Bicycle Network: Board & Governance
Looking after the money
The 2009 - 2010 Budget
The Bicycle Network Victoria Board at the June meeting passed the organisational budget for the 2009 – 2010 year. The coming year sees us with turnover of $11m and 54 staff, the largest budget the organisation has had.
Early in the year the Board approved a budget parameters document. In this document Management presented recommendations and options to the Board. This document was debated and amended by the Board until comfortable with the proposed parameters. The parameters then became the guidelines for Management to prepare the draft budget that came back to the Board. The detailed analysis of the budget sits with the Audit and Risk Committee. The Committee drilled down into a number of areas of the draft budget and recommended a number of changes to the draft.
The 2009/2010 budgeted surplus is $138,000, slightly lower than outlined in the parameters. This reflects our effort to balance keeping doing what we have been doing while recognising that the economic environment is uncertain and could be more negative than it is today.
In our consideration of the budget we had to take the economic context into account. Sponsorship of events and programs is much more difficult, for reasons unrelated to our performance. The interest from and value of our investments is also down. We also took into account some positive circumstances, including the unusual situation of having sold out the tickets for the 2009 Great Victorian Bike Ride. We also have been able to deliver a stronger performance in membership, improving our recruitment and retention and therefore improving the return from membership that can be turned towards our purpose.
The 2009/2010 budget:
• Is framed around a similar staff profile to last year with two new positions. The first is in campaigns and the second is for a Member’s Rights Officer to work in membership to clearly and confidently assert the legal rights of riders for and on behalf of our members.
• Includes the continuation of the behaviour change programs which will continue to at break even.
• Includes a investment in the work of the Bicycle Network.
• Takes account of the changes to the event portfolio with no Escapade and a new event, the Alpine Attack. The Alpine is not expected to make a contribution to surplus in the first year, however, we expect the Alpine Attack to start to contribute in the following financial year.
As a part of the budget process, the Board approved an increase in membership fees. We interrogated management closely about the proposed fee rise to understand why it was being recommended. The key aspect of the increase was a rise in insurance premiums. Based on the evidence provided, the Board passed the proposed increase to all member categories other than Concession members. Concession membership fees will be unchanged.
The budget includes some economies that are appropriate to the economic context including on salaries for senior staff. We are benefiting from our steady investment in event equipment and no big investments are needed in the next financial year. We will begin working on the issues around the end of our lease in Collins Street which concludes in October 2011. We will continue to develop our software and other IT to improve our level of service to riders and members and give ourselves greater capability.