Money & Mission
Volume VI, Issue 14 - April 20, 2016
Editorial - Causes for Thanksgiving
Those of us with financial responsibilities may sometimes take for granted how fortunate we are to work in Canada or Bermuda - countries in which there is respect for the rule of law, where corruption is rare and our financial institutions are sound. I am sure that many of our counterparts who serve the Army in certain other countries wish that they operated in an environment like ours.
Despite having these very significant advantages, we sometimes get discouraged about the state of the world: the news we receive on TV and in the press is often disheartening – especially international news. Long-drawn-out wars, floods of desperate refugees, endemic poverty, and scary new diseases certainly do not cheer us; indeed the media seem to be more interested in depressing us than presenting a more balanced picture. It was therefore uplifting to read in the January-February 2016 issue of The Officer an article by Lieut. Colonel Eirwen Pallant, in which she listed six “huge advances” that have been made in the last 15 years:
Globally, the number of people living in extreme poverty has declined by more than half.
The number of out-of-school children at primary school age worldwide has fallen by more than half.
The global under-five mortality rate has declined by more than half.
Since 1990, the maternal mortality ratio has declined by 45% worldwide, and most of the reduction has occurred since 2000.
New HIV infections fell by approximately 40%.
The global malaria incidence rate has fallen by an estimated 37% and the mortality rate by 58%.
There is indeed a great deal for which we can be thankful.
Computing Safety Tips
The internet is one of the great tools available to us today. It allows us to communicate, to exchange ideas and information and to access goods and services, to name just a few benefits. However, it has also allowed various unlawful or unethical activities to harm unsuspecting victims. By following three basic guidelines, we can protect Salvation Army resources and minimize potential problems.
There is no free lunch: The internet is not free. Service/Software providers rely on advertising revenue or some less evident ways to generate revenue. Pay extra attention to the terms and conditions when installing “free” software in the office. Always consult the IT department if you are not sure what should or should not be installed. You might be installing unwanted software, or allowing your information to be collected.
Trust no one (almost no one!): We receive e-mails and text messages on our computers, tablets and smartphones every day. It is obvious that some messages are not legitimate; however, some may appear to have come from a colleague, family member or friend. If you are not certain that the message is legitimate, do not click on a link, open an attachment, or respond to a request for information. Messages apparently from a trusted source could in fact be from a compromised e-mail account with inappropriate links or documents. If the message appears to be work-related, check with a colleague to see if they received the same message. If the message came from a family member or friend, confirm the content with a phone call or separate e-mail. The most common e-mail scams are banking/account password or personal information requests, lottery winnings or business opportunities.
Ask questions: When in doubt, ask someone. The internet is evolving ALL THE TIME. A website could be functioning perfectly one second but hijacked the next. If a message doesn’t look right, or you don’t feel comfortable responding, stop and ask the question.
The above three guidelines are generally applicable to your home computer too. However, be especially wary about calls at home that purport to be from “Windows” or “Microsoft”, which assert that, because a virus has been detected on your computer, you should give the caller your password so that he (it is usually a “he”) can take corrective action. With your password the caller can change it, and then refuse to give you the new one unless you pay a specified amount – often $149 or $199. Never provide your password to someone you do not know!
Embracing Salvation Army Policy
By Lieut.-Colonel Neil Watt
“There are strong voices calling for greater accountability from all around the world.” (General André Cox – January 2016)
Much of my Salvation Army working life has been directly involved in developing Army policy. No doubt, some would see this as exciting as watching paint dry! However, this was not my experience. I see policy as speaking directly into the life and mission of who we are and what we do. Policy is crucial for many reasons, perhaps the most important being that we are publicly funded - by donors, governments, corporations and others.
If accountability is a priority, then policies are necessary for our credibility and integrity. Our stakeholders need to know that they can trust us, that we have standards and limits endorsed by the organization for us to follow.
Good governance requires attention to relevant policy and its development ensuring that accountability measures are in place. Writing on the history of the Army, Robert Sandall said, “From its earliest days The Salvation Army has seen orders and regulations (O&R) as necessary…what is done must be done in some particular fashion.”
In the year 2000, Commissioner Susan McMillan, then the Secretary for Business Administration, led a Task Force on streamlining our policy development. The resulting recommendations were accepted and are still in place.
This is what I have learned about policy:
Without International Orders & Regulations and our Territorial Operating Policies, there would be confusion at best, and chaos at worst
Policy provides the course of action that the Army wants to achieve and that we need to follow
Policy provides support and protection for us as we exercise our authority
Policy may be seen as the enemy but, actually, provides the tools for advancing the mission
Policies are always developed in the best interest of all concerned
Policies are crucial for ensuring credibility with our supporters
Our policies are rich with information which will provide immeasurable help in fulfilling our organizational responsibilities.
I could go on, but here is what I think is critical - embrace the policies and they will empower rather than constrain you.
The General’s Call to Accountability will ask us to consider many questions, including: ”Are the Army’s policies accessible and implemented appropriately?” Our Territory is well positioned to respond strongly in the affirmative.
Money & Mission Editorial Team
Design Editor & Production Manager:
The Salvation Army Translation Department