President’s Newsletter – September 2014

As was indicated at the Annual Meeting, the current arrangements for the Society’s administration were due to end at the end of August 2014.

The Board undertook a closed tender process, with four firms being invited to submit proposals for either the financial administration, secretarial support or both.  After reviewing all proposals, the Board have decided to award the financial administration contract to Munro Benge.

The Board are currently looking at options for the provision of Secretarial services and part of this includes a review of overall management expenditure.  As a Board, we are very mindful of the need to reduce costs where possible in order to live within our means.

During this time, Munro Benge have agreed to continue undertaking this role.

Annual Plan

The Board has agreed and adopted the Annual Plan for 2014/15.  This plan sets out the direction your Board will be taking this year and its objectives for the year.  It also outlines the Board’s Committees for 2014.

The Society’s rules identify that the Board are responsible to administer the affairs of the Society.  In doing so, the Board will take into account the objects of the Society as outlined in Rule 4.1.

With the closure of the Society’s District Office in 2010, the Board has been required to undertake more of the workload themselves.  To effectively manage these challenges the Board operates through a number of sub-committees.  With the exception of the Audit and Trustees Committees, the President and Secretary are ex officio members of all Board committees.

It is the responsibility of the sub-committees to undertake the delegated work and regularly report back to the Board on progress. Sub committees will, where practical, seek to minimise costs by undertaking investigative and consultative phases themselves with minimal input from contractors.

The following sets out the Board’s objectives for the coming year and identifies how the Board intends to achieve them:

Audit Committee
The Audit Committee consists of three Board Members.  The committee provides a forum for the effective communication between the Board and the external auditors. The committee reviews the auditor’s management report and advises the Board on any actions that may be required to strengthen management information systems and systems of internal control.

The Audit Committee for 2014/5 is:  P Delaney (Convenor), K Frost and B Brittenden.

Communications Committee
The maintenance of effective and relevant communication both with our Branches and members is a high priority for 2014/15.  In order to achieve all our goals, we need the input and support of our Branches and their members.  However, in a time of falling income we must recognise the need to restrict expenditure wherever possible.

To achieve this the committee will electronically forward Newsletters to all Branches following each Board Meeting, and Branches will be encouraged to email them out to their members.

Newsletters to all members will go out with October and March Dues Notices.  Copies of all communication will also be placed on our website, along with any other news items.

The Communication Committee for 2014/15 is:  S Healey (Convenor), B Brittenden, P Sumby.

Funds and Marketing Committee
This committee’s focus is the development of new fund options along with assisting Branches with the implementation of new funds. In addition they will develop advertising/ marketing strategy and resources.

In 2014/15 the committee will assist Branches who wish to establish branch based medical refund schemes and will work on developing a possible education benefit (Provided it is cost effective and not classed as insurance).  The committee will also assist Bro Tony Horan to implement his offer to provide members who have new babies with a suitable gift from the Society.

As we no longer have agents around the country our growth must come from members and Branches, along with electronic means (e.g. website).  To assist with this we need to update all existing pamphlets and develop additional marketing tools to assist Branches/Members in recruiting new members.

The Funds and Marketing Committee for 2014/15 is:  P McGill (Convenor), T Cotter, K Frost.

Structure and Management
This committee will focus on the redesign of our administration and accounting contracts.  They will act as the Board’s representatives in the negotiating of contracts as well as monitoring ongoing performance by contractors.  In addition to this, they will also monitor any political or legislative changes and be responsible for rule amendments etc.

The Structure and Management Committee for 2014/15 is:  P Horan (Convenor), G Stewart, P Sumby.

Trustees Committee
The role of the Trustees is outlined in Rule 10 of the Society’s Rules.  The Trustees are elected by the Annual Meeting and for the 2014/15 year are:  P Sumby, P Delaney, P McGill.

Definition of ‘Catholic’

In response to the discussion at the Annual Meeting, the Board has requested that Bro Frost chair a committee of prominent members to provide clarity on this issue.  The committee will invite input from Branches directly and will the report to the Board in time for any proposed rule changes to be brought forward to the next Annual Meeting.

2015 Annual Meeting

The Board has set Saturday 25 July 2015 as the date for the next Annual Meeting which will be held in Wellington.

Phil Horan