Metropolitan Council receives draft of 2006 audit, reviews best practices

Members of the Orthodox Church in America’s Metropolitan Council moved forward in the reorganization of the OCA’s central management structure and processes during the first day of their two-day meeting at the Chancery here Tuesday, June 12, 2007.

Chaired by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman, the Metropolitan Council responded to a number of issues, including the following.

AUDITS. For the first time in eight years, the OCA’s financial records for 2006 were audited, according to Robert Taylor, CPA, and Valerie Jones, CPA, representatives of the accounting firm of Lambrides, Lamos, and Moulthrop, LLP, and the Very Rev. Paul Suda, who chairs the OCA audit committee, who presented their audits of Church’s finances for 2006. Mr. Taylor and Ms. Jones presented a draft of a written report concluding that, except for significant issues related to the use of restricted funds through December 31, 2005, and ownership of Alaskan properties, financial statements produced by the OCA for 2006 offered a fair presentation, in all material respects, of the OCA’s financial position as of December 31, 2006, and that the changes in the Church’s net assets and cash flow for the year are in conformity with generally accepted US accounting principles.

REORGANIZATION. A report from the OCA Organizational Task Force noted that the Very Rev. Alexander Garklavs will assume the position of OCA chancellor on or about July 1, while the Rev. Andrew Jarmus will begin his duties as Director of Ministries and Communications on or about August 1, 2007.

The task force’s selection team presented the name of a highly qualified candidate for the position of OCA secretary. Council members endorsed the nominee, who will be recommended to members of the Holy Synod of Bishops. [The candidate’s name will be made public in the next several days.]

While task force members and the Lambrides, Lamos, and Moulthrop representative, in light of unsuccessful efforts to recruit a new treasurer from among the OCA’s membership, recommended staffing the Chancery with a full-time accountant and a part-time treasurer, Metropolitan Council members requested that the task force renew its search for a full-time candidate. They also approved the hiring of an interim accountant.

The task force reported on the completion of several draft policy statements and presented plans for future policy development efforts.

BEST PRACTICES. Council members made substantial progress with regard to Best Practices Principles and Policies for Financial Accountability. Working together in full session, Council members reviewed the draft document in detail and, in approving final edits, adopted five of the document’s major sections: “Best Practices Principles,” “Ethics Policy,” “Conflict of Interest Policy,” “Donor Bill of Rights,” and “Document Retention Policy.”

The Metropolitan Council reconvened on Wednesday morning, June 13.