To consider potential changes to the Terms of Reference for Committees and to consider an update to the Financial Regs
At the meeting of FERM in December 2022 the staff workload was discussed at length. It was agreed that the Council would see how it could work smarter without reducing the service on offer. Each Committee would look at how they could reduce the workload, perhaps through a reduction in the number of meetings. It was felt that not all meetings were necessary and there was a high level of duplication which was creating a high workload for the office. At the time this was unsustainable.
The FERM Committee agreed to propose to Full Council that their number of meetings should be reduced from 5 to 4 (or as required), dropping the October meeting, and the terms of reference and paragraph 2.2 of the Financial regs updated. This would mean that the Data Protection Risk Register will be reviewed at the July and December meetings.
Current reference in Terms of Reference:
(F) Meeting frequency
Six times a year
This would be changed to read:
(F) Meeting frequency
Four (or as required) a year
There is also a reference to delegation of the review of insurance services to FERM by Full Council. However this is often approved by Full Council so it could be prudent to remove the following line from FERM’s Terms of Reference:
- To enter into and review contracts for the provision of insurance services to the council
Financial Regulation Change:
Even without a reduction in the number of FERM meetings the Financial Regulations need to be updated as the Council is not presented with financial papers each month as there is no meeting in August.
Current paragraph 2.2:
On a monthly basis, and at each financial year end, the bank reconciliations (for all
accounts) together with the bank statements generated by the approved software shall
be submitted for approval by FERM Committee and council. The bank statements will
be presented at the meeting and signed by the Chair to verify that the statements
match the finance reports.
Proposed change to paragraph 2.2:
For each month of the financial year and at financial year-end, the bank reconciliations (for all
accounts) together with the bank statements generated by the approved accounting software shall
be submitted for approval by FERM Committee and Full Council in the months when they meet.
The bank statements will be presented at the meeting and signed by the Chair to verify that the
statements match the finance reports. For those months where there is no FERM or Full Council,
the bank statements will be validated by either the Chair or Vice Chair of FERM.
Recreation considered this proposal at their January meeting but agreed not to reduce the number of meetings. However they might look at reducing the frequency of items on the agenda.
Planning & Transport
Planning & Transport Committee will be considering this proposal at their meeting on the 25th January.
- That members NOTE AND COMMENT on this report
- That members AGREE to the proposed changes to FERM’s Terms of Reference
- That members AGREE to the proposed changes to the Financial Regulations
Clerk, Melton Parish Council