Day 1: Tuesday 27 June

Council Owned Companies: A District Council perspective

11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Council-owned companies or local authority trading companies have made the headlines a lot in recent months. They are an area of complexity and increasing risk for local authorities and CIPFA recently issued new guidance to promote best practice in the establishment and management of these entities. This session will provide an important district council view on this very topical issue. Delegates will hear from senior leaders and expert advisers, gaining insight on how district councils’ relationships with companies can work, what works well, the challenges to be aware of and how these can be managed.

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Women in Finance

1:40 pm - 2:40 pm

Sharing ways how we, colleagues and our organisations, can support each other during times in our lives where we experience challenges associated with our physiology.

This workshop is a safe space to share thoughts, experiences and suggestions and is open to all.

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A strong and effective local government sector

9:10 am - 9:35 am

Jeremy Pocklington, permanent secretary at the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, will deliver a keynote address focused on a strong and effective local government sector. Against the backdrop of local audit challenges and interventions at some local authorities, this session will deliver the view from central government on progress to date and the future direction of travel.

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Opening Speech

11:30 am - 11:40 am

Kickstarting the Student Conference is Sophie Darlington from Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the outgoing CIPFA Student Network president. She will outline the day’s activities and reflect on her year as president.

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Student Roundtable – Levelling Up Agenda

1:45 pm - 2:45 pm

Addressing regional inequalities is now high up on the government’s agenda. Good public financial management is vital to successfully addressing inequality and levelling up, and central to this are public finance professionals. In this session, students from across the country will discuss how they see the levelling up agenda impacting their regions and what ideas they might have, as future public finance leaders, for tackling inequalities that have persisted for decades. To be a part of the panel, please contact [email protected].

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Senior Managers Session

11:40 am - 12:40 pm

One of our most popular sessions. We are inviting leading, senior figures from the world of public finance to share their ideas and insights on how to shape a fulfilling, challenging and varied career. You will have the opportunity to ask our guest speakers about the skills that have proven indispensable, how they’ve dealt with tricky stakeholders, their morning routines and much more. Stay tuned for details.

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Making Health and Social Care Integration count

11:30 am - 12:30 pm

The creation of integrated care systems (ICS’s) as statutory bodies from 1 July 2022 could provide the impetus needed to drive change across the health and care sector.  The re-emphasis on closer alignment of services to drive improvements in population health and wellbeing may help to focus minds, as the sector rises to the many challenges of the post-pandemic experience and the wider policy reforms proposed.   

The February 2022 white paper on integration provided a welcome focus on prioritising prevention and a recognition of the importance of ‘place’ – the engine room of closer alignment. However, it also raised many questions related to the key components of good public financial management – how to effectively align or pool budgets, set appropriate governance arrangements and align national and local outcomes. Finding solutions to these issues is essential to enable effective collaboration across organisations which have such different systems and cultures – and more importantly to maximise the impact for their populations. 

This workshop will bring together practitioners from across health and care to give their views on the challenges ahead. 

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An exploration of Open Banking in a public sector context

1:40 pm - 2:40 pm

The session will begin by introducing the current Open Banking market and placing open banking innovation into the wider fintech context looking specifically at the public sector. This will cover how best this technology can serve customers and create friendlier customer experiences. The panel will then discuss the areas where open banking and fintech can best provide efficiencies and cost savings to the public sector and drive positive results for the people they support. The panel will pick specific examples of where open banking technology has been used to simplify current resource heavy and manual processes.

The session will move to discussing compliance, GDPR requirements for data protection and fraud, explaining how open banking lowers or eliminates the associated risks. This will be followed by the integration process, demonstrating the ease of implementing open banking solutions.

Finally, the panel will provide an overview of the ‘return on investment’ and the financial efficiency the technology brings, and discuss how this technology will develop in the future for continued innovation to serve the public sector.

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Procurement: more than a business necessity

1:40 pm - 2:40 pm

Without procurement, it would be impossible for most business operations to function. Procurement is becoming a driving force for innovation, customer value and sustainability, while playing a key role in enabling businesses to fulfil their strategic objectives.

This session will present the findings and insights from a previous procurement roundtable and report

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Student Prizegiving and Closing Remarks

3:20 pm - 4:20 pm

In this session, we celebrate the CIPFA students whose exam results reflect the best performance in specified modules of CIPFA’s professional qualification. We will also hear from the incoming CIPFA Student Network president, Lin Liu. She will introduce herself and outline her priorities for the coming year before closing the student conference.

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Sustainable communities: understanding the opportunities and risks

11:40 am - 12:40 pm

Sustainability is a subject that has taken centre stage in recent times and we all can have a different understanding of what it is and what it means to us, our communities, country, and planet. This session will present the results and insights from research conducted by Zurich Municipal with public sector customers to break the big picture down and explore what sustainability means in a public sector context. This will include views on the areas of risk and opportunity that really matter to communities along with tools and advice about how to mitigate and prepare for them to help build and maintain sustainable communities now and for the future. 

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Break

2:40 pm - 3:15 pm

Refreshments and networking in the exhibition hall

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Session break

4:20 pm - 4:30 pm

Time to join the plenary session

Close

Can levelling up unite the country?

9:35 am - 10:20 am

The government has built its policy programme around the levelling up agenda, promising to eradicate regional divides by investing in infrastructure and skills. Following publication of the government’s levelling up white paper, and a departmental re-brand, we’ll hear about this vision in more depth and ask how achievable it is.

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Make it Right, Get it Done: Techniques for Accounting Excellence

1:45 pm - 2:45 pm

Join us in this interactive workshop and get the answers you need based on a picklist of common accounting challenges within finance teams. 

 Two local government experts will be sharing their insights, expertise and advice on how to achieve optimal financial processes to drive efficiencies, meaning less time correcting and investigating issues.  

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Investing in regional equality - lessons from four cities

11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Governments around the world have been delivering policies to tackle inequality in their own populations. However, it is highly complex and there is no single answer.  

CIPFA has identified some of the approaches that have been effective in addressing inequality. Join us as we share the initiatives and strategies used to overcome barriers to inclusive growth using case studies from Fukuoka in Japan, Leipzig in Germany, Cleveland in the US and Nantes in France.  

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Untapped potential: The future of internal audit in the public services

1:40 pm - 2:40 pm

CIPFA’s recent internal audit research examines the profession’s strengths and expectations and looks towards future challenges. CIPFA concludes that this field houses huge untapped potential, which requires greater support and understanding. Attend our workshop to learn more about internal audit’s vital role in solving financial and governance-related issues in the public sector. 

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Break

11:00 am - 11:30 am

Refreshments and networking in the exhibition hall

Close

Understanding our diverse past; securing a more inclusive future 

10:20 am - 11:00 am

Recent years have seen new perspectives emerge about Britain’s role in the world, the legacies of empire and slavery and the thousands of people whose contributions to our country have been forgotten or overlooked. Rather than brush uncomfortable truths away, we are now being encouraged to look our history fully in the face and reach a fresh understanding of where we have come from and who played a part in our national story. What role should the modern public sector play in these conversations? How can public sector organisations work to create communities, spaces and places that pay honest tribute to the past, reflect a more inclusive present and guide us to a better future? 

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Governance Risk and Compliance - a consideration of the challenges facing the Public Sector

11:30 am - 12:30 pm

This workshop will consider the growing challenges around Governance, Risk and Compliance and look at ways of bringing together these three often disparate areas. 

This will be facilitated through conversation with two UK local councils and considering some experiences from Australian Government. 

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Embracing the new era in Public Service: Leading through change

3:20 pm - 4:20 pm

As today’s Public Sector organisations confront challenges related to the global pandemic, shifting demographics in the workforce, the need for agility and driving better value for the taxpayer, one thing is clear: the pace of change in the public sector is accelerating at a head-spinning rate.  

To address these issues and embrace a fast-approaching future, the public sector must fundamentally overhaul their operating systems, technology, policies, and practices. Yet gaining support for any transformation is difficult. Join Workday as we explore how public sector finance organisations can successfully navigate transformation. 

Close

Harnessing data value in public finance

1:45 pm - 2:45 pm

Our professional world is increasingly driven by data. This presents great opportunities, but also risks and potential pitfalls that need to be better understood. If public finance professionals are to unlock the value in data to better inform their decision making, they need to be comfortable and confident in interpreting and analysing it. This workshop will explore the potential for data to enhance public sector finance processes from strategy to forecasting and will look at examples in contexts. It will also explore the opportunity for public finance professionals to play an important role in an increasingly data-driven environment. 

 

Close

Do we need a public finance settlement for young people?

10:10 am - 11:00 am

The public sector is geared to the needs of the old. The state pension and NHS are set to consume an increasing portion of the public finance pie. Millennials and Generations Z are relatively light users of public services and, from free higher education and cheap housing, have lost many of the economic advantages the Baby Boomers enjoyed. Does this intergenerational inequity risk fracturing an already strained social contract? Should the government re-evaluate the needs of younger generations and develop a refreshed offer?

Close

Break

2:15 pm - 2:45 pm

 

Close

Session to be announced

4:20 pm - 5:30 pm

 

Close

New Tools for the Local Authority Toolbox

1:45 pm - 2:45 pm

As authorities transition to a post-Covid climate, many find their finances increasingly stretched as their portfolio of services continues to expand.  Maximising the capability of councils’ finance teams and widening the range of tools available to them has become increasingly important.  Innovation need not be innovative.  Absorbing strategies utilised elsewhere and adapting some proven financial management practices, structures, tools and models from outside the UK that have delivered benefits in both the private and public sectors, will help local authorities enhance their finances without taking undue risk or incurring significant costs.

Close

President’s welcome

9:00 am - 9:10 am

 

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Closing the strategy-to-performance gap through better financial planning and performance management

11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Planning is the key thread running through any organisation. In the public sector it has always been important, enabling public bodies to set objectives and prioritise, deciding how best to allocate resources, then translating policy into programmes and projects, and reviewing results so that the lessons learnt can inform future decisions. However, too often, the processes used to develop plans and monitor performance make it difficult to discern whether any strategy-to-performance gap stems from poor planning, poor execution, both, or neither. In this session Oracle and our customers illustrate how they knocked down the data silos that have cordoned parts of the organisations from one another and replaced the spreadsheets used in planning that perpetuate inaccuracy. Including examples of how accountability can be embedded through performance management and reporting. 

Close

Local government financial reporting – where next?

3:20 pm - 4:20 pm

For delegates to understand better who are the key users of public sector financial reports, what information is of interest to them, what we can do to make financial reports more accessible and the role that audit plays in giving assurance to the users of financial reports.  Delegates will also understand the current challenges in financial reporting, including the current crisis in local audit and the role that they can play in continuous improvement.

 

Close

Have we got a public probity problem?

3:15 pm - 4:15 pm

From procurement through to parliamentary accountability and partygate, there are mounting concerns that standards in public life are slipping and cronyism and corruption are making a return. This session will consider whether we have lost touch with the ethical standards that should anchor public service, the impact on public trust and democratic engagement and whether it’s time to re-set expectations and behaviours.

Close

Session to be announced

11:40 am - 12:40 pm

   

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Levelling up in practice: delivering positive outcomes for citizens

3:20 pm - 4:20 pm

Organisations can be shaped and developed so that core teams and services act as genuine outcome multipliers, building capability and strengthening impactful performance management. All of which lead to strengthened resilience and positive impact and better outcomes for citizens.

Often these areas fall short of their potential or transformation is limited to what is process based or structural.  What if there was a better way?  We believe there is, it requires re-framing of challenges, re-thinking of boundaries, refreshed approaches to managing performance and new, citizen centric, localised evidence for decision making, including explicit consideration of needs and inequalities.

Our session we will explore how future councils could operate, building on clear and transferable learnings from delivering better outcomes within the most complex areas, what could success look like at full scale?  Using EDGEWORK, our propriety methodology, we share insights and approaches that could help leaders in Finance and Resources create an outcome multiplier effect. Surrey County Council share learnings on influencing local systems that enable people and place to thrive.

Close

Working towards a diverse and inclusive public finance profession

11:40 am - 12:40 pm

We hear much about the diversity and inclusion agenda but how is this impacting the public finance profession specifically? Diversity has multiple aspects and intersections, from race and gender to disability, age and social class. Do we need to establish new ways of understanding and connecting with each other? This workshop will consider how these issues are playing out in the modern workplace and changing interpersonal and professional relationships.  

Close

Empowering budget holders

11:40 am - 12:40 pm

After years of delivering savings, the Finance function now needs to achieve a more fundamental transformation to optimise efficiencies; ensure robust assurance of public spend; and add maximum value by being a trusted strategic partner. 

Self Service for Budget Holders is an important feature of this wider transformation. It is also one of the most challenging to land successfully.  

 

Join Socitm Advisory and Norfolk County Council to hear their story and lessons learned along the way:   

  • Shifting culture from hand-holding budget holders to one of empowerment 
  • Overcoming resistance to changing ways of working – amongst both budget holders and finance teams 
  • Investing in financial management skills and capability across the organisation to enable data-driven decision-making, the right accountabilities and a value-add finance function. 

Providing intuitive and insightful technology to secure management ownership of budget monitoring and forecasting. 

Close

Building more homes for social rent – the role of councils

1:45 pm - 2:45 pm

The Government has set a target to build 300,000 homes a year, but history tells us that the private sector has struggled to build more than 200,000 in only one or two years since the second world war. Indeed, it was councils that built the majority of new homes in the immediate post war period to address the last great housing crisis. This workshop will explore the ways in which more recently, there has been growing recognition that councils are once again part of the solution to today’s housing crisis. Join us to discuss the lifting of the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) borrowing cap provides councils with the ability to implement a step change and building more council homes is moving up the agenda of central Government and front and centre of many council corporate priorities 

Close

How can we build a sustainable and inclusive world?

4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

As the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, the global order has been shaken by a new wave of conflict, which is strengthening old alliances and carving out new ones. Against this backdrop, all countries should be working towards building prosperous, sustainable and more equitable economies, while shrugging off dependency on carbon-based energy. The UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, together with its COP26 targets, set out an ambitious roadmap for a world free from poverty and hunger, supported by strong institutions and actively working to deliver net zero and mitigate the impacts of climate change. This session will consider progress towards delivery of these goals, both domestically and internationally. It will ask how delivery can be assured in the face of disruption to the geopolitical world order and how public finance professionals can play their part.

Close

New economic and political realities: where do we go from here?

9:20 am - 10:10 am

Inflation is back on the rise, and has now passed 9%, with prices increasing at the fastest rate for 40 years. A decade of near-zero interest rates and below-target inflation, the success of government responses to the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a renewal in price pressures. Disruptions to global supply chains and stagnant real wages have converged with significant cost of living rises for many households. What will this mean for the provision of public services and the role of a more activist state more generally? After nearly two years of generous public spending, to what degree will there be a return to fiscal discipline – and what will this mean for those living in the most deprived areas? Crucially, we will discuss what the uneven impacts of these price changes mean for policies such as the levelling up agenda.

Close

Drinks reception

5:45 pm - 8:00 pm

Sponsored by: Grant Thornton

Join CIPFA, delegates and exhibitors for the official Public Finance Live drinks reception at Revolution Liverpool – Albert Dock

Close

Break

11:00 am - 11:40 am

Refreshments and networking in the exhibition hall

Close

Lunch Break

12:40 pm - 1:45 pm

Lunch and networking in the exhibition hall

Close

President's welcome

9:05 am - 9:20 am

 

Close

Break

2:45 pm - 3:20 pm

Refreshments and networking in the exhibition hall

Close

Lunch Break

12:30 pm - 1:40 pm

Lunch and networking in the exhibition hall

Close

Please note that the programme timings and speakers are subject to change 

09:05 - 09:20

 

09:20 - 10:10

Inflation is back on the rise, and has now passed 9%, with prices increasing at the fastest rate for 40 years. A decade of near-zero interest rates and below-target inflation, the success of government responses to the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a renewal in price pressures. Disruptions to global supply chains and stagnant real wages have converged with significant cost of living rises for many households. What will this mean for the provision of public services and the role of a more activist state more generally? After nearly two years of generous public spending, to what degree will there be a return to fiscal discipline – and what will this mean for those living in the most deprived areas? Crucially, we will discuss what the uneven impacts of these price changes mean for policies such as the levelling up agenda.

10:10 - 11:00

The public sector is geared to the needs of the old. The state pension and NHS are set to consume an increasing portion of the public finance pie. Millennials and Generations Z are relatively light users of public services and, from free higher education and cheap housing, have lost many of the economic advantages the Baby Boomers enjoyed. Does this intergenerational inequity risk fracturing an already strained social contract? Should the government re-evaluate the needs of younger generations and develop a refreshed offer?

Break

11:00 - 11:40

Refreshments and networking in the exhibition hall

Fringe

11:40 - 12:40

Sustainability is a subject that has taken centre stage in recent times and we all can have a different understanding of what it is and what it means to us, our communities, country, and planet. This session will present the results and insights from research conducted by Zurich Municipal with public sector customers to break the big picture down and explore what sustainability means in a public sector context. This will include views on the areas of risk and opportunity that really matter to communities along with tools and advice about how to mitigate and prepare for them to help build and maintain sustainable communities now and for the future. 

Place and Planet
11:40 - 12:40

After years of delivering savings, the Finance function now needs to achieve a more fundamental transformation to optimise efficiencies; ensure robust assurance of public spend; and add maximum value by being a trusted strategic partner. 

Self Service for Budget Holders is an important feature of this wider transformation. It is also one of the most challenging to land successfully.  

 

Finance and Governance
11:40 - 12:40

We hear much about the diversity and inclusion agenda but how is this impacting the public finance profession specifically? Diversity has multiple aspects and intersections, from race and gender to disability, age and social class. Do we need to establish new ways of understanding and connecting with each other? This workshop will consider how these issues are playing out in the modern workplace and changing interpersonal and professional relationships.  

Leadership and Skills

Lunch Break

12:40 - 13:45

Lunch and networking in the exhibition hall

Fringe

13:45 - 14:45

As authorities transition to a post-Covid climate, many find their finances increasingly stretched as their portfolio of services continues to expand.  Maximising the capability of councils’ finance teams and widening the range of tools available to them has become increasingly important.  Innovation need not be innovative.  Absorbing strategies utilised elsewhere and adapting some proven financial management practices, structures, tools and models from outside the UK that have delivered benefits in both the private and public sectors, will help local authorities enhance their finances without taking undue risk or incurring significant costs.

Place and Planet
13:45 - 14:45

Join us in this interactive workshop and get the answers you need based on a picklist of common accounting challenges within finance teams. 

 Two local government experts will be sharing their insights, expertise and advice on how to achieve optimal financial processes to drive efficiencies, meaning less time correcting and investigating issues.  

Finance and Governance
13:45 - 14:45

Our professional world is increasingly driven by data. This presents great opportunities, but also risks and potential pitfalls that need to be better understood. If public finance professionals are to unlock the value in data to better inform their decision making, they need to be comfortable and confident in interpreting and analysing it. This workshop will explore the potential for data to enhance public sector finance processes from strategy to forecasting and will look at examples in contexts. It will also explore the opportunity for public finance professionals to play an important role in an increasingly data-driven environment. 

 

Leadership and Skills

Break

14:45 - 15:20

Refreshments and networking in the exhibition hall

Fringe

15:20 - 16:20

Organisations can be shaped and developed so that core teams and services act as genuine outcome multipliers, building capability and strengthening impactful performance management. All of which lead to strengthened resilience and positive impact and better outcomes for citizens.

Often these areas fall short of their potential or transformation is limited to what is process based or structural.  What if there was a better way?  We believe there is, it requires re-framing of challenges, re-thinking of boundaries, refreshed approaches to managing performance and new, citizen centric, localised evidence for decision making, including explicit consideration of needs and inequalities.

Place and Planet
15:20 - 16:20

For delegates to understand better who are the key users of public sector financial reports, what information is of interest to them, what we can do to make financial reports more accessible and the role that audit plays in giving assurance to the users of financial reports.  Delegates will also understand the current challenges in financial reporting, including the current crisis in local audit and the role that they can play in continuous improvement.

 

Finance and Governance
15:20 - 16:20

As today’s Public Sector organisations confront challenges related to the global pandemic, shifting demographics in the workforce, the need for agility and driving better value for the taxpayer, one thing is clear: the pace of change in the public sector is accelerating at a head-spinning rate.  

To address these issues and embrace a fast-approaching future, the public sector must fundamentally overhaul their operating systems, technology, policies, and practices. Yet gaining support for any transformation is difficult. Join Workday as we explore how public sector finance organisations can successfully navigate transformation. 

Leadership and Skills

Session break

16:20 - 16:30

Time to join the plenary session

Fringe

16:30 - 17:30

As the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, the global order has been shaken by a new wave of conflict, which is strengthening old alliances and carving out new ones. Against this backdrop, all countries should be working towards building prosperous, sustainable and more equitable economies, while shrugging off dependency on carbon-based energy. The UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, together with its COP26 targets, set out an ambitious roadmap for a world free from poverty and hunger, supported by strong institutions and actively working to deliver net zero and mitigate the impacts of climate change. This session will consider progress towards delivery of these goals, both domestically and internationally. It will ask how delivery can be assured in the face of disruption to the geopolitical world order and how public finance professionals can play their part.

Drinks reception

17:45 - 20:00

Sponsored by: Grant Thornton

Join CIPFA, delegates and exhibitors for the official Public Finance Live drinks reception at Revolution Liverpool - Albert Dock

Fringe