The Audit Committee’s Contribution to the Review of the Constitution was presented by the Financial Services Manager. The review concentrated on the areas of the Constitution with a direct impact on the financial controls of the Council contained within the Financial Procedure Rules and the Contract Procedure Rules and fed into the Monitoring Officer’s annual review of the Constitution.
The review had identified a number of changes which were highlighted within the appendices to the report, namely:-
· to extend the current virement rules for revenue budgets to capital programme and reserves;
· to clarify terminology and update references to other documents;
· to propose more delegation around the use of reserves. Under the current arrangements approval to use reserves is needed from Council as part of the final accounts process but there is not a Council meeting between the finalisation of the reserve movements and the approval of the accounts by Audit Committee;
· to clarify that the Monitoring Officer can agree it is not expedient to comply with certain contract requirements, such as signing under seal or the use of Council policies. This reflects the growing use of framework agreements where the terms and conditions to be used have already been agreed and will give the Council appropriate protection; and
· to remove references to paper tenders: all tender documents are now submitted electronically.
The changes proposed would apply from the date of Council approval for the remainder of the current financial year and subsequent years.
Further amendment of the Constitution would be required to reflect changes to the Leadership structure and other changes to job titles. These changes would be included in the Monitoring Officer’s review of the Constitution and would not be separately reviewed by Audit Committee before submission to Council.
RESOLVED – That the proposals for amendments to the Constitution, as set out within the appendices to the report, be recommended to Council for approval.