HURSLEY PARISH COUNCIL FINANCIAL REGULATIONS
Financial Regulations were adop
1.1 These financial regulations govern the conduct of financial management by the Council and may only be amended or varied by resolution of the Council. The council is responsible in law for ensuring that its financial management is adequate and effective and that the council has a sound system of financial control which facilitates the effective exercise of the council’s functions, including arrangements for the management of risk and for the prevention and detection of fraud and corruption. These financial regulations are designed to demonstrate how the council meets these responsibilities.
1.2 The Responsible Financial
Officer (RFO) is a statutory office and shall be appoin
1.3 The RFO shall p
1.4 At least once a year, prior to approving the annual return, the council shall conduct a review of the effectiveness of its system of internal control which shall be in accordance with proper practices.
1.5 In these financial regulations, references to the Accounts and Audit Regulations shall mean the Regulations issued under the provisions of section 27 of the Audit Commission Act 1998 and then in force.
1.6 In these financial
regulations the term ‘proper practice’ or ‘proper practices’ shall refer to
guidance issued in Governance and Accountability in local Councils in England
2. ANNUAL ESTIMATES
2.1 Each Committee (if any) shall formulate and submit proposals to the Council in respect of revenue and capital including the use of reserves and sources of funding for the following financial year not later than the November meeting in each year.
2.2 Detailed estimates of all receipts and payments including the use of reserves and all sources of funding for the year shall be prepared each year by the RFO in the form of a budget to be considered by the council.
2.3 The Council shall review the budget not later than the end of January each year and shall fix the Precept to be levied for the ensuing financial year. The RFO shall issue the precept to the billing authority and shall supply each member with a copy of the approved budget.
2.4 The annual budgets shall form the basis of financial control for the ensuing year.
2.5 The Council shall consider the need for and shall have regard to a three year forecast of Revenue and Capital Receipts and Payments which may be prepared at the same time as the annual Budget.
3. BUDGETARY CONTROL
3.1 Expenditure on revenue items may be incurred up to the amounts included for that class of expenditure in the approved budget.
3.2 No expenditure may be incurred which will exceed the amount provided in the revenue budget for that class of expenditure unless the RFO certifies that sufficient funds are available and such excess expenditure is approved by the council. During the budget year and with the approval of council having considered fully the implications for public services, unspent and available amounts may be moved to other budget headings or to an earmarked reserve as appropriate.
3.3 The RFO shall regularly provide the Council with a statement of receipts and payments to date under each head of the budgets, comparing actual expenditure to the appropriate date against that planned as shown in the budget. These statements are to be prepared at least at the end of each financial quarter..
3.4 The Clerk, with the consent of any two councillors, may incur expenditure on behalf of the Council which is necessary to carry out any repair replacement or other work which is of such extreme urgency that it must be done at once, whether or not there is any budgetary provision for the expenditure, subject to a limit of [£300]. The Clerk shall report the action to the Council as soon as practicable thereafter.
3.5 Unspent provisions in the revenue budget shall not be carried forward to a subsequent year unless placed in an earmarked reserve by resolution of the council.
3.5 No expenditure shall be
incurred in relation to any capital project and no contract entered into or
3.6 All capital works shall be administered in accordance with the Council’s standing orders and financial regulations relating to contracts.
4. ACCOUNTING AND AUDIT
4.1 All accounting procedures and financial records of the Council shall be determined by the RFO as required by the Accounts and Audit Regulations.
4.2 The RFO shall complete the annual financial statements of the Council, including the council’s annual return, as soon as practicable after the end of the financial year and shall submit them and report thereon to the Council.
4.3 The RFO shall complete
the Accounts of the Council contained in the Annual Return (as supplied by the
4.4 The RFO shall ensure that there is adequate and effective system of internal audit of the Council's accounting, financial and other operations in accordance with proper practices. Any officer or member of the Council shall, if the RFO or Internal Auditor requires, make available such documents of the Council which appear to the RFO or Internal Auditor to be necessary for the purpose of the internal audit and shall supply the RFO or Internal Auditor with such information and explanation as the RFO or Internal Auditor considers necessary for that purpose.
4.5 The Internal Auditor
shall be appoin
4.6 The RFO shall make arrangements for the opportunity for inspection of the accounts, books, and vouchers and for the display or publication of any Notices and statements of account required by Audit Commission Act 1998 and the Accounts and Audit Regulations.
4.7 The RFO shall, as soon as practicable, bring to the attention of all councillors any correspondence or report from the Internal or External Auditor, unless the correspondence is of a purely administrative matter.
5. BANKING ARRANGEMENTS AND CHEQUES
5.1 The Council's banking arrangements, including the Bank Mandate, shall be made by the RFO and approved by the Council. They shall be regularly reviewed for efficiency.
5.2 A schedule of the
payments required, forming part of the Agenda for the Meeting,
shall be prepared by the RFO and, together with the relevant invoices, be
5.3 Cheques drawn on the bank account in accordance with the schedule referred to in paragraph 5.2 or in accordance with paragraph 6.3 shall be signed by two members of Council.
5.4 To indicate agreement of the details shown on the cheque or order for payment with the counterfoil and the invoice or similar documentation, the signatories shall each also initial the cheque counterfoil.
6. PAYMENT OF ACCOUNTS
6.1 All payments shall be
6.2 All invoices for payment shall be examined, verified and certified by the Clerk. The Clerk shall satisfy him/herself that the work, goods or services to which the invoice relates shall have been received, carried out, examined and approved.
6.3 The RFO shall examine
invoices in relation to arithmetic accuracy and shall analyse them to the
appropriate expenditure heading. Where the Clerk certifies that there is no
dispute or other reason to delay payment the Clerk may take all steps necessary
to settle all invoices submit
6.5 The Council will not maintain any form of cash float. All cash received must be banked intact. Any payments made in cash by the Clerk or RFO (for example for postage or minor stationery items) shall be refunded on a regular basis, at least quarterly.
6.6 If thought appropriate by
the council, payment for utility supplies (energy, telephone and water) may be
made by variable Direct Debit provided that the instructions are signed by two
members and any payments are repor
7. PAYMENT OF SALARIES
7.1 As an employer, the council shall make arrangements to meet fully the statutory requirements placed on all employers by PAYE and National Insurance legislation. The payment of all salaries shall be made in accordance with payroll records and the rules of PAYE and National Insurance currently operating, and salaries shall be as agreed by Council.
7.2 Payment of salaries and
payment of deductions from salary such as may be made for tax, national
insurance and pension contributions, may be made in accordance with the payroll
records and on the appropriate dates stipula
8. LOANS AND INVESTMENTS
8.1 All loans and investments
shall be negotia
8.2 The council shall consider the need for an Investment Policy which, if drawn up, shall be in accordance with relevant regulations, proper practices and guidance. Any Policy shall be reviewed at least annually.
8.3 All investments of money under the control of the Council shall be in the name of the Council.
8.4 All borrowings shall be effec
8.5 All investment certificates and other documents relating thereto shall be retained in the custody of the RFO.
9.1 The collection of all sums due to the Council shall be the responsibility of and under the supervision of the RFO.
9.2 Particulars of all charges to be made for work done, services rendered or goods supplied shall be agreed annually by the Council, notified to the RFO and the RFO shall be responsible for the collection of all accounts due to the Council.
9.3 The Council will review all fees and charges annually, following a report of the Clerk.
9.4 Any sums found to be
irrecoverable and any bad debts shall be repor
9.5 All sums received on
behalf of the Council shall be banked intact as direc
9.6 The origin of each receipt shall be entered on the paying-in slip.
9.7 Personal cheques shall not be cashed out of money held on behalf of the Council.
9.8 The RFO shall promptly complete any VAT Return that is required. Any repayment claim due in accordance with VAT Act 1994 section 33 shall be made at least annually coinciding with the financial year end.
9.9 Where any significant
sums of cash are regularly received by the Council, the RFO shall take such steps
as are agreed by the Council to ensure that more than one person is present
when the cash is coun
10. ORDERS FOR WORK, GOODS AND SERVICES
10.1 An official order or letter shall be issued for all work, goods and services unless a formal contract is to be prepared or an official order would be inappropriate. Copies of orders shall be retained.
10.2 Order books shall be controlled by the RFO.
10.3 All members and Officers are responsible for obtaining value for money at all times. An officer issuing an official order shall ensure as far as reasonable and practicable that the best available terms are obtained in respect of each transaction, usually by obtaining three or more quotations or estimates from appropriate suppliers, subject to any de minimis provisions in Regulation 11(1) below.
10.4 The RFO shall verify the
lawful nature of any proposed purchase before the issue of any order, and in
the case of new or infrequent purchases or payments, the RFO shall ensure that
the statutory authority shall be repor
11.1 Procedures as to contracts are laid down as follows:
(a) Every contract shall comply with these financial regulations, and no exceptions shall be made otherwise than in an emergency provided that these regulations shall not apply to contracts which relate to items (i) to (vi) below:
(i) for the supply of gas, electricity, water, sewerage and telephone services;
(ii) for specialist services such as are provided by solicitors, accountants, surveyors and planning consultants;
(iii) for work to be execu
(iv) for work to be execu
(v) for additional audit work of the
external Auditor up to an estima
(vi) for goods or materials proposed to be purchased which are proprietary articles and/or are only sold at a fixed price.
(b) Where it is intended to enter into a contract exceeding [f50,000] in value for the supply of goods or materials or for
the execution of works or specialist services other than such goods, materials,
works or specialist services as are excep
(c) When applications are made to waive financial regulations
relating to contracts to enable a price to be negotia
(d) Such invitation to tender shall state the general nature of the intended contract and the Clerk shall obtain the necessary technical assistance to prepare a specification in appropriate cases.
(e) The invitation shall in addition state that tenders must be addressed to the Clerk in the ordinary course of post. Each tendering firm shall be supplied with a specifically marked envelope in which the tender is to be sealed and remain sealed until the prescribed date for opening tenders for that contract.
(f) All sealed tenders shall be opened at the same time on the prescribed date by the Clerk in the presence of at least one member of Council.
(g) If less than three tenders are received for contracts above [f50,000] or if all the tenders are identical the Council may make such arrangements as it thinks fit for procuring the goods or materials or executing the works.
(h) Any invitation to tender issued under this regulation shall contain a statement to the effect of Standing Orders 60, 61 and 62.
(i) When it is to enter into a contract less than [£50,000] in
value for the supply of goods or materials or for the execution of works or
specialist services other than such goods, materials, works or specialist
services as are excep
(j) The Council shall not be obliged to accept the lowest or any tender, quote or estimate.
12.1 Payments on account of the contract sum shall be made within the time specified in the contract by the RFO upon authorised certificates of the architect or other consultants engaged to supervise the contract (subject to any percentage withholding as may be agreed in the particular contract).
12.2 Where contracts provide
for payment by instalments the RFO shall maintain a record of all such
payments. In any case where it is estima
12.3 Any variation to a contract or addition to or omission from a contract must be approved by the Council and Clerk to the Contractor in writing, the Council being informed where the final cost is likely to exceed the financial provision.
13 STORES AND EQUIPMENT
13.1 The officer in charge of each section shall be responsible for the care and custody of stores and equipment in that section.
13.2 Delivery Notes shall be obtained in respect of all goods received into store or otherwise delivered and goods must be checked as to order and quality at the time delivery is made.
13.3 Stocks shall be kept at the minimum levels consistent with operational requirements.
13.4 The RFO shall be responsible for periodic checks of stocks and stores at least annually.
14. ASSETS, PROPERTIES AND ESTATES
14.1 The Clerk shall make
appropriate arrangements for the custody of all title deeds of properties owned
by the Council. The RFO shall ensure a record is maintained of all properties
owned by the Council, recording the location, extent, plan, reference, purchase
details, nature of the interest, tenancies gran
14.2 No property shall be sold,
leased or otherwise disposed of without the authority of the Council, together
with any other consents required by law, save where the estima
14.3 The RFO shall ensure that an appropriate and accurate Register of Assets and Investments is kept up to date. The continued existence of tangible assets shown in the Register shall be verified at least annually, possibly in conjunction with a health and safety inspection of assets.
15.1 Following the annual risk assessment (per Financial Regulation 17), the RFO shall effect all insurances and negotiate all claims on the Council's insurers.
15.2 The RFO shall keep a
record of all insurances effec
15.3 The RFO shall be notified of any loss liability or damage or of any event likely to lead to a claim, and shall report these to Council at the next available meeting.
15.4 All appropriate employees of the Council shall be included in a suitable fidelity guarantee insurance which shall cover the maximum risk exposure as determined by the Council.
16.1 Where the Council is sole trustee of a Charitable body the RFO shall ensure that separate accounts are kept of the funds held on charitable trusts and separate financial reports made in such form as shall be appropriate, in accordance with Charity Law and legislation, or as determined by the Charity Commission. The Clerk and RFO shall arrange for any Audit or Independent Examination as may be required by Charity Law or any Governing Document.
17 RISK MANAGEMENT
17.1 The council is responsible for putting in place arrangements for the management of risk. The Clerk shall prepare, for approval by the council, risk management policy statements in respect of all activities of the council. Risk policy statements and consequential risk management arrangements shall be reviewed by the council at least annually.
17.2 When considering any new activity, the Clerk [with the RFO] shall prepare a draft risk assessment including risk management proposals for consideration and adoption by the council.
18 REVISION OF FINANCIAL REGULATIONS
18.1 It shall be the duty of the Council to review the Financial Regulations of the Council from time to time. The Clerk shall make arrangements to monitor changes in legislation or proper practices and shall advise the council of any requirement for a consequential amendment to these financial regulations.