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D.C. DAILY REPORTS and Documents | iPNB D.C. meeting info
Pacifica Treasurer's Report

Presented at the iPNB meeting in Washington D.C, December 6 - 8, 2002

December 6-8 iPNB Treasurer's Report of Jabari Zakiya

This report primarily covers the period from the September 2002 iPNB meeting in Houston to the December 2002 iPNB meeting in Washington, DC.

I have addressed the following items in alphabetical order:

Accounting Software
I have previously reported on the desirability of replacing the Great Plains Dynamics 6.0 accounting software system we are presently using with the ACCPAC accounting system. The most prominent (but not only) reason for doing this is to migrate our financial operation software platform off of a Microsoft Windows operating system (OS) to a Linux OS. I have previously stated the benefits for doing this.

I have negotiated a contract with SystemLink to purchase the ACCPAC Advantage Series accounting software, which runs on a Linux OS based platform for $25.5K. Software setup and training will be an additional $14.4K.

The FY 2002 audit is presently ongoing. It is being conducted, again, by Ross Wisdom of Margulies & Wisdom, LTD, of New York City.

I have previously submitted a proposal I received in February 2002 from CitiBank to consolidate our banking activities. It needs to be thoroughly reviewed by the Finance Committee, and other possible proposals need to be sought out. No action has been taken on this proposal or on this issue.

Budgeting Process
The Foundation is able to create numbers on paper that represent a budget, but the numbers don't represent the necessary allocation of financial resources to the total activities and tasks which the Foundation should, could, or needs to engage in. The budget process also doesn't emphasize our cashflow problem, since all the revenue on paper is merely projected. This is not an accounting issue, this is primarily an issue of where the people who run this organization see, and choose, to make the priorities of the Foundation.

The current budget process is seriously flawed because it fails to recognize and asses the impact of various goals and objectives that the Board, as a whole, has yet to envision, let alone, begin to discuss the impact of.

We are currently being saddled with the consequences of unwise and unanalyzed decisions made by the Board, which we are currently paying dearly for, and will likely continue to pay dearly for. This manifests itself in not only the outlays of direct monetary payments that the Foundation will be faced with, which will drain it, but it also manifests itself in the inability and unwillingness of the Foundation to do significant future planning in the face of immediate financial shortfalls.

The apparent desire and willingness not to engage in deliberate, objective, and well thought-out strategic and tactical planning is, and will be, an albatross around the Foundation. This has, and will continue, to act as a heavy ball and chain on the ankles of the operational capacity of the Foundation to develop and prosper.

Until the people who do, and will, operate this Foundation put the health and welfare of the Foundation first and foremost above personal and individual concerns it will continue to suffer. Until the Foundation is operated as a true National organization, with national goals and objectives, it will only trudge along as a neutered dog, being wagged by its tail.

The present budget processs still reflects the local stations controlling and driving the actions of the national operations at too great an extent. There are some issues confronting the Foundation that can only be addressed from a national perspective, and others that can best be addressed from a national perspective.

Until the people who run the Pacifica Foundation begin to plan for, allocate resources for, and then operate the Foundation as a national entity, with national goals and objectives which are consistent with the Pacifica Mission, the Foundation will only limp along in a continual survival mode, a mere pittance of what it can become.

There have been two (2) special iPNB Bylaws meetings in 2002, Oct 13-14 in DC, and Nov 22-24 in Houston. The meetings were unbudgeted, and have cost the Foundation at least $40K so far, and this is probably conservative.

Whatever Bylaws comes out of this process need to be assessed for the financial impact they will have on the Foundation. If the Bylaws do create a system of yearly, or nearly yearly, LSB elections, I would require that a financial impact statement be generated before ratification, which will assess not only the financial impact of these elections, but also assess the operational impact they will have on the stations, and the impact they will have at achieving, or deterring, the fulfillment of the Pacifica Mission.

Debt Reduction
The Foundation's professional service debt still exists at over $1M on paper. The Foundation is paying off several of these debt claims and contesting those it finds unwarranted. There still exists potential serious financial fallout from the resolution of ongoing, and future, negotiations.

Democracy Now Contract
Regular payments to Democracy Now Productions started in October 2002. The Foundation has currently paid out about $200K already and is still obligated to pay out at minimum $480K in FY 2003 (Oct 2002 - Sep 2003). These payouts are causing a major drain on the Foundation's resources. This situation needs to be dealt with quickly, and to the benefit and advantage of the Foundation.

Finance Office Operations
The Finance Office currently (Dec 2002) consists of the Controller and four (4) temporary staff people. The Controller will be leaving soon, and will probably be happily fully gone by June 2003. Thus, the Foundation will be subjected to the very undesirable situation of having its entire finance office staff be new, with no history of any of the financial operations of the organization.

This is the best time to install the ACCPAC accounting system. Everybody has to undergo training anyway, and ACCPAC is a somewhat easier system to use and learn than Great Plains.

I have continually spoken against the need, or desirability, to disrupt the financial management operations of the Foundation, which needed to be fixed and made fully operational first, in order to create a stable operational base for the Foundation to deal with its financial problems. Since the full Board has found it acceptable to cause further disruption of these operations, I would urge that the Executive Director present a fully written, and detailed plan, of the necessary steps, activities, and personnel moves, needed to perform the reorganization of the finance office, with a fully constructed time chart, and full cost projections, and estimated completion of the reorganization. I would urge that the Board require such a detailed plan be created and presented, with a presentation of the current, and future, expenditures, before full acceptance by the Board is granted.

Fund Raising/Drives
Fund drives have been exceptional this calendar year, but we should go into calendar 2003 with more modest expectations. The economy under the current national regime is causing a deepening economic downturn. If the country goes into an overt war, the economic downturn will most likely be even worse for the population base which has significantly support Pacifica.

We have resumed receiving CPB funding, and it should proceed normally, now that we are able to provide financial audits and records.

It would be a show of utmost prudence for the Foundation to figure out how to be "as nearly as self-sustaining as possible" without this continual over reliance of radio listener fund drives.

I continue to be very pessimistic, and against, the unwise, disruptive, and potentially destructive, consequences of the restructuring of the national office operations. I still have not seen a detailed operational plan for accomplishing it, nor current cost figures, or future cost projections, either. One should be required.

The ACCPAC accounting software, should be installed, and training of future personnel done on that platform.

We still need to have a proactive financial plan to deal with the professional debt claims, to get them off the Foundation's books within a specified time. These debt claims continue to act as a financial anchor that retard our ability to financially sail unfettered into the future.

The consequences of the Bylaws could be horrendous, not only financially, but also operationally. A financial impact statement of Bylaws should be generated.

Finally, at some point the Foundation needs to be totally focused on doing only those things that fulfill its Mission. That will only happen when the people who are associated with Pacifca are focused on fulfilling the Mission. Hopefully, at some point in the not too distant future, this will occur, and the financial resources of the Foundation will then more fully achieve the end goals for which these resources were allegedly obtained.

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