Fancy being in charge of the party’s finances?

Peter Dunphy, the Chair of the Party’s Federal Finance and Resources Committee, is stepping down after four and a half years in the role.

He’s been an incredibly wise pair of hands, steering the party through some pretty torrid times. The change from being a party of Government with nearly sixty MPs to a party with just eight required careful handling. We’ll miss him in the role. On stepping down, he said:

In case some of you don’t already know I will be standing down as Chair of FFRC and therefore Registered Party Treasurer on 1st July.

I originally notified Party Officers including Sal Brinton and Nick Harvey of my plan to make this my last year back in January, and we have worked towards a July 1st date to see a number of matters concluded including  this year’s audit complete and I also wanted to ensure that the new CEO was fully embedded. With these all now resolved, no General Election, major return or Electoral Commission problem in progress or on the horizon we agreed that, as far as it can ever be possible, this summer would be a good time to make the transition to a successor.

The plan is for the position to be advertised and a successor to be elected by the FB at the end of May. That way there will be a brief period of transition before the handover and of course I will be available for post-handover transition. I have already prepared a detailed Job Spec for the role which has not previously existed.

I remain a fully committed Liberal Democrat and I’m sure will be roped into helping somewhere else. I will miss moving the Membership Subscription and Levy motion at conference – after 13 years someone else will have the pleasure.

That detailed job spec of which he speaks is available from the Party’s Governance Officer Chris Adams, who, I should just mention, does the work of about six people and has super-human levels of patience and attention to detail, at [email protected]

Here is an excerpt, though which gives a general overview. There are 11 more pages of detail:

The FFRC Chair and Registered Treasurer of the Party is a senior role within the party that requires a substantial commitment beyond the Chairing of the FFRC, including attending and contributing to both the Federal Board and the Operations Committee (a sub-committee of the Board comprising the Vice Chairs, English and Welsh Chairs, the Scottish Convener and all the Federal Committee Chairs), as well as being an ex-officio member of the Federal Audit and Scrutiny Committee. The Registered Treasurer has specific responsibilities in signing off the quarterly Electoral Commission donation returns as well as annual accounts and generally being the first point of contact for the Electoral Commission in relation to Party administration.

The key skills and experience are:

A) Experience working at a non-executive Board level of a complex organisation; 

B) Ability to think strategically;

C) Experience working as a member of a senior team with both Executive and Non-Executive directors;

D) Either a formal financial (accounting or banking qualification) or four years’ experience as a Finance Director or equivalent;

E) Knowledge of current SORP accounting rules;

F) Experience of the funding of political parties, preferably with Treasurer experience at either a state, regional or local level;

G) Experience of compliance regimes.

H) Knowledge and understanding of the PPERA regulations; 

I) Formal non-executive scrutiny role at board level; 

J) Understanding of the structure and functions of the Liberal Democrats.

As a member of the Federal Board, I want to have as wide a choice as possible when we decide on this at the end of the month, so please share this far and wide amongst party members because there are bound to be people from all sorts of diverse backgrounds, who would be brilliant in this role.

There is a view that this role requires somebody to be London based so that the incumbent can be in LDHQ at the drop of a hat. It is certainly true that a close involvement with LDHQ is necessary but there must be creative ways of making that work for people who don’t actually live in the capital.

So, if you have the skills, experience, patience and understanding of the party’s federal structure to take this role on, do think about applying by emailing Chris and asking for the form to fill in. Then you have to get two members of the Federal Board to nominate you. This has made me realise just how out of date my biography is, by the way and submit your nomination by 12 noon on Friday 18th May. You will need to be able to attend the Federal Board meeting on Monday 21st.



* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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