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0 votes

Good afternoon,

Our council is looking to move to bill payments on line as part of HSBC Business Internet Banking, which does not have a two-step authorisation process. For those payments that need to be paid after approval at a full council meeting, this is not a problem. However, there will be invoices that need to be paid in-between full council meetings so I would really appreciate guidance on the best way to do this. I was thinking along the lines of scanning the individual invoices that need to be paid in-between council meetings for email authorisation for payment by the authorised signatories. This would provide an authorisation audit trail and the email authorisation would be attached to the invoice. Ideally simple enough to work in practice, whilst robust enough for audit and of course councillor scrutiny. I am the Clerk/RFO but do not live in the parish.

Many thanks.

by (300 points)

3 Answers

0 votes
What do your Financial Regulations say? Do they provide for any delegated authorities?
by (2.9k points)
0 votes
I don't bank with HSBC, but I was under the impression that they have a facility called Dual Control which you can activate to implement two-person authorisation in line with your account mandate.
by (52.9k points)
0 votes
I don't think your proposed procedure would meet with the standard financial regulations and email decisions are not valid.  If not already in your financial regulations, I'd suggest delegated authority to the Clerk to set up payments in between meetings to cover those situations where an urgent payment is required (for example where the supplier won't supply the goods unless  payment is within a specified timescale or where urgent action is required on health and safety grounds or to maintain essential services).  This should then be report to full council in the usual way at the next available meeting.  There can be an informal check that no one has any issues with proposed payments between meetings but the formal authorisation would need to be done at full council, even if it's after the payment has actually been made in accordance with the delegation.
by (18.4k points)

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