Key Achievements and Developments for 2010-11

Performance 2010/11

Following a period of significant change, 2010/11 marked the final stage in the consolidation for the Finance Directorate.  During the second quarter of the financial year the Financial Services function within the Financial Operations Department, previously located in Armagh, Omagh, Ballymena and Belfast where consolidated in one location, at BSO’s Linenhall Street offices in Belfast.  The move has generated immediate cost savings and will assist us as we strive to provide consistent, high quality services to our customers.  In terms of transactional output, during 2010/11 the Directorate processed: 

  • 23,700 salary payments and 10,000 travel claims for BSO staff and on behalf of our customers;
  • 27,300 payments to Student Nurses;
  • 66,000 payments to BSO suppliers and those of our customers;
  • 6,800 receipts on behalf of the BSO and our customers.

The Finance Directorate also produced full annual accounts for BSO and several HSCNI customers.  A key challenge for 2011/12 will be building upon our relationships with our customers and working collaboratively with them in facing the various challenges which lie ahead.


The Finance Directorate services and supports the BSO Governance and Audit Committee (GAC), which met four times during 2010/11.  The GAC undertook a review of its own effectiveness in April 2011 and concluded that it operates at a high level of effectiveness and conducts its business in accordance with best practice standards.  The GAC regularly assesses progress in respect of the implementation of recommendations made by both the Heads of Internal and External Audit.

The BSO is an active participant in the National Fraud Initiative and provides regular updates to the GAC on developments in this regard and on the wider issue of fraud prevention and detection within the organisation.

Controls Assurance

The Finance Directorate has a specific Financial Management (FM) Standard to comply with and also makes a significant contribution to the Risk Management and Governance standards.  A “substantive” level of compliance is required for all standards.

 In 2010/11 the Directorate achieved a “substantive” level of compliance with respect to the FM Standard.  This is a key gauge of the effectiveness of the Directorate, as it tests the financial control system both at the organisational and an operational level.  A substantive level of compliance was also obtained in the Risk Management and Governance Standards.