The Accounts and Audit Regulations 2003 require every local authority to conduct a review at least once a year of the effectiveness of its system of internal control and shall include a statement on internal control, prepared in accordance with proper practices. The County Council has delegated this responsibility to the “Responsible Financial Officer” (the Head of Finance).
The Head of Finance is responsible for advising on effective systems of internal control. These arrangements must ensure compliance with all relevant statutes and regulations and other relevant statements on best practice.
It is the responsibility of schools to establish sound arrangements for planning, appraising, authorising and controlling their operations in order to achieve continuous improvement, economy, efficiency and effectiveness and for achieving their financial performance targets.
13.1 Separation of Duties - Financial procedures must be established whenever possible to ensure separation of duties, i.e. different members of staff should undertake different parts of a sequence of operations in order to ensure that no one individual authorises an entire series of transactions.
13.2 Retention of Records – Accounting and other related records must be retained for periods which comply with relevant legislation. Further details of requirements are provided within the Financial Instructions.
13.3 Prevention of Fraud and Corruption - The Head of Legal Services and the Assistant Head of Finance are responsible for the maintenance of the Council’s Anti-Fraud and Corruption Strategy and Whistle blowing Policy.
13.4 Schools shall take steps to minimise the risks of financial irregularities occurring.
13.5 Assets – schools must ensure that records and assets are properly maintained and also are securely held.
13.6 Schools must also ensure that contingency plans for the security of assets and for continuity of service in the event of disaster or systems failure have been established.