GET TO KNOW GORIZIA: CORONINI (2) A FOUNDATION OF 87 MILLIONS

25/10/2019

We have described the Coronini Foundation and its activities: a great, immense heritage of Gorizia. Since we think that it belongs primarily to the citizens, we respectfully knock on the door of what was once the home of Count Guglielmo, asking from what exceptional event derives the increase in net assets of 72.8 million euros in a year, from 2017 to 2018 (!). 

This is wonderful news, at least for us: we feel richer. Is it a donation, an inheritance, a mail that had not previously been budgeted for bureaucratic, legal or other reasons? It is an important figure and we believe it is right that Gorizia should be aware of variations in the balance sheet of such an important cultural and patrimonial institution. Reading the balance sheet of the Coronini Foundation, we can see that the net assets held by the Foundation amount to a good 78.6 million euros. However, the patrimonial situation registers a huge question mark. Between 2017 and last year's financial year (2018), the assets (i.e. the assets available to the Foundation) increased from 14.1 million to 86.9 million in the last financial year, a huge change considering that in previous years the change in assets was minimal. This very important variation has been catalogued under the item "unavailable tangible fixed assets", i.e., according to Italian Civil Law, those "public assets that are intended for public service and the achievement of public purposes. Unavailable assets are not public assets but are owned by public bodies". In practice, they are assets that the Foundation must treat as if they were not its own, managing them in the best possible way, with a view to a public utility. What this very important property, that the Foundation (or rather Gorizia and its residents) has obtained, is unfortunately not given to us. However, a hypothesis has been made, since just in 2017, approval was given for the restoration (not without controversy - given the assignment of the project works to ATER in Udine and not in Gorizia) of the beautiful Villa Louise", whose regional funding amounts to 5 million euros. Besides, between 2017 and 2018 various credits have increased from almost zero to over 4 million euros, while cash and cash equivalents remain always around 3 million euros (so there is always a lot of money in the bank and/or post - certainly not the best way to invest the money, given the interest rates virtually zero). We hope that in the future, this information will become even more accessible to the community since it is something public by the express will of Count Coronini-Cronberg. 

Let's continue: this non-profit organization, according to the final balance sheet 2018, recorded income for 537 thousand euros. Among them, the commercial part - that is, income from ticket sales, renting out premises, etc., etc., only marks 60 thousand euros or one-fifth of the total. However, this figure is increasing over the years, even though minimal. Everything else is guaranteed in another way and recorded as "revenues and income onlus" and "extraordinary income, certainly public. Also, in the same year, there are also 536 thousand euros of management costs, leaving to the Foundation, and consequently to the community, something like 1,419 euros of profit. It must be said, making more in-depth time analysis, that profits vary substantially from year to year. Practically, the surplus for the year was more than 6,000 euros in 2017, reaching "only" 1,400€ last year. This phenomenon is substantially due to the significant change in revenues and economic costs that this non-profit organization records every year. Practically, it goes from 454 (in 2013) to 410 (in 2014), rising to 549 (2015), then back to 390 (2016), rising sharply to 706 (2017) and then to 537 thousand euros in the last available year (2018). Naturally, revenues were essentially "followed" by operating costs. The variable nature of the Foundation's revenues is motivated by the change in public funding (municipal, regional and ministerial), which from year to year guarantees a different amount of money. In our opinion, all this can only make management more burdensome, since the continuity and predictability of its revenues is one of the key principles of good administrative management.

But this is another story, which we will also address by x-raying the other institutions in Gorizia. According to the budget reports of the last years, the costs that have registered a greater variation over the years are the costs related to "maintenance", "non-dependent work" and "costs for different cultural activities". The remaining items, on the other hand, have not fluctuated significantly over the years. We should point out that, while the costs for maintenance are well understandable, given the vastness of the heritage, the remaining two are: "expenses for the services of non-employee staff" and "different cultural activities".



Martin Novak - Gorizia3.0