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Council endorses balanced budget

The College Council has approved a 2004 budget that manages program pressures while maintaining its annual membership fee at $139.

The approved budget provides for operating revenues and expenses of $30,402,000, capital and deferred charges of $1,475,000 and is based on a status-quo membership base of 190,000.

The members' fee established in 2003 was part of a three-year plan that anticipated a surplus in 2003, a balanced budget for 2004 and a projected budget deficit for 2005.

"This budget is a testament to the promise made last year to fix member fees," says College Registrar Doug Wilson. "Stability enables the College to proceed according to plan."

Wilson says the fiscal plan for 2004 is "realistic but challenging."

Implementation of a full accreditation program and the Professional Learning Program (PLP), along with the review of the professional standards, are among the program pressures facing the College this year. Council endorsed a new, one-time expenditure of $100,000 for the standards review and new spending of $75,000 towards accreditation work.

The dispute resolution process helps the College to manage the increasing number of disciplinary cases while light adjustments to other budget lines will support complaint intake and hearings work, which are expected to grow.

More print materials are required to ensure that members, stakeholders and the public have information about College functions and services. These include standard annual publications such as registration guides, the annual report and member handbook and brochures to meet requests for information on discipline, the PLP, accreditation and the standards.

The finance committee conducted a line-by-line review of the budget and provided a recommended budget to Council in September following briefings on major issues and consultation with committee chairs. Extensive pre-budget planning allows College management to address organization and member needs and present options to Council.

"This work is difficult because it involves so many uncertainties and requires building consensus around a list of key issues that will require resources over the next three years," Wilson told Council. "I am pleased to report that we were successful in balancing the budget and in doing so meeting the goals established as part of our three-year budget plan."

The finance committee was guided by financial objectives set by the College in 1997 to:

  • fund services appropriately - to meet legislative requirements and provide good customer service while adhering to principles of economy, efficiency and effectiveness
  • set reasonable fees - to keep membership dues to the lowest possible levels and establish fees for special services based on full cost recovery wherever possible
  • accumulate financial resources - to ensure stability and independence.