William Eichler 14 June 2016

Council smashes record with submission of accounts

Westminster City Council has submitted its public sector accounts to the auditors in a record breaking nine days after the year end.

The council prepared its final accounts for 2015/16 and submitted them to the external auditors on 9 April 2016 - a full 12 weeks in advance of the statutory requirement of the 30 June.

This exceeds the performance of 94% of the FTSE 100, including the nine largest companies.

Westminster was very fast at submitting its public sector accounts last year when it got them in on the 16 April 2015, making them the earliest local government body accounts for 70 years.

The council also published its accounts on the 18 May 2015 which was earlier than any other local government body.

The early closure of accounts is a significant driver of efficiency. Using project management disciplines the council has developed a highly detailed action plan, with defined roles and responsibilities.

It also has a communication and stakeholder management plan, risk management and progress reporting to enable a speedy turn around.

Cllr Tim Mitchell, cabinet member for finance and corporate services, said: ‘I would like to praise the city treasurer and his team for the quality of the work and the record speed that our accounts have been produced.

‘We have achieved in nine days what most local government bodies take three months to complete.’

He continued: ‘The council’s accounts represent one outcome from the financial management transformation work that is continuing. This will underpin the work of the council as well as ensuring compliance with statutory requirements, budget management and excellent financial practice.’

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