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IUCr 1993 16th General Assembly - Budget estimates for period to Seventeenth General Assembly: determination of unit contribution

These budget estimates had been distributed with the Agenda papers and are reprinted as Annex I, Appendix J.

R. DIAMOND, the Convener of the Finance Committee, presented a diagram summarizing the income and expenditure of the IUCr. He pointed out that the income from the subscriptions of members was disproportionately small compared with the other sources of income. The tax status of the IUCr in some countries was based on the IUCr being substantially supported by members' contributions and this was the only source of income over which direct control was with the IUCr. The contribution should be made more realistic and appropriate to the scale of the IUCr's operations.

The General Assembly accepted the budget estimates and approved by a large majority (only three delegates from Canada voted against and there were no abstentions) the recommendation that the unit contribution, which had remained at SwFr890 since 1981, be increased to SwFr 1000 for the years 1994, 1995 and 1996.

The President took the opportunity to explain that the Finance Committee had been established in 1981 as a result of the poor state of the IUCr's finances at that time. He noted that the Finance Committee consisted of the President, the General Secretary and Treasurer, two members from the country in which the IUCr had its office (i.e. the UK) and the Chairman of the Commission on Journals. If possible, one of the two UK members should be a member of the Executive Committee. There had been two Conveners - the first was M. M. Woolfson and the second was R. Diamond, who was now finishing his term after nine years. The Convener was a member of the Executive Committee as this was the only way that a suitable liaison could be established. The President asked Dr Diamond to sum up the role played by the Finance Committee since 1981.

R. DIAMOND reported that in 1981 the financial state of the IUCr was in a perilous situation and the first Finance Committee had taken three important steps: (1) the prices for the IUCr's publications were changed to the currency of production, (2) the printing was tendered, and (3) large price rises were imposed on the publications. These three actions turned Acta Crystallographica into a large profit-maker and meant that there was then no need to increase the price of Acta Crystallographica again until 1990. This period provided the main source of the IUCr's wealth and made possible all the good work of the IUCr. The members of this first Finance Committee were J. Karle, K. V. J. Kurki-Suonio, D. W. J. Cruickshank, M. M. Woolfson and S. C. Abrahams. Together with the late J. N. King they deserved the warm thanks of the IUCr.

Dr Diamond went on to explain why it was important for the Convener to be someone who lived in the UK (the country where the IUCr had its office). The IUCr had a major responsibility as an employer and the Convener needed to be actively involved with taxation, pension schemes and permanent disability schemes. All of these aspects were complex and the Convener needed ready access to the Chester office and familiarity with UK rules and regulations. These special responsibilities made a UK Convener essential.

Dr Diamond was thanked with acclamation for his tremendous work over the past nine years.

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