The Council's Financial Regulations state that payment approval should be made by the "relevant" Committee. At a recent Finance Committee meeting, payments were approved for items that were to paid out of another Committee's budget. The arguments put forward by councillors were:
- if payments were delayed by needing to wait for a meeting of the Committee holding the budget, this could delay the payment
- "we've always done it like this"
- the expenditure for the item has already been approved by the Committee with the budget; the payment is just approving the resulting invoice
My argument is that the Committee with the budget has not been given the opportunity to debate whether the delivery of the item has met their expectations; by taking away their approval, scrutiny of an item's delivery (quality, value for money) has been denied to the Committee. And this is why the Financial Regulations specify that the "relevant" Committee should approve payments. Are my arguments valid? If yes, what can I do?