Councillors Approve New Sign Off Limits For Officers

town hall 8Senior Council Officers will be able to sign off large sums of money without getting final approval from senior elected members, following a proposal at last week’s Full Council meeting.

The Chief Executive can now authorise payments of up to £150,000, while Senior Officers can sign for up to £100,000.

Previous financial regulations stated that all payments over £33,000 had to be approved in consultation with either the Chairman of the Council or the Chairman or Vice-Chairman of the appropriate committee.

That’s been removed but the amounts approved still have to be itemised in the relevant committee budget or the capital programme.

Senior Manager for Finance Laura Roberts said the new rules would enable the Council to manage its payments more efficiently.

And she said there were a number of controls and processes in place to ensure they were “not just writing a blank cheque to anybody.”

Cllr Christine Savill felt these were large amounts to be delegated to officers for signing.

It sounds a lot but isn’t compared to other councils, said Laura, although Christine replied that our authority’s budget isn’t large as other authorities either.

Senior Manager Development, Diana Mompoloki said most of the payments over £150,000 were for large capital projects, like the recent road resurfacing, which came to almost £1.8m.

Cllr Gordon Bilsborough thought the proposals were sensible, adding “it’s the officers who will go to jail if they get it wrong.”

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