The care home sector 'entered the pandemic on the back foot'
The suggestion that a 'protective ring' was cast around care homes is difficult to swallow, writes Rob Whiteman. The sector was 'certainly not given the tools to cope with any kind of financial shock ahead of time', he adds.
Making a bigger impact on value for money
COVID-19 may have had an impact on the work programme, but boss of the National Audit Office Gareth Davies says he is ‘determined’ the scrutiny body will have more of an influence on value for money. Dan Peters reports.
Fresh reorganisation offensive leaves districts quaking
The County Councils’ Network (CCN) has launched a fresh offensive to rip up the local government map as the country emerges from the shadow of coronavirus.
Government's national approach criticised by top auditor
A top auditor has heavily criticised the Government’s ‘national approach’ to the coronavirus response.
Health chiefs deny care home 'recklessness'
Health chiefs have rejected allegations that discharging elderly NHS patients into care homes at the height of the pandemic in April was ‘reckless.’
Building on the vital relationship between health and care
The annual ADASS budget survey show the serious impact coronavirus has had, says Cllr James Jamieson. The Local Government Association is 'continuing to call for a long-term, sustainable funding solution beyond the pandemic', he adds.
Managing the smooth expiry of PFI contracts
Rosie Pearson says the end of a PFI contract may seem a long way off, but contract expiry should be considered at an early stage to ensure that it can be a success.
Infrastructure could be left in a worse condition when PFI ends, watchdog warns
Many local authorities have underestimated the time, resources and complexity involved in managing the end of PFI (Private Finance Initiative) contracts, the public spending watchdog has warned today.
It makes good sense to diversify income
Some of the commentary on commerciality implies councils are going into these investments recklessly, and that is simply not the case, says Simone Hines. Continuing to be creative and innovative with council finances is going to be vital, she adds.
Is commercial property one risk too far?
Councils with commercial property portfolios financed by borrowing could face additional challenges in the coming months, says Aileen Murphie – and these will test the quality of their risk mitigation and management.
The COVID review is yet to come
The NAO is being careful not to compromise the emergency response to COVID-19, but there will be a review to come, says Abdool Kara
The property problem
Lucy Woods advises a ‘pragmatic and sensible’ approach to managing the recommendations due to emerge from the public accounts committee inquiry into councils’ investments in commercial property.
Interactive map to be created for council audits
The National Audit Office (NAO) is working on creating an interactive map helping members of the public find out the outcome of their council’s audit.
MHCLG spent £85m preparing for EU Exit
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government spent a total of £85m preparing for EU Exit up to the end of January this year, says a new report today from the National Audit Office (NAO).
McManus to speak on coronavirus planning
The vice president of the Association of Directors of Public Health, Jim McManus, is to address chief executive delegates about planning for coronavirus at The MJ Future Forum later this month.
Alarm bells over £6.6bn property spending spree
Auditors have suggested an overhaul of council borrowing and investment rules may be needed after ‘alarm bells’ were triggered by billions of pounds of spending.
Let councils invest or pay up with funding
Tighter controls on local government's investments may be on the way – but central Government will have to make a decision: fund councils or let them fund themselves, says Heather Jameson.
Sizing up the efficiency problem
If delivering efficiency is a driver for local government there are reasons to believe there may be a ‘right size’ for authorities, but as Abdool Kara reveals, history suggests other factors are at play.
NAO to probe one-off Government funding pots
The National Audit Office (NAO) is to probe the effect of the Government’s shift towards one-off and short-term funding initiatives.
Treasurer concern at isolation of audit reviews
Council treasurers have expressed concerns that two consultations on the future of audit are being carried out in isolation, The MJ understands.