Financial Accountability

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This page is the homepage for the Financial Accuntability Working Group (FAWG). Please fill this in with pertinent information and resources for newcomers. Use the Discussion tab above to start discussions.

Current Financial Accuntability Working Group Members

Shane Aspinall (Facilitation), shaneaspi01[at]

Theresa Earle (Media), theresaoccupyboston[at]

Lisa Goldstein (Media), occupylisa[at]

Matthew Krawitz (IT),   (Credit Union Account Signer)

K. Eric Martin (Logistics), 857-236-2734, occupyeric[at]

Gregory Murphy (Facilitation) 617-413-6472, gsjmurphy[at]    (Credit Union Account Signer - temporary)

Rene Perez (Logistics), occupyrene[at]

Rita Sebastian (Info), rita[at]

Stephanie Skier (Logistics), skier[at]

Current Financial Accuntability Working Group Consultants

Daniel Paradis - tax lawyer

OccupyBoston Internal Revenue Service and Banking Structure

To open a credit union account, OB needed an Employer Identification Number, provided by the IRS. Gregory Murphy obtained an EIN in the name of OccupyBoston. Currently his mailing address is the IRS address. As soon as an OccupyBoston P.O. Box is secured, FAWG will notify the IRS of this change of address.

Note:  Paul Carnes also obtained an EIN in the name of OccupyBoston and has not shared that paperwork or information with FAWG.

Gregory Murphy obtained a Certificate of Business from the City of Boston. That certificate lists Gregory Murphy dba (doing business as) Occupy Boston Financial Accountability Working Group

Note:  Paul Carnes also obtained a Certificate of Business from the City of Boston. That certificate lists Paul Carnes (we think) dba Occupy Boston. Mr. Carnes has not shared that paperwork with FAWG.

On 10/25/11, five members of FAWG assembled at Liberty Bay Credit Union (131 Oliver Street, Boston) to open an account and deposit funds gathered from daily swweps of the monies donated at the camp site. That acount is in the name of Occupy Boston Financial Accountability Working Group. That intital deposit total was $15,819.44. FAWG opened a Savings Account with $10,000 in it and deposited $5819.44 in a Checking Account. Libery Bay donated $5 to the checking account, a standard business practice for them.

Note:  On 10/19/11 (we think) Mr. Carnes also opened an account at Liberty Bay. He has provided FAWG with no documentation, nor the amount of his opening deposit. Our assumption is that he used monies donated at the camp to open this account.

Working Group Meeting Minutes

(Instructions for Uploading Minutes)

Minutes for Monday October 24, 2011 3:15pm to 5:15 pm

(Note - this meeting had many people from other workgroups attending. Total attendance was about 20 people. I did not get a list of names for my notes.)

1. Discussion of Paul Carnes' actions in opening CU account, EIN and DBA but refusing to give any information on these items or control of them back to the workgroup.

Last week Paul obtained a dba (doing business as) and EIN (a group tax id number) for Occupy Boston and opened a bank account as requested by the group. However, both he and Sydney have repeatedly refused to give any copies of these forms or information about them to the workgroup. No other person has been given any access to this bank account - Paul and Sydney are the only signers. There were also other issues of Paul repeatedly not following procedures for cash disbursement and other financial procedures. Paul and Sydney left the meeting at 4:00. After further discussion, the following resolution was proposed and passed unanimously:

"Be it resolved that any actions taken by Paul Carnes are not sanctioned by the Finance Accountability Work Group, including any credit union accounts remaining open, monies spent by him, or any fundraising efforts."

Additionally, both Paul Carnes and Sydney Sherrel were voted out of the Financial Accountability Work Group by unanimous vote.

2. Lawyer Dan Paradis spoke with the group about a number of issues and answered questions people had. Topics included how to establish a DBA now that Paul has already done so but refused to give use of it back to the workgroup. There was also general discussion of some pros and cons of different forms of legal entities.

Without a formal legal structure and organizational liability insurance, people of a responsible character are reluctant to become check signers on a OB bank account. We spoke with Dan about using a trust account at his law firm to store the main part of our funds and have a credit union account with limited cash in it. This will be discussed further on our Wednesday meeting from 3-5.

3. Next steps:

  • Rita Sebastian will get a larger PO Box with a new number.
  • Greg will add this PO Box address to the formal EIN number registration he obtained on Monday (as requested at the last meeting.)
  • This new PO Box will be used as the offical mailing address for any future bank account, dba, or other formal paperwork. This prevents important paperwork being sent to one person's home.
  • FAWG members will attend Tuesday's GA to inform the GA of what has transpired. Current consensus is we will ask the GA to censure Paul if he is not willing to sign a City of Boston form rescinding his DBA for Occupy Boston and close the credit union account he opened.

Next meeting is Wednesday from 3:00 - 5:00. We will have two lawyers attending to help us work through the pros and cons of different possible forms of legal structure.

File:FAWG minutes Oct 19 2011 PM.txt

FAWG_minutes_Oct_14_2011_PM.txt - [task: download and transfer mins from wikispaces and upload here]

FAWG_minutes_Oct_15_2011_AM.txt - [task: download and transfer mins from wikispaces and upload here]

Working Group Forms

Cash Disbursement Request - File:OB Cash Disbursement Form.pdf

Finance Support Logistics


Operation Expenses

On-Going Expenses

  • Item - $xx.xx per (hour|day|month|year|mb|gallon|lb|etc)

GA approved proposals

Below is the text of the proposal that was passed at the GA on 10/15.

The Finance Working Group will oversee the accounting of all monetary donations and monetary disbursements.Specific targeted funds, such as the Legal/Bail fund, are already allocated and do not require any further approval by the General Assembly.

For the general Occupy Boston funds, Working Groups and individual requests for cash disbursements in amounts more than $100 per week must be proposed directly to and approved by the General Assembly. The Finance Working Group has the authority to approve and disburse up to $100 per week to each Working Group.

Each Working Group will determine at least two (2) pointpersons for monetary disbursements and register those names and contact information with the Finance Working Group, in order to ensure accountability and transparency in monetary disbursements. Working groups will fill out cash disbursement request forms and submit them to the Finance Working Group. Part of that process will be to detail the items requested and to check first with Logistics Working Group to make sure that the requested items are not readily available as in-kind donations.

Working Groups must submit receipts for purchased items and any change back to the Finance Working Group.

If a Working Group pointperson does not provide receipts or absconds with the funds, that pointperson will not be allowed to receive further cash disbursements.

Monetary donations made to the Food Working Group stay autonomous with transparency through biweekly reports of money taken in and going out and copies of receipts to the Finance Working Group.

Members of the Finance Working Group will be on site at a specified time each day to accept disbursement forms and to make disbursements. Minutes of the finance Working Group will be posted publicly. The Finance Working Group will make financial records publicly available.


Finance and Social Policy

[This page is for Occupy Boston finance and accounting procedures. For discussions on general finance reform, etc, please look on the Issues link to the left and then look at the specific reforms/issues being discussed. Please keep this page to "internal finance".]

Based on: Finance Working Group at wikispaces