The oversight of standards of conduct and probity is an individual responsibility of the director who is also the county council's monitoring officer. The oversight of the county council's finances and pension fund administration lies with the chief financial officer who is also deputy director.
The Chief Executives Directorate takes the lead for the county council on business modernisation and change to ensure that we develop public services fit for the future.
This section provides a range of accounting, budgeting and financial support services to other Directorates of the county council that provide services to the population of Dorset. Including:
- supporting Directors and Cost Centre Managers by giving financial advice on service delivery issues
- interpreting and responding to Government proposals and announcements, seeking to assist the county council in securing the best deal for Dorset
- responsible for the preparation of regular, accurate and comprehensive management reports
- production of grant claims and statistics
Procurement and Business Efficiency
The team aims to contribute to the successful delivery of key corporate programmes and projects by providing independent resources to lead and support these. It also facilitates better overall management of the corporate portfolio of programmes and projects.
A main driver for the team's work is aim 4 of the Council's Corporate Plan "effective public services: develop public services fit for the future". This aim is supported by a work programme that seeks to achieve more with resources we have available while continuing to meet the high expectations of the public.
The Dorset Procurement Team (DP) provides strategic direction and leadership on procurement and contract management matters for the county council, facilitates partnerships between the county council and the private sector and other local authorities and establishes best value contract arrangements for purchasing a wide range of goods and services.
The Business Support Unit provides business and administrative support to the Corporate Resources Directorate as well as managing the central office accommodation used by the county council. The group includes our typing bureau, caretaking services and post room.
The Coroner is a judicial officer whose main duty is to be available to investigate sudden or unexplained death. The county council is responsible for all costs of providing this service within its area. The service itself is responsible to the Lord Chancellor and the Home Office.
Chief Financial Officer
Internal audit, insurance and risk management
The Audit Section review manual and computerised financial systems to ensure that they are operated efficiently and controlled effectively.
The section also:
- advises on the development and implementation of new financial systems
- investigates financial irregularities and undertakes special projects and value for money studies
- provides risk management advice and promoting risk management initiatives throughout the authority
- handles the insurance portfolio, the administration and handling of insurance claims
- provides advice on a number of insurance related subjects
The Investments Team's primary tasks are to ensure that the return on the Dorset County Pension Fund assets is maximised, (without undue risk), and to manage the county council's cash balances and long term borrowing requirements. The Team is responsible also for the maintenance of the Authority's banking arrangements and for advice to service departments on the financial standing of potential contractors.
Accounting and financial management
The Corporate Finance section provides:
- the strategic finance role for the whole authority on issues such as the Council's budget and Final Accounts
- the lead on the maintenance and development of the Corporate Finance systems
- Wide range of financial advice on technical accounting issues, with the aim of ensuring consistent financial treatment across the authority
- specialist advice on technical issues such as VAT, the government grant system, and capital and pension fund accounting
- day to day accounting support for the Corporate Resources directorate and services under contract to the Dorset Police and Fire Authorities
Income collection and debt recovery
The Section operates a computerised income system, raising and dispatching accounts to debtors, reconciles of income collected and monitors and follows up arrears cases including making arrangements to recover outstanding debts, in conjunction with Legal Services.
Human Resources and Exchequer Services
Human Resources provide a professional personnel and training service to all Directorates of the county council. The Personnel Advisers offer the following:
- advice to directorates on pay and conditions of service matters and industrial relations
- dealing with re-organisation proposals and grading matters
- develop new personnel policies and procedures which apply county wide
- responsibility for the computerised personnel records system which is used by all Directorates, provides county-wide manpower statistics, prepares contracts of employment and provides general administrative support
- training of the county council's employees at all levels
The Team is responsible for:
- accurate and timely management of a diverse range of payment services made to staff, pensioners, suppliers and contractors
- managing the payment of salaries, wages and pensions for about 13,000 employees and 12,700 pensioners and administers the Local Government, Police, and Fire pension schemes
- processing approximately 300,000 invoices for payment per annum on behalf of other directorates, and for the management of the travel scheme as well as paying in the region of 60,000 employee expense claims per annum
- the Development and Operations Team is responsible for the development of computer systems used by Exchequer Services, and for processing and control functions associated with these systems
The Cashiers Team receives all local payments in to the county council and arranges for the despatch of cheques, remittance and payroll advices produced by the payment systems.
Legal and Democratic Services
Our purpose is to provide a prompt and responsive legal service to the county council. There are three aspects to this role: providing corporate, legal and policy advice to the county council, its committees and sub-committees; ensuring legality and propriety in all aspects of the county council's affairs; providing or securing legal services and advice to directorates of the county council.
Committee and member services support the democratic process by administering the decision making systems of the county council and its committees and sub committees and providing support to elected members. You may like to access details of the committee system, and online minutes and agendas of meetings.
The Records Management Unit stores, retrieves and reviews the semi-current records of the authority, freeing valuable office space within departments. The Records Manager is able to advise on current record systems and space-efficient storage methods. He is also responsible within the authority for data protection issues.