assist Council to promote good stewardship of the Presbyterian Church’s financial and property resources locally and regionally and across the country;


Gather information and raise strategic issues for the wider Church about use of parish and presbytery finance and property;


Identify criteria and priorities for focussing resources and working with presbyteries in doing so.


Report to the Council annually, regarding the work of related Groups including the Insurance Advisory Group, the Presbyterian Bureau Services Trust and PressGo.

6.    The Role of the Convenor

The convenor (or their delegated representative) shall have the following additional responsibilities:
•    Attend the annual budget pre-approval planning meeting
•    Attend PressGo meetings as a voting Associate
•    Attend the Council meetings as a voting Representative
•    Liaise with the Audit partner as required
•    Other duties as shall be agreed from time to time with the AES, the Council or the Convenor of the Council.

7.     Service Team 

The Finance Manager shall provide monthly financial reports to the Sub-committee in relation to its responsibilities in the manner required by the Sub-committee.
The AES shall provide regular reports to the Sub-committee in relation to its responsibilities.
The AES, the Finance Manager and other staff are responsible to the Council.  The AES shall determine priorities as between the Sub-committee’s requirements and other activities, under the general oversight of the Council.

8.    Representative Reports

Representatives are invited to report to the Sub-committee and / or to request advice and assistance as they see fit.

9.    Authority

The Sub-committee is authorised by Council to obtain outside professional advice and to arrange for the attendance at meetings of outside parties with relevant experience and expertise if it considers this necessary.  Where such advice exceeds the budget by more than $10,000 in any one year the expenditure must be referred to Council for consideration.

10.     Review of the Sub-committee and the terms of reference

The Sub-committee shall undertake a biennial self-review of its objectives, outcomes, responsibilities and of its terms of reference.  Such objectives, responsibilities, outcomes, and terms of reference shall also be reviewed by the Council as appropriate.

11.     Reporting Procedures

The Sub-committee shall maintain direct lines of communication with the AES, the Finance Manager, the Convenor of the Audit Committee and the Church Property Trustees.

The AES and the Finance Manager shall be responsible for drawing to the Convenor’s immediate attention any material matter that relates to the financial position of the Church, any material breakdown in internal controls, and any material event of fraud.  The Convenor take any actions required to address any concerns and will inform the Sub-committee and Council of any matters that he or she considers relevant in a timely manner.

The minutes of all Sub-committee meetings shall be circulated to members of the Sub-committee as soon as practicable following each meeting.  

After each Sub-committee meeting the convenor shall report the Sub-committee’s work, any significant results, findings and risks, and recommendations to the Council.  The provision of minutes may be sufficient to meet this requirement, at the judgement of the Sub-committee convenor.

The Council will report to the General Assembly.  This will include a report from the Convenor endorsed by the Council.