TISonline is CIPFAís online information resource for public sector financial managers. It provides over 30 information streams of guidance and commentary covering the financial, legislative, administrative and strategic context to the public services. TISonline information streams are supported by news, discussion forums and e-alert services.
To use TISonline you need to register and log on to the website. You will then have access to the information streams that are covered by your organisationís subscription. A range of subscription packages are available, covering individual information streams or the full TISonline service. For details of your organisationís current subscription, log on to the website.
Capital Expenditure: Grants and Loans looks into capital expenditure in relation to grants and loans to the private housing sector, capital grants to voluntary organisations and budgeting and budgetary control arrangements. This section has been updated regarding the Disabled Facilities Grant. Private Finance Initiative has also been updated.
A new example opportunity risk management strategy has been added to Risk Management and Counter Fraud. This strategy enables the council to pro-actively manage risk and allows it to meet the needs of the community and future challenges.
Risk Management of Projects and Programmes, which has been reviewed and updated, considers how to manage exposure to risk to an acceptable level and in a cost effective way. It outlines the benefits and characteristics of effective project and programme risk management and the common causes of project failure.
Social Media is a new section outlining the cyber risks and opportunities associated with the use of social media in organisations. It also summarises the strategies and tactics necessary to manage these risks, guard corporate data and protect against common malicious attacks via social media.
External Assurance Reports on Accounts has been updated. This section provides an overview of the four main forms of external assurance report that can be provided on social enterprise accounts, along with a selection of example reports.
The Donations section, which looks at the various different fundraising options available to social enterprises, has been updated. The section covers the Gift Aid scheme, the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS), payroll giving, corporate giving and crowdfunding, explaining how each method works.
Budget Monitoring, which has been reviewed and updated, focuses on ensuring that total planned income and expenditure are adhered to as far as possible during the budget period, and that appropriate corrective action is taken where required. Effective budget monitoring is even more critical in periods of austerity and service reductions, as budgets will tend to vary more significantly year on year and monitoring information will be used to inform subsequent year allocations.
The Procurement stream has been broadly updated to reflect The Public Contracts Regulations 2015, which came into force earlier this year. These new regulations apply to all procurement commencing on or after 26 February 2015.
Major updates have been made to the Contract Negotiation and Contract Change sections to ensure that they reflect the new regulations. Additional updates have also been made to the following areas of the stream:
A separate Overview of Public Contracts Regulations 2015 has also been added to the stream.
The CIPFA Publications and Courses section of the stream has also been updated.
Bus Service Procurement explores some of the key issues associated with tendering, contracts and performance monitoring, and fares and ticketing. This section has been reviewed and updated, including reference to the new Public Contracts Regulations 2015 and the issues to consider when awarding de minimis contracts.
Additional VAT Refund Mechanisms explains the introduction of a scheme to allow VAT recovery by palliative care, air ambulance, search and rescue, and medical courier charities by adding Sections 33C and 33D to the Value Added Tax Act 1994. It also covers the potential VAT refund mechanism (Section 33E) for certain non-departmental public bodies.
The minutes of the meeting held on 21 May are now available. Items under discussion included: contracted out services guidance; lease cars; four-year cap; Heading 69; Better Care Fund; and agency staff.
Port Health Authorities, which has been reviewed and updated, explores the inspection, monitoring and enforcement responsibilities of port health authorities, the financial implications of these activities and the impact of current and future trends.
Food Safety examines local authorities’ responsibilities for food safety, including inspection, enforcement and the legislative and financial framework. This section has been updated in the light of recent changes to the Food Law Code of Practice and now also includes an overview of the Food Crime Unit and the UK Food Surveillance System.
A new section has been added on Police Funding in England and Wales for 2015/16, covering grant allocations including the general grant and the various specific grants. Annexes show how the funding is broken down between sources and the allocations to individual police bodies.
Coverage of Grants in Wales has been updated regarding funding of Welsh local authorities for 2015/16.
A new section under Reviews of the System summarises the final recommendations of the Independent Commission on Local Government Finance, which was established by the LGA and CIPFA to explore how the local government finance system could be improved.
Troubled Families is a new section. It provides an overview of the Troubled Families Programme, explaining the original programme and the expanded programme, and covering the role of internal audit in the verification and validation of results.
Education Services Grant and Other Education Funding is a new section. It outlines the statutory services funded by the Education Services Grant and details other sources of education funding, both statutory and discretionary.
Public Procurement Legislation and Tendering for Insurance Services provides an overview of the steps needed to manage an effective insurance tender exercise which complies with both EU directives and UK procurement law. This section has been updated in the light of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, which enact the provisions of the Public Contracts Directive.
A brief overview of Future-Focused Finance has been added to the Health stream. This section outlines the aims and objectives of the initiative and includes a recent letter from the Finance Leadership Council setting out what has been achieved so far and plans for the next 12 months.
A new section on Restricted and Unrestricted Funds has been added to the stream. The section outlines the difference between restricted and unrestricted funds, provides details of their likely sources and defines their various subtypes.
An additional new section on The Gift Aid Scheme and the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme has also been added. The section looks at the financial benefits that charities can receive through these two schemes and provides details of how to make claims under them.
Finally, a new section on Payroll Giving has been added to the stream. This section offers an overview of how payroll giving works, outlines the incentives of such schemes to both donators and charities, and provides a list of HMRC-approved payroll giving agencies.
An updated Smoking Policy has been added to the stream. This example policy covers the minimum requirements that an organisation needs to meet to comply with smoke-free legislation, as well as demonstrating further measures for those wishing to introduce additional restrictions. Notably, the new policy covers the use of e-cigarettes.
A new topical issues article, Developing Historic Cities: The Case for the Oxford Metro, has been added to the Regeneration stream. The article argues that the UK city of Oxford should have a transport system more like its “twin” Grenoble, and outlines the advantages of establishing a tram network in the town before discussing Grenoble’s lessons on implementing such a system.
The scheme, open to businesses located within Wales’s Enterprise Zones, closes on 30 September 2015.
The Main Non-domestic Rating Account and Levy Account for 2014/15 have been released.
The LGA predicts local authorities could face a £3.3bn cut in funding in 2016/17, and a funding gap of £9.5bn by the end of the decade.
A new cyber-security training course has been launched to help the procurement profession stay safe online.