Decision details

Appointment of CIPFA to undertake an independent review of financial management within the authority based on good practice standards.

Decision Maker: Director of Finance

Decision status: For Determination

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


1.The Council has been on an improvement journey with a number of key milestones within it including the issuing of a Best Value Notice by Government in January 2023, formalisation of External Audit’s concerns in August 2023, appointment of an Independent Improvement Advisory Board in September 2023 and the renewal of the Best Value Notice in January 2024.
2.The council report presented on the 8th March 2024 outlined the Councils financial position, the details relating to the application for Exceptional Financial Support and the conditions pertaining to the in principle approval of that support.
3.This note documents the requirement to undergo an external assurance review which will include and not be limited to an assessment of the Councils financial position and financial management practices. DLUHC have specified that the financial position and financial management review should be undertaken by CIPFA and have confirmed that the attached brief meets their requirements.
4.The engagement of CIPFA to carry out the independent review will ensure the review is carried out in accordance with eh CIPFA good practice standards for a Financial Management model.
5.The estimated cost for the work is £52k + relevant expenses. Procurement has been secured through the award of an exemption in accordance with the authority’s Contract Procedure Rules.
6.The costs will be met from the Central Contingency Budget in 2024/5.

Reasons for the decision:

The decision will help ensure the Council is able to comply with recommendations from Government in relation to the receipt in principle of the Exceptional Financial Support and to establish an action plan for improvement and strengthening of its financial management arrangements over the medium term to support its Transformation journey.

Alternative options considered:

Due to DLUHC requirements, there is no scope to use an alternative supplier to undertake the core review. It is preferable to combine the review of social care systems and processes with the core FM review to be undertaken by CIPFA for reasons of efficiency and to apply their professional good practice standards.

Publication date: 08/04/2024

Date of decision: 25/03/2024

Accompanying Documents: