Constitution - Part 5G - Financial standing orders - FR3 Asset Management



The following should be read in conjunction with Part 3 of the Constitution, which sets out the Executive Director - Economy and Infrastructure responsibility for the use of land and buildings. 

11.1 Directors will be responsible for the safe custody of all County Council assets under their responsibility and control.

11.2 Assets will not be purchased using loans, leases or hire purchase agreements except with the agreement of the Section 151 Officer.

11.3 Directors will ensure that contingency plans for the security of assets and continuity of service in the event of disaster or system failure are in place and are regularly tested.

11.4 Directors will be authorised to dispose of non- property surplus, damaged or scrap assets on the best possible terms.

12.1 Having regard to the County Council's Strategic Asset Management Plan Directors will regularly review the use of capital assets to determine whether they continue to provide value for money and remain essential to service provision. Property assets identified as surplus to Directorate requirements will be promptly declared as such to the Assistant Director - Environment and Enterprise who will review alternative uses of surplus assets, and recommend the future use or disposal of such assets to the relevant Portfolio Holder and Leader of the Council.

12.2 The Council's Disposals Policy sets out how the Council identifies properties for disposal and appropriate disposal routes. It makes clear when the Council can consider, under section 123 of the Local Government Act 1972 and Circular 06/03 General Disposal Consent (England) 2003, the power to promote and improve the well being of the area by disposing of its surplus properties at less than market value, provided the difference between the actual value and the disposal price is less than £2m.

12.3 Assets that are disposed of through Community Asset Transfers (CAT) comply with the Council's Disposals Policy and Community Asset Transfer Policy The CAT policy provides the opportunity to transfer an asset to a community for a nominal cost. Each transfer is considered on a case by case basis; involving an assessment of any proposals being made against the well being benefits to the community and whether it presents value for money.

12.4 Cabinet will decide, in relation to individual Community Asset Transfers, whether to agree with the disposal at less than market value.

12.5 Where assets are not disposed of through Community Asset Transfers assets will be disposed of through an open market sale. The Director of Finance (Section 151 Officer) and Assistant Director - Environment and Enterprise will be consulted on any alternative method of disposal.

12.6 The Section 151 Officer will be notified of the intention to dispose of any item which might be regarded as capital, for example, land and buildings or capital assets obtained via a leasing agreement. 

12.7 The Section 151 Officer will maintain an asset register for purposes of financial accounting which will record capital assets when they are acquired by the County Council and ensure it is kept up to date, in consultation with Directors.

13.1 In accordance with arrangements made or agreed by the Section 151 Officer, Directors will maintain appropriate inventories (includes stocks and stores) and ensure procedures are operated for the safe custody, issue and disposal of inventory assets. The inventory will include any items that Directors consider to be vulnerable to loss or are of significant replacement value (over £1,000). It is not necessary to include office furniture or fittings, and IT equipment.

13.2 Directors will arrange regular physical checks asset against the relevant inventory records.  Any significant surplus, deficiency or deterioration revealed as a result of such checks will be investigated and reported to Internal Audit for their advice and/or assistance. The rules for write-offs are included in FR 9 Systems and Procedures.

14.1 Except as agreed by Council, no officer may raise money by securing any legal charge or claim upon the buildings, land or any other asset or interest of the County Council.  Any contract or legal agreement involving a charge upon assets (of the County Council or a contractor) will be forwarded to the Monitoring Officer and the Section 151 Officer for approval and signature on behalf of the County Council

15.1 The Section 151 Officer will be responsible for all arrangements relating to the operation of the County Council's bank accounts. The Section 151 Officer is authorised to open subsidiary bank accounts as are necessary. 

15.2 Directors will ensure that the collection and banking of monies is undertaken in accordance with any instructions issued by the Section 151 Officer.

15.3  Directors will inform the Section 151 Officer when £500,000 or more cash is expected to be received.

Petty cash and imprest accounts

15.4 Petty Cash and imprest accounts will be operated in accordance with instructions issued by the Section 151 Officer. Maximum limits for cash holdings will be agreed with the Section 151 Officer, and will not be exceeded except as authorised by the Section 151 Officer.

15.5 Petty cash should not be used to make payments to suppliers for goods / services that should be paid through the formal purchase ordering processes including the e-proc system.

15.6 The Section 151 Officer will maintain a record of all imprest accounts and the approved current level. Any cash holding can be removed by the Section 151 Officer at any time.