hard to believe that we’ve already reached September. MPs are returning
from recess, students are returning to school, and all attention now
turns to the upcoming spending review. With the entire country on
tenterhooks in anticipation of a second wave of COVID-19, the spending
review will determine the levels of financial resilience large parts of
the public sector will be able to muster as we move into the winter
also anticipating the imminent arrival of the findings of the Redmond
Review. Many of you will remember the review being announced at last
year’s CIPFA annual conference by former secretary of state James
Brokenshire. The review could represent some major changes for local
authority accounting, so keep your eyes peeled for our latest updates.
Income compensation scheme
will likely be aware that details of the government compensation scheme
for lost income were released last week. As was widely
anticipated, MHCLG will reimburse councils for lost income from sales,
fees, and charges.
scheme provides reimbursement of 75% of lost income after the application
of a 5% volatility deduction. Returns should be provided to MHCLG in
September, December and April. Reimbursement is then expected in October
(2020), January and May (2021). CFOs should take note of paragraphs
26–28, which describe a reconciliation process on which details will be
provided at a later date.
27 specifically states: “The reconciliation may potentially be combined
with the final payment.” This indicates a mechanism will be developed to
ensure councils have been appropriately reimbursed and that some form of
enhancement or clawback arrangement will be introduced to enable this. At
31 March 2021, councils should estimate the level of outstanding lost
income between January 2021 and 31 March 2021, any reimbursement
outstanding from any other part of the year or any reimbursement
overpaid, and make the appropriate adjustment in the 2020/21 financial
has noted that reimbursement is expected to be made on the basis of
“accuracy and reasonableness” although this has not been defined further.
Councils could also be “required to provide evidence on the basis of
random sample checking.” However, paragraph 36 is significant in that it
specifies that councils could engage their own internal audit department
to provide challenge and assess whether the claims have been submitted in
accordance with the guidance.
Public Finance Live goes digital
annual conference, Public Finance Live, will be going virtual across four
days – from Monday 19 to Thursday 22 October – allowing you to take part
wherever you are, addressing this year’s theme: COVID-19: Road to
View conference site
two latest podcast episodes feature Nik Miller (CEO, Bridge Group) on
social mobility in the accountancy profession, Jeffrey Matsu (CIPFA Chief
Economist) on the latest stats from the OBR on COVID-19 economic
recovery, and Ileana Steccolini (Professor of Accounting, Essex Business
School) on public sector resilience. You can listen via Apple Podcasts,
Spotify or on our
Updates from CIPFA Networks
Better Governance Forum
A new guide from Audit Scotland explores the short-term challenges facing
public bodies in the response phase of the pandemic. It provides audit
and risk committee members with suggested questions to help them
effectively scrutinise and challenge in the key areas.
are running a series of topical webinars exploring various consequences
of the COVID-19 pandemic for local government and other public service
- The importance
of NEDs in a post-COVID-19 world. Watch
future of adult social care. Watch here
for local government reorganisation: 10 September 10.30–11.30am
response to the COVID-19 crisis has revealed stark inequalities
throughout local authority service provision in England and shone a
spotlight on the need for change in how services are delivered to the
people who need them most. How can local government powers be further
devolved to best meet the needs of their communities? Join us to discuss
the case for, and against, local government reorganisation. Register here.
Public sector performance reporting and the
sustainable development goals: 24 September 10.30am–12.00pm
climate change becomes an increasingly important factor in the decision
making of governments, sustainability and performance reporting has grown
in both relevance and importance for those working in public finance.
Join us for this webinar to discuss the latest frameworks in public
sector performance reporting as it relates to the UN’s SDGs and the
future of sustainable reporting in the European context. Register here.
Children's social care and the spending
review: 29 September 1–2pm
of the spending review, this joint webinar with the Institute for
look at what level of funding is needed for children's social care, what
the right balance is between early intervention and crisis support and
which of the changes made in response to the crisis should be kept.
COVID-19 advice portal for local
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.
advice and guidance can also be found on CIPFA’s
Please share any questions or issues
you’re experiencing with Mark McLean, CIPFA Policy Support Officer: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chief Executive, CIPFA