Accounting Standards

CIPFA outlines role of CFOs in police sector

The institute is urging police to ensure CFOs are given a seat at the leadership table

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) is calling on the police sector to ensure CFOs are given a “seat at the leadership table”.

The organisation has published ‘The Role of CFOs in Policing’, which sets out five principles that emphasise the core activities and behaviours related to the role.

Police CFOs, as S151 officers, must have unfettered access to their chief constable to provide advice on financial and governance matters, even where the CFO reports to another role.

The five principles include the CFO must be a key member of the leadership team, actively involved in material business decisions, and lead the promotion and delivery of good financial management so that public money is safeguarded from misuse.

Furthermore, CFOs must be a professionally qualified accountant and ensure the finance function is resourced to be fit for purpose, according to the institute.

Alison Dewhirst, the CIPFA’s Police and Fire Adviser, said: “With resources increasingly scarce, CFOs have an integral role supporting police forces to keep their communities safe and getting best value from the public pound.

“In the changing world of policing, the role of the CFO can be complex, often involving responsibility for other related functions such as IT, HR or transformation.”

He added: “Our statement today supports CFOs in the fulfilment of their duties and highlights the position they must hold in leadership teams to provide the most effective financial advice to PCCs and chief constables.”

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