Report by the Director of Finance.
This is the second annual report to those charged with governance on the Council’s compliance with the FM Code and follows an initial assessment for 2020/21 that was considered by Audit & Governance Committee in January 2021.
The report sets out the outcome of the compliance self-assessment undertaken for 2021/22 which has found that the Council is well placed to meet the requirements of the FM Code.
The Audit & Governance Committee is RECOMMENDED to endorse the assessment of compliance against the Financial Management Code for 2021/22 (Annex 1)
The Audit & Governance Committee was RECOMMENDED to endorse the assessment of compliance against the Financial Management Code for 2021/22 (Annex 1).
The Committee considered a report of the Director of Finance recommending that the Committee endorse the Assessment of Compliance against the Financial Management Code for 2021/22.
The report was presented by Lorna Baxter, Director of Finance.
In the subsequent discussion, the following points were raised in relation to Annex 1 “Financial Management Code of Practice – Summary Compliance Assessment 2021/22”
(a) Reference: 1. CIPFA Financial Management Standards
1A: There was no formal requirement to report to Cabinet and/or Council regarding Value for Money (VfM).
Services used benchmarking to inform opportunities to improve VfM and it was proposed that processes be put in place to improve the benchmarking system.
(b) Reference: 5. Stakeholder Engagement and Business Plans
5L: This was a new priority for the Council, and it was proposed that feedback from Engagement & Consultation would be used to inform the development of the Council’s Strategic Plan.
(c) Each of the following references stated it was proposed further to develop the Business Management & Monitoring Report.
· Ref. 2. Governance and Financial Management Style: Row E
· Ref. 3. Long to Medium-Term Financial Management: Row I
· Ref. 6. Monitoring Financial Performance: Row O
The Director of Finance noted that the detail of how this was to be achieved was set out in the report and that Annex 1 extrapolated the key issues. It was proposed to improve the alignment of this information with budget information once the Strategic Plan had been agreed by Council.
(d) Reference: 6. Monitoring Financial Performance
6N: It was proposed that the Quarterly Capital Programme report by Finance officers, which focused predominantly on financial elements, should also include information on delivery of projects, programmes, and outcomes.
(e) Reference: 2. Governance and Financial Management Style
2D: The Director of Law & Governance stated that the updated Local Code of Governance had been finalised and would be submitted to the Committee.
RESOLVED: To endorse the Assessment of Compliance against the Financial Management Code for 2021/22.