JERUSALEM – On Thursday, July 26, 2018, the Latin Patriarchate in coordination with Deloitte Consulting held a workshop to launch the restructuring of its financial and administrative structures. 28 people attended the workshop, mostly Latin Patriarchate religious and lay leadership, including all staff who will be responsible for the implementation of the standard operating procedure.
Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate, who joined via Skype from Italy, made the introductory remarks followed by Mr. Sami El-Yousef, Chief Executive Officer of the Patriarchate and who is charged with leading the restructuring, as well as a representative from Deloitte Consulting. In attendance were also representatives from Deloitte Italy who were responsible for the engagement.
Three Patriarchal Vicars were present at the workshop: Bishop Boulos Marcuzzo, Patriarchal Vicar for Jerusalem and Palestine; Bishop William Shomali, Patriarchal Vicar for Jordan and Fr. Kildani, Patriarchal Vicar for Israel in addition to representatives from the Jordan finance office, Beit Jala Seminary, and the Schools administrations in Palestine, Israel and Jordan.
Two main workshops then followed; the first concentrated on the process of administrative change in institutions as well as introducing the new organizational structure of the General Administration, the new job descriptions and the new policy for bank authorizations. The second workshop dealt with the new standard operating procedures that were developed in six different areas including: Treasury; Financial Reporting; Endowments; Human Resources and Payroll; Fundraising; and Capital Expenditures; that will be the guiding principles of the administrative and financial work of the Latin Patriarchate into the future. These procedures clarify the relationship between the various offices and introduces the principles of internal controls and segregation of duties.
It is important to point out that a number of steps have been initiated already including implementing the new bank authorization policy as well as the separation of the payroll function. Additional steps will follow in the coming weeks and months leading to the full implementation of the new structure and procedures. As the workshop was an important milestone, everyone in attendance acknowledged that the more challenging part is with the full implementation and the hoped-for change of culture in order to realize the full benefits of the new structure. There was certainly a lot of enthusiasm by all attendees about this process of change that will move the Patriarchate into more professional standards, while keeping in mind that employees are all working in a church setting with the importance of keeping the value set at the heart of the delivery of services.