FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT POLICY
Article I. Accounting Policy, Procedures, System, and Records
Section 1.01 The Board of Directors, as the governing body of the El Dorado County Fire Safe Council (EDCFSC) formulates financial policies and delegates administration of those policies to the executive Coordinator (EC). In the absence of the EC the Board of Directors retains this responsibility.
Section 1.02 Handling of financial matters by EDCFSC contractors, employees, satellite councils and the Board of Directors will conform to the highest ethical standards and the EDCFSC’s Conflict of Interest Policies. No financial transaction or decision or hiring of employees should result in personal financial gain for an employee or Director, or any spouse, relative of a Director or employee. If there is any question about the propriety of a decision or transaction, or whether there is a potential conflict of interest, it must be thoroughly discussed with, and approved by, the Board of Directors. Failure to conform will constitute grounds for dismissal/removal from office or employment
Section 1.03 A contracted Bookkeeper is responsible to the Treasurer, or Executive Coordinator, and the EDCFSC Board of Directors for all administration of financial operations. In the absence of the Treasurer or EC, the Bookkeeper is responsible to the Board of Directors.
(a) All financial records of the El Dorado County Fire Safe Council shall be maintained using Quickbooks Pro or Premier.
(b) All financial records and procedures shall conform to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. Responsibilities of the Bookkeeper shall include:
1) Maintaining a Chart of Accounts
2) Maintaining a List of Vendors
3) Maintaining a Class List that includes all Programs and Projects as identified by the Treasurer and EC or the EDCFSC Board of Directors.
4) Receiving invoices from the Treasurer, EC, or a designated member of the Executive Board or their designee.
5) Preparing checks for signature.
6) Receive electronic versions of the bank statements.
7) Perform monthly reconciliations
8) Provide portable file copies to the Treasurer, EC and/or Chairperson for the purpose of project/budget monitoring.
9) Promptly report any anomalies such as unexpected bills, invoices or unapproved Requests for Reimbursement.
(c) Account numbers, Class and splits shall be determined and marked on each invoice by the Treasurer, EC or a member of the Executive Board. Responsibilities of the Treasurer shall include:
(1) Maintain a binder (Treasurer’s master record) separated by month of all invoices, payments, deposits and related correspondence.
(2) Maintaining an electronic file structured in the same manner as the physical binder. This file shall contain copies (.pdf format) of all invoices, payments, checks, deposits and any related correspondence.
(3) Perform monthly backup of all electronic files.
(4) Review bookkeeper entries for accuracy and completeness.
(5) Verify that funding payments and expenditures are in agreement with the original grant budget.
(d) Financial reports may be generated as needed from the portable files by the Treasurer, EC or Chairperson, but the Quickbooks master file retained by the Bookkeeper shall be the official financial record. These reports must be available for public inspection upon request.
Section 1.04 Disbursements
(a) All payments will be reviewed and approved by the EC and Treasurer or Chairperson.
1) Payments for grant funded fuels projects will be reviewed and approved by the project manager before submission to the Treasurer or EC.
2) Payments for miscellaneous expenses in excess of $500 require pre-approval by the Board of Directors.
3) Requests for reimbursement of amounts between $100 and $500 must be pre-approved by the Treasurer or Chairperson and shall be submitted to the Treasurer on a Request for Reimbursement form along with all relevant receipts.
4) Requests for Reimbursement of $100 or less may be approved by the EC, Treasurer or Chairperson, but must be submitted on a Request for Reimbursement form along with all relevant receipts.
5) All Invoices and Requests for Reimbursement must be initialed and dated by the approving party.
(b) All checks will be signed by two of the three authorized members of the Executive Board.
Section 1.05 Bank Deposits
1) Most grant payments are by electronic deposit. The EC, Treasurer or Chairperson will be responsible for assigning deposits to the proper Class/Account and informing the Bookkeeper.
2) Over the counter deposits will be documented by the EC, Treasurer or Chairperson. Documentation will consist of a photocopy of the check, deposit slip and the Class/Account to which it should be credited. This document will be presented to the Bookkeeper who will credit it to the proper Class/Account. A copy of this documentation will be retained in the Treasurer’s records.
Section 1.06 Separation of Duties
(a) Separation of Duties is a key concept in insuring integrity of a financial management system. It assists in providing protection from fraud and errors. Ideally each of the following tasks should be performed by different people:
1) Receive mail/Invoices
2) Assign Class/Account and split information to each invoice and deliver to Bookkeeper
3) Write checks
4) Record deposits and checks
5) Review and approve invoices and payments
6) Sign checks
7) Mail payments
(b) Limitations in the number of available staff/volunteer/Exec Board members may result in these tasks being performed by as few as two members of the Executive Board and the contracted Bookeeper as long as assigning account/class designations; writing checks, approving payments are performed by different people.
1) Authorized Board Members, volunteers or the EC may receive mail and invoices and mail payments and invoices.
2) The Treasurer will assign Class/Accounts to each invoice and deposit.
3) The Bookkeeper will write checks and record checks and deposits.
4) Authorized members of the Executive Board will review and approve invoices and payments and sign checks.
a. The EC may also review invoices and payments.
(c) At the beginning of each fiscal year and after Board elections it is the responsibility of the Executive Board to develop a list of “functional responsibilities” will be developed to insure an adequate separation of duties.
Article II. Grants: Proposals, Administration and Accounting Procedures
Section 2.01 Proposals
(a) All Grant proposals will contain the following components:
3) Scope of Work
(b) All grant proposals shall be reviewed by a committee made up of the following:
1) The Executive Coordinator
2) At least one member of the Executive Board
3) Three members of the Satellite FSC or initiating group
Section 2.02 Budgets
(a) Project/Grant budgets must include the following line items:
1) Cost of contracted services.
2) Administrative charges expressed as:
b. Actual cost
c. Percent of project
3) Project management charges
c. Percent of project
6) Accounting/audit costs
7) Outreach costs
8) Any other allowable costs to be charged to the grant
Section 2.03 Allowable Costs
(a) Grant funds may be used only for allowable costs of the activities for which the grant was awarded. This means that the total amount of money that the recipient is entitled to receive from the funding agency may not exceed the allowable costs incurred by the recipient for those activities. See 2CFR 230 Appendix B for descriptions and listing of allowable and non-allowable costs.
(b) Costs supported by another grant Allowable costs incurred by the recipient and supported by another Federal grant (or by a non-Federal grant) awarded to the recipient may not be included in determining maximum allowable costs. The basic intent of this rule is to prevent double compensation. It does not, however, prevent proration of costs that are allowable under two or more awards.
Section 2.04 Matches
(a) Costs used to match another Federal grant. A cost that the recipient uses to meet a cost-sharing or matching requirement of one Federal grant may not count towards determining maximum allowable costs under another Federal grant, unless specifically authorized by a Federal statute. (Reference OMB Circular A-122 Attachments A & B, Title 7 CFR3105.190)
(b) The value of volunteer labor and in-kind matches shall be determined from current Bureau of Labor Statistics tables and shall be consistent with rates allowable by Firewise and by the CAFSC. Matching fund/or in-kind contributions shall be documented by the donor.
(c) Documentation of matches shall consist of Letters of Support for in-kind matches from other agencies or collaborators describing the nature of the match and its value.
Section 2.05 Records
(a) The accounting records shall clearly identify each grant by its CAFSC Clearinghouse or other Grant number and project name. Detail records will list date, check number, accounts and class (Grant number) for each transaction. Any splits must allow for positive identification of amounts allocated to each grant number.
(b) All records of cost sharing and matching contributions shall be retained in the Grant folder. All invoices, statements, cancelled checks, records of deposits, timesheets, and associated records used to document matches shall be maintained in a separate Grant folder, binder or file (electronic or hardcopy) for each grant. Documents shall be maintained in chronological order and listed in an index cover sheet. These records may be duplicates of the records maintained in the Treasurer’s master file.
(c) All non-federal cost sharing expenditures and matches shall be tabulated on a quarterly basis and shall be reported as both absolute value and percentage of the grant payments. The final report shall also include the total matches, and the percentage of the total grant.
Section 2.06 Bonding/Insurance: Any employee/contractor who receives or issues payments must show evidence of insurance or bond Except for Board Members and Volunteers who are covered by the EDCFSC liability policy.
Section 2.07 Contract Administration: Contractor performance monitoring process
(a) Contractor shall provide monthly progress reports in a format appropriate to the nature of the project and as specified by the EC or Board of Directors
(b) Photographic records of work progress shall be maintained by means of digital before and after pictures.
(c) The EC or Board members may make on-site inspections at any time.
Section 2.08 Change of Scope
(a) All requests for changes of scope must be submitted in writing and approved by the Board of Directors before being submitted to the funding agency
Section 2.09 Unspent Funds: Any unspent grant funds must be returned to the funding agency.
Article III. Procurement System: Policy, Procedures and Records
Section 3.01 It is the policy of the El Dorado County Fire Safe Council to encourage competition that ensures an open and impartial selection process. A competitive selection is the process for notifying prospective proposers, through a Request for Proposal (RFP), that the EDCFSC is accepting proposals to procure supplies or services.
(a) Contracts for all grant funded projects/positions equal to or greater than $25,000 per year will be solicited via the Request for Proposal (RFP) process. Exceptions may include the following:
1) Unique requirements for the project/position that would limit the qualified bidders and require use of sole source policy as defined in 48CFR, Ch 1, Part 6.
2) A continuing multi-year grant for a single project need not be rebid each year.
3) Projects or positions funded by multiple grants.
(b) The EDCFSC will receive and review all proposals resulting from an RFP and determine responsiveness and responsibility. Only proposals deemed responsive will be considered for further evaluation or award. The EDCFSC will provide evaluations packets to an evaluation panel and will facilitate the evaluation panel meeting.
1) The evaluation panel will consist of at least one EDCFSC Executive Board Member, the Executive Coordinator, the project manager and at least two members of the involved Satellite Council/Affiliate group.
Section 3.02 Competitive procurements, bid solicitations, cost and price analysis, vendor/contractor selection process.
(a) Vendor selection will be based on the following criterion.
1) Firm/individual history, references and background
2) Capacity of the contractor to conduct the Scope of Work
3) Cost estimate, including total cost, cost per acre rate, break down by different tasks
4) List of references and former clients
5) Any appropriate affirmative action information
6) Proof of general liability and accidental fire insurance (minimum coverage $2 million)
7) Proof of California Contractor’s License if appropriate
8) Preference may be given to contractors within the EDCFSC Area (El Dorado County).
Section 3.03 Compliance with national policy requirements
(a) All contracts and agreements will be in compliance with the nondiscrimination provisions contained in Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987 (Public Law 100-259); and other nondiscrimination statutes: namely, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and American’s With Disabilities Act of 1990.
Section 3.04 The El Dorado County Fire Safe Council shall maintain and make available to the California Fire Safe Council or other funding agency the following:
(a) Purchasing manual containing the following:
1) Written standards of conduct
2) Efforts to use small and minority-owned business
Section 3.05 Contract Administration: Contractor performance monitoring process
(a) The EC and/or Treasurer will work closely with the project manager and Satellite Council Reps to ensure cost, schedule and performance are on track and validate satisfactory work completion prior to progress payments authorization.
Article IV. Personnel Management System: Policy, Procedures, and Records.
Section 4.01 The El Dorado County Fire Safe Council shall maintain and make available to the California Fire Safe Council or other funding agency the following:
(a) Time and attendance records for paid staff, volunteers and in-kind contributions
1) All paid staff members will submit monthly time records showing the time allotted to each project or grant.
(b) Each individual, Satellite or affiliate council will submit signed quarterly time records with the associated project or grant clearly identified. Satellite councils who perform quarterly report functions as part of the project match may maintain duplicate time records in their own files until project closeout at which time they should be included in the master Grant binder.
(c) Meeting attendance records shall be maintained by means of a sign-in sheet for each meeting. The date, location, time and length of the meeting shall be reported on the first page of such sign-in sheet.
Section 4.02 The El Dorado County Fire Safe Council shall maintain a master file of Position Descriptions for all contract and salaried staff positions whether or not the position is currently filled.
(a) Executive Coordinator
(b) Outreach Coordinator
(c) Senior/Disabled – Green Waste Coordinator
(d) Chipping Program Coordinator
(e) Other positions as needed
Section 4.03 Recruiting, hiring and termination process
(a) Recruiting of full time contract employees will be accomplished through the Request for Proposal (RFP) process. The RFP will be advertised in local media and on the EDCFSC web site. Individual copies of the RFP may be sent to known interested parties.
(b) Positions of part time Coordinators may be advertised locally and do not necessarily require a formal RFP process.
(c) Any contract may be terminated at any time without cause and without further obligation to the contractor except for payment due for services performed prior to the termination.
Section 4.04 Compensation system
(a) The Executive Coordinator will be paid an hourly rate or a monthly contract fee with optional incentives based on performance; i.e., grant funding secured.
1) The base fee will be in line with comparable positions within the state of California.
(b) All other Coordinators will be paid at an hourly rate as determined from comparable job descriptions in Bureau of Labor Statistics tables.
Section 4.05 Methods for documenting and charging salaries and wages to projects
(a) The Executive Coordinator fee will be charged to projects on the basis of actual time spent on the project. These charges must be consistent with the administrative costs budgeted for the project.
(b) Charges for other part time coordinators will be based on an hourly rate and the actual time worked on each project.
(c) All positions require the use of time cards; i.e., records of actual hour worked each month on each project.
Section 4.06 Policy for hiring consultants
(a) The policy for hiring consultants shall be the same as for other contract employees. See Section 4.03.
Section 4.07 Project Managers
(a) Project managers may be contract employees obtained by the RFP process or Fire Safe Council members who are qualified to perform that function and wish to do so.
(b) The cost of contracted project managers must have been included in the original budget.
(c) Fire Safe Council members shall not be paid for any project management services.
1) Project managers may be responsible for quarterly reports as a part of the management process
2) Project managers will receive detailed monthly financial statements for the project to facilitate monitoring and completion of the quarterly reports.
Article V. Travel, Lodging, Meals and Professional Association Membership
Section 5.01 Travel Policy
(a) Authorization to travel to conferences, presentations or other meetings where the EDCFSC will be represented must be pre-approved by a majority vote of the Board of Directors whether or not expenses are to be paid by the EDCFSC.
(b) If travel is authorized by the Board of Directors and is to be paid for by the EDCFSC a reasonable amount will be reimbursed for meals and lodging.
1) Reimbursement rates shall not exceed those allowed by standard federal per diem rates.
(c) Any request for authorization to travel must include the purpose of the travel, destination/event description, method of travel, estimated cost of travel, meals and lodging and an estimated total cost.
(d) Any request for travel reimbursement must be submitted using an approved expense account form accompanied by all pertinent receipts.
1) EDCFSC does not provide credit cards.
Section 5.02 All reimbursement for travel and associated expenses has been suspended as of January 2011.
Section 5.03 Reimbursement for membership fees for professional associations may be allowed depending on value to EDCFSC and budget constraints. Any request for payment of membership fees should be presented in advance for Board of Directors approval.
Article VI. Whistle Blower Policy
Section 6.01 It is the intent of the EDCFSC to adhere to all laws and regulations that apply to the organization, and the underlying purpose of this Policy is to support the organization’s goal of legal compliance. The support of all members of the organization, its officers and contractors is necessary to achieving compliance with various laws and regulations.
Section 6.02 If any employee, contractor, officer, volunteer or Board member believes that some policy, practice, or activity of the El Dorado County Fire Safe Council is in violation of law, a written complaint may be filed by that person with the Executive Coordinator or the Chairman of the Board of Directors.
(a) The complaint must be filed within 12 months of the alleged violation.
(b) An ad hoc committee of made up of Board officers, Board members and representatives of Satellite Councils will be formed to investigate the complaint. This committee must consist of at least five people none of whom are involved in the complaint.
Section 6.03 A member of the EDCFSC is protected from retaliation only if the individual brings the alleged unlawful activity, policy or practice to the attention of a Board officer or the Executive Coordinator and provides them with a reasonable opportunity to investigate and correct the alleged unlawful activity. The protection described below is only available to members of the organization that comply with this requirement. EDCFSC will not retaliate against an employee who, in good faith, has made a protest or raised a complaint against some practice of EDCFSC, or of another individual or entity with whom EDCFSC_ had a business relationship, on the basis of a reasonable belief that the practice is in violation of law or a clear mandate of public policy. EDCFSC will not retaliate against an employee who discloses or threatens to disclose to a supervisor or a public body any activity, policy, or practice of EDCFSC that the employee reasonably believes is in violation of a law, or a rule, or regulation mandated pursuant to law or is in violation of a clear mandate or public policy concerning health, safety, welfare, or protection of the environment.
Section 6.04 All Officers, Board members, affiliates, contractors, contract employees and volunteers shall be made aware of this policy. A copy of this policy will be provided with all Affiliation Agreements, Board Member Agreements, and contracts. A signature on the agreement or contract indicates that the policy has been made available.
SATELLITE FIRE SAFE COUNCILS
Section 14.01 Satellite Fire Safe Council Defined: As set forth in Article V, Section 2 of these Bylaws, the EDCFSC Board of Directors is a representative body made up of, but not limited to, delegates of Satellite Fire Safe Councils (SFSCs) throughout the western slope of El Dorado County A SFSC is a body of private citizens and representatives of businesses, and public agencies within a community who share a common, vested interest in wildfire prevention and loss mitigation. SFSC’s are organized to, among other things, identify fire safety issues within the community and take measures to minimize risks to life, homes and natural and manmade resources, increase the insurability of property by increasing community safety, forge strong partnerships with local, state and federal fire and emergency response agencies and acquire the resources necessary to assist in fire prevention. In carrying out its responsibilities a SFSC provides input into the EDCFSC’s yearly strategic planning process. Satellite councils will be recognized as operating under the auspices of the EDCFSC upon approval of their Affiliation Agreement by the EDCFSC Board of Directors. Affiliation Agreements must be resubmitted and approved annually (June 30th).
Section 14.02 Conditions of Affiliation: A (SFSC) must meet all of the following requirements in order to be considered for approval by the EDCFSC:
a) Maintain a governing structure with a minimum of three persons.
b) Meet regularly.
c) Adopt a Mission Statement.
d) Adopt the EDCFSC Bylaws.
e) Sign and maintain a current EDCFSC Affiliation Agreement.
f) Sign the EDCFSC Conflict of Interest Statement.
g) Be represented at EDCFSC meetings.
h) Maintain records of meeting hours, attendance and participation in other SFSC activities that might be used for in-kind matches.
i) Provide annual financial statements to the EDCFSC if the SFSC obtains a fictitious business name and establishes a bank account in that name.
Section 14.03 Affiliate Agreement: To be affiliated with the EDCFSC, all SFSC’s shall adopt the EDCFSC Bylaws and Policies. They may, in addition, develop a set of Bylaws that address special requirements within their SFSC as long as all of the requirements of the EDCFSC Bylaws are satisfied. The Affiliate Agreement form shall be completed, signed and returned to the EDCFSC annually (June 30th) for approval by the Board of Directors.
Section 14.04 Advantages of Affiliation: Upon approval of the Affiliation Agreement the SFSC will have the benefit of EDCFSC liability insurance coverage, its website and outreach resources and access to the Executive Coordinator in addition to being able to use EDCFSC as a fiscal sponsor. The EDCFSC can serve as the fiscal agent for SFSC’s when applying for grant funding or other monetary assistance (donations) in fulfilling their mission. It will remain the responsibility of EDCFSC to administer grant funds according to Federal Grant Management policies and generally accepted accounting principles. The Affiliate Agreement must be kept current during the course of any project for which EDCFSC is the fiscal sponsor.
Section 14.05 Fiscal Responsibilities of SFSCs: Should the SFSC choose to use another agency as a fiscal sponsor or become their own fiscal agent, the EDCFSC shall be held harmless and have no responsibility for any part of such transactions, projects, fundraising or expenses/obligations incurred by the SFSC. The SFSC will not be covered by EDCFSC insurance or make use of the EDCFSC website or other outreach activities.
Section 14.06 SFSC Boundaries: Boundaries for SFSCs must be approved by EDCFSC. Boundaries claimed by non-affiliates will not be recognized.