THE Police and Crime Panel heard today how significant improvements had been made in the way finances are managed by Staffordshire Police.
Auditors and an independent review by the Ethics, Transparency and Audit Panel (ETAP) both showed an improving picture in financial controls and actions by the Force.
In an update to the independent panel which was set up in 2013, a report from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) said Ernst and Young had completed their interim audit of the 2016/17 audit plan last month. This showed a timetable was in place demonstrating the Force finance team were in a stronger position than previously.
Last year’s external audit made 17 recommendations for actions, which would improve the preparation and timeliness of financial statements in future years.
The panel was told eight of these recommendations had already been implemented with the remainder due to be completed for this year’s statements.
ETAP also reinforced that improvements had been made and plans were in place for IT developments to improve things even further.
The panel was told several factors had brought about the improvements including:
- OPCC, along with ETAP, having enhanced scrutiny of the finances through an audit sub-group comprising of experienced ETAP members, who meet monthly
- Increased scrutiny of transactions along with stronger challenges to all managers
- Capital expenditure being embedded in monthly finance reports to executive management
- Increased scrutiny by internal audit – seven internal audit reviews had been undertaken in the past 12 months