CAE: Focusing on efficiency and sustainability

“We reviewed our new mandate given by the Definitory which was just approved in May. We began focusing on what parts of the mandate were most important for us, so that we prioritize our work. We are focusing on short-term efficiency and long-term sustainability in financial operations with particular focus on revenue generation”. This is how Br John Puodziunas, OFM, chairperson and bursar, summarized the activities of the Council for Economic Affairs (CAE) meeting which took place in Rome on 13-14 September.
About the short-term efficiency, Br John explained it as: “what we have to address today. We will be looking at the budget, tracking the budget, we will be reviewing year end statements as well as current policy and best practices in terms of how the office (of the Bursar General) works.”

On the same theme of short-term, the chairperson further added that the Council is reviewing the debt management program to make sure that “we are following the commitments that we have made for the debts we have with Provinces, making sure that we make our payments.”

Further, the council had significant discussions on long-term sustainability. “We looked at long-term sustainability, for example, the solidarity contribution which is being reviewed with the presidents of the Conferences. We are working on a new model of solidarity contribution. This is the major revenue source for the General Curia, so we spent time looking at that and other options for revenue generation, realizing that long term sustainability (with only the current contribution model) is not possible for the Curia”.

The Council also examined risks the Order might be facing in terms of financial efficiency and long-term sustainability.

The two day CAE meeting was attended by the following members: Br Jimmy Zammit, OFM, General Definitor, Br John Puodziunas, OFM, Bursar of the Order and Chairperson of the Council, Mr Leslie Quick and Mr. Wilmer Smeenk.