From:                                             Rob Whiteman, CIPFA <cipfa@email.cipfa.org.uk>

Sent:                                               18 August 2020 14:53

To:                                                  Moore, Ashleigh

Subject:                                         CIPFA COVID-19 Bulletin

 

Weekly update on coronavirus

CIPFA | The Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy


CIPFA COVID-19 Bulletin

Exam results have been headline news over the last week. Over the course of the pandemic, we have discussed at great length the vulnerability of the elderly. But here we begin to see the issues faced by young people.

Using the past to predict the future has resulted in many students initially being awarded lower grades than they deserve. Despite yesterday’s U-turn on grading, it seems inevitable that the lack of transparency and fairness in the decisions taken will lead to further distrust of government down the line. For years, CIPFA has been working to improve trust and accountability between local government and citizens. As CFOs, you will know that trust and finance are cyclical. Transparency and a culture of openness support good financial management, which in turn promotes trust, further reinforcing the culture of transparency. 

Unfortunately, I fear that this years’ experience will have done substantial damage to that cycle, making trust even harder to generate.  

Government extends Small Business Grants Fund, the Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Grants Fund and the Discretionary Grants Fund

Updating previous information, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have written to local authorities to announce that the Small Business Grants Fund, the Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Grants Fund and the Discretionary Grants Fund will now be ending on 30 September 2020 and not the previously announced 28 August 2020. Applications for the Discretionary Grants Fund must now be made by 28 August and for all the schemes, paid by 30 September.

Local government supporting Test and Trace 

A new NHS Test and Trace app will be trialled with residents in Newham as well as on the Isle of Wight and with NHS volunteer responders across England, as part of the country’s NHS Test and Trace service.

Residents in Newham will receive unique codes giving them early access to download the app via email and post. They will be part of a three-week trial period as the NHS Test and Trace programme rigorously evaluates the app in real-world settings to monitor performance and identify improvements ready for national launch.

Spreading Collection Fund deficits 

Caroline Newman (Financial Advisory Network advisor) is continuing to work with MHCLG on the spreading of the 2020/21 collection fund deficit over three years. We will inform you immediately when we have further details. For the latest updates, follow Caroline on Twitter @CWcipfa

Strengthening the approach to borrowing

As part of our response to a HM Treasury consultation on the future lending terms of the Public Works Loans Board (PWLB), we have called for compliance with the Prudential Code to be made a statutory requirement. We have also committed to strengthening the Code by early 2022.

Model member Code of Conduct consultation 

As part of the response that we submitted to the LGA consultation on their draft model member Code of Conduct, we included additional commentary on: 

  • taking forward the CSPL report;
  • best practice recommendations;
  • sanctions;
  • supporting the implementation of the code; and 
  • the impact of culture.  

Networks Update 

Finance Advisory Network 

Delivering outcomes in the public sector

Our latest publication, Delivering outcomes in the public sector, urges the public sector to take an outcomes-focused approach to policy making, particularly in the current climate.

This online book provides advice to practitioners on how to use an outcomes approach to deal with challenges in public spending.

Governance Forum 

Public Sector Audit Appointments publishes the outcome of its market engagement exercise

The PSAA exercise sought views from all registered firms to inform PSAA’s consideration of whether further procurement would be appropriate.

Recent webinars

We are running a series of topical webinars exploring various consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for local government and other public service professionals.

COVID-19 advice portal for local authorities

Essential guidance for local authorities on all aspects of coronavirus support can be found on the GOV.UK website. It is being regularly updated and should act as the definitive reference point for councils: COVID-19 guidance for local government.

Further advice and guidance can also be found on CIPFA’s COVID-19 hub.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Please share any questions or issues you’re experiencing with Joanne Pitt, CIPFA Local Government Policy Manager: joanne.pitt@cipfa.org

Rob Whiteman
Chief Executive, CIPFA


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