• Policy Statement
  • Before spending any money
  • Working group coordinators may spend:
  • If the Treasurer or a coordinator isn’t available:
  • Going to a GM anyway
  • Normal Working Group Spending
  • Office Spending
  • Emergency Spending of £500 or more
  • Policy Statement

    1. This policy is subordinate to and does not replace ASH Co-op’s Financial Regulations and Procedures
    2. The purpose of this policy is to:
      • Make it clear how working groups go about spending money from appropriate budgets.
      • Make it clear who will be involved in working group spending decisions.
      • Provide a clear way for normal, moderate spending to happen without discussion in a GM first, to help make meetings shorter, and reduce the barriers to people getting stuff done, while keeping the co-op sensibly informed of what’s going on.

    Before spending any money

    1. Before spending money, the coordinator and Treasurer should be able to answer the following questions:
      • What is the appropriate budget? How much money is left in that budget? What other spending requirements is that budget expected to cover?
      • Would it be appropriate to consult with other working group members before spending this?
      • Is this spending likely to be controversial? In which case would it be appropriate to take the issue to a GM first?
    2. If the Treasurer is satisfied with the answers to these questions, then he or she will advise the coordinator on how best to proceed. Depending on circumstances, this might involve spending from Petty Cash, asking staff to place an order, or filling out a purchase order from a supplier with whom we have an account.
    3. If the Treasurer has any concerns with the answers to these questions, then he or she may withhold authorisation and ask that the matter be taken to a GM.

    Working group coordinators may spend:

    1. Up to £100 if the expenditure is within budget and with the agreement of the Treasurer. There will be no requirement to report this spending to the next GM.
    2. Between £100 and £500 if the expenditure is within budget and with the agreement of the Treasurer. The Treasurer must report this spending back to the next GM
    3. Over £500 only with the authorisation of a GM.

    If the Treasurer or a coordinator isn’t available:

    1. If the Treasurer is unavailable, then the Vice Treasurer may authorise spending as detailed above. If no finance coordinators are available then the Chair or Vice Chair may agree spending as above. If a working group currently does not have coordinators, then the Chair or Vice Chair may take their place to request any spending deemed necessary. At least two people must be involved in any spending decision outside of a GM in this manner.

    Going to a GM anyway

    1. Any group can choose to bring any spending decision to a GM anyway, for instance if it wants active support from the co-op, or more discussion, or to bring something to the coop’s attention.

    Normal Working Group Spending

    1. The Tech Group has budgets to spend on computers and software, and may spend according to the policy above.
    2. The Development Group may spend from its budget according to the policy above to move forward any projects that the co-op has already approved.
    3. The Grounds and Gardens Group has a budget and may spend according to the policy above.
    4. The Maintenance Group is already covered in detail, both in the main finance policy, (Financial Regulations and Procedures) and in the Maintenance Policy, because maintenance requires regular spending.
    5. The Employment Group may spend from the Office Equipment budget according to the policy above, for things used by staff. The Employment group may also authorise spending from the staff training budget in line with the policy above.
    6. The Education budget is of strong social interest to members of the co-op as it represents a limited resource that they can access for their own training. As such, any new training course request should go through a GM.
    7. Part of the education budget is available to purchase books that are of interest to the community and can be a shared learning and information resource. Purchases of books can be made in line with the above policy as long as spending on books for the year has not exceeded 10% of the overall education budget.
    8. The co-op may decide separately that anyone in a particular working group should be able to attend a particular relevant course without going through a GM.
    9. The Education Group may spend according to the policy above in making minor amendments to an already-agreed training course, e.g. where it becomes apparent that someone has special needs that require extra spending to support their attendance, or where e.g. it becomes clear that something useful for a training course - food, extra transport etc. was not put in the original proposal.
    10. The Rent Group may initiate legal proceedings against a member in circumstances set out in the Rent Policy. Any such proceedings incur costs. ASH Co-op will always seek to recover such costs from the member concerned. No further authorisation is required.
    11. The Welfare Group may need to spend money in an emergency, on mediation for instance. Such spending may be authorised by the Treasurer to be taken from the Community Budget. If there is not enough money left in the Community Budget, the Treasurer is authorised to overspend from this budget.
    12. Other working groups such as Allocations and Equality and Diversity do not have their own budgets at present but may still spend on occasion from appropriate budget categories according to the policy above.

    Office Spending

    1. Our office staff are empowered and requested to keep the office stocked with the consumables that are used in daily operations, without getting authorisation for this spending. This may include stationery, postage, kitchen and bathroom supplies, photocopier, printing and computing supplies, bin bags & light bulbs for members. Members can also buy these things for the office in agreement with the workers, and be reimbursed from Petty Cash.

    Emergency Spending of £500 or more

    1. In an emergency where the co-op or co-op members may be at significant risk if action is not taken urgently, spending decisions may need to be taken without GM approval.
    2. Emergency spending decisions should be taken jointly by the Chair, Treasurer and Secretary (or their deputies), and any relevant working group coordinator. As many as possible of the above, but a minimum of two of the above shall be required to authorise emergency spending of £500 or more.Any such decisions must be reported to the next GM.