Puddington Parish Council
1.1 These Financial Regulations shall govern the conduct of the financial transactions of Puddington Parish Council and may only be amended or varied by resolution of the Council.
1.2 The Council shall appoint a responsible financial officer (RFO) who, under the direction of the Parish Council, shall be responsible for the proper administration of the Council’s financial affairs. For Puddington Parish Council the Clerk is the RFO.
1.3 The RFO shall be responsible for the production of financial management information.
2 Annual Estimates
2.1 Estimates of income and expenditure shall be prepared each year by the RFO and submitted to the January meeting of the Council.
2.2 Based on the above information, the Council will set the precept to be levied for the ensuing financial year.
3 Budgetary Control
3.1 No expenditure may be incurred which cannot be met from the amount currently available in the Parish Council’s bank account(s).
3.2 The Chairman and one other authorised signatory may incur expenditure on behalf of the Council which is necessary to carry out any repair, replacement or other work or purpose which is of sufficient urgency that it must be done at once, subject to a limit of £200.
3.3 The Clerk will report action taken under 3.2 above, and the reason for its urgency, to the next meeting of the Parish Council and it will be duly recorded in the Minutes.
3.4 No expenditure shall be incurred in relation to any capital project and no contract shall be entered into or tender accepted involving expenditure on capital account unless the Council is satisfied that the necessary capital funds are available.
4 Accounting and Audit
4.1 All accounting procedures and financial records of the Council shall be determined by the RFO as required by the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2003.
4.2 The RFO shall be responsible for completing the annual accounts of the Council as soon as practicable after the end of the financial year and shall submit them and report thereon to the Parish Council.
4.3 The RFO shall be responsible for maintaining an adequate and effective system of internal audit of the Council’s account, financial and other operations in accordance with the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2003.
5 Banking Arrangements and Cheques
5.1 The Council’s banking arrangements shall be made by the RFO and approved by the Parish Council.
5.2 The Council will authorise three members of the Council to sign cheques on behalf of the Council. Amendments may be made to authorised signatories as and when necessary, by resolution of the Council and the Clerk will notify the bank immediately of any such changes.
5.3 For the purposes of managing the Council’s bank account(s) the Clerk may become an authorised signatory but will only sign cheques in cases of emergency when only one of the other authorised signatories is available.
5.4 To facilitate management of the Council’s accounts, the Parish Council has signed up to internet banking with the RFO as the account manager.
5.5 A schedule of payments shall be prepared by the RFO and presented to the Parish Council at each meeting. The schedule will be approved by the Council and included in the Minutes of the meeting. Councillors may inspect invoices and other documentation relating to such payments.
5.6 Cheques drawn on the current account in accordance with the schedule referred to in paragraph 5.5 above shall be signed by two of the three authorised signatories, subject to no Member signing a cheque drawn to him/herself, or by one authorised signatory and the Clerk in accordance with 5.3 above.
5.7 The current account shall not be overdrawn at the bank.
6 Payment of Accounts
6.1 All payments shall be made by cheque or other order drawn on the Council’s bank, except for the Clerk’s salary (see 7.3 below).
6.2 All invoices for payment shall be checked by the Clerk who will, if appropriate, verify that the work, goods or services to which the invoice relates have been received, carried out, examined and approved.
7 Payment of Salaries and Wages
7.1 The salary of the Clerk upon appointment will be based, pro rata, on SCP27 of the salary scales agreed by the National Joint Council for Local Government Services, as notified by the National Association of Local Councils (NALC). The Council will review the Clerk’s salary annually, at the Council meeting in January.
7.2 The Clerk’s salary will be paid by Standing Order on the 28th day of each month.
7.3 Salary will be adjusted to take account of pay awards as and when they are notified and any adjustments will be backdated to the relevant month in each year.
8 Reimbursement of Expenses
8.1 Expenses incurred by the Clerk will be repaid by the Council in accordance with the Terms and Conditions relating to the Appointment of the Parish Clerk.
8.2 Payment of travelling expenses incurred by a Councillor or the Parish Clerk in performing duties on behalf of the Council will be based on the casual user allowance agreed by the Council annually.
8.3 Apart from postage, claims for the repayment of expenses by Councillors or employees of the Council must be accompanied by an official receipt and will be reimbursed at the next scheduled meeting of the Parish Council.
8.4 The Clerk will maintain a record of all correspondence sent on behalf of the Parish Council and postage incurred will be reimbursed at the next scheduled meeting of the Council.
9 Loans and Investments
9.1 All loans and investments shall be negotiated in the name of the Council and shall be for a set period of time. Changes to loans and investments shall be reported to the Parish Council at the earliest opportunity.
9.2 All borrowings shall be effected in the name of the Council.
9.3 All investment certificates and other documents relating thereto shall be retained in the custody of the RFO.
10.1 The RFO will be responsible for collecting all sums due to the Council.
10.2 Particulars of all charges to be made for work done, services rendered or goods supplied shall be notified to the RFO who will be ultimately responsible for the collection of all accounts due to the Council.
10.3 The Council will review fees and charges annually.
10.4 Any amounts outstanding to the Council shall be reported to the next appropriate meeting of the Council. Bad debts shall be reported to the Council at the end of the financial year and the Council will decide whether to pursue collection or to write the debt off.
10.5 All sums received on behalf of the Council shall be paid to the RFO and shall be deposited with the Council’s bankers as and when the RFO considers necessary.
10.6 Personal cheques shall not be cashed out of money held on behalf of the Council.
11 Orders for Work, Goods and Services
11.1 An official order or letter shall be issued for work, goods and services unless a formal contract is to be prepared. Copies of orders issued will be kept on file by the RFO.
12.1 Where the total value of the goods or services to be procured is in excess of £3,000, quotations should be obtained from at least three contractors, subject to 12.3 below.
12.2 Where the total value of the goods or services to be procured is under £3,000, quotations should be obtained from at least two contractors, subject to 12.3 below.
12.3 If quotations or tenders cannot be obtained due to lack of suitable contractors prepared to quote/tender this must be reported to the Council who must be satisfied that the quotation/tender offers the Council best value and that the price is competitive before authorising the acceptance of a single quotation/tender.
12.4 Purchase of everyday items required to manage the business of the Parish Council (e.g. postage stamps, stationery) shall be at the discretion of the RFO and, where possible, shall be accompanied by an invoice addressed to the Parish Council.
12.5 Before beginning the purchase of goods or services the RFO must:
• make sure that the appropriate authority is in place to start the process
• make sure that there is enough money in the budget (including any grants obtained) to cover the total whole-life financial commitment being made
• Assess the risks associated with the purchase and how to manage them;
13 Payments under Contracts for Building or other Construction Works
13.1 Payments on account of the contract sum shall be made within the time specified in the contract by the RFO upon authorised certificates of the architect or other consultants engaged to supervise the contract.
13.2 Where contracts provide for payment by instalments the RFO shall maintain a record of such payments. In any case when it is estimated that the total cost of work carried out under a contract, excluding fluctuation clauses, will exceed the contract sum by 5% or more, a report shall be submitted to the next meeting of the Council.
13.3 Any variation to, addition to or omission from a contract must be reported to the Council and formal approval notified by the Clerk in writing.
14 Stores and Equipment
14.1 The Clerk and Members of the Council must ensure that any equipment owned by the Council entrusted to them for safekeeping is adequately and safely stored and maintained.
15 Properties and Estates
15.1 The Clerk shall make appropriate arrangements for the custody of any title deeds of properties and estates owned by the Council.
15.2 The RFO shall ensure a record is maintained of all properties and estates owned by the Council, in accordance with the Accounts and Audit Regulations 1996.
15.3 No property shall be sold, leased or otherwise disposed of without the authority of the Council, save where the estimated value of any one item does not exceed £200
16.1 The RFO shall effect all insurances and negotiate all claims on the Council’s insurers.
16.2 The RFO shall ensure all new risks or any alterations affecting existing insurances are dealt with promptly.
16.3 The RFO shall keep a record of all insurances effected by the Council and the property and risks covered thereby and the Council will review it annually.
16.4 The RFO shall be notified of any loss, liability or damage or of any event likely to lead to a claim.
16.5 All appropriate employees of the Council shall be included in suitable fidelity guarantee insurance.
17 Revision of Financial Regulations
17.1 The Council will review its Financial Regulations annually in May.
These Financial Regulations adopted by Puddington Parish Council on 21 May 2015
The Regulations were reviewed at:
• The Annual Meeting 19 May 2016
• The Annual meeting 25 May 2017
• The Annual Meeting 9 May 2019