Decision details

Finance Improvement Plan update

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


In May 2018 the Leader and Chief Executive commissioned the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) to undertake a review of the council’s finances and finance function.

In response to the review a finance improvement programme was developed to address the issues raised.  The plan was approved by Cabinet in September 2018 and this report provides an update and recommends closure of the programme.




1.      That the closure of Finance Improvement Programme be approved.


2.      That the continued focus of the Finance Service on improvements (both people and process), learning from others and a culture of no complacency was endorsed.


3.      That the importance of the organisation’s continued focus on its financial discipline was recognised and the further development of the Finance Academy to continue to address and develop financial management capabilities across the organisation was endorsed.


4.      That the progress made on the Digital, Business & Insights programme and recognises the importance of this programme in the further work required to improve financial processes and data insights was noted.


5.      That thanks be extended to the members of the External Assurance Panel, recognising the importance of their involvement, honest feedback, experience and expertise throughout the programme was agreed.


Reason for decision:


The collective commitment to stabilising the financial position of the Council was demonstrated when the finance improvement plan was supported by the Cabinet in September 2018.  Since then a new medium-term financial strategy has been developed, aligned to the Community Vision for Surrey and a balanced budget has been set for consecutive years that does not rely on the use of reserves. 

Having achieved the ambitions of the action plan and addressed the issues raised by the CIPFA report, these recommendations enable the closure of the programme and ensure a continued focus on the development of, and investment in, financial management skills across the whole organisation, to ensure that excellent financial management is at the heart of all our decision making. 


[The decisions on this item can be called in by the Performance & Resources Select Committee]


Report author: Cath Edwards

Publication date: 24/06/2020

Date of decision: 23/06/2020

Decided at meeting: 23/06/2020 - Cabinet

Effective from: 02/07/2020

Accompanying Documents: