The Finance Service is at the core of Council business, ensuring that people, suppliers and staff get paid for carrying out their work and collecting the money from customers rate payers and the Scottish Government to enable us to do this. We also then ensure transactions are recorded and our financial performance is reported in various forms, including the annual budget and annual accounts.
Without money and the mechanisms to use and record our transactions the Council cannot function, therefore it is vital that we continue to have a robust and suitably resourced finance service.
The Council manages a number of budgets, namely: 2016/17
- General Fund - for general day to day operational purposes - £110 M
- Harbour Account - for the operation of various ports and harbours - £18 M
- Housing Revenue Accounts - for the council's social housing stock - £6 M
- Capital Account - for asset investment projects - £14 M
The Service is a supplier to a number of outside bodies, including the Orkney and Shetland Valuation Joint Board, the Shetland Charitable Trust and a number of others. In addition we are the administering authority for the Shetland Islands Council Pension Fund.
The Pension Fund has an operational budget for 2016/17 of £12 M
We manage investments for both the Council and the Pension Fund, where both portfolios are diversified to reduce risk and have separate investment strategies. Risk is managed by having multiple fund managers, investments in different asset classes and by spreading the investments across the world.
At 31 March 2016 the value of investments was:
- Council Investments - £287 M
- Pension Fund Investments - £376 M
The functions delivered by the Finance Service can be summarised and are managed by three team leaders:
- Budgetary control - revenue budget setting and revenue and capital budget monitoring
- Professional financial advice to council services and Councillors
- Contribute to professional committee agenda management process of the Council
- Responding to national and statutory returns and consultations
- Preparation of the annual accounts for the Council and its group, the Pension Fund and a number of external bodies
- Treasury management of over £500m of public money
- Provision of a payroll service to over 4800 employees and over 1,500 pensioners
- Payment of over 80,000 transactions (including over 65,000 invoices) each year
- Management and administration of the Shetland Islands Council Pension Fund
Revenues & Benefits
- Administer Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Discretionary Housing Payments and the Scottish Welfare Fund on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions and the Scottish Government, making payments of over £3.8m per year to some of the most vulnerable people in Shetland
- Billing and collection of Council Tax, National Non-Domestic Rates and Housing Rents, which results in the issue of 17,000 bills totalling £31m per year
- Management of the Council's Sales Ledger system which issues over 20,000 invoices totalling £42m per year
- Management of the Council's income system, ensuring the Council allocates over £100m of income each year to the correct codes/charges
- Provision of the Council's cashiers service
- Provision of reception service for 8 North Ness and Council Switchboard with over 55,000 received calls per year
Our Finance Service is based in a single location, if you have a need to write to us about a comment, idea or complaint about our service then our address is:
Shetland Islands Council, Finance, Corporate Services, 8 North Ness Business Park, Lerwick, Shetland, ZE1 0LZ.
Alternatively you can phone or email us as detailed above, or use the Online Feedback Form.