This updated guide should be valuable reading for anyone responsible for implementing or reviewing pooled budget arrangements, or seeking to ensure that they offer good value for money to taxpayers and the local community.
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If you are a CIPFA Publications subscriber ... have you downloaded the Briefing Note to accompany this title?
Pooled budgets have operated widely across health and social care for over two decades. They are a natural adjunct of integrated working, and that is very much at the top of the government’s agenda. Moreover, the Better Care Fund, introduced in 2015–16, has required every authority to manage significant funds through pooled arrangements.
That makes it very timely for CIPFA to issue guidance on the key considerations in setting up and managing a pooled budget.
The aim is to define the basic principles of financial management, governance and accountability that partners in budget pooling arrangements or, indeed, other forms of partnership working, should follow, and to consider the relevant accounting issues.
The guide provides practical tools such as a checklist of matters to consider, an example of how to decide which agency should lead the arrangement, a model scheme of delegation to boards, and a pro forma VAT invoice format.
The guide considers the background to budget pooling, including the purpose of pooling, the basics of partnership arrangements, and some other options available to health and social care organisations pursuing similar objectives.
It goes on to consider specific issues arising from pooling: managing a pooled budget, corporate governance, financial management, audit and assurance, and VAT. These matters then feed into an appendix on accounting issues.
There is also a full consideration of the particular case of the Better Care Fund (BCF), both as a useful case study for the principles, and because a good proportion of the rest of the guidance (eg the pros and cons of pooling and options for setting up pooling arrangements) are less relevant to the BCF as the decisions are already built in.
This publication is only available online.
The digital, online version is available as both searchable HTML and a bookmarked downloadable PDF of the publication that can be shared throughout your organisation.
Customers will need to register and login to CIPFA’s website to access the publication. Details of licensing arrangements for other categories of purchaser, which includes those organisations operating shared service arrangements, are available from CIPFA’s Publications Department.
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