Finance Committee meeting

 

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING

HELD AT 10.00 A.M. THURSDAY 9TH AUGUST 2012

5TH FLOOR CONFERENCE ROOM

 

 

 

Present:           Mr Nigel Hiller (Chair)

                        Mr Geoff Berrett

                        Mrs Debbie Carrington

                        Mrs Natalie Beal

                        Mr Robert Fennessy

 

 

  1. Minutes of Meeting Held on 26 June 2012 and Matters Arising

 

The Minutes of the meeting held on 26 June 2012 were accepted as a true and accurate record.     Mr Hiller said in respect of the Audited Accounts these will be going to the Police Authority in September as the External Audit is not complete at this moment in time.

 

  1. Revenue Monitoring (Standing Item)

 

Mr Hiller said that at the SCT meeting held on Monday 6th August 2012 the Budget Monitoring Report was received and the amendments to the Savings Plan were agreed.  It still looked like the out-turn will be approximately £1M underspent.  A discussion took place on the consequences of the Home Office not clawing back PCSO funding in 2011/12.  Also a discussion on options for funding the VER were discussed.

 

  1. External Funding (Standing Item)

 

The latest comparator on external funding is that up to the 31st July 2012, SYP has received £3.5M compared with £4.6M for the same period last year.  Work is on-going on examining the consequences and changes in responsibilities between partner agencies, but there does not appear to be a material risk at this moment in time.

 

  1. Capital Programme (Standing Item)

 

An update was given on Carbrook House, Red House and Vehicles.  Mr Hiller said he would speak with Mrs Sarah Gilding on the latest position regarding the vehicle replacement programme.

 

  1. Capital DRF Approval (Standing Item)

 

There was nothing to approve under this item.

 

  1. CIPFA Finance Advisory Network – Monthly Round up July 2012

 

The below items were purely for information purposes, so there was no need to take any action with regard to them.

 

Communications Data Bill - Mr Hiller said that there was potential for a new revenue stream in order to get this information.

 

Action:           Nigel Hiller to write to Nigel Brook

Update:          Nigel wrote to Nigel Brook on 10.8.12 on this matter

 

Police Network – Mrs Beal is going to this in York in September.

 

  1. CIPFA FM Model – Testing new Service Against Questions in FM Model

 

It was agreed that we would review this through ‘light touch’ and the best way of doing this would be to dedicate a small period of time at each Finance Committee to go through the questions and highlight the key areas where there are issues which need investigating. 

 

L1 – The Organisation has an effective frame-work of financial accountability, which is clearly understood and applied throughout from the Board, Executive and non-Executive Directors to front-line Service Managers.

 

The areas where more work needs to be done are Q2 – ‘Are there written Governance arrangements which underpin the financial management roles and responsibilities of the Board, relevant Governance Groups and other Executives and Senior Managers, underpinning more detail by financial regulations and contract procedures.  This needs a thorough review with the implementation of the PCC and, particularly, to make it compliant with the new delegation and Schemes of Consent.

 

3 – Whilst the Board is given a consolidated view of the Organisation’s finances and risks, perhaps we need to review the involvement of key partners into that process.

 

10 – Is the scope of the CFOs other management responsibilities reviewed to ensure their focus on Financial Managers is not compromised?  Nigel Hiller to discuss with CC David Crompton.

 

16 – Do Senior Managers demonstrate enough understanding of financial management rules by actually applying them?  It was felt this was a good question and would be worthy of keeping under permanent review.

 

L2 – The Organisation’s leadership allocates resources to different activities, in order to achieve its objectives and monitors the Organisation’s financial and activity performance.  This criteria was completely reviewed.

 

1 – Do the medium-term financial plan and budget show the resources allocated to major spending activities and programmes with useful summaries.  The meeting felt that there would be a move more to POA type requirements and it was agreed that at the next Finance Committee a clear understanding of which Departments and Services go into each of the categories.

 

5 – It was agreed to review whether any balance sheet items need reviewing on such as a quarterly basis at a future Finance Committee.

 

L3 – Deferred.

 

L4 – The Organisation has a developed financial management strategy to underpin long-term financial health.  It was agreed, that with the exception of two, which appears to be more relevant to multi-serviced authorities, such as Local Authority, SYP met all the criteria.

 

  1. Police Authority Reports

 

Update given on the arrangements for the Joint Secretariat.  It is now clear that Steve Pick, currently the Deputy Chief Executive of Barnsley Council, will replace Bill for the foreseeable future.  A new Chief Executive dedicated to the PCC will be appointed following the election of the Police Crime Commissioner.  Mr Pick will remain as Treasurer once the Chief Executive has been appointed and he is undertaking work to look at how work is delivered to the Joint Authorities and whether there should be closer links with the District Councils.

 

Discussion on Treasurers papers, planning process and financial strategy.  It was noted of the significant acceleration of the process from previous years.  However, it was recognised also that we may have to use more estimates than in previous years in order to aid the decision-making process.

 

Audit arrangements were discussed.

 

  1. Items Approved Outside of the Finance Committee (Standing Item)

 

It was noted that the A61 Speed Enforcement for OSS was approved by the Senior Command Team on 9th July 2012. 

 

  1. Capital Scheme Brief Approvals

 

Digital Storage for Firearms Licensing - Mr Hiller raised several issues in relation to this CSB as follows:

 

  1. Had ISD signed this off?
  2. Is there a Business Case which shows the cost effectiveness of this option?
  3. In terms of the finance, it talks about computing equipment, but no provision is made for computer software or the document scanning which is mentioned in the paper.  In order to proceed the proper Business Case needs signing off by Paul Thrustle and presenting to the next meeting of the Finance Committee, at which it may be helpful if Phil Swain attends to present it.
  4. CJAD should also contact Joanne Osborne concerning the procurement implications to confirm that there is still a lawful contract in place, which will not require a tender process and this needs aggregating with other requests for a similar service which is contained in other carry forward requests.

 

Caspre Phase 3 – Again the report was deficient in information and it did not highlight any revenue savings by undertaking this work or benefits of cost avoidance.  It was not also clear that the Head of IS has confirmed that this work can be achieved within the IS Work Programme.  The CSB should separate enhancements from maintenance issues.  Indeed, a paper should be prepared on if there are defects how maintenance is provided to this system, which should alleviate the need for specific funding for similar maintenance issues in the future.  A joint paper from the Head of IS and CJAD to be presented to the next meeting.

 

Digital Storage for Crime Files – Same issues as Firearms Licensing. 

 

FM Capital Minor Schemes (H&S Compliance Improvements Works to Automated Gates)

The automated gates did not appear to be an enhancement as required to make it Capital expenditure.  This should be treated as a Revenue item.  It appeared that this could be contained within the existing estates management budget.

 

Upgrade of Fire Alarm and Emergency Lighting – Approved

 

Heating Controls and Radiator Valves – Not approved.  Further information to be presented to the Director of Finance on the Business Case for doing this as on this basis it would take ninety years to recover the Capital cost.

 

Lighting Low Energy & PIR – Again there is not a Business Case attached to this which demonstrates the savings being achieved make up the cost of the Capital investment.

 

Replace Boilers & Controls – Again this needs placing on hold, particularly as the long-term future of Ring Farm is not secure.  Similarly with the Economic Crime Unit, where there are currently discussions with them possibly changing location.  Bentley and Deepcar were approved.

 

A general point was raised, however, in respect of the late submission of Capital Scheme Briefs.  There appeared to be no reason for this, only bad planning on the submitting Departments.

 

  1. Any Other Business

 

There was no other business to discuss.

 

  1. Date of Next Meeting            10.00 a.m. Friday 28th September 2012

                                                5th Floor Conference Room  

Date: 

Thursday, 9 August, 2012 - 12:45