Birmingham City Council has responded to the latest letter from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to the Birmingham Independent Improvement Panel
In a joint statement, leader Cllr John Clancy and acting chief executive Angela Probert said:
“The latest letter notes the progress we continue to make and the shared determination to deliver change throughout the organisation. It also highlights the decisive action by the council to appoint experienced individuals to the posts of interim chief executive and interim s.151 officer*.
“We are particularly pleased that the Secretary of State acknowledges the Panel’s assessment that the 2017/18 budget is achievable.
“In the meantime we must work with the new interim chief executive and strengthened management team to build on the progress already made.”
*Section 151 officer: Section 151 of the Local Government Act 1972 requires every local authority to make arrangements for the proper administration of their financial affairs and requires one officer to be nominated to take responsibility for the administration of those affairs. The Section 151 officer is usually the local authority’s treasurer and must be a qualified accountant belonging to one of the recognised chartered accountancy bodies. The Section 151 officer has a number of statutory duties, including the duty to report any unlawful financial activity involving the authority (past, present or proposed) or failure to set or keep to a balanced budget. The Section 151 officer also has a number of statutory powers in order to allow this role to be carried out, such as the right to insist that the local authority makes sufficient financial provision for the cost of internal audit.