2/8/2012: Proposal to Create a Budget Process for Spokes Council

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, Past Proposals.

An OWS Budget Process or Reminding Spokes that it has a Job to Do

We propose to formally consent that all Working Groups that follow the terms of the InfoHub proposal regarding groups are able to participate in Spokes Council.

The logical follow up proposal is to clarify the purpose of the Spokes Council as the venue for OWS working groups to check each other’s direct budgetary access to our communal pool of money.

Third, we would like the Spokes Council to consense on the abolition of the daily petty cash system.

On Monday, we will seek consensus on building an OWS-wide budget process for working groups to propose recurring and one-time budgets. We have outlined the proposed process below and welcome your comments at the Accounting Open Meeting on Friday at 530 at 60 Wall Street. We believe that by building a common process and reporting requirements, we will provide the transparency and efficiency this movement deserves.

On Monday, we will present information on our current budget situation
- How much we have in the bank- and in which bank :)
- Based on how much we have- and the lack of income and donations- how much can we afford to spend every week?
- Based on this number, we will need to re-consense on existing recurring budgets and discuss any new ones, some of which we may not be able to afford anymore.

We believe that the standard by which these budgets should be judged is whether they support the movement and the actions we undertake

Budget requests for Movement Groups, one time actions and events will continue to go to General Assembly. No change there :)

Budget requests for Operational Groups will continue go to Spokes

Recurring Budgets for Operational Groups
In order to receive a recurring budget, a group must have been defined as an Operational Group by Spokes. The definition from the original Spokes proposal is that they are

“contributing to the logistical and financial operations of Occupy Wall Street on a consistent basis. They are open and accessible for people to join and can only exclude people for either repeatedly disrupting the group’s process or behaving in such a way that seriously violates the GA’s Principles of Solidarity. Operations Groups must produce a written description of what they do and how people can get involved.”

The process of inducting new groups as Operational Groups should therefore begin at the next Spokes Council.

Any group receiving a recurring budget must report back to Spokes every two or four weeks.
- The dates of reportbacks will be set when the budget is passed so groups can prepare their reports in time.
- Report must be online 24 hours before the Spokes at which it must be reported so that it can be reviewed by the community beforehand.
- Reporting must include a brief activity update and the amounts spent since the last report.
- If a group wants a budget modification, they can ask for it during this time
- If another group or the community at large has concerns with the budget in question, this can be discussed at during these regular report-backs
- Groups can ask for one time budgets- to buy equipment for instance- as part of their report back. For example, if Tech Ops needs to buy an extra server
Any group that already has a recurring budget- Outreach printing, Medics, etc.- will have to re-present their recurring budget for consensus.

Proposed Implementation Schedule

Week 0 :
First 3 parts of Proposal passed
Discussion of Part 4: Budget Process

Weeks 1 & 2:
Monday: More extensive information provided as outlined above; Budget Process passed
Re-start operational groups process
Office hours and support to operational groups re-doing their budgets

Week 3:
Groups with existing, recurring budgets present their past expenses and activities for re-consensus.

Week 4:
Groups with new recurring budgets present their proposals
Saturday: Spokes presents complete operational budget to General Assembly

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