[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs] A commentary on the draft budget including a foreword by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, commentary on the budget process, and a detailed triennial budget with line-by-line explanations have been posted. It’s now on the General Convention Budget and Diocesan Commitments page. The download link is here.
Promised for June 1 by Jefferts Schori, Chief Operating Officer Bishop Stacy Sauls and Treasurer to General Convention Kurt Barnes, the highly detailed items present a complete overview of the budget process, what happened, the current status of the proposed 2013-2015 budget, and addresses prevalent misunderstandings and misconceptions.
In addition to these three items, the posting includes a series of accompanying explanatory documents, including: the Churchwide Ministries Survey, the Jan. 19 Alternative Budget Proposals, the January 29 Budget Revision, and the Executive Council’s April memo to the Joint Committee on Program, Budget & Finance, commonly known as PB&F.
“The proposed budget has been the source of much confusion, as Executive Council itself noted at its April meeting,” Jefferts Schori states in the two-page foreword. “Some do not believe the draft budget accurately reflects what Executive Council adopted on Jan. 29, 2012. Some believe the process itself was not well-conceived and did not allow enough time for deliberation and care in what was presented. The document is, however, what we have to work with, and it is what Program, Budget & Finance has to consider.”
Noting that she has heard “firsthand of the confusion and indeed frustration” about the recent budget process, the presiding bishop also points out, “Neither I nor anyone else has the authority to change the document itself, but I hope it may be helpful to have a detailed commentary that might, at least, make some explanations available and allow some things to be better understood.”
The 17-page introduction to the budget process provides a comprehensive explanation of the process that was followed throughout the creation of the 2013-2015 draft triennial budget.
It is divided into nine areas: Executive Summary; Introduction to the Budget Process 2013-2015; The Draft Budget was Formulated by Executive Committee rather than Staff; Survey of Leadership on “Subsidiarity”; Core Principles and Strategies for the Budget; ECEC’s Work on Budget: Between the October and January Meetings of Executive Council; An Alternative: The 19% Asking as a Transition; Executive Council Considers the Alternative Proposals; Where We Go from Here.
On page 16, the commentary lists the upcoming process:
• PB&F will convene at General Convention. It will hold three public hearings:
July 4 at 12:30 p.m. on the framework of the budget and the budget process,
July 6 at 7:30 p.m. on funding, and
July 7 at 7:30 p.m. on spending.
PB&F will present a proposed budget to a joint session of the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops on July 10 at 2:15 p.m. A final vote on the budget is expected on July 12.
The 19-page 2013-2015 Draft Budget offers a line-by-line explanation of the 816 individual line items.