Structure, governance and management
The Trustee Board
Citizens Advice is governed by the Trustee Board which:
- sets the policy of the charity
- determines corporate strategy, including setting key strategic objectives
- makes major decisions about the use of finances
- sets a framework for human resources policy.
The membership of the Trustee Board as at year ended 31 March 2008 is set out below. The trustees are also known as directors of Citizens Advice for the purposes of Company Law.
|Name/Role||Elected/appointed by||Date elected||Date resigned|
|The Revd. Hilary Watkins MBE - Chair ||AGM||29.09.04|
|Gordon Pankhurst - Deputy Chair ||Wales bureaux||16.02.05|
|Gerald Broadbent*||North west bureaux ||31.03.08|
|Andrew Brown *||AGM||29.09.04||26.09.07|
|Joyce Catterick*** ||North bureaux ||15.05.02|
|Ann Chant CB ||Co-opted||12.10.05||31.12.07|
|Jan David* ||South east bureaux ||01.04.04||26.09.07|
|Gillian Dawson ||South west bureaux ||01.01.07|
|John Devine OBE ||NIACAB ||16.11.04|
|Chris Hailey Norris***||EOC** ||07.12.06|
|Beverley Higgs ||AGM ||26.09.07|
|Craig Lane||EOC** ||26.09.07|
|Belinda Leathes*** ||London bureaux ||30.11.05|
|David Livesey*||East bureaux||03.05.05|
|Jane Mordue* ||South east bureaux ||26.09.07|
|Martin Mosley ||Co-opted ||11.10.06|
|Stephen Potts*** ||Midlands bureaux ||07.06.07|
|Simi Ryatt ||AGM ||26.09.07|
|Jon Taylor ||North bureaux||27.09.06||13.11.07|
|Jonathan Tross CB*** Honorary Treasurer ||AGM||06.04.05|
|* Member of Membership and Standards Committee|
*** Member of Performance Review and Audit Committee (PRAC)
|** Equal Opportunities Committee|
A register of interests is maintained detailing any significant interests of trustees. This is open to the public and is held at the registered office. A copy is available by writing to the Company Secretary at the registered office address shown in the administrative details of this report (see page 19). No trustee received any remuneration for his or her services as trustee during the year.
Recruiting and training trustees
Trustees are recruited in line with the terms laid out in the Articles of Association and the agreed election rules. A term of office is three years and trustees may stand for two terms.
Four trustees are elected by member bureaux at the Annual General Meeting. These are: the Chair, and Treasurer (unpaid) and two trustees who receive payment for their work in a Citizens Advice Bureau. Member bureaux elect one trustee from each of the seven regions and Wales.
The Board of the Northern Ireland Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux (NIACAB) appoints one trustee, and the Citizens Advice Equal Opportunities Committee appoints two trustees. In addition, two further trustees can be co-opted by the Trustee Board. All trustees are independent from management.
Citizens Advice runs an induction day for all new trustees, and our intranet site, CABlink, contains designated pages with information to support trustees in their roles, including a trustee handbook.
Responsibilities of trustees and the chief executive officer
The trustees and chief executive (as chief accounting officer) are required by law to prepare annual financial statements that give a true and fair view of Citizens Advice and of the surplus or deficit of funds for that period. In preparing those financial statements, the trustees and chief executive are required to:
- select appropriate accounting policies and apply them consistently
- make judgements and estimates that are reasonable and prudent
- state whether applicable accounting standards have been followed, and explain where they haven’t been followed
- use a going concern basis to reporting unless it is inappropriate to presume the charitable company will continue.
The trustees and chief executive are also responsible for:
- keeping proper accounting records which disclose the financial position of Citizens Advice and enable them to ensure that the financial statements comply with the Companies Act 1985
- taking such steps to safeguard the assets of the charitable company and to prevent and detect fraud and other irregularities
- ensuring the regularity and propriety of the public finances, as set out in the Financial Memorandum
- the maintenance and integrity of the corporate and financial information included on the charity’s website. Legislation in the United Kingdom governing the preparation and dissemination of financial statements may differ from legislation in other jurisdictions.
Each trustee confirms that:
a) in so far as the trustee is aware, there is no relevant audit information of which Citizens Advice’s auditors are unaware
b) the trustee has taken all the steps that he/she ought to have taken as a trustee in order to make himself/herself aware of any relevant audit information and to establish that Citizens Advice’s auditors are aware of that information.
Organisational structure and decision-making
Responsibility for day-to-day management matters and the implementation of policy is delegated to the chief executive, within a clearly understood framework of strategic control. The chief executive is supported by the Executive Board, which consists of Citizens Advice executive directors as set out over the page.
|David Harker||Chief Executive|
|Shani Fancett||Director of Membership Services|
|Keith Gilbey||Director of Strategic Development |
|John Humpston||Director of Corporate Services|
|Teresa Perchard||Director of Public Policy|
A divisional restructuring was announced in March 2007. As a result of this, five directors left the board:
|Director/ division ||Date departed|
|Simon Bottery - Director of Communications||06.12.07|
|John Humphreys - Director of Human Resources||22 07 08|
|Margaret Sandford - Director of Network||29.06.07|
|Judy Walker - Director of Advice||01.11.07|
|Stephen Williams - Director of Finance and Company Secretary||20.12.07|
Member bureaux also take part in the policymaking activity of the charity by passing resolutions at the AGM, which inform the work of the Trustee Board. The Board meets at least six times a year.
The Trustee Board can delegate responsibility for specified matters to the following committees: Membership and Standards Committee (which has responsibility for the membership to the Association of bureaux and seeks to uphold standards of the Association), the Equal Opportunities Committee (which maintains an overview of equality and diversity issues) and the Performance Review and Audit Committee (which monitors the financial and non-financial performance of Citizens Advice).
Decisions taken by individual members or committees of the Trustee Board under delegated powers are recorded in written minutes available to the Trustee Board as a whole.
Non-confidential Trustee Board papers, including agendas and minutes are available to all employees. Regular meetings are held between management and the union, and the union and its members to discuss Citizens Advice activities. Citizens Advice pays the costs of staff travelling to union meetings. An employee satisfaction survey is conducted annually and the results are used to influence management decisions in the future.
Citizens Advice recognises the positive value of diversity, promotes equality and challenges discrimination. The service-wide Fair Accessible Inclusive Relevant (FAIR) strategy 2004-2008 sets out how we intend to become a first point of contact for those experiencing discrimination. As such, Citizens Advice meets all of its legal responsibilities and welcomes employees from all parts of the community, particularly under-represented groups.
Citizens Advice has an Equality and Diversity policy in place, and is working towards achieving the positive about disabled people disability symbol. It ensures the full and fair consideration and treatment of all staff, including disabled persons, during their recruitment, training and career development with due regard to their personal attributes and abilities.
We had aimed to achieve this by 31 March 2008 but it is now likely to be in place by September 2008.
Risk management and internal controls
Systems and procedures have been established to identify, monitor and manage the risks that Citizens Advice faces. Trustees and executive directors periodically review and update risks and mitigating actions.
Citizens Advice’s operations expose the charity to a variety of financial risks. However, as it is a debt free organisation with a positive cash-flow, the impact of interest rate changes, debt market prices and liquidity are extremely low. Citizens Advice has no exposure to equity securities. It holds no significant investments. Other price risks are not considered to be significant to Citizens Advice due to the nature of its activities.
The majority of our customers are member bureaux and as a consequence payment defaults are uncommon. Citizens Advice considers that the benefits of doing credit checks on other potential customers are out-weighed by the cost of the checks. Customers are granted 30 days credit, and subscriptions are cancelled on non-payment and a solicitor is contacted to recover any debt owed.
Citizens Advice receives the majority of funds in advance, and therefore debts can be met as they fall due. The surplus cash is invested for set periods of time to ensure certainty of future interest cash flows.
The Statement of internal control included within this document (see page 22) sets out the risk and control framework.
Responsibility towards the environment
Citizens Advice aims to minimise its impact on the environment. We have improved our system of paper recycling and encourage electronic communication where possible. We are promoting a more sustainable working environment and have developed an environmental policy that went live on 1 April 2008.
Our legal status
Citizens Advice is a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee. All member bureaux are members of Citizens Advice, and there are no other members. The maximum liability of each member is limited to £1. Citizens Advice is governed by its Memorandum and Articles of Association as amended in October 2000.
The registered name of the charity is The National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux, and from 6 January 2003 the charity has used the operating name of Citizens Advice (previously it was referred to as NACAB). Citizens Advice was incorporated as a company limited by guarantee on 13 July 1979.
Citizens Advice commenced operations on 1 October 1979 at which date the assets and liabilities of the unincorporated National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux were acquired as represented by the CAB General Fund (see note 17).
On 1 April 1991, the undertaking of the Greater London Citizens Advice Bureau Service (GLCABS), together with its assets and liabilities, was transferred to Citizens Advice and is represented in the London Region Reserves (see note 17).
The charity has a trading subsidiary, Citizens Advice Limited (formerly Advice Services Information Limited). Consolidated accounts have not been prepared as the balances of the company are not material to Citizens Advice.
Our administrative details
Company number: 1436945
Registered charity number: 279057
- 115 –123 Pentonville Road
London N1 9LZ
- Baker Tilly UK Audit LLP
1st Floor, 46 Clarendon Road
Hertfordshire WD17 1JJ
- BDO Stoy Hayward LLP
Emerald House, East Street
Epsom, Surrey KT17 1HS
- Barclays Bank PLC
1 Churchill Place
London E14 5HP
- Bates, Wells and Braithwaite
2–6 Cannon Street
London EC4M 6YH
- Vizards Tweedie
42 Bedford Row
London WC1R 4JL
- Davies Arnold Cooper
6–8 Bouverie Street
London EC4Y 8DD
- Dickinson Dees
Newcastle upon Tyne NE991SB
Pension scheme actuary:
Jardine Lloyd Thompson Benefit Solutions
251 High Street,
Orpington, Kent BR6 0NT
Connected charities and other related parties
The following charities are connected to Citizens Advice by way of common objectives and unity of administration:
- The Citizens Advice Bureaux Trust is a dormant entity.
- 'The Adviser' is a separate registered charity with two directors in common and the same registered address as Citizens Advice. 'The Adviser' is dormant and not consolidated in Citizens Advice accounts on the grounds that it is not material.
- The Friends of Citizens Advice Bureaux Trust is a separate registered charity at the same registered office as Citizens Advice. With effect from 5 July 2005 the operations of the trust ceased.
- Citizens Advice Limited is a trading company that administers sponsorship arrangements on behalf of Citizens Advice.
During the year Citizens Advice has acted as an intermediary between Newham Council and East End Citizens Advice Bureau, whereby Citizens Advice has made cash advances pending receipt of local authority grants. These funds are held on a short term basis and are separately accounted for within Citizens Advice’s accounting records.
All material transactions between Citizens Advice and its connected charities are detailed in note 23 of the accounts.