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CIPFA, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, and CAPITA Asset Services have announced today they are to collaborate in offering a new training programme to increase the practical scrutiny and financial management skills of elected councillors in Scottish local government.
The new scheme aims to develop treasury management skills across all Scottish local authorities and hopes through the increase in the skills and knowledge of the sector to help better protect taxpayer’s money locally.
Details of the opportunity were announced at CIPFA Scotland’s Public Finance Conference, which aims to create a blueprint for the way Scotland’s public services are run in the years to come.
Head of CIPFA Scotland, Don Peebles commented on the announcement:
“Audit Scotland’s recent report highlighted that local authorities in Scotland have debt of around £15bn, £12bn of which is from borrowing. Treasury management and borrowing is a complex and specialist process, but this figure hammers home the need to provide better training and support to those who make spending decisions in local authorities.
“We are therefore delighted that CIPFA are able to partner with CAPITA to run this important and innovative programme. The course modules will focus on two objectives: to provide a non-technical understanding of borrowing and treasury management and to develop the practical financial scrutiny skills of elected members.”
Notes to Editors
About the programme
This comes after Audit Scotland released a report into borrowing and treasury management that included some criticism of local authority decision-making processes. In response to this, CIPFA and CAPITA Asset Services have collaborated to enable local authorities to put in place a programme of member learning and development at the earliest opportunity. The wider context is local authority finance and professional skills and specialism of both CIPFA and CAPITA have resulted in the design of a short modularised learning and development opportunity for all elected members. The outcome will be elected members with a greater understanding of borrowing and treasury management but more crucially with further developed scrutiny skills. We envisage that the learning and development module will be delivered by experts from both CIPFA and CAPITA and can be delivered outwith office hours.