Scouts-L Mail Archive for May of 1999: council contingency fees
council contingency fees
Dick, Sheldon Mr.
Tue, 4 May 1999 16:43:09 +0200
my main concern with council "contingency" fees is their subterfuge.
it is deceiptful to call it that.
but the costs may be necessary.
in most cases, they are NOT for contingencies, but merely a way for councils
to cover overhead costs, to provide an additional source of income to
support annual budgets.
there is nothing wrong with that.
but then call it what it is.
if it were a true "contingency" fee, then it would only have to be collected
initially (not for EVERY activity), then, if not needed for that activity,
fence it for the purpose for which collected, and use it as needed (e.g.,
whenever an activity was underbudgeted and its costs > income). it would
NOT have to be collected for EVERY activity. it would have to be collected
again only if it were consumed. this pot of money would fluctuate as used
and refilled. but no council really does that. so its just another way to
finance the council budget.
BUt, if it were needed for council budget, then the amount should fluctuate
each year. But no council does that either. once they have created a cash
cow, they will not likely do away with it. if it were an HONEST council
budget, each year the council would calculate its total costs of operating,
and its expected income. any shortfall would have to be made up by
increasing the costs of council acvititivies. spread that shortfall over all
the activities (it could be on a per capita basis, a per activity basis, a
per budget basis - there are a number of possible ways to calcualte that).
But that would become the "council overhead fee" for the NEXT year.
but that calculation should be done anew each year. so the rate should
change. if it does NOT, then there is no real budget being prepared, but a
list of expenses to charge off against the known amount of income.
that's the lie about contingency fees.
what's wrong with councils telling the truth?
that, as a reason is not evil, but it should be called just that.