The budget cuts are necessary because the economic downturn has undercut the value of OGA’s investment reserves, said Gradye Parsons, stated clerk for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
The Committee on the Office of the General Assembly discussed the budget situation in closed session – and apparently voted to revise the 2009 budget in closed session as well. After that session, Parsons provided some details in an interview, while making it clear that the 2010 budget is still being worked on.
OGA earlier had announced that it will seek some voluntary separations from employees, but hasn’t released any information on how many voluntary resignations will be sought, how much money they would save, or what will happen if enough volunteers don’t step forward.
The OGA is responsible for such activities as ecumenical relations for the PC(USA), putting on the General Assembly every-other-year, and providing constitutional services for the church.
Financial documents presented for the committee’s meeting state that expenditures from the per capita budget exceeded revenues by $641,476 in 2008. OGA had anticipated drawing $335,296 from reserves – but ended up taking more than $1.72 million.
That figure includes an extra $306,180 taken from reserves, needed because of additional costs incurred the 2008 General Assembly in San Jose and the accounting of two years’ worth of uncollectable per capita in 2008, according to the financial report. And “the unrealized loss on the value of investments held for the period 2008 was about $1,088,000,” the report states.