Petition 81576

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GCFA Budget (81576-FA-NonDis-$)

Report No. 14

    The budget for the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) for the 2009 - 2012 quadrennium is $26,936,000, representing an increase of $652,000 or 2.5% over the 2005 - 2008 quadrennium.  The funding of GCFA’s work comes primarily from the General Administration Fund, the World Service Fund and the Episcopal Fund.  The overall increase of 2.5% results in increased anticipated support by these individual funds of 2.8% for the Administration Fund, 0% for the World Service Fund and 12% for the Episcopal Fund.
    GCFA fulfills a wide variety of oversight responsibilities within The United Methodist Church as directed by the General Conference and listed in The Book of Discipline 2004.  All of GCFA’s spending is in support of these various processes and activities mandated by The Book of Discipline and are entirely administrative in nature.  GCFA’s administrative ministries include:  
1)    Protecting the legal interests and certain intellectual property of the denomination (¶ 807),  
    2)    Maintaining an internal audit function to conduct audits of general church agencies (¶¶ 806.6, 806.12) including coordinating external audits for all agencies receiving general church funds,  
3)    Performing various fiscal responsibilities, such as accounting for the General Funds, GCFA, the United Methodist Church Foundation and certain other general church agencies, overseeing an investment pool for the general church agencies, and administering the Episcopal Fund (¶¶ 806, 806.3, 806.5, 806.7, 806.11, 807),  
4)    Overseeing an insurance program for the denomination (¶ 807.22),  
5)    Administering the collection and distribution of apportionments (¶¶ 806, 806.2)
6)    Coordinating the preparation of the quadrennial budget for the denomination’s boards and agencies (¶¶ 806.1, 806.4),  
7)    Serving as custodial trustee of the denomination (¶ 803),
8)    Managing, interpreting  and  maintaining various  statistics and  records  for the denomination (¶¶ 807.15, 807.16), and  
9)    Assisting in the preparation for and management of General Conference (¶ 807.23).
    In living out its ministry of administration, the Council provides ongoing support of several United Methodist associations.  These include the United Methodist Association of Church Business Administrators, the Professional Association of United Methodist Church Secretaries, the United Methodist Information Technology Association, and the National Association of Commissions on Equitable Compensation of The United Methodist Church.  GCFA provides guidance, consultation and assistance to these associations in a variety of ways including training programs and workshops, establishment of professional standards, certification, informational resources and staff support.
    GCFA’s legal work, in addition to the themes mentioned above, includes a variety of support to annual conference chancellors.  The legal department conducts legal forums for chancellors, develops resources to assist chancellors with their work and helps establish linkages for the chancellors to resource each other on behalf of the Church.
    During the 2005 – 2008 quadrennium, GCFA established the United Methodist Property and Casualty Trust (UMPACT) to serve as the primary vehicle through which GCFA responds to its Disciplinary mandate regarding insurance.  UMPACT is a member-owned, captive insurance company that provides various insurance coverages to Annual Conferences and boards and agencies of The United Methodist Church.  These insured organizations comprise the membership of UMPACT.  GCFA provides on-going financial and other “in-kind” support to UMPACT to facilitate its ministry protection work.
    Among other matters, GCFA’s internal audit function oversees and pays the cost for external audits of all United Methodist agencies that receive general church funds.  This work represents one of the largest discrete spending categories within GCFA.  During 2006, a change in the audit firm was made that will result in continued exemplary service on audit and accounting matters at a significantly reduced cost.
    In 2006, GCFA completed the relocation of its operations from Evanston, Illinois, to Nashville, Tennessee.  Significant efficiencies and synergies have resulted from the proximity of its new offices to four church program agencies in Nashville and from the combining of work and people from its prior Evanston office and Nashville service center into its new home on Music Circle.  Additionally, costs associated with the ownership and operation of the facility are expected to be less than was necessary in Evanston.