Revenue Monitoring 2012/13 - Month 7 (October)
Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
The Interim Director of Finance reported upon the revenue position for 2012/13 as at Month 7 (October 2012). His report identified the latest financial projections and prioritised the risks for ongoing management actions, to ensure the year-end position would deliver the budget allocated.
He highlighted a major risk which had just emerged concerning the reliability of fees and charges income, going back many years. It was clear from a system review of Social Services debt collection, that the process to enforce the payment of amounts owing was deficient. The process only consisted of the production of reminder letters, with no recourse to the courts and enforcement to ensure payment. Officers had urgently put in place a system to ensure ongoing income was recovered, by implementing agreed policy, and to establish the exact size of the unrecoverable debt.
On a motion by Councillor Phil Davies, seconded by Councillor McLachlan, it was -
(1) That Cabinet notes that:
(i) At Month 7 (October 2012), the full year forecast projects a potential General Fund overspend of £8.7m;
(ii) A review of over/underspends and Earmarked Reserves has been undertaken, reported to the November 29th Cabinet and incorporated into the Interim Director’s report;
(iii)there were no rejected freeze items in the month. Appendix 7 to the report listed those items considered as part of the process.
(2) Cabinet is extremely concerned at the reference in paragraph 2.14 of the Interim Director of Finance’s report concerning the failure of the Council to actively recover Social Services debt over a number of years.
(3) Cabinet asks the Chief Executive to commission an urgent external independent investigation to establish:
1. The circumstances leading up to this state of affairs.
2. The amount of money which has not been collected and how much might still be recoverable.
3. The length of time this practice has been in operation.
4. The reasons why this practice was allowed to continue.
5. Who knew of and authorised this approach to debt management?
6. What lessons can be learnt to ensure there is no recurrence?
(4) That Cabinet requests that a report be brought back in a month and an update provided at the 24 January Cabinet.
Publication date: 08/01/2013
Date of decision: 20/12/2012
Decided at meeting: 20/12/2012 - Cabinet
Effective from: 16/01/2013