R15B – GOVERNORS CHECKLIST
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R15B - Statement of Internal Control - Pre-Certification Checklist for Governors
The Statement of Internal Control (SIC) is designed to accompany the DCSF Consistent Financial Reporting (CFR) Return and Financial Summary, and so relates to the same completed financial year. The internal controls it refers to are those required as best practice by the Financial Management Standard in Schools (FMSiS).
The issues for governors and the head teacher to consider before authorising their representatives to the sign the SIC fall into two categories:-
; Specific actions and more general control processes that should have occurred during the financial
year in question; and
; Specific actions needed after the year end when the CFR Return is available.
The questions are split into these two categories for ease of consideration. That consideration is probably best achieved as a group, perhaps at the finance committee meeting that approves the CFR Return, and needs to be formally recorded. The questions are structured so that:- ; A “yes” answer to every question would allow the SIC to be signed without any amendment; and
; A “no” answer to any question will require either further action or explanation in the SIC.
Controls that should have operated
during the financial year
Question Agreed Implication of the Answer
Yes or No
If yes, no action. Did we set the school budget in line
with the priorities detailed in the school development plan either before the stIf no, paragraph 4 should disclose this beginning of the financial year (1 April) weakness. Paragraph 5 should explain or as soon as possible thereafter? the steps being taken to ensure next year’s budget is set on time and reflects
the school’s priorities.
If yes, no action. Did we see regular reports on the
school’s financial position during the year, did the head teacher and bursar If no, paragraph 4 should disclose the answer all the questions raised with inadequate base financial records as a them and were we satisfied that weakness. Paragraph 5 should explain materially accurate records have been the steps being taken to rectify the maintained throughout the year? position. (Regular in this context would refer to
termly reports as a minimum and
possibly more frequent in larger
If yes, no action. Did we take appropriate action on all
significant matters raised in reports from the internal auditor? If no, ensure this decision is justified. If, after reflection, it is considered that some action needs to be taken,
describe this briefly in paragraph 5.
If yes, no action. Did we review a risk assessment and
taken appropriate steps to manage the risks identified including the If no, the need to conduct a introduction of internal controls and/or comprehensive risk assessment should external insurance cover where be noted in paragraph 4. Paragraph 5 required? should explain the steps being taken.
Question Agreed Implication of the Answer
Yes or No
Control activities required after the
end of the financial year
If yes, no action. Has the head teacher confirmed that
he/she has seen a reconciliation of the school’s base financial records with the If no, to the first question, make CFR Return (either prepared from the arrangements for the head teacher to school’s own system or by the local complete/review the reconciliation authority) and Financial Summary that before the SIC is signed and published. shows they are:
If no to the second question, the non-; a complete record of the School’s compliance should be noted at transactions for the year and that paragraph 4 as a weakness. Paragraph the two documents are consistent 5 should explain the steps being taken with each other? to rectify the position. ; based on financial records that have met the requirements of the
DCSF Consistent Financial
Reporting (CFR) framework?
If yes to either question, no action. Have we received a report from the
internal auditor giving us assurance that the systems of internal financial If no to both questions, either: control operated satisfactorily during the year? ; delay signing the statement until
you have received the report or undertaken the self-evaluation OR OR ; if the report or the self-Have we undertaken a thorough self-evaluation has identified evaluation of the internal control weaknesses that need to be systems in operation during the year addressed as a high priority, list and did not find any weaknesses that them at paragraph 4 and briefly needed to be addressed as a high explain in paragraph 5, the priority? action planned to rectify them.
If yes, no action. Are we confident that there are no
significant litigation, liabilities or commitments that have arisen after the If no, consider if the accounts need year-end, and are not referred to or adjusting in order to be complete, or accounted for in the published financial whether a Contingent Liability or Gain summaries? disclosure note should be added and
the Local Authority Finance Department
If yes, no action. Have we been advised that there has
been no actual or potential non- compliance with laws, regulations and If no, add the appropriate disclosure codes of practice that could reduce the notes to the income and expenditure school’s ability to meet its objectives or account before it is signed and cause the school to incur a financial published. loss, and is this supported by our own
knowledge of the school and its
; Given the s151 officer has ultimate responsibility for the internal control systems of the whole authority it will be
necessary to report the details of any “No” answers to him or her or more realistically to a representative of the
; The completed internal controls self-evaluation should be copied to the Local Authority internal audit section to
inform its risk assessment and audit planning processes