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December Bank Account Statement Forum summary 2/17

OWS Reform -reforming resource and information management from within OWS

-tax implications of bad accounting -how the funds are received -how the bank account was set up -How did an account get opened in OWS name? -sole proprietor? Corp? Who has access to the funds? -create a template to other Occupys so they can set up properly -Set up a main Occupy in NY as a non-profit 501c3. -paying 7% of the gross income to company w/ no accounting -This 7% can pay for an accountant very easily -Let every city or occupy run piggyback on Occupy cert -occupy web home page, state, then city, then working group listed -funds can be made specific to a city and a cause -no need for finance and GA to decide who gets how much -Set up the finance on QuickBooks -All accounting downloading from the bank/trust company directly -Reporting at the push of a button -levels of access that can be given -every member of the GA can see whats going on at any time -TRUE transparency -paying $12,000 a week for food -breakfast is not always served. -could all sit down in a restaurant (McDonalds) and eat cheaper! -get rid of everyone in finance and start over -volunteer in the Kitchen -a lot of donated food -ton of volunteers cooking up batches of pasta, beans, etc. -dont know what is being purchased that costs $10-12,000 a week -would it be appropriate to get receipts from Kitchen? -also keep track of incredibly generous donations -food budget -big problem was horrific waste -close to half of the food was thrown out (which fits given the numbers) -due to lack of experience in a commercial kitchen -Someone has to be head chef, Too many cooks spoils the pasta -what to defrost and pre-prepare for an unknown number of visitors? -wackiest restaurant in the world, unlimited # seats -kitchen people sent out for food on occasion. What was up with that? -people who do Liberty Cafes work are great resource -not fully utilized -point person asks how many are you feeding? -answers range from uh, 250, to ummm, 500? uh? -Hes a mover and shaker -shuts down when OWSs responses are so duuuhhh -CHURCHS possible SELF-ENRICHMENT, EMBEZZLEMENT!, COLLUSION, FRAUD -two accounts ant Amalgamated: and had no withdrawals in December -balance at 12/31 of $99,549.58 went from $310,168.74 at 12/01 to $147,040.15 at 12/30 -Not sure of the deposits if any -based on #s, approximately 2 months of funding left -accounting claims NO control over who gets what money -untrue, they enforce their interpretation of GA policy -correction: $10k budget for food -expenditures up to 2/16: -donations up to 1/20: -Why not call an independent auditor and have them go over the books?

-documents belong to everyone in OWS -Without access to bank statements, we have only the word of finance -gives them hierarchy in a supposedly leaderless movement. -wouldnt want criminals to wipe out the fund, background check for full access -The issue is people dont trust accounting. -dismantling and rebuilding accounting/finance. -we are a project of a nonprofit -being a nonprofit is unrealistic -completely horizontal structure negates board, liability, etc, -virtually impossible to become non profit -major advantage of inclusion on taxes -IRS audit largely irrelevant -internal audit questions: -what would it mean? -who would do it? -how it would be paid for? -can you audit a horizontally run anarchist resistance movement? -would be easy for OWS to pay an outside auditor to go over the books -books are still the books, and the accounts are there regardless -accounting hiding behind OWS rules & anarchist movement -no consensus on OWS being an anarchist movement -if so, statements should be available to all occupiers -bank statements are owned by the OWS movement and its members -why are some refusing to show these statements to others? -OWS isnt a person, cannnot be embarrassed because statement online -proposal for transparency and change blocked -celebrated by blockers -OWS does not have, nor wants, transparency -Two people in accounting are a couple -positions with points of power should be rotated -All current members of finance be replaced with 3 to 5 new people -should have finance experience, Back ground checks -was everyone in the inner circle of Finance vetted? -when vetting was started, agreed to grandfather in existing members -do the signers on the accounts have background checks(?!) -They should have a rotating staff. -They should not hide information or be silent. -There is no excuse for not being forthcoming with information -We have X number of accounts -There is X in account A as of closing date nn/nn/nnnn -keep up with the input of receipts -every day, listing what were the cash donations -drawls matched up with expenditures (cash hand outs) 1) open the books 2) reveal everyone whos on affinity group payroll 3) fund basic needs for underprivileged occupiers 4) recuse the current admin class by rotating resource management roles -info, supplies, finance, kitchen) 5) prioritize a healthy GA before an efficient Spokes Council