17 Dec General Curia Audit Process – Communique to the Order
May the Lord give you his peace!
We all know and often repeat that the Franciscan charism consists in being brothers and minors. If on one hand we must note that the incarnation of this charism is as varied as the number of individuals who profess the Rule and Franciscan Life, on the other one, we must agree that in order to be friars and minors it is essential to profess and even more important to live the vow of poverty. But, how poverty is lived, there is a variety of ways of its incarnation in the Provinces and Custodies and in the life of individual friars as wide as the number of friars that live it. It is not surprising that in the history of the Order poverty has been so frequently a matter of discussion and the main cause of tensions and divisions.
Following the Letter of December 2014, here in the General Curia we have seriously begun to use specific terms, such as transparency, responsibility and honesty in financial matters, regarding our life of poverty. Moreover, starting from words, theological theories and reflections, we have tried to achieve concrete actions to witness the life we profess and in response to the challenges of the secular world in which we live.
Therefore, we briefly tell you, how much more in detail we shared with the Provincial Ministers and Custodes. This is that in recent months, on behalf of the General Definitory, the company PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) conducted a serious global review of the economic-financial activities of the General Curia and of the houses dependent on the Minister General, whose accounting is managed centrally by the Economo. This revision covered the accounting structures and procedures, the working methods and the internal control system. The results of this review were presented to the General Definitory and were analyzed by the members of the International Commission that cares for the Economy, (de Re Œconomica) (CIRE).
The audit process did not identify any issues or misrepresentations in the economic-financial reports; the suggestions proposed were to develop a continuous positive culture of controls, to create clear and precise guidelines for operations, to centralize banking and cash management, to review accounting software and increase security of our computer systems and backing procedures.
The collaboration with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) continues to develop a culture of transparency, responsibility and honesty in the economic-financial administration of the General Curia.
We ask for your collaboration so that together we can commit ourselves to live the values we profess as friars and minors, especially in the management of the economic resources that God’s people generously offer us. If we do our part, surely the Lord will bless us abundantly.
Br. Michael A. Perry, OFM
Minister General and Servant
Br. John Puodziunas, OFM
Br. Giovanni Rinaldi, OFM
December 17th, 2017