So Now the Wing Plays Banker

Civil Air Patrol

Aggregated by AuxBeacon News Staff

MEMORANDUM FOR ALL CAP REGION AND WING COMMANDERS
FROM: CAP/CC
SUBJECT: Wing Banker Solution

1. Civil Air Patrol, Inc. has never received an “Unqualified” annual audit from its
external audit firm. A “Qualified” audit report shows weaknesses exist and our
Corporation was noted for funds at the unit level that are not audited. The Board of
Governors recommended that Civil Air Patrol obtain an unqualified audit opinion as soon
as possible. The most cost effective way to obtain an unqualified opinion is to audit the
unit funds at the wing level.

2. The Wing Banker Solution (WBS) accomplishes this task by accounting for the funds
and activity of all wing units at the wing level. The WBS was endorsed by the NEC in
May, 2006 and subsequently by the Board of Governors in June. Wings will be phased in
over a three-year period starting in FY07. Region Commanders will determine which
Wings will be included in the first phase of this transition. This process will provide
greater accountability and reporting of CAP appropriated and corporate funds.

3. This policy guidance will be included in the rewrite of our financial regulations in the
upcoming months.

– Maj Gen A.J. Pineda, Commander, CAP


CAP Member Discussion

Some folks I’ve talked to have expressed concerns that WBS will allow Wings to raid hard-won Squadron funds, stealing away money donate or brought in through fundraising.

My Squadron has more cash on hand than any other Squadron in our Wing. So I have some skin in this game… and I really don’t care that, “Wing will now play banker.”

The money was never mine to begin with. Wing could have come in and ordered me to surrender it at anytime… They could remove me from command, or even disbanded the unit anytime they wanted to. But they haven’t. They have no reason to.

So I’m curious to see what sort of new PITA it will be to transact business under the new finance rules? If the Wing has it’s poop in a group on this, it shouldn’t be a problem.

What am I saying?

I have to be just be realistic here… My Wing has never had it’s financial house in order, for as long as I’ve been an officer. It’s been a complete train wreck. To this day… Wing finance is a mess.

One of my guys just got his reimbursement check from our last ICE BOWL FTX this week. Which was held in JANUARY!!! That is a total of 8 months to get his gas money back!

So forgive me if I have some reservations about a higher echelon of the organization, which has consistently proven itself ineffective at managing fiances, to suddenly display an aptitude for finance where there has never been one before. I doubt that my Wing will magically grow a good finance capability out of thin air based on the appearance of said memo.

I expect there to be hiccups… that’s OK. Maybe in a year we’ll all look around and wonder how we ever got along before this.

I’ve heard nebulous claims of, “it will be easier to receive grants,” but that just sounds like wishful thinking to me. (Sort of like hoping that repainted aircraft changes anything.)

Somebody must have done an analysis of what the ROI on this change in policy will be… and I mean a costs vs. reward, no kidding dollar and cents projection of what this gets us…

  • Will our operational budgets go up?
  • Will we get more gear?
  • Will our people have to go out of pocket less to do the missions assigned to us?

I’m not entirely against the concept on this thing, but am weary of it, & very much want to see things concepts better communicated out to the force with goals & timetables to measure results by. I want to see vision & leadership, and it may very well be that those things are in full force or not, but how would you know out where the rubber meets the road?


Example

Let’s see.

Imagine you are in a squadron that has an outside funding source that regularly contributes to unit funds. Imagine you have members whose employers contribute to your unit on behalf of their employees’ efforts in volunteerism.

Now imagine that you’ve purchased a generator for your unit’s use in case of power failure using those locally donated funds.

Okay–now imagine that your wing commander calls and wants the generator brought to wing HQ immediately for use in an exercise, so your commander dutifully puts it in his truck and drives a couple hundred miles to deliver the loaned generator.

Now imagine that when you ask for your generator back, you’re told that “It’s no longer yours…”

Now imagine that your LOCAL funding is sent to wing HQ and you have to BEG for YOUR LOCAL FUNDS to be returned so that you can pay for your light bill, and you’re told “It’s no longer yours….”

Oh, joy. All the hard work putting on YOUR LOCAL FUNDRAISER FOR YOUR LOCAL FUNDS suddenly isn’t fun any more, because YOUR LOCAL FUNDS are nowhere to be found.

And they think they used to have a problem with retention? They’ve not seen anything yet…

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