RCA AGLC / BINGO UPDATE
The Year-In-Review report contained important information with respect to the status of the AGLC audit. To very briefly summarize, AGLC audited the records of the RCA for 2015 through 2017. This audit initially put forth the prospect of the RCA having to transfer over $141,000 in misspent funds from our general account back to our gaming account. This number included funds which were incorrectly spent from our gaming accounts first under the category of unapproved use of proceeds consisting mainly of ineligible wages and insufficient documentation. And under a second category of unapproved gaming event expenses consisting again mainly of ineligible wages and insufficient documentation. The AGLC’s preliminary findings which were provided in September 2017 resulted in the immediate suspension of the bingo programming, as well as other board and staffing changes.
This was a very stressful time and the Board had to have some serious conversations among itself, as well as with the City and the Federation of Calgary Communities as to how the RCA could work through the audit and keep the hall and association up and running. The Board spent many hours working with a Financial Consultant and bookkeeper in going through and clarifying and properly categorizing expenses, in order to provide a comprehensive and meaningful response to the AGLC. Because of the work done, not just on the financial side (including implementing financial policies and AGLC use of proceeds training), but also everything undertaken on the governance side (including the bingo suspension and board orientation and training), the AGLC has acknowledged that “the association now has a new volunteer elected executive in place and have worked diligently to provide information to the AGLC, increase the internal controls and oversight and bring the association in compliance with AGLC policies and procedures”. This resulted in the AGLC providing the RCA with a one-time 50% reduction to the transfer amount to recognize these efforts and a direction to reimburse $42,795 to the RCA gaming account.
Subsequent to the AGM, the Board received the Notice of Administrative Sanction from the AGLC. The RCA has been fined in total $600 for violations of the Charitable Gaming Policies Handbook and Pull-Ticket Terms & Conditions. This amount is payable directly to the AGLC, in addition to the Direction to Reimburse the sum of $42,795 to the gaming account. The AGLC also imposed the condition on the RCA’s gaming license that neither Linda nor Peter Holt may hold executive board positions with the RCA in the future. The Board made the decision to accept the AGLC findings and move on to the repayment stage and looking forward.
Since bingo was suspended back in September 2017, the Board has had many discussions with respect to the viability of bringing it back as programming the RCA can sustain. It requires considerable hours of volunteer training, time and resources, as well as a dedicated Treasurer to manage the reporting and restrictions placed on the funds. The Board also questioned the financial contribution bingo was providing to the RCA in light of the resources and overhead costs in running the programming and the overall dwindling in community member attendance. A Cost-Revenue Analysis document is available on the website. The Board also had to weigh the dedicated space and time requirements bingo necessitated against the availability of the hall and Board resources to generate more unrestricted funds to comply with the repayment requirements of the audit.
The Board knows that bingo was popular for a dedicated number of community members and that other programming for seniors in Renfrew is woefully lacking; however, after carefully considering all of the information available, the Board has made the majority decision to cancel its bingo license. The Board believes the many resources which would be required to get bingo back up and running, as well as its ongoing upkeep, would be better used in identifying and implementing other opportunities and programming for the community.
The RCA this past year was thrown into a period of change and this Board is excited to make that opportunity positive and use it for growth and revitalization.