CIPFA issues guidance for LEPs 151 officers

9 Aug 18

CIPFA has set out a number of key principles to define the role of section 151 officers in local enterprise partnerships.

Working alongside the Cities and Local Growth Unit (a cross-government unit made up of teams from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), the accounting body has identified five key principles that it says will instil good and proportionate financial governance.

The principles proposed by CIPFA are to be considered alongside the National Assurance Framework and the Best Practice Guidance document provided to LEPs by the government.

The report, out yesterday, said: “As the amount of public funding which LEPs are responsible for increases; the role of the section 151 officer gains greater prominence in the LEP assurance model.”

CIPFA said that LEPs should ensure that there are “clearly defined roles for key LEP stakeholders” including: 151 officers, LEP chairs, LEP chief executive, the LEP board and sub-boards.

The institute’s five key principles are as follows:

  1. Enshrining a corporate position for the section 151 officer in LEP assurance.

  2. Creating a formal/structured mandate for the section 151 officer.

  3. Embedding good governance into decision making.

  4. Ensuring effective review of governance.

  5. Appropriate skills and resourcing.

The report said: “While the organisation structure may differ the principles that govern the role of the section 151 officer will remain constant.”

CIPFA issued the report in response to findings from the MHCLG’s review into LEP governance and transparency, which recommended that additional clarity was needed on the expectations of the role of the section 151 officer.

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