“… In our sample of capital projects, it was evident in speaking to staff that the Council had not anticipated the level of funding required for the Seaton Workshop project at an early stage, which may suggest that insufficient research was done to review the viability of the project prior to approval of the project/budget.
The Finance Team should consider whether evidence to support capital appraisals should be clearly documented. They should also consider implementing clear guidance on the level of initial assessment which should be required to be undertaken for capital projects if this is not clearly stated on any current policy/guidance. Any approach should be based on the level of risk and funding of the project as it was evident that some capital projects are lower in risk and value than others.
There is a risk that proposed projects are not being subject to the right level of assessment which could increase the likelihood of funding the wrong projects, and could also lead to delays and overspend to individual projects.”