The department shares all the council's aims: highest quality and best
value of services, responsiveness to and integrity with customers and
development of staff.
The department has eight heads of service reporting to the Director of Finance. Members of the Directorate have responsibility for advising council members and senior officers in other departments on a major group of council services.
The service is responsible for the council's corporate budget and accounts, general government grants, liaison with the External Auditor and the development of IT strategy for the council's financial information system. The service is the client for the Accounting Services contract which is operated in-house. Council insurance matters are arranged and monitored through the service, which also advises the council's Directors Board on Risk Management issues. Also responsible for treasury management, capital accounting, investments, banking and financial references. A small team of Finance Consultants providing financial services across the council, reports to the Head of Corporate Finance.
Corporate ICT Division
Corporate ICT is responsible for the management and implementation of the Council's ICT strategy and ensures that the benefits of technical progress are obtained in the services it provides.
Service Finance deals with all functions and issues relating to the council's service departments. Five financial groups support the departments with Finance and Administration being covered by one group. The service prepares budgets and accounts, vets all service proposals and advises on tax issues.
The service provides the council's legal internal audit function and undertakes legal responsibilities for the proper administration of the council's affairs and reporting unlawful financial actions. An internal audit contractor, currently Deloitte & Touche, carry out the cyclical audits under a four-year contract. The Benefit Fraud Team and the council's Procurement Advisory Group are also based in this service.
Pensions, Payments and Support
This service is responsible for the provision of payroll and pension services across the council and for the administration of the council's pension fund. the service also provides departmental support services in relation to IT, including the management of a number of major departmental systems, procurement and office management.
Responsible for income collection arrangements including rents, council tax, business rates, service charges, mortgages, education recoupment and home and day care charges. Responsible not only for Revenue Services but also for promoting good practice in all council services for income accounting and collection. The rent collection and service charge functions as part of a Housing Management Service operated in partnership with the Housing Department.
Benefits and Customer Services
Responsible for the calculation and payment of housing and council tax benefit and Customers Services for the council. The Head of Benefits and Customer Services leads the largest service in the department composed of a staff group of about 120, dealing with the implementation of new legislation and the processing of almost 26000 claimants for benefits at any one time. Also has responsibility for the council's One Stop reception and the council's switchboard and parking administration and parking policy.
The Design Service
The Design Service is responsible for maintaining all of the council's non school operational property and for procuring and managing all of the council's energy requirements. They also act as a professional building consultant winning work in competition with the private sector for major projects.
Valuation Services meet the needs of the council's service departments by providing legal and other property valuations, managing the council's business lettings on commercial lines, disposing of surplus property on the most advantageous terms and by providing property advice to the council, the executive, committees, members and service departments.
Facilities Management Service
The Facilities Management Service is responsible for the management and maintenance of the council's centrally administered office portfolio. It is also responsible for building security and courier services.