Council praised in external audit report

Audit Scotland has commended the council's effective financial management in its report on 2017-18 accounts.

Ambition we have it

Despite the challenging financial pressures the council continues to face, the external auditors highlighted the council's ability to deliver planned savings and to use less of its reserves than previously budgeted, to deliver services in 2017-18. There were also positive comments on the council's robust and effective financial reporting and forecasting arrangements. 

The review noted the council's satisfactory governance arrangements and highlighted its open and transparent approach to conducting business. Attention was drawn to recent positive inspection reports and performance improvements that have been made in a number of areas including education, social work and domestic waste.

The auditors also noted the significant programme of work that is already underway to revise performance management arrangements which reflect recent management and organisational changes. Updated council priorities will be reflected in a refreshed council business plan, which is expected to be submitted to elected members in December this year. 

ICT resilience arrangements within the council were also acknowledged in the report and further strengthening of cyber resilience and improvements to business continuity planning are in progress.

Chief Executive, Des Murray, said, "Given that we have been facing challenging times for a number of years, as all local authorities have, in terms of making savings, we're satisfied that we've been able to balance our budget and effectively manage our reserve funds. 

"Robust financial management has never been more significant and we will continue to work with all elected members and communities to discuss priorities and make decisions together, to ensure we continue to provide the highest quality of service across our agreed priorities.  

"Our services make a huge difference to the quality of life of our communities. We are introducing a new management structure, with associated savings, that will further ensure our services continue to be aligned with our priorities, helping us to build on what we are already doing well and ensuring that outcomes are relevant and real for people living, working and investing in North Lanarkshire."

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