Are not ACP10/11 our internal processes? I agree that application should always be whole and not in part but I was under the impression that the re-write of these documents had been reviewed by the Charity Commission - Amendment List from 31 Oct seems to suggest it (I know, I know) - so therefore these docs should be up to scratch.
I cannot recall if any recommendation was made for Sqn associations to take out liability insurance (School Governers have this is in place) or if a provider through which to do so was recommended I note that Sqn funds can be deployed on such (ACP11, Anx A, Para 24, sub para c, point 2):
(2) The purchase of indemnity insurance for the Committee members against any liability, by virtue of any rule of law, would otherwise attach to a Committee member or other officer in respect of any negligence, default, breach of duty or breach of trust of which he or she may be guilty in relation to the Charity but excluding:
(b) Costs of unsuccessfully defending criminal prosecutions for offences arising out of fraud, dishonesty or wilful or reckless misconduct of the Committee members or other officer.
I’ve been digging around in old newspapers online for a couple of years and it seems that in the early days of the ADCC and Air Training Corps, the original squadron welfare committees acted with a lot more autonomy and independence than the modern day equivalents.
What went wrong?
My one of my granddads worked for the original chairman and president (husband and wife) of my cadet squadron’s original committee and I remember him telling me neither suffered fool’s gladly. The family no longer have anything to do with the Air Cadets, but they are still a massive land owner locally and have more money than you would know what to do with.
The provision is there for liability insurance through the broker handling ACO requirements, and yes it can be funded from Charity money. BUT do note that the facility relates to Trustees and no-one else; you mentioned Officers, but they cannot be covered, because a) they cannot be Trustees and b) they are not entitled to benefit and are only involved in the monies through the authority of the CWC.
Liability would cover such things as a bad investment, but the requirement is that Trustees should pursue any loss to the Charity using all means possible, and that includes going to court . Whether you still get to recover the loss is open to question, especially is a fraud or misappropriation has been committed and the person had been feeding their on-line gambling. So criminal activity would be excluded.
Not easy to assess the risk to CWC, but as HQAC have set up an arrangement, they must think Trustees need to protect against something lurking around the corner.
A former work colleague is shortly to be sentenced for borrowing monies from the Charity of which he was Branch Chairman - it is assured that he will get a free holiday, what we dont know is how long. Usually though the greater the borrow,the longer the stay.
This all links back to the Commission quote, and there are some ACO individuals who would do well to reflect that Charity Law is there for a purpose.
I’ve drifted things somewhat (sorry!) so from what I can see from ACP11:
Chp4 - 1. Composition . The Wing Committee consists of a representative, normally the Committee Chairman, for each squadron within the wing - so the Wing Committee isn’t really elected at Wing level but the representative that sits on the Wing Committee is decided at Sqn Association level.
The Officers (Chair, Treasurer, Secretary) of the Wing Committee are then elected at the AGM but the initial appointment of each role is for 3 years. The ACP mentions that an election would be overseen by either Region Chair or Wing Commanding Officer, not sure what relevance either have in being present other than “tickbox” as no specific duty mentioned.
Isn’t this a standard management function - elected to the post and therefore must discharge the posts duties (which would include disciplinary matters)?
I would assume this would automatically be referred to Region to prevent conflict of interest.
Agreed, but I’m not sure how the Wing (assuming the uniform side of things is referred to) chooses as the Chair must be elected by nomination of the Wing Committee.
Looking at the eligibility criteria for Chair/Treasurer/Secretary at Wing level, there is a mention that if the candidate has not previously been a Sqn Chair/Treasurer/Secretary then the candidate is to be a retired RAF /VRT (verbatim) Officer or other person of significant ATC experience - I cannot see any reference to Regional Treasurer/Secretary appointments so assume these apply to permanent posts? I’m not sure I agree with the “should be an officer” sentiment, even less so RAF as there tends to be less ATC experience in that field.
I would’ve though that primary consideration would have been to a Sqn Chair as they are the SQESME (suitably qualified and experienced subject matter expert) in the field - of course it’s up to the Wing Committee and how they cast their vote, which I imagine is a political affair.
Edit - ACP11 Chp5 Paras 54-56 refer - Wing Chair (referenced as member of the Sqn Association - earlier referenced as “may be” but here implies that “is by default” assumes position of interim Chairman until Civcom re-elected.
Para 55 - I have no idea how this would be discharged…
Para 56 - refers to Wing funds being used (subject to Wing Committee Approval) to ensure business continuity at Sqn level in the form of a loan that is repaid once the sqn committee returns to normal operations. I assume in this case the Sqn staff would make their proposals to Wing rather than Sqn.
Forgive me - in this regard I refer to officers of the committee (Chair/Treasurer/Secretary). I know where uniform and Civcom separate
Could you source please, I’ve struggled to find the reference thus far.
Would misappropriation not be something that could be insured against? Hopefully within Trustee liability but it would seem prudent to have an insurance provision in place to protect Sqn funds in case of such an eventuality.
I can only think of lawsuit raised as a result of Committee action through ignorance.
Long post, Sorry! I understand more clearly now, my original question spawned from an administrative consideration but IIRC banks will accept new mandates the signatories of which will supersede the previous signatories so the Sqn can continue operation.
In the case of signatories / Civcom vanishing - Civcom officers (Chair/Treasurer etc) and members elected via EGM of Sqn’s Association (Wing Chair oversees?) and business continues.
In the case of Sqn closure - Civcom dissolves the association (has to be passed through ACC, so assumed this only occurs if all other efforts to attempt to re-open the sqn - sourcing accommodation / recruit suitable OC etc - have failed), IAW Sqn constitution.
I have been digging into the old history of the ATC and ADCC too. It seems you needed a committee, it then in turn needed to guarantee the sum of £75 per year for the sqn, premises and other things. I am mostly Scottish orientated, from what I know and read up on.
32F( 1st Scottish) Sqn was formed as part of 602 Sqn RAuxAF its primary role was to develop young men into joining straight into 602 Sqn, its drill hall was 602 Sqn HQ, its instructors were 602 Sqn Officers. the next Sqn formed in Scotland was 38F in Perth it was not attached to a Aux Sqn there for it was required to fend for itself to a greater degree. to do this it then needed to fund and train itself, with war on the horizon I recon priorities had to be made hence why greater automaty was given to Sqns (remember also a Sqn Had to have approx 250 cadets to be granted Sqn status too). If you take the Glasgow Sqns as a prime example
1940’s 7 Sqns formed the Glasgow Wing,
1950’s the 7 were reduced to 4 a school sqn was added and then amalgamated with other wings to create Glasgow and West Scotland Wing.
From my understanding as it was pre and during the war years required to churn out men asap, after the war years rationalisation of units and greater control was implemented to try and standardise things…
You need someone to count the votes and be the umpire if needed…
to set up a committee of any type you need to have an election, therefor you require a chairperson of sorts to chair the initial meeting and count the votes and take the minutes before passing it over to an elected personnel. The person chairing the meeting should not be standing for election so theRegional Chairman or Wing OC would fit this criteria, if it was at Sqn level it would be Wing Chairman or Sqn OC.
Lots of points there. Two points to consider that cuts through a lot -
1/. Legally the ACC, nor any other person other than a trustee has the responsibility or authority to wind up a charity. Technically therefore, a squadron may close and ATC-HQ redirects remaining cadets to another squadron. Bu
It is only at the trustee’s behest that any charitable funds follow them. (Yes I accept there is a moral dimension but I put that aside for the purpose of discussion).
2/. The current ACP-11 to which you are referring is itself not lawfully in place. The only means by which it can be so is by a vote of the trustees to adopt it. As has been written by others in this forum, it simply is not something that ATC-HQ can update and role out as with any other ACP. No Civcom has to adopt it or change what they were doing and unless they have minuted records - independent of Wing or Regional chairs - or indeed any Association members or non trustees, then constitution isn’t with the paper it is written on.
Risky this. The mandate would have to be signed by existing named trustees and the concept of anyone in uniform walking into a bank and starting a conversation about taking over control of an account is not going to happen. You would be asking banks to act on instructions from non-trustees which would leave the bank wide open to the regulators and fines. To my knowledge it has never happened and essentially amounts to fraud.
I don’t mean to be dismissive at all … but a lot of the discussion is from a perspective that ATC-HQ and others in the organisation have some level of automatic status. Nothing can be further from the truth in this subject area.
Yep agreed …
Not necessarily … and while they could certainly be an option, so could any member of the public .
I note in an earlier comment you referred to observing from a Scottish perspective? There are no ATC charitable exemptions in Scotland with every squadron committee having to register direct with the OSCR. This is an even clearer example of how these things are not a matter for Regional or Wing Chairs etc.
Yes every sqn is registered with OSCR but there is something of a really grey area as OSCR are doing it but don’t feel they should it’s more a case of having to register somewhere so you don’t pay income tax for money being taken.
Having spoken to OSCR once about a querie.
They really didn’t give the impression youth groups like us (BB, Scouts, football clubs) should be under charity law but a separate grouping but they were dumped with us and wouldn’t be interested unless we crossed some income threshold I think it was £30k/ year
Agreed but looking at it without any slant in pro or anti ACP11 or HQAC if you are doing this for the first time it would be best to have someone who has been involved and done it before to help set you on the way.
Good point, makes sense, I’ve not experienced the process so was unsure of the associated actions.
Agreed, ACC involvement seems only to reference direction or resolution but not action, which as you say is in the hands of the committee.
I seem to recall a “drive” for Anx A (Constitution) to be signed by trustees and minuted - I assume this would indicate such?
Noted, my thought was more along the lines of post Civcom meeting where new committee officers (Chair/Treasurer/Secretary) were elected, then a mandate could be submitted alongside that meetings minutes to “prove” new signatories were rightly entitled to sign - otherwise what does one do if they lose all their named trustees?
The Law in Scotland is different, as it requires ALL Charities to be registered regardless of income, and this has been the case since 1996. I suspect any gripes come from over worked Civil Servants.
In fact the Law, other than for England & Wales, appears to say the same thing; actually one legislature goes so far as to say that if it isn’t registered, it cannot be regarded as a Charity. Therefore fundraising, or making a grant application etc are illegal activities if not being undertaken by a registered charity.
The Law in England & Wales also changed in 2011, such that a new charity cannot be afforded Excepted status. Maybe the Law makers do not realise the trouble they are causing the Civil Service , but Parliament looks very closely into these things and follows guidance from a Select Committee. The Law actually did not change to the extent as recommended, but where it is leading is that every Charity will eventually be registered and subject to greater public scrutiny.
However there is more out there to be understood than is contained in ACP10/11, and basically as the changes in the 2011 Law were about those sort of things, it is then strange that the ACO Charities have operated for years, with Trustees knowing their duty and never an issue on compliance. And then coincident with the what Warkitten referred to as the 863 debacle, and the unannounced appearance of the ACMB, it seems someone has dipped their toe in the water, and compliance appears to be even more remote than it was before. One would not be in a state of ignorance if the position at all clear and devoid of conflicts of interest.
Yes I know that, from the way the OSCR person spoke
In the Scottish legal system if you take money then you need to be classified as either a business and pay tax or a charity and pay no tax
They felt there should be a third category for clubs and should pay no tax but not under the same scrutiny as charity laws. I can understand their feelings how many small youth groups do they need to deal with for only a few pounds a year (in the big scheme of things) passing through the books??
But that Law created the OSCR and gave them the job of Regulator. Any other category OUTSIDE of their remit, would have been open to exploitation by unscrupulous individuals, because it seems that wherever money is involved, the human being may well exploit opportunities for personal gain.
Whilst I appreciate many ACO Charities have only meagre resources, the principle is the same, so the job of Trustee has the same status regardless, and which is defined in Law. Hence the original question on accounts of things not making sense.
Perhaps there needs to be a “Class 2” charity with a simplified mechanism for oversight and the ability to function either as a stand-alone entity or as a division of an over-arching organisation. We would be the latter.
The idea of a civilian committee in the classic sense is of lesser value than it was initially, but we do still require a mechanism to manage unit funds in an auditable manner; in this respect, I see the need for an independent treasurer remaining, with perhaps the squadron OC taking the place of a co-signatory.
General fundraising could be the remit of the wider and loosly-defined “squadron association”.
Exactly in our area there is a group, old men mostly widowers. and all they do is woodwork during the winter them make bird houses and things and in the summer the go around local parks repairing park benches. It’s to keep them active and give them something to do
They applied for a lottery grant I believe it was for a band saw and some other woodworking machine but to do so they needed to register as a charity.
If you believe everything that is written here is correct regarding charity laws etc, do you not think it is way over the top for what is required by them?
Therefore a more simplified system would be beneficial. For instance local organisations like atc sqns, this group and guide scout units would be a tier 2 and then wings, scout group areas, charities like the RNLI, RAFA would be tier 1.