New SNP National Treasurer Colin Beattie gave party members a detailed update on the £ 600,000 raised by Yes supporters for a second independence referendum.
His statement was posted on the party’s website under the heading “SNP Accounting and Referendum Funds” as the ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) met yesterday to discuss the matter.
Here is the full statement: “Questions have been raised in recent months about the funds raised in response to independence appeals since 2017 and whether all funds raised will be spent directly on the independence campaign.
“As National Treasurer, I assure you that this will be the case. However, in the explanation that follows, I will also (a) set out the details of the audit and financial reporting rules to which the Party is subject; (b) describe the long-standing internal process within the Party which will ensure that amounts equivalent to the amounts collected will be spent directly in the campaign to gain independence; and (c) explain why this amount is not currently shown as a segregated fund in the Party’s accounts. ”
He added :
“1. The SNP’s accounts are subject to external audit and scrutiny by the electoral commission. Assurance can therefore be taken that the accounts are true and honest, and that they have been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the electoral commission.
2. Funds received as donations are all treated the same. Whether received by card or check or by wire transfer, they are recorded as donations and recorded as such in our books. This includes submitting reports to the Election Commission, where appropriate.
3. For many decades, an internal process has been used whereby whenever a donor expresses a wish that their donation be used for a particular purpose, whether on their own or because they have made a donation. donation in response to a particular call, this is recorded at headquarters and a running total of such expressions of wish is recorded. This includes all the details of the donor and the size of each individual donation.
4. In due course, as money is used for this purpose, the balance of this total is reduced until the obligation is written off.
5. Donations made to independence fundraising were handled in this manner. They are recorded at head office as being linked to these calls and amounts equivalent to the sums collected will be spent for the intended purposes. Of course, the SNP is the Independence Party and as such every penny we spend – directly or indirectly – is in favor of achieving independence. However, through this internal process, we will ensure that an amount equivalent to the money raised through these appeals goes directly to our work to secure a referendum and gain independence.
6. To be clear, by the end of 2020 a total of £ 666,953 had been raised through independence appeals and coded as such through the internal process. These donations are also included in – and have been reconciled – to the total amount of donations included in the Party’s accounts from 2017 to 2020.
Until 31 December 2020, a total of £ 51,760 of expenditure had been charged against this income. The balance remains “reserved” – via the internal process explained above – for campaigns linked to independence. It should be noted that there are other expenses that it would have been perfectly legitimate for us to charge against these revenues but we have chosen not to do so. In other words, we take a very strict approach to ensure that these revenues support expenses directly related to the campaign for independence.
7. SNP is not a registered charity and does not disclose “restricted” and “unrestricted” funds in our annual accounts. Although the Election Commission accounts preparation guidelines indicate that a party “may” identify such reserves in its annual accounts, there is no obligation to do so.
8. Some fear that this system will not lead to the official entry of a separate fund in the annual accounts of the Party. Hence the assertion of some that money does not exist. In fact, the money is ‘earmarked’ through the internal process described above and will be fully deployed through future cash flows with the aim of promoting an independence referendum and campaigns to ensure independence. . All money raised by the Party through multiple revenue sources is managed by the Party’s books and, like other funds, is expensed and paid out as needed through the normal cash flows managed by the Treasury of the Party. Left. While these funds are not separate, their existence in terms of a commitment to what they will be spent on is tangible. The National Treasurer and CEO are responsible for managing cash flow and ensuring that all liabilities are honored when they fall due.
9. In addition to the amount mentioned in paragraph 6 above which has already been charged against income, we plan to allocate a large part of the remainder to referendum / independence preparations this year. There may be a need for another fundraising exercise in early 2022 as we approach critical political turning points.
10. The concern expressed is that this is not spelled out as clearly and transparently as it could have been, hence the inclusion of this statement in the annual review and the National Treasurer and CEO are in discussion with the external auditors as to how this transparency can be achieved and improved in the years to come. ”