Regulation

Strengthened local government Prudential Code to be published

The revised code will include clarification and examples of what is and is not classified as prudent borrowing activity

Following consultation with local government finance professionals, a strengthened Prudential Code will be published by the end of 2021, CIPFA has announced today (24 June). 

The Prudential Code is a professional code of practice that aims to ensure local authorities’ financial plans are “affordable, prudent and sustainable”. Over 100 participants responded to the consultation earlier this year which set out CIPFA’s proposals for a revised code.

The key changes being brought forward are to paragraph 45 of the Prudential Framework, which currently states that “authorities must not borrow more than or in advance of their needs purely in order to profit from the investment of the extra sums borrowed”. 

The revised code will include clarification and examples of what is and is not classified as prudent borrowing activity. These added principles are intended to “protect the public purse” and “avoid misinterpretation” of the Code’s provisions.

Rob Whiteman, CEO of CIPFA said: “We are tremendously grateful to everyone who took the time to share their thoughts with us throughout this consultation process.

“CIPFA is committed to maintaining a principles-based system that gives local authorities the freedom and protection to invest in their communities. It is the actions of a minority of outlying authorities that are putting those freedoms at risk of further government intervention into the Prudential Framework.

“We are confident that the proposals we will be implementing will put an end to actions that either push the boundaries of the Prudential Code or intentionally misinterpret its provisions.”

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