Should Finance details be excluded from an Agenda and only provided to Councillors as a separate schedule

+1 vote
"In line with guidelines provided by a county association of local councils, it was  resolved to remove financial details from the agenda and schedule separately." Is this correct advise form a county association of local councils, to me it lacks transparency if an interested member of the Parish wishes to know this detail they would now have to email a request to the Clerk which I can see as being [a] time wasting for the Clerk  and [b] will be construed as harassment if frequent requests are made.
asked by (640 points)

4 Answers

+1 vote
Sounds like rubbish to me.  Transparency requires all financial data to be readily available.  I can't believe that Councillors would not want to scrutinize the financial data.  I would write to all Councillors and demand that finance details are retained.  You might also want to write to the District Council asking for their views and maybe the parish council's auditor.
answered by (670 points)
Is this anything to do with GDPR?
+2 votes

The Model Financial Regulations includes:

5.2. The RFO shall prepare a schedule of payments requiring authorisation, forming part of the Agenda for the Meeting and, together with the relevant invoices, present the schedule to council [or finance committee]. The council / committee shall review the schedule for compliance and, having satisfied itself shall authorise payment by a resolution of the council [or finance committee]. The approved schedule shall be ruled off and initialled by the Chairman of the Meeting. A detailed list of all payments shall be disclosed within or as an attachment to the minutes of the meeting at which payment was authorised. Personal payments (including salaries, wages, expenses and any payment made in relation to the termination of a contract of employment) may be summarised to remove public access to any personal information.

The Transparency Code for Smaller Authorities inlcudes:

30. Smaller authorities should also publish meeting agendas, which are as full and informative as possible, and associated meeting papers not later than three clear days before the meeting to which they relate is taking place.

"As full and informative as possible" sounds like another way of saying "with nothing left out" to me!

Confidential payments may, of course, be withheld from public view, as mentioned above.

answered by (5.6k points)
+1 vote
Which County Association published this guidance, given it is a sub group of NALC?  If I was a member of said Council I would certainly be wanting the answer to that and would be raising the competence of such association with NALC.

Or is this an example of a Clerk seeking to  manipulate COuncil proceedings to suit their own agenda?
answered by (6.1k points)
0 votes
Already answered by others, however, to give our example, our bi-monthly spending is provided to every person that attends our meeting.

The agenda item is ' invoices paid or due for payment will be presented at the meeting ', and the minutes will show all the payments.

The chair and chair of finance are emailed to confirm each payment that is made as we make electronic payments, and reply back to the Clerk: Please pay (if they are happy).
answered by (3.9k points)

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