How we look after your money

We have a responsibility to ensure that we manage our finances properly.

Given the recent turmoil in the financial markets, East Sussex County Council has revised its policy and takes an even more prudent approach to how its money is invested.

We have been able to avoid the risks now faced by some local authorities from investments they placed with Icelandic banks. The Council does not have any money invested in Icelandic banks.

Careful investment

The Council, like other large organisations, has amounts of cash which it holds in reserve to fund future major commitments, or simply to pay its regular costs like staff salaries and incoming bills.

As this can be a significant amount of money, the Council invests in a range of accounts and banks which will enable it to get an acceptable return on its investment. While also ensuring that the money is as safe as possible and that it can access the money when it needs it.

By managing its finances in this way the Council earns significant interest on its investments which, when added to its other sources of income, helps it to fund services.

We then set out how any surplus funds can be invested with our Treasury Management Policy. We also make a risk assessment on a day-to-day basis. This considers different issues such as credit ratings, government guarantees and access terms.

Ongoing financial monitoring

We will continue to be vigilant and carefully manage our finances with:

  • Internal audits – regular independent reviews of our financial systems and controls carried out by our Internal Audit service.
  • External audits – a review of our finances carried out by Public Sector Audit Appointments Limited (PSAA), an independent company limited by guarantee incorporated by the Local Government Association. The company is responsible for appointing auditors to local government, and for setting audit fees.
  • Active asset management – to make sure we effectively manage our property portfolio.
  • A strong anti-fraud and corruption strategy – to detect and prevent fraud against the Council and encourage people to report any suspected fraud.

Asset management

Asset management is a system put in place to make sure we effectively manage our property portfolio. It aims to provide value for money for residents and to maximise the benefits of our capital and revenue. The strategy explains how this will be achieved.

External Auditors annual audit letter

This summarises important issues arising from the previous financial year and all the work carried out by external auditors.

Annual Governance report

This is the external auditors report which summaries the main issues arising from the audit of the Council’s accounts.