Financial stewardship and audit
Financial regulations and contract standing orders are drawn up in such a way as to ensure that the financial affairs of the police and crime commissioner (PCC) and the chief constable are conducted properly and in compliance with all necessary requirements. They also seek to reinforce the standards of conduct in public life required by the PCC, the chief constable, police officers, police staff and staff within the Office of the PCC and in particular the need for openness, accountability and integrity. The regulations are designed to establish financial responsibilities, to confer duties, rights and powers upon the PCC, the chief constable and their officers and staff and to provide clarity about the financial accountabilities of groups or individuals and anyone acting on their behalf. They reflect the application of best practice and the requirements of legislation.
Financial statement of accounts
The statement of accounts is published by the OPCC. It reports the income and expenditure on service provision for the year and the value of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s assets and liabilities at the end of the financial year. This is done in accordance with proper accounting practices as defined in the Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting in the United Kingdom (the code). The statement of account is available in the What We Spend section of this website.
The statement of account is audited by the external auditor. The external auditor for the police and crime commissioner and the chief constable is Grant Thornton who were appointed by the Audit Commission.
Audit opinion On completion of the audit of the financial statements, the external auditor must give his/her opinion on the financial statements, including:
- whether they give a true and fair view of the financial position of the audited body and its spending and income for the year in question; and
- whether they have been prepared properly, following the relevant accounting rules.
Opinion If the auditor agrees that the financial statements give a true and fair view, an unqualified opinion is issued. A qualified opinion is issued if:
- the statements do not give a true and fair view; or
- confirmation that the statements give a true and fair view cannot be given.
Value for money conclusion This is the auditor’s conclusion on whether the audited body has put in place proper arrangements for securing economy, efficiency and effectiveness in its use of resources based on criteria specified by the Audit Commission. If the auditor finds that the audited body has adequate arrangements, an unqualified conclusion is issued. If the arrangements are inadequate and qualified conclusion is issued.
Annual governance statement
Governance is about how local government bodies ensure that they are doing the right things, in the right way, for the right people, in a timely, inclusive, open, honest and accountable manner. It comprises the systems and processes, cultures and values, by which local government bodies are directed and controlled and through which they account to, engage with and where appropriate, lead their communities. The annual governance statement is a public report by the elected local policing body (the PCC) on the extent to which it complies with its own local governance code, including how it has monitored the effectiveness of its governance arrangements in the year, and on any planned changes in the coming period. It can be found as part of the statement of accounts.
Annual audit letters
The annual audit letter is published by the appointed external auditor. Their purpose is to communicate to the OPCC and key external stakeholders, including members of the public, the key issues arising from the external auditors’ work, which the auditors consider should be brought to the attention of the OPCC. The annual audit letter covers the work carried out by auditors since the previous annual audit letter was issued.
Annual audit letters issued before November 2012 can be found on the archived police authority website.