Two important conditions made the economic basis for the ACTA Foundation. First, all the editorial work done in order to publish Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica (AAS) has been literally unpaid since the start of ACTA in 1957. Second, the agreement was made in 1971 between the Nordisk Anaesthesiologisk Förening (NAF) and Munksgaard International Publishers Ltd. where Munksgaard took on the responsibility for printing and distribution of the Journal. In order to secure the economic basis for the publication of AAS, a foundation based on Danish legislation was established in 1995. Since the year 2001, Munksgaard has merged with Blackwell and later with Wiley and the Foundation has still an agreement with Wiley. These two conditions resulted in a yearly surplus from publishing AAS, which was invested in Danish bonds resulting in yearly interest as well as increased capital. In 2018, the publishing model was changed to a royalty model, allowing a decrease in subscription costs to AAS for the SSAI members. However, this also implied a decrease in the revenue of publishing, and currently, the publishing income is used to cover the running costs of the editorial board and ACTA Foundation administration. During the years publishing income and investment of surplus in bonds and stock funds have yielded surpluses, which are used in accordance with the Charter of the ACTA Foundation. Hence, the ACTA Foundation has a sound economy, but handing out grants is dependent on accrued interest on the capital.
The objectives of the ACTA Foundation are to promote the scientific development of anaesthesiology in the Scandinavian countries, to support collaboration among Scandinavian anaesthesiologists, and to publish AAS. The Charter of the Foundation was signed in Reykjavik 15th of June, 1995 (“Charter of the Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica Foundation”), and NAF entrusted the publication of AAS to the ACTA Foundation, an article unchanged by the reorganization of NAF to create the Scandinavian Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine (SSAI). From 2016 on, specifications of the Charter are continuously specified in the Operating procedures of the Acta Foundation. The governing body of the ACTA Foundation is a board of directors consisting of seven members. The Editor-in-chief of AAS and the secretary general are standing members and the remaining five must be elected from and by the board of SSAI as national representatives (i.e. one from each of the five Nordic countries).
ACTA Foundation and SSAI
The ACTA Foundation is economically totally separated from the finances of SSAI. The ACTA Foundation runs a budget of its own and follows Danish legislation, including taxation as well as a yearly audit of the annual accounts by a public accountant. Any changes to the ACTA Foundation must be approved by the Danish Commerce and Companies Agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry. The evolution of NAF into SSAI made no changes in the composition of the governing body.
The main goal of the ACTA Foundation is to create the financial basis for the continuous publication of AAS. This means that the capital interest primarily shall be used for editorial expenses and only secondly for support of the other objects in the Foundation charter if there is a surplus after complying with the primary goal. During the years, the ACTA Foundation grants have allocated resources to various purposes such as congress publications, and educational activities as well as to promote the scientific development of anaesthesiology in the Nordic countries. Due to a reduced interest rate and increases in editorial expenses the surplus of the ACTA Foundation is expected to decline in the coming years, thus diminishing the potential for the continued support of the secondary objects mentioned in the Foundation charter.
Documents include Annual Reports starting from 2017 including the Statutory report on foundation governance, cf. section 77a of the Danish Financial Statements Act (Danish: lovpligtig redegørelse for god fondsledelse), List of donations, Presentations on SSAI General Assemblies, historic versions of the Charter, and Operating Procedures of the Acta Foundation.