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Joint report of the finance committee and the programme committee

02 September 2002

World Council of Churches
Geneva, Switzerland
26 August - 3 September 2002

Joint report of the finance committee
and the programme committee

1. Introduction
1.1 Within the fellowship of the World Council of Churches, upholding our common understanding and vision for the work of the WCC, the Finance Committee and the Programme Committee have sought to carry out their tasks.

1.2 In the light of the Preliminary Report of the Moderator of the Finance Committee (Gen 15) which stated that “The Council today is in an unsustainable position financially” the Finance Committee and Programme Committee have, in this their second phase of meetings, worked in close cooperation. Both committees share a common aim to ensure that the programmes and activities of the Council are sustainable financially. To achieve this, significant adjustments to programmes, activities and infrastructure costs are required.

1.3 Both committees acknowledge, with grateful thanks, the hard work of the staff that has already been done in seeking to maximise income, reduce expenditure and to prioritise programmes in accordance with previously stated mandates and criteria.

1.4 The urgency of the situation needs to be held by the whole fellowship of the World Council of Churches. The committees are convinced that the wisdom of delegates from every region is needed to communicate this situation and to invite all member churches to be involved in contributing to solutions.

2. Committee Tasks
2.1 The Finance Committee has the task of presenting a framework budget for 2003 for adoption by the CC. This budget is revised and reduced from what appears in the “Blue Book”.

2.2 The Programme Committee has the task of presenting policy decisions to CC to enable the prioritisation of programmes in line with the revised framework budget. In addition the Programme Committee offers guidelines and advice for ongoing adjustment, merging and integration of programmes and activities.

3. Proposal
3.1 Jointly, both committees, in consultation with the CC Officers, recommend the following plan for implementing decisions on finance and programme policy by the Central Committee within as short a time-frame as is possible. Finance and Programme Committees urge that final decisions be made by the end of October 2002. In any case decisions must be made no later than the Officers meeting scheduled for 5-7 December 2002. Appropriate conversations with staff shall take place.

3.2 The Officers of the Central Committee to nominate a “task group” of a maximum of four persons, who will be members of Central Committee, but not moderators of and preferably not members of consultative bodies, with the appropriate skills to recommend programme, activity and infrastructure changes in the light of finances and programme priorities.

3.3 The Task Group to circulate their recommendations to an augmented Programme Committee Core Group, Officers of the CC and Officers of the Finance Committee, and the Presidents for comment.

3.4 Central Committee to delegate authority to the CC Officers, with the Finance Committee Officers, the Programme Committee Moderator and one other appointee from the Augmented Programme Committee Core Group to make the final decisions for implementation by the General Secretary. (It should be noted that this is required because the Executive Committee does not meet until February 2003.)

3.5 A report on implementation to be presented to the Executive Committee meeting February 2003.