CfGS Advanced financial scrutiny skills
Many authorities recognise the need to invest in financial scrutiny training in order that members can provide constructive challenge to the assumptions underpinning a council’s approach to financial planning whilst also capitalising on the social intelligence implicit in councillors’ community leadership roles.
This action-focused one day workshop is aimed at Scrutiny Chairs, Scrutiny Officers, Scrutiny Members, Backbenchers, Chairs of Audit, Section 151 Officers and Senior Finance Officers.
Through participation in this session delegates will:
- Better understand how financial scrutiny can engender greater trust between the Executive, Senior Management Team and Scrutiny/Members/Backbenchers enabling the council better demonstrate ‘whole council leadership’ in a climate of reduced funding and organisational transformation.
- Gain an understanding of how scrutiny plays an effective role in the budget setting cycle and medium term financial plan.
- Discover how scrutiny can develop a financial scrutiny plan which prioritises and focuses on key strategic areas.
- How scrutiny can test key assumptions around risk and pressures, such as demography, inflation etc.
- Gain a better understanding treasury management and scrutiny’s role in testing treasury management strategy.
- Learn how scrutiny should focus time and effort on council balance sheets – use of reserves, asset utilisation, borrowing and lending.
- Examine the challenges for scrutiny in council commercial ventures and structures.
- Learn how scrutiny needs to test income stream and models of council financial self sufficiency.
- Develop a clearer understanding of the barriers impeding scrutiny’s contribution to the budget setting process and the levers available to secure more meaningful engagement.
The purpose of session is to stimulate thinking about scrutiny’s different financial roles and what can be done to strengthen impact.
Themes to be explored include:
- Rationale for financial scrutiny and what it looks like elsewhere
- Barriers to effective engagement
- Understanding how scrutiny contributes to the Council’s financial resilience
- Scrutiny as a reflexive system – starting a chain reaction
- Exploring structures and methodologies – ensuring form follows function
- Presentation of proposals and knowledge sharing
- Outputs and Impact
- Working within a political environment
Places cost £195 + VAT per person for Local Authority delegates and £225 + VAT per person for commercial sector delegates.