Fiscal Responsibility In The CSEG
When you do an internet search on Fiscal Responsibility the following definitions can be found and it is usually associated with government:
- Balanced budget – a budget is balanced when current expenditures are equal to receipts.
- It means keeping the debt at a sustainable level in relation to the size of the economic conditions.
- One school of thought indicates it’s not about deficits and debt, it’s about outcomes. It means doing what it takes to sustain leadership.
All of this is what the CSEG Executives are working on to maintain technical/professional society leadership for our members, our industry and beyond.
We all know that when we aren’t financially responsible with our own personal budgets that trouble is ahead. No government, business, professional society, non-profit or private citizen can thrive for long while operating with a deficit. Debt can usually be tolerated for a while, but sooner or later it always catches up. Financial transparency is a constructive method to make intelligent decisions based on the budget including budget shortfalls. A useful method is to implement some sort of financial transparency, which can reduce waste and highlight areas of financial inefficiency. The law of causality work in science and in all other aspects of life. We are working to improve future effects with intelligent, thoughtful and relevant causes we make now.
The CSEG Executive has made and is making some hard budgetary decisions due to the economic downturn here in the Calgary market. The shortfall of our largest revenue generator, GeoConvention, as well as reduced corporate sponsorship, a shortfall of RECORDER advertisers and a loss of active membership due to layoffs has resulted in the CSEG making some cuts that we can only hope are temporary. If you are affected by the large amount of severed geoscientists then you know personally how difficult but necessary these cuts can be.
So what is the CSEG doing? The CSEG had to make the hard decision not to forward the annual financial donation to support the CSEG Foundation for the 2015 year due to the GeoConvention shortfall. The CSEG staff has taken a cut in pay. We have cut all CSEG Executive meeting lunches to save money for the lunchtime meetings. To say the least, there are a few PB&J sandwiches on the table while we work hard to continue to deliver on the technical content and relevancy to the CSEG members. The CSEG Foundation has also followed suit on reducing expense while cutting out meeting lunches. It is also fair to say that a portion of the Executive and the Foundation Board are personally affected by layoffs and lack of work. The Foundation has stepped up to supply a Special Projects budget for unemployed CSEG members to enroll in DoodleTrain courses at a reduced rate to maintain professional development. This led to a gracious donation by Sigma Exploration to be used by unemployed members to subsidize CSEG Technical Luncheon tickets. The CSEG Executive have greatly reduced the Executive travel budget and have scheduled CSEG Luncheons for 2016 at the Calgary Petroleum Club for a reduced member ticket price. The CSEG Past Presidents Luncheon budget has also been reduced to capitalize on the wealth of experience and insight of our Past Presidents while cutting costs. There are more great ideas coming soon that are in various stages of planning and implementation.
The CSEG Executives are working with the Executives of the CSPG and CWLS to engage with the Alberta Premier and the Minister of Energy to bring about awareness of the technical expertise of our geoscience membership, how we add value and how we can advise and educate in addition to what the joint societies are doing for our community, such as Earth Science for Society.
I personally have been working on an Executive sub-committee to address and update bylaw changes that will help us to continue to evolve. This effort is not always seen as exciting work but necessary for our future. Stay tuned for a message on the bylaw changes in the coming months to have your voice heard.
The CSEG relies on all creative and innovative ideas from our membership to keep coming. The CSEG has the best group of volunteers hands down of all of the professional societies I’ve experienced. So if you have more ideas, please do not hesitate to bring your constructive ideas forward. We are listening. We invite you and all industry companies to get involved to make an even better CSEG geophysical society. What creative and innovative ideas do you have to offer?