Directors’ report for the year ended 31 March 2005
Objectives and activities
for future periods
4. Structure, governance
5. Financial review
7. Employee involvement
directors of Citizens Advice present their
report and the audited financial statements for
the year ended 31 March 2005. The financial
statements comply with the Statement of
Recommended Practice (SORP) – Accounting
and Reporting by Charities as revised in 2005,
the Charities Act (1993) and the Companies
Act (1985), the accounts section of the
Department of Trade and Industry Financial
Memorandum and the Annual Reports and
Accounts guidance from the Central Treasury
Accountancy Team and HM Treasury. Citizens
Advice is a national charity, and all Citizens
Advice Bureaux in England, Wales and Northern
Ireland are members. All Citizens Advice
Bureaux are independent charities.
The Citizens Advice service helps
resolve their legal, money and other problems
through information and advice and by
influencing policymakers. Citizens Advice
provides the support necessary to help sustain
the Citizens Advice service and ensure that it
continues to make a positive difference to
communities. It is made up of 453 member
bureaux in England and Wales (2004: 474) and
22 in Northern Ireland (2004: 22). The reduction
in member bureaux is due to mergers between
local bureaux in the same local authority area.
The Citizens Advice service was contacted
about 5,259,000 new problems during 2004/05
Through the grant in aid from the Department
of Trade and Industry (DTI), and donations
from charitable trusts, companies and direct
contracts with statutory bodies, the grant
income for 2004/05 was £33,165,000 (2004: £40,198,000), the fall of just over £7 million less
than 2003/04 mainly due to the scheduled end
of the Citizens Connect Programme IT funding.
These funds have enabled the service to
continue to deliver the charitable objects as set out in section 1 of this report.
Through the hard work of the 444 members
of staff at Citizens Advice, key changes have
been introduced and new projects started
that will help meet the challenges faced by
both individual Citizens Advice Bureaux and
the whole service. Citizens Advice has two
volunteer staff, and is grateful for the
commitment of the 20,874 volunteer advisers,
trustees and other volunteers that contribute
to the Citizens Advice service nationally.
The directors’ report is in a new format this
year, reflecting the adoption of the new Statement of Recommended Practice –
Accounting and Reporting by Charities 2005).
In 2005/06 Citizens Advice will continue to
consider how to best present its activities and
performance against strategic objectives and
will refine the outcome and impact measures
used. Section 3 of this report outlines the key
aims for 2005/06 and next years directors report
will show the performance achieved in these areas.
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1. Objectives and activities
of Citizens Advice
are to promote
any charitable purpose for the advancement of
education, the protection and preservation of
health, and the relief of poverty, sickness and
distress. In carrying out these objects, and in
all aspects of its work, Citizens Advice is
committed to promoting equality and diversity,
preventing prejudice and discrimination,
ensuring equal access to advice and promoting
good relations between all sections of the
community. Citizens Advice is a membership
organisation. Its role is to:
develop, support, represent and lead
› set, maintain and monitor the standards
for the service
› ensure that the voice of Citizens Advice
Bureau clients and the service is heard
› provide quality services and products.
The governance of Citizens Advice is vested
in the Trustee Board, largely elected by
member bureaux (see section 4 of this
report for more details). In May 2004, the Citizens Advice service
strategic plan for 2004/08 was launched, which
sets out the vision for the Citizens Advice
service and the objectives which both Citizens
Advice and bureaux will need to deliver to
achieve this vision. These objectives are to:
meet the needs of as many people
› have a greater influence on
› be innovative and develop new services
› improve funding for both bureaux and
› develop all of the staff and volunteers that
make up the Citizens Advice service.
How these objectives will be achieved
is set out
in section 3 of this report.
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Plans for future periods
main objective for the whole Citizens
Advice service is to create an integrated range
of services that will strengthen access to advice
by telephone, email and internet and focus the
provision of face-to-face and dedicated services
on those in greatest need. Citizens Advice
will establish more effective referral systems
with other advice agencies and focus on
managing demand and improving efficiency within bureaux.
Campaigning for change
policies and services
that are not working, is a cost effective way of
improving the lives of individuals. Citizens
Advice helps many more people through policy
change than is possible through individual
problem-solving. Citizens Advice will increase the scale and scope of social policy work
through increasing resources regionally and
nationally and by articulating and
demonstrating its value and impact through
partnerships with key stakeholders. Citizens
Advice will also invest further in CASE, the
national case recording database that connects
each member bureau to a central database.
CASE will provide improved management
information on problem trends, and support
and enhance the evidence for policy influence. CASE will also help bureaux to manage
their case workloads, analyse their problem
statistics and provide valuable data to local
authorities to help plan for the future.
Citizens Advice will help the service to be
receptive to innovation, responsive to new
opportunities and be known for its capacity
to deliver. This will enable Citizens Advice to
extend the reach of the service to those in
need or who are poorly served, prevent the
occurrence of problems and be seen as an
effective partner by a range of organisations.
Citizens Advice will continue to promote the
unique value of the Citizens Advice service to
local authorities, emphasising in particular, its
independent, generalist advice and policy
work and demonstrating the outcomes
for individuals and communities. Citizens
Advice will continue to assist bureaux to
maximise financial support from local
authorities by encouraging a proactive and
partnership-oriented approach to their keyfunding relationships.
Citizens Advice will develop all Citizens Advice
and bureau paid staff and volunteers in ways
that support the aims of the strategic plan both in terms of specific skills and competences to
meet new challenges. Citizens Advice aims to
create career structures for bureau staff and to increase the number and diversity of volunteers
within the service.
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3. Achievements and performance
targets for the year
ended 31 March
2005 are set out in this section, along with an
assessment of performance against these
targets and an outline of the priorities
The total incoming resources for the year were £36,353,000 and total resources expended
3.1 Bureau audit, support and grants
Advice was the first organisation
within the advice sector to audit the quality
of the advice given by its member bureaux,
ensuring consistent and quality of advice across
the bureau network. In addition to auditing
the quality of advice, Citizens Advice provides
bureau trustee boards and managers with
support on all aspects of running, funding
and maintaining a community based service.
A breakdown of the grants awarded
bureaux and their uses can be found in
note 5 to the financial statements.
Citizens Advice has awarded £4,737,000
(2004: £5,465,000) in grants to bureaux during 2004/05. Many grants to bureaux from the DTI fund resulted
in increased funding for bureaux from other sources such as local authorities. Agreed criteria are used
to regulate bureau grants awarded from the DTI funds and other funder projects.
The main criteria are
› partnerships, particularly with local authorities, for
manager or deputy manager salaries, clerical,
administrative, training or specialist posts
grants to assist the development of premises
improvements, particularly for disabled people
› partnerships in relation to strategic IT development in
line with the IT strategy
› grants for regional and national social policy and advice
projects where bureaux have been selected
to participate in the projects.
|Promote equality and diversity within the Citizens Advice service and
in its partnerships
|Develop an equality and diversity strategy
||› FAIR equality and diversity strategy for
the service was developed in consultation
It is being implemented through an equality scheme and race, faith and disability business plan.
|Implement a local authority funding strategy for bureaux
||Deliver workshops to bureaux on “partnerships and persuasion” and “strategic
as part of the local authority strategy
||› The first year of a programme of work
focused on developing materials, running training
and providing guidance to bureaux has been delivered.
|Strengthen bureaux through audit and support
Review and improve the membership scheme
Maintain the annual bureau audit cycle
Provide support to bureaux that need it most
› The new improved membership
scheme was approved and became effective
› 242 member bureaux underwent
organisational audits and 220 underwent
quality of advice audits meeting the annual audit cycle targets.
› Critical services to bureaux
have been maintained.
|Work on new initiatives to improve access
||Explore and assess effectiveness of a range of potential methods to increase
to advice including email services for the public, and information kiosk services
||› Citizens Advice has worked to support
bureaux with new access possibilities such
kiosks. › A pilot e-mail service has been run and its evaluation
will inform future service plans.
|Enhance the Bureau Management Information System (BMIS) website
||Revise and improve the content of BMIS and increase usage
||› Following demands for a better search
facility, BMIS was redesigned and restructured
in a new look, improved access and better search facilities. 99% of bureaux are satisfied.
|Improve access to specialist support consultancy in employment, money
benefits and consumer rights
||Increase the availability of telephone consultancy to bureaux
||› Money advice and welfare
benefits increased from 3 to 5 days a week.
and consumer rights advice increased from 3 to 4 days a week.
Key aims for 2005/06
Citizens Advice will:
› establish new regional innovation groups to share
knowledge and promote innovation
› provide guidance to bureaux on improving efficiency
and increasing value for money to both clients
3.2 IT services and Citizens Connect
Since 2002, Citizens
Advice has invested £20 million in the Citizens Connect Programme, providing
links from bureaux to e-government portals, access to a national case recording database (CASE) and
online electronic information to support advice giving. The programme of work has included designing,
building and testing bespoke software, and establishing a local and national network infrastructure.
The CASE system improves the client experience by providing efficient access to client case information
and is a more effective way to gather evidence of clients' problems for influencing policy makers. Citizens
Advice provides ongoing IT support resources to Citizens Advice Bureaux and maintains
the live operating environment.
Key aims for 2005/06
› use the client data provided through CASE to make social policy work more effective
› undertake a programme of activities to increase the number of bureaux that make full use of CASE
to record all enquiries and client information.
|Complete the delivery of CASE and the Citizens Connect Programme
||The latest version of CASE set up in all bureaux that requested it Local Area Network
in place in
all bureaux A national pilot project to improve client access to the welfare benefits system through
||› 98% of member bureaux have adopted CASE
and the latest upgrade is in place.
access to the Local Area Network.
› An absence
of e-government services has precluded the delivery of
the range of services envisaged. Citizens Advice remains the only voluntary sector organisation able
to participate to this level in the development of these services.
Citizens Advice works in partnership with bureaux
to provide training programmes
to all bureau
workers. Most of our training is provided as part of the free service offered by Citizens Advice to
bureaux, but charges are made for printing some materials and for places on courses aimed at caseworkers.
3,480 new advisers were trained during the year.
Citizens Advice develops and
maintains courses and other training materials, administers the scheduling
and booking of courses, and provides support at a local level to bureaux on all training related issues.
2004/05, Citizens Advice began developing in-house capacity to write e-learning materials
which adds a new delivery method to the more traditional courses and written materials. The first prototype
of our e-learning was available for piloting at the end of March 2005 and will be delivered to bureaux
|Provide training for all bureau roles: covering general adviser, specialist adviser
||Schedule 1,791 training events
||› 2,234 training events scheduled.
|Develop on-line training course booking facility for bureaux
||Deliver invest to save efficiencies by developing a service to allow bureaux to book
via the intranet
||› 36% of bookings now made on-line.
Key aims for 2005/06
› offer training that supports the strategic objectives
and the development of equalities within
› define development routes for advisers and develop
suitable training materials
› develop appropriate IT training and continue to integrate
CASE, and AdviserNet into adviser
› review Management and Trustee Board competences and
integrate these into learning programmes
that will emphasise the competences and knowledge required to support the
service's strategic objectives
› offer consultancy to bureaux to support both local
delivery of training and development of funding
› develop an income stream from the sales of training
courses and materials to other advice organisations
› explore new methods of training delivery and improve
the efficiency of the systems.
The experience of Citizens Advice Bureaux gives a unique insight into the problems facing citizens on a regional and national level. The Citizens Advice service has always provided free, impartial and confidential advice and used clients' experiences to influence local regional and national services and policies.
Citizens Advice collects evidence of bureau
clients' problems and uses this
to campaign for changes in policies and services. Citizens Advice has a key role in speaking up for
clients, raising issues brought into bureaux, contributing to public debate and informing legislation.
|Evidence gathering policy formation and presentation
||Use Citizens Advice Bureau evidence to influence policy
||› Five major evidence reports covering financial
skills, access to justice, mental
centres and tax credits published.
|Provide capacity-building support to bureaux involved in adult financial literacy work
||Deliver face-to-face programmes by continuing to fund nine bureaux to pilot models
of delivery to
a range of adults
||› Training guidance, publications and events
were delivered to support bureaux. A banking
programme was delivered through a partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions.
In addition to the above key activities, Citizens Advice has published major evidence
reports on the experiences of Citizens Advice Bureau clients’ with mental health problems, highlighted
legal service 'advice deserts' particularly in the areas of housing and family law and outlined the
challenge for consumers in accessing injury compensation. Citizens Advice has organised a number of
seminars for key policy makers to raise the profile of the service's concerns and recommendations.
Advice has also commissioned Opinion Leader Research to help understand the perceptions
key partners have about the reputation, impact and influence of the Citizens Advice service.
Key aims for 2005/06
› a way to evaluate the impact of national social policy
work, showing the number of people who
› a method of evaluating the impact in terms of perceptions
of external stakeholders, and benchmarks
with other agencies.
Citizens Advice is a major provider of information
to the public, through services including the
Adviceguide website and information kiosks. Citizens Advice does this in addition to continuing to provide
the information services used by bureaux to support advice work.
public information products and services managed by Citizens Advice include the Adviceguide
website www.adviceguide.org.uk which has seen a 44 per cent increase in visits this year, and has been
extended with the addition of a range of downloadable factsheets.
are an information pack used in many public libraries, and a recorded information
line, which is delivered by telephone answering systems in a number of bureaux.
|Provide advisers with information more efficiently
||Move to online delivery of electronic information for advisers (AdviserNet)
||› AdviserNet development continued during
2004/05 for roll out later in 2005/06.
|Increase public use of online information
||2 million visits to Adviceguide during 2004/05
||› 2.36 million visits. Adviceguide was awarded
the Community Legal Service Quality
Partnership projects have resulted in several new products and services. These
› a reference book published by Penguin - The Citizens
Advice Handbook - due for publication in
› new public information services for digital TV
› access to the Adviceguide website from web-enabled
(public information) kiosks.
During the year, content in all the information systems, was maintained
and extended. Meanwhile
steady progress was made on the major programme to replace these with a new electronic system, AdviserNet.
AdviserNet will be launched in Autumn 2005 and will be available in web-enabled and CD versions.
aims for 2005/06
Citizens Advice will:
› complete AdviserNet development
› test and evaluate the effectiveness of integrating
ways for the public to access the Citizens
Advice service at a local level
› ensure that the Citizens Advice service overall is
able to work effectively with other information
and advice providers at regional and national levels.
|Raise funds for strategic projects
||› A total of £1,598,695 was received during
the year and a further £273,711 was pledged.
exceeds the target.
3.6 Cost of generating funds
Citizens Advice receives grants
from national and European governments, other public bodies, companies
and voluntary bodies. Most of Citizens Advice income comes from the DTI in the form of grant in aid,
which is not fund raised. Some targets were not met due to changes in priorities for our funders. The
targets in 2005/06 reflect this.
Key aims for 2005/06
›raise £1,800,000 funds across strategic projects.
Factors relevant to
the achievement of objectives
Following notification from the DTI that the
future grant in aid levels would be significantly
reduced, Citizens Advice has strategies to deliver £1 million of efficiencies against the 2004/05 planned
The main objective of Trustees and Officers during 2004/05 was to reduce
core running costs to
within future expected grant levels, without making cuts in service delivery. Citizens Advice will be
proactively seeking further income to supplement the grant in aid awarded by the DTI.
Awards and accolades received
Citizens Advice is proud to have received the
› PR Week Public Affairs Award with Shelter -for the
tenancy deposit campaign (2004)
› Government Computing BT Syntegra Award for Innovation
- for the Citizens Connect Programme (2004)
› Prima Magazine Make Life Simple Award – the Citizens
Advice service was voted most helpful organisation
by readers (2005).
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Structure, governance and management
Status, incorporation and subsequent merger
Advice is a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee.
All member bureaux are members of Citizens Advice, and there are no other members. The maximum liability
of each member is limited to £1. Citizens Advice is governed by its Memorandum and Articles of Association
as amended in October 2000.
The registered name of the charity is The National
Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux, and
from 6 January 2003 the charity has also been known and referred to as Citizens Advice (previously it
was referred to as NACAB). Citizens Advice was incorporated as a company limited by guarantee on 13
July 1979. Citizens Advice commenced operations on 1 October 1979 at which date the assets and liabilities
of the unincorporated National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux were acquired as represented by
the CAB General Fund (see note 17).
On 1 April 1991, the undertaking of the Greater London Citizens Advice Bureau
Service (“GLCABS”), together with its assets and liabilities, was transferred to Citizens Advice and
is represented in the London Region Reserves (see note 17).
The charity’s trading
subsidiary, Citizens Advice Limited (formerly Advice Services Information
Limited), is currently dormant. Consolidated accounts have not been prepared as the balances of the
company are not material to Citizens Advice.
The membership of the Trustee Board as at 5
August 2005 is set out below. The Trustees are also
non-executive directors of Citizens Advice for the purposes of Company Law.
|As at 5 August 2005
|The Rev. Hilary Watkins
||Midlands Region bureaux
|Maurice Sharples OBE*
paid bureau staff member
||North Region bureaux
||South East Region bureaux
|Chris Lendrum CBE
||East Region bureaux
||AGM – paid bureau
||South West Region bureaux
||North West Region bureaux
|Jonathan Tross CB*
* Member of Performance Review and Audit Committee
The following directors served during the year.
|Sir Graham Hart KCB
||East Region bureaux
||Equal Opportunities Committee
||South West Region bureaux
||AGM - paid bureau staff member
||London Region bureaux
||London Region bureaux
||South East Region bureaux
* Member of Performance Review and Audit Committee
register of interests is maintained detailing any significant interests of directors. This is
open to the public and is held at the registered office. A copy is available by writing to the Company
Secretary at the registered office address shown in section 4.6 of this report. No director received
any remuneration for his or her services as director during the year.
4.3 Directors recruitment appointment and induction
are recruited in line with the terms laid out in the Articles of Association.
Four trustees are elected by member bureaux at the Annual General Meeting, these are: the Chair, Treasurer
and two trustees who receive payment for their work in or for a Citizens Advice Bureau (for example
bureau managers). One trustee is elected by member bureaux in each of the seven English regions and
member bureaux in Wales elect a further trustee. In addition, the Board of the Northern Ireland Association
of Citizens Advice Bureaux (NIACAB) appoints one trustee, and two trustees are appointed by the Citizens
Advice Equal Opportunities Committee. Two further trustees can be co-opted by the Trustee Board. The
rules of elections are agreed by the trustees and terms of office last for three years, trustees may
stand for two terms. All trustees are independent from management.
Handbook is issued to all new trustees. It contains information about the roles and
responsibilities of trustees, the Memorandum and Articles of Association, Standing Orders for General
and Trustee Board meetings, the Code of Practice for board members, organisational information and contact
All new trustees attend an induction day, hosted by the Chair and
Chief Executive. Trustees learn
about their role and responsibilities and are briefed on strategic issues affecting Citizens Advice.
Trustees can use the Citizens Advice service intranet site, CABlink, which hosts
designated trustee pages with a broad range of internal and external reference material and information
to support trustees in their roles.
An annual residential meeting of the Trustee
Board aims to develop the skills and knowledge of
trustees. In addition, two trustee development days, dealing with specific issues and skills, are planned
4.4 Directors’ and Chief Executive’s responsibilities
Law, Charity Law and the Financial Memorandum with the DTI, (as agreed with the consent
of the Treasury on 13 April 2005) require the directors and Chief Executive (as Accounting Officer)
to prepare financial statements for each financial year, which give a true and fair view of the state
of affairs of Citizens Advice and of the surplus or deficit for that period. In preparing those financial
statements, the directors and Chief Executive are required to:
accounting policies and then apply them consistently
› make judgements and estimates that are reasonable
› state whether applicable accounting standards have
been followed, subject to any material departures
disclosed and explained in the financial statements
› prepare the financial statements on the going concern
basis unless it is inappropriate to presume
that the charitable company will continue in operation.
The directors and Chief Executive are also responsible for keeping proper accounting
records which disclose with reasonable accuracy at anytime the financial position of Citizens Advice
and enable them to ensure that the financial statements comply with the Companies Act 1985. The directors
and Chief Executive have a general responsibility for taking such steps as are reasonably available
to safeguard the assets of the charitable company and to prevent and detect fraud and other irregularities.
addition the Chief Executive of Citizens Advice has a responsibility for ensuring the regularity
and propriety of the public finances, a requirement that is set out in the Financial Memorandum.
Organisational structure and decision making
Citizens Advice is governed by
its Trustee Board, which sets the policy of the charity. These
policies are implemented by the executive board, which consists of Citizens Advice executive directors
as set out below.
|David Harker OBE
||Director of Communications
||Director of IT Services
||Director of Policy
||Director of Advice
||Director of Human Resources
||Director of Finance and Company Secretary
Member bureaux also take part in the policy-making activity of the charity
passing resolutions at the Annual General Meeting. However, these resolutions need ratifying by the
Trustee Board before implementation. The Trustee Board meets at least six times a year.
for management matters is delegated to the Chief Executive, within a clearly understood
framework of strategic control. The Trustee Board is involved in determining corporate strategy, including
setting key strategic objectives and targets; making major decisions involving use of financial and
other resources; and setting a framework for human resources policy. The Trustee Board’s powers of delegation
are outlined in the code of practice for board members.
The Trustee Board can delegate responsibility for specified matters to individual
members or committees of the Trustee Board. Current committees are the Membership and Standards Committee,
the Equal Opportunities Committee and the Performance Review and Audit Committee. Decisions taken by
individual members or committees of the Trustee Board under delegated powers are recorded in written
minutes available to the Trustee Board as a whole.
The Trustee Board will delegate
operational and staffing matters to the Chief Executive, who is
accountable to the Trustee Board for the overall organisation, management and staffing of Citizens Advice
and for all financial and other procedures.
4.6 Administrative details
Citizens Advice is an operating
name of The National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux.
|Registered Charity Number
London N1 9LZ
32 London Bridge Street
London SE1 9SY
||Barclays Bank PLC
99-100 Hatton Gardens
London EC1N 8NX
||Singer and Friedlander
21 New Street
London EC2M 4HR
2-6 Cannon Street
London EC4M 6YH
42 Bedford Row
London WC1R 4JL
||Davies Arnold Cooper
6-8 Bouverie Street
London EC4Y 8DD
Newcastle upon Tyne
||Jardine Lloyd Thompson
251 High Street
Kent BR6 0NT
4.7 Connected charities
charities are connected to Citizens Advice by way of common objectives and unity
The Citizens Advice Bureaux Trust has the same charity registration
as Citizens Advice and shares
the same trustees. The charity has been absorbed into Citizens Advice accounts. The registered office
is the same as Citizens Advice.
The Adviser is a separate registered charity
with two directors in common with Citizens Advice.
The charity is dormant and not consolidated in Citizens Advice accounts on the grounds that it is not
material. The registered office is the same as Citizens Advice.
of Citizens Advice Bureaux Trust (Friends of CABx) is a separate registered charity.
There were no trustees in common at the year-end; although during the year there were two trustees in
common. The charity is not consolidated in the Citizens Advice accounts on the grounds that it is not
material. During the year the trustees of Friends of CABx reviewed the role and future prospects of
the Trust in the light of declining income and changes in Citizen Advice priorities for fund raising.
It was decided that it would not be feasible to continue to operate the Trust, and the trustees agreed
to cease the operations of the charity with effect from 5 July 2005. This was accepted by Citizens Advice
Trustee Board on 16 February 2005, which will integrate the objectives of the Trust within their existing
fundraising and grant making objectives. The registered office is the same as Citizens Advice.
Citizens Advice International is a company registered in Belgium. It was formed
on March 2004, and from this time has operated from the registered office of Citizens Advice. Citizens
Advice International provides support to all Citizens Advice organisations worldwide. The registered
office is 57 rue de la Concorde, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium. Citizens Advice International is not consolidated
in the financial statements, as Citizens Advice does not have any significant control over the company.
material transactions between Citizens Advice and its connected charities are detailed in
note 23 of the accounts.
4.8 Internal controls and risk management
risk management system exists within Citizens Advice which sets out the major risks to which
the charity is exposed, as identified by the directors. Trustees and executive directors periodically
review the risks and systems. Procedures have been established to identify, monitor and manage the risks.
most significant risks for Citizens Advice relate to the pension fund: specifically bureaux
continuing to be able to make their contributions; uncertainty relating to the level of future DTI grant
in aid; risks associated with the achievement of key strategic objectives; and the potential future
risks associated with the strategic partnership contract with Hewlett Packard ending in 2008.
statement on the system of internal control included within this document sets out the risk
and control framework.
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5. Financial review
At 31 March 2005, reserves were £7,773,000 (2004: £11,105,000).
The reduction in reserves was
primarily due to the use of restricted reserves, where the funding had been received for specific projects
in advance of need, such as the Citizens Connect Programme; other IT Services projects and a project
on Employment Dispute Resolution. The current unrestricted DTI reserves balance is required to provide
a continuity of service and to aid the delivery of the strategic plan over the following three years.
The reserves position as at 31 March 2005 has been agreed with the DTI.
policy on reserves is shown in notes 1 and 17 to the financial statements.
Citizens Advice participated in one defined benefit multi-employer pension
scheme during the year
- The National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux Pension and Assurance Plan (1991). Citizens Advice
adopted FRS 17 for the first time in the year ended 31 March 2005. The last full actuarial review was
dated 1 April 2004. The policy on the pension scheme is shown in note 1 to the financial statements.
The disclosure required under FRS 17 is shown in note 22 to the financial statements.
the year, Citizens Advice has reviewed its provision of pensions to staff. From 1 April
2005, staff will have the choice of a stakeholder pension and the existing defined benefit scheme. The
accrual rate for new and existing staff on the defined benefit pension will fall from 1 April 2005 from
1/65th to 1/80th.
This will not affect benefits already accrued. Existing staff had the opportunity
to buy back the extra 1/15th accrual.
The contributions paid by Citizens Advice
during the year include a one off payment of £2,467,000
towards the deficit to meet the Citizens Advice share of the pension liability. As a result of the changes
in benefits, the employer contribution rate fell on 1 April 2005 from 8.5% to 5.9%. The employee contribution
rate remains unchanged at 8.2% of gross pay. The one-off payment made in the year has reduced the future
impact of the pension deficit on the activities of Citizens Advice for the next three years.
As required in its Memorandum paragraph 4 (o), in furtherance
of its objects, and for no other
purposes, the charitable company has the power to invest the monies of the charitable company not immediately
required for its purposes in or upon such investments, securities or property as may be thought fit,
subject nevertheless to such conditions and such consents as may for the time being be imposed or required
by law. The policy on reserves is shown in note 1 to the financial statements.
Movements in fixed assets are shown in note 11 to the financial
5.5 Payment of creditors
All invoices not in
dispute were paid within 30 days of receipt of the invoice or the agreed contractual
terms if otherwise specified. Citizens Advice terms of trade apply to all suppliers who supply goods
and services worth over £5,000 a year. A copy is available by writing to the Company Secretary at the
registered office address as set out in section 4.6 of this report.
financial statements of Citizens Advice have been audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. The
audit fee was £31,000. Citizens Advice puts out a competitive tender for its audit every five years.
The next tender is due for the period commencing 1 April 2007. During 2004/05 the three-year review
of the work of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP was undertaken. It was agreed to continue with them until
the end of the five-year period, subject to the majority agreement of members at the Annual General
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Citizens Advice recognises
the positive value of diversity, promotes equality and challenges discrimination.
The service-wide Fair Accessible Inclusive Relevant (FAIR) strategy 2004-2008 sets out how we intend
to become a first local point of contact for discrimination advice in partnership with others and to
make equality and diversity part of all we do. Citizens Advice welcomes the responsibilities conferred
upon us during the year by the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and the Civil Partnership Act 2004.
As an employer, Citizens Advice welcomes applications from all parts of the
community, particularly under-represented groups such as black and minority ethnic, disabled and lesbian,
gay and bisexual people.
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including agendas and minutes of the Citizens Advice Trustee Board, are available to employees.
Regular meetings are held between management and the union, and the union and its members to discuss
Citizens Advice activities. Costs for staff to travel to union meetings are paid for by Citizens Advice.
During March and April 2005, an employee satisfaction survey was carried out by an external consultancy
group. The results will be used to influence management decisions in the future. The Citizens Advice
service's intranet site - CABlink -contains a wealth of current information for staff about the Citizens
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has minimal impact on the environment. The use of electronic over paper filing
and information dispersal is encouraged at all levels for the service. Paper recycling is encouraged
where facilities exist.
Signed by order of the board
5 August 2005