Responding to COVID-19: insight, support and guidance
CIPFA's guidance to CFOs has been modified to allow councils under budgetary pressure due to COVID-19 the time and space to explore alternatives to freezing spending via a S.114 notice.
Councils have a legal responsibility to balance their budget, with S.114 notices issued when spending is likely to exceed resource. The temporary modifications to guidance proposed by CIPFA would mean that it should not normally be necessary for S.114 notices to be issued while informal discussions with government are in progress.
The institute is proposing two specific modifications:
Rob Whiteman, CIPFA CEO, said:
"The challenges posed to local government finance by COVID-19 are likely to deepen as the year progresses. It is essential that local government and its partners in central government respond jointly to this crisis.
"With the pandemic accelerating demand across all local services, any freezes on spending in any local area could potentially be highly disruptive and not an effective tool at this time. Temporary change to the S.114 notice process creates space to explore other options or financial support that may be available to local authorities, while allowing finance directors to meet their statutory responsibilities."
For further information please contact the CIPFA press office on T: 020 7543 5737 or E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
CIPFA, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, is the professional body for people in public finance. CIPFA shows the way in public finance globally, standing up for sound public financial management and good governance around the world as the leading commentator on managing and accounting for public money.