Accident & emergency. Emergencies are defined by the NHS as critical or life threatening situations requiring medical attention, such as: loss of consciousness, heavy blood loss, suspected broken bones, persistent chest pain for 15 minutes or more, difficulty breathing and overdose, ingestion or poisoning.
Association of Accounting Technicians.
Local housing charities which provide accommodation for older people in small schemes.
Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service. A non-departmental body, with the aim of preventing and resolving employment disputes.
Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.
Access to Work
A scheme run by Jobcentre Plus to help employers overcome the practical issues that may occur when recruiting a disabled person. It offers practical advice and help that can be tailored to suit the needs of an individual in a particular job.
The responsibility of public servants (both paid and elected) for their decisions and actions (including stewardship of public funds and all aspects of performance) and submission to proper external scrutiny for this purpose.
A suite of inter-related accounting programmes within one package, typically including ledger, stock, payroll, invoicing and cash flow functions.
Accounting Standards Board (ASB)
The ASB is responsible for setting accounting standards which are recognised by law.
Accounting whereby income and expenditure are accrued, i.e. recognised as they are earned or incurred, not as they are received or paid. Under this concept therefore inclusion or exclusion of an item of income or expenditure will depend on the period to which it relates, not the period in which it was received or performed.
An accounting concept which requires that income and expenditure are accrued (i.e. recognised as they are earned or incurred, not as they are received or paid). Under this concept therefore, inclusion or exclusion of an item of income or expenditure will depend on the period to which it relates, not the period in which it was received or performed.
Interest already earned but not yet due or payable.
Accounting Code of Practice
A Classification of Residential Neighbourhoods. A system that categorises all UK postcodes into various types based upon census data and other information.
Association of Chief Police Officers
Acquisition and works
A method of procurement in which a housing association purchases land and undertakes a building contract directly with a house builder or contractor.
Activity-based costing (ABC)
A system of expenditure analysis which separately identifies cost drivers (the activities and other factors which make the biggest differences to unit costs, for example set-up costs) and apportions the cost of each cost driver separately to objective heads (usually referred to as cost objects). ABC thus states the total cost of cost objects more realistically than if cost drivers are merely apportioned as part of wider pro-rata distributions of costs.
Hospital based health treatment following an unplanned admission. Although the definition does not include planned admissions, the term is often used to cover all hospital care.
Works to make existing dwellings more suitable for people with physical disabilities. In some cases these works may be eligible for grant.
The contribution which the provider of any input makes to the total quantity or quality of given work or services performed jointly with others.
For the Local Government Pensions Schemes, the administering authority is the local authority with nominated responsibility for the investment and management of the scheme.
Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. The technology that allows existing telephone lines to transmit a higher volume of data to terminals than conventional ‘dial-up’. It remains ‘always on’ and allows the user to download large files (including videos, games and audio) in a short space of time. Normally referred to as ‘broadband’.
A term used by social landlords to mean that rents do not exceed the means of low income groups. A variety of definitions exist, none definitive.
Usually an agreement between two organisations that one will act as the agent of the other. An example might be where a voluntary agency acts as the agent for a housing association to manage supported housing.
A campaign for sustainable development linked with European policies on and approaches to the environment
Agenda for Change
Agenda for Change is the single pay system in operation in the NHS since 2004. It applies to all directly employed NHS staff with the exception of doctors, dentists and some very senior managers.
Aggregate external finance (AEF)
The total external support for local authorities' revenue expenditure which is not funded from the council tax. It comprises revenue support grant, certain specific grants and payments from the redistributed yield of non-domestic rates.
Allied health professional. Refers to professionals working in fields allied to medicine, including physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dieticians, speech and language therapists and radiographers.
Arts and Humanities Research Council. The AHRC supports and funds research and postgraduate study in its subject areas within the UK's higher education institutions.
Association of Local Authority Risk Managers
Association of London Government
The total cost of a financial transaction, including interest cost, periodic charges and all fees etc.
The debits made when the expenditure to be borne by each head is a question of fact, so that no apportionments need to be made. The cost of telephones for example may be allocated to the users of the various lines.
Allocations (by a social landlord)
The identification of a particular property to be offered to a person who will become a tenant.
Arm's length management organisation. An organisation set up to manage all or part of a local authority's housing stock. Ownership of the stock will remain with the local authority.
Annual managed expenditure. Items of expenditure whose provision is volatile and which are reviewed annually.
The loss in value of an intangible asset due to its use by the organisation.
Annual capital guidelines (ACG)
Issued until 31 March 2004 by the government in respect of the main groups of services. Historically, a broad indication of the level at which the government considers an authority needs to spend on capital in the financial year. More recently, the element of an authority's BCA allocated on a service-related basis.
Annual governance statement (AGS)
The formal statement that recognises, records and publishes a local authority’s governance arrangements.
Annual lettings plan (ALP)
A plan for the different need groups a social landlord intends to let over a year. Most social landlords, including local authorities and housing associations, will have such a plan.
Behaviour which would restrict the competition process. Examples of anti-competitive behaviour might include too complex a specification, packaging work of a dissimilar nature together, allowing too small a period of time for a contractor to complete the tender documentation, or showing favouritism to the in-house team, especially in evaluating tenders and awarding contracts.
Area of outstanding natural beauty.
Association of Police Authorities.
In ICT, short for application software. A complete software system for a particular application which is usually supplied as a package from an outside supplier for general use or developed in-house.
Under an appointeeship, the appointee receives benefits on behalf of the service user/vulnerable person. The appointee is responsible for ensuring correct benefit entitlements are claimed, payments are received and banked safely, and that all monies are used in the service users’ best interest either by meeting everyday living costs or paying for residential/nursing home care.
The expenditure debits made when the total expenditure to be borne by a group of heads is a question of fact, but when the separate amount to be borne by each head is not. The expenditure then has to be split in proportion to whatever base best reflects the differing extents to which the various heads contribute to the need for the expenditure, or benefit from it. Accommodation costs for example are often apportioned pro-rata to floor space.
An authority can appropriate land and property it holds for one purpose, but no longer requires for that purpose, for another use. To appropriate the property for another service it will need the consent of the secretary of state under Section 19(2) of the Housing Act 1985.
Appropriations to/from reserves
These are respectively, the movement of monies into reserves from the GFRA, or out of reserves to the GFRA.
Approval in principle
Agreement by a lender to the general principle of offering a loan prior to detailed knowledge of a scheme or proposal.
Approved development programme (ADP)
The former Housing Corporation programme for investment in new social housing. Now replaced by the National Affordable Housing Programme.
Approved social worker
Someone who has successfully completed a specific course of training in mental health and is able to take action under the Mental Health Act 1983.
Air quality management areas.
Air quality strategy.
Area Based Grant
A non-ringfenced general grant, introduced from 2008/09 to replace LAA grant. Area Based Grant is made up of pooled funding from a range of previously separate specific grants.
Area cost adjustment (ACA)
The scaling factor applied to formula grant calculations to reflect higher costs – mostly pay – in some council areas.
Arts Council of England
The national development agency for the arts in England, distributing public money from government and the National Lottery.
Arts Council of Wales
The national development agency responsible for funding and developing the arts in Wales.
Accounting Standards Board. The ASB is responsible for setting accounting standards which are recognised by law.
Anti-social behaviour order. An order granted by the courts to restrict the movements of individuals whose behaviour is deemed by the court to be anti-social. It can be applied for by a local authority, a housing association or the police.
In socal care, the process of objectively defining needs and determining eligibility for assistance against stated policy criteria. It is a participative process involving the person, their carers and other relevant professionals, e.g. GP, district nurse.
Anything that is owned which can be given a monetary value, eg buildings, land, cars, machinery, cash, investments etc. It is always considered in comparison with liabilities in an organisation’s accounts.
The distribution of a fund’s assets between asset classes.
A specific area/type of investment e.g. UK equities, fixed interest, overseas bonds, cash.
A general term used to cover all the provisions designed to ensure that the assets of a community interest company (including any profits or other surpluses generated by its activities) are used for the benefit of the community.
Prudent manipulation and control of assets in the best interests of an organisation.
Asset management plan (AMP)
A corporate document produced by authorities in line with government requirements, detailing existing asset management arrangements and planned action to improve asset use.
Assistive technology (AT)
Any product or service designed to enable independence for disabled and older people.
Assumed national council tax (ANCT)
Prior to 2006/07, an aggregate measure set by the government in calculating formula grant. This represented the Band D council tax level which, nationally, could be levied if local authorities as a whole spent at the level of their formula spending shares. Following the introduction of the four block model ANCT no longer exists officially.
Assured shorthold tenancy
A variant of the assured tenancy under the Housing Act 1988 to encourage private letting. The tenancy must run for at least six months, or for its fixed term if longer. After that period the landlord is guaranteed possession of the property, subject to two months’ notice. Though not generally used by housing associations, shortholds are now the most common form of new letting in the private sector.
A form of tenancy introduced by the Housing Act 1988 which became the norm for new lettings by housing associations. Such tenancies are outside the provisions of the Rent Act 1977 and the Tenants’ Charter provisions of the Housing Act 1985. The landlord is free to set market rents but housing associations are expected to set affordable rents and give additional contractual rights to tenants.
Formal review of activities by people or agencies not otherwise responsible for those activities. Originally used for the periodic review of financial transactions but now increasingly used also for any independent review, usually ad hoc, of any activities.
An independent body established under the Local Government Finance Act 1982. The Audit Commission is responsible for the appointment of external auditors to local authorities, and for ensuring authorities use their resources economically, efficiently and effectively. It also runs the comprehensive area assessment.
The point in terms of annual turnover above which companies are required to have independent annual audits.
A method for tracing the transactions determining the contents of a record.
In ICT, the process of verifying a user’s identity in order to grant access to ICT systems.
Admission to an acute hospital which would be unnecessary if alternative services were available.
Contact between the community and local authorities that could have been avoided by better and more efficient processes; for example, where a resident has to make several calls to resolve an issue.