The following is what was given to the Task Force by the Board of Directors in February 2015. There is also a confirmation of this mandate acknowledged by the Board in May with some additional details.
Purpose of the Investigation
Mindful of St. Paul’s instructions in 1 Corinthians 6, a task force will conduct a review into the ABC District Church Extension Fund cash flow shortage and other related matters.
The General Scope of the Investigation
The CEF Task Force investigation will:
- Supplement the work of the Deloitte investigation by going beyond the financial scope identifying underlying values and beliefs that contributed to this difficulty;
- Review the legal aspects of the decisions and activities related to this situation;
- Make recommendations for improvements as related to how the ABC District operates structurally and financially so that ABC District leadership can adapt to the increasingly legal and financial complexities of operating a ministry in the 21st century; and
- Provide suggestions/guidelines that will enable the ABC District to engage with God’s people in mission creatively and responsibly and that will also be instructive for the operation of congregations in light of the complexity of being Christians in a post-church era.
More specifically, the inquiry should:
- Identify “how this CEF cash flow shortage happened”
- Identify why it took until January 2015 for the investors to learn of the CEF financial issues when larger financial concerns started to emerge in 2012.
In order to accomplish these specific goals, the CEF Task Force will focus their attention, though not exclusively, on the following areas:
- Provide a description, evaluation, and critique of the governance model used by the ABC District including:
- How church workers and laity are called, elected, or appointed to serve within this structure;
- Lines of responsibility and accountability within the governance structure;
- An evaluation of how the governance model utilized by the ABC District impacted the CEF difficulties.
- A review of the ABC District CEF Fund from its inception focusing on:
- CEF’s purpose/mandate
- The underlying values/beliefs of CEF that influenced decisions about loan requests
- Any possible shifts in focus since its inception
- An evaluation of how/why decisions were made to fund loan requests for the past 25 years
- The percentage of congregations that utilized the “flexibility” of payments during the past 25 years
- Clarifying when it became clear that CEF was experiencing cash flow shortages, including the steps taken to address this matter and determining why investors were not notified/consulted sooner
- A description and evaluation of the accounting practices used in the ABC District for the past twenty-five years with recommendations of what accounting practice improvements may be made.
- An evaluation of why audits prior to 2012 did not identify these larger financial issues.
- A descriptive, but critical narrative, on the development of the Prince of Peace project and its operations since its inception, including:
- The rationale for starting the project
- Identifying project construction issues and how they were addressed
- The management of the construction and operation (ECHS and EMSS) of the various components of the Prince of Peace project (e.g. the church, school, Village, Manor and Harbour)
- A review of the accounting practices
- A rationale for the Prince of Peace project’s continued growth and investment of dollars despite the financial concerns
- A description of what the Prince of Peace project is and how it is ministering to people on site
Makeup and Operations of the CEF Review Task Force
The task force will:
- Consist of no more than seven capable volunteers appointed by the ABC District Executive Committee. (Since amended to having the Task Force appoint its own members.)
- Be independent of the Boards, Committees, and Staff responsible for the operation of the District, CEF, DIL, Encharis (ECHS), and Prince of Peace (i.e. the Church, School, Village, Manor and Harbour).
- Include people who collectively have experience in finance, management, law, and the ABC District church culture. Consideration should be given to having one person on the task force who has peacemaker training or the equivalent.
- Include one Pastor who is recognized as having objectivity and capability for this kind of review.
- Develop a budget for travel costs and other related expenses. These expenses may be submitted by the CEF Review Task Force to Deloitte for approval.
- Have access to any documents they wish to see.
- Have access to any Staff, Board, and Committee members it wishes to talk to who have served in the past 25 years.
- Honour a commitment to respecting confidentiality so that the people interviewed can speak their mind freely.
The CEF Review Task Force Reporting Timeline
The CEF Review Task Force will provide at least three reports:
- An interim report at the ABC District Convention in May 2015;
- A progress report to the ABC District BOD, the CEF/DIL investors, and the ABC District congregations by October 1;
- A full report completed and released to the ABC District BOD, the CEF/DIL investors, and the ABC District congregations by December 31, 2015.