To receive an update on:
(a) progress made with the Peer Review Action Plan
(b) the updated self-assessment against the principles set out in the CIPFA Financial Management Code.
The Chief Finance Officer advised that incorrect documents had been added to the agenda, consequently there was one change to the report that was not in the published version. The final version of each document will be included with the minutes of the meeting.
The Committee were advised that both the LGA Action Plan and CIPFA self-assessment were regarded as living documents which will be regularly reviewed and updated. He highlighted key points and the action taken.
The Chief Finance Officer advised that the coming Budget would be challenging following the impact of Covid-19 and so the LGA Peer Review had been timely as had the revised corporate priorities and values. There was some overlap between the LGA Peer Review and the CIPFA Management Code which comes fully into effect in the next financial year but had been put into practice at an early stage by the Council.
A member expressed concern that with the Council’s new Committee structure there was no longer an Overview and Scrutiny Committee and asked what steps were being taken to ensure that effective scrutiny took place. It was acknowledged that it was a difficult area as Committees were expected to scrutinise their own decisions. The Committee System Working Group was to meet in January 2022 and effective scrutiny was one of the matters they would be considering.
The Monitoring Officer advised that there were two areas that were legally required to be scrutinised, one of which was crime and disorder, and this had been considered by Neighbourhood Services Committee during their September meeting.
The Committee resolved to note the report subject to the final versions of the documents being included with the minutes.