Issue - meetings

Finance Improvement/Recovery Plan

Meeting: 06/09/2022 - Executive (Item 47)

47 Finance Improvement/Recovery Plan pdf icon PDF 448 KB

This report is due to be pre-scrutinised at a meeting of the Budget Scrutiny Working Group scheduled to take place on 1st September 2022.  Any recommendations arising from this meeting, subject to being endorsed at a meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 5th September 2022, will be tabled at the Executive Committee meeting.


Additional documents:


The Interim Section 151 Officer presented a report on the subject of financial improvements and a recovery plan for the Council.


The Executive Committee was informed that some financial issues for the Council had been identified by the external auditors and highlighted with the authority earlier in the year.  This included:


·             Significant staff turnover within the Financial Services department, resulting in concerns about capacity within the team and the impact on services.

·             Limited financial and performance monitoring in the 2021/22 financial year.

·             Problems with the Council’s new financial system, which had delayed submission of the Council’s accounts for the 2020/21 and 2021/22 financial years.


The report detailed the action that had already been taken, and continued to occur, in respect of the Council’s improvement plan to address these concerns.  This included recruiting a significant number of new staff to the Financial Services team, including a new Head of Finance and Customer Services.  Financial monitoring reports had been reintroduced, including a report covering the first 11 months of the 2021/22 financial year.  The Audit, Governance and Standards Committee had approved a new Risk Management Strategy for the Council and quarterly risk monitoring reports were scheduled for consideration, with the latest such report having been considered in summer 2022.  The first combined finance and performance monitoring report was due for consideration during the Executive Committee meeting.


There remained some problems with the Council’s new finance system, principally the cash receipting part of the system.  However, it was anticipated that these problems would be resolved in the following few weeks.  Fixes to other parts of the system had resulted in the Council being able to make a number of returns to the Government as part of the account setting process and it was anticipated that the accounts for the 2020/21 and 2021/22 financial years would be finalised shortly for submission.


The Executive Committee subsequently discussed the report in detail and in doing so welcomed the progress that had been made with resolving issues with the Council’s new finance system.  Questions were raised about the number of vacancies remaining in the Financial Services team and the impact that this was having on service delivery.  Members were informed that there remained four vacancies within the department, three of which were being filled by agency staff until permanent replacements could be recruited.




1)          progress made on the following eight key tasks for financial recovery be noted:

·            Financial Strategies

·            Revenue and Capital Monitoring

·            Closure

·            Returns

·            Projects

·            Systems

·            Documentation and Training

·            Resources


2)          the work still required to move back to a best practice operation and the associated timetable for completion of this work be noted.