• Public sector update

Public sector update

26 October 2021

As we all try to find our footing and rethink how we position ourselves in the ‘new reality’, we are delighted to bring you the first edition of our public sector update.

The update will provide regular news and insights on the latest public sector issues, as well as best practice content that you can share within your organisations, which offer practical solutions to the challenges you face.

Guide to governance and lessons learned for local authority trading companies

The incorporation of local authorities trading companies to deliver direct services to their communities has increased over the past ten years in an environment of reduced funding from Central Government. Companies have been set up to deliver waste services, energy supply, support services, social care services, housing development, as well as other key services.


Data privacy and central government - meeting the compliance challenge

Central government works with significant volumes of personal data, some of which can be sensitive. Compliance with data protection requirements should therefore be a key priority.


Recruiting independent members to local government audit committees

Recognising the importance of effective audit committee scrutiny, the Redmond Review of 2020 included a recommendation that local authorities consider appointing at least one independent member to their audit committee. 

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Tackling contract issues common to the public sector

The Open Book Contract Management (OBCM) Guidance was published by the Crown Commercial Service in 2016. It contains checklists designed to assist government departments and public bodies in assessing whether costs presented by suppliers are ‘allowable’ for the purposes of bid comparison. ​

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Directors’ accountability for internal controls – planning for the new requirements

Reforms to the UK corporate governance environment are coming, with important impacts on directors’ accountability for internal controls.

One particular proposed reform would increase the accountability of directors for internal controls over financial reporting and other non-financial information including ESG, Supplier Payment Policy and Practices, Performance Indicators linked to the remuneration and anti-fraud arrangements. The BEIS consultation paper outlines proposals for implementing a UK Sarbanes-Oxley style regime, including stronger disclosure and potential attestation requirements, albeit with great flexibility and proportionality.

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Lessons all organisations could learn from the Government’s COVID-19 response

The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for governments, public sector entities and private companies alike. Important lessons can be learnt in terms of how to respond quickly, effectively and without creating unintended consequences.

In its May 2021 report, Initial learning from the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Audit Office (NAO) identified six recurring themes:

  • Risk management
  • Transparency and public trust
  • Data and evidence
  • Coordination and delivery models
  • Supporting and protecting people
  • Financial and workforce pressures.

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