All members of staff have a general responsibility for taking reasonable action to provide for the security of assets under their control and for ensuring that the use of these resources is legal, properly authorised, provides value for money and achieves best value.

To enable staff and members to do this, the County Council has a financial control framework. The framework is defined in a series of documents maintained and implemented by the County Treasurer, consisting of:

  • financial regulations

  • financial procedures

  • other financial advice and guidance notes.

Financial regulations (which are required by law) identify the financial responsibilities of:

  • the full Council, the Cabinet, Executive members and the policy review committees

  • the Chief Executive (Head of Paid Service)

  • the Head of Corporate and Legal Services(monitoring officers) and

  • other chief officers.

Financial procedures provide more detail on how financial regulations should be implemented in practice and identify the financial controls within which staff and members must work.

The County Treasurer is responsible for issuing further advice and guidance to underpin financial regulations and procedures as necessary.

All members, officers and others acting on behalf of the County Council are required to comply with financial regulations and procedures and follow the County Treasurer’s guidance and advice.

Within these procedures:

  • "Chief Officer” means principal chief officers, chief officers, heads of departments, head teachers, and principal officers

  • “Financial manager” means a member of staff who has a responsibility for managing finances or assets belonging to the County Council.

Financial procedures cover the same general areas as financial regulations, namely:

  • financial management

  • financial planning

  • risk management and control of resources

  • financial systems and procedures

  • external arrangements.

Each of these areas is split into control areas (for example, financial management standards) and each control area is dealt with in four sections:

  • the context for the financial procedures

  • responsibilities of the County Treasurer

  • responsibilities of chief officers

  • responsibilities of financial managers.

In practice the County Treasurer and other chief officers delegate responsibility for many of their functions to staff who are, therefore, expected to understand and comply with the financial procedures that have been identified as the responsibilities of their chief officers.