The report of the Executive Member for Finance and Governance and the Strategic Director of Finance, Governance and Support was submitted, the purpose of which was to provide an update on the implementation of the Estates Strategy and on assets agreed for disposal in the financial year 2017/18, and to seek amendments to the Asset Disposal Policy which formed part of the Estates Strategy.
It was outlined that a refreshed Estates Strategy, building on the existing Strategy, was agreed by officers, and the Executive Member had been briefed in July 2017.
An officer group entitled the Estates Strategy Board had been meeting since August 2017, where it had been resolved to provide regular update reports to the Executive Sub-Committee for Property.
The submitted report was the first of these updates covering the financial year 2017/18, and it was envisaged that these updates would now take place quarterly from this date.
The aim of the reporting was not to change the decision-making process but to increase transparency of those transactions which had taken place, and on the ongoing improvements to the governance and operational management of estates and assets.
It would have been feasible to leave the Asset Disposal Policy unchanged following discussions with internal audit on the practical application of the policy 12 months after approval.
Senior officers agreed that a dual sign-off added extra continuity and control into the process for little additional resource and was therefore a sensible and desirable addition to the policy.
Following consideration, it was also felt that a significant number of very low value transactions being included on the Consolidated Asset Disposal Control Sheet distracted time, effort and scrutiny from the higher value transactions and resulted in misplaced resources.
That asset disposals in the financial year 2017/18 and progress on the implementation of the Estates Strategy be noted.
That the following amendments to the Asset Disposal Policy, as set out in paragraph 8, be approved:
That the monthly Consolidated Asset Disposal Control Sheet should be signed off by the Head of Financial Planning and Support as well as the Strategic Director of Finance Governance and Support; and
That a de minimus level should be set for transactions included on the Consolidated Asset Disposal Control Sheet in order that attention could be focused on material transactions. It was proposed that this level be set at £10,000.
The decisions were supported by the following reasons:
For reasons outlined in the report.