The IEEE Board of Directors approved the following revisions to IEEE Policies – Section 10 at its 2018 October meeting. These revisions reflect the best practices and current operations of IEEE Meetings, Conferences & Events (MCE), particularly where policy may have fallen out of sync with current practices. Aligning these operations with practice will lay the groundwork to focus on areas of risk rather than administrative rules and start the process for shifting resources to create better support of our control environment.
Updated Practices throughout Section 10
Budgeting Recommendations and Requirements – Policies 10.1.4 and 10.1.6:
- Recommended that all conferences submit a budget in advance of incurring financial liabilities with exceptions granted by the sponsoring OU(s).
- Encourages a financial best practice, but leaves financial sponsors the latitude to make exceptions under certain circumstances.
- Referenced the ability of individual OUs to set earlier deadlines in alignment with their budget cycles.
- Expressly provides Societies and other sponsoring OUs the ability to establish their own guidelines for timing of budgets.
- Changed the requirement for conferences to submit a budget twelve months prior to the start date to a recommendation in Section 10.1.4 and 10.1.6.
- Enables smaller and new-style conferences to submit a budget in a more reasonable timeframe.
- Removed exception for conferences under $25,000.
- Brings policy 10.1.4 into alignment with 10.0.A.
Loan Repayment and Co-sponsor Fund Handling – Policy 10.1.7:
- Provided for conferences to repay their loan at the time of bank account closure rather than one month post-conference.
- Brings policy in line with current practice.
- Provides the ability for sponsoring OUs to establish stricter parameters for loan repayment (i.e., maintaining the 1 month period) as they see fit.
- Limited restrictions on rolling funds forward to IEEE’s portion.
- Clarifies that this policy pertains only to IEEE’s funds, avoids imposing our policies on external co-sponsors.
- Helpful for certain external co-sponsors (i.e., government agencies) who face significant bureaucracy in trying to fund conferences operating accounts.
Audit Readiness and Availability of Documentation – Policy 10.1.10:
- Added requirement for conferences to submit supporting documentation if they are selected by IEEE auditors.
- Ensures that IEEE is able to meet the demands of its external auditors.
- Gives IEEE Operations Audit the right to requisition financial support in the event of suspicion of impropriety at any point in the conference lifecycle.
Conference Closing Timeline – Policy 10.1.11:
- Extended the timeframe for conferences to close from six to twelve months.
- Updates policy to a more realistic requirement given the increased complexity of the business since the policy was originally written.
Contract Review Procedures – Policy 10.1.18:
- Clarified requirements for review of conference contracts to align with the IEEE Financial Operations Manual.
- Mitigates organizer confusion regarding differences between Policy 10.1.18 and FOM Section 8.
- For those who maintain operations manuals or committee charters which reference or quote portions of the Policies, please be sure to update your documents. Changes may have resulted in the need to renumber sections.