A new Financial Management Code has been launched to drive improvement in financial management for councils across the UK.
The code, drawn up by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), brings together many areas of local government financial management into one place.
The code is based on a set of standards and principles, including organisational leadership, transparency, assurance and sustainability.
Written after ‘extensive engagement’ with senior leaders in public finance, its aim is to place financial management at the heart of policy and decision making in local government.
‘The development of the FM Code has been a massive collaborative undertaking,’ said CIPFA CEO Rob Whiteman.
‘CIPFA is hugely grateful to all the professionals who have supported the creation of guidance that the sector as a whole can get behind.
‘Our ambition is to embed good financial management as an organisational responsibility.
‘It is vital that, as a sector, we break down historically siloed ways of working and move towards a sense of collective responsibility when it comes to finance.’
Gareth Davies, comptroller & auditor general at the National Audit Office, welcomed the new code saying it would ‘help local bodies improve their standards of financial management and cope with the financial challenges they are facing.’
Fiona Kordiak, director of Audit Services at Audit Scotland, commented: ‘Consideration of financial management and financial sustainability is at the heart of Scottish public sector audit.
‘The new code is an excellent resource to support improvement and will help both local authorities and auditors alike.’
Rob Whiteman says the code will provide consistent standards for the sector, rooted in transparency.