As part of the annual budget process the PCC considers and approves a strategy for General Balances, Reserves and Provisions. General balances are maintained as a matter of prudence.
They enable the PCC to provide for cash flow fluctuations and unexpected costly events and thereby help protect the PCC and Force from overspending the annual budget, should such events occur. Reserves and provisions are retained for specific purposes or for known future financial obligations respectively.
The PCC adopts a risk based approach to determine the appropriateness of the levels to be retained, including the minimum acceptable level of general balances. As a consequence, the Chief Finance Officer and Chief Constable review all balances, reserves and provisions as part of the budget setting process and again as part of producing the annual Statement of Accounts.
Details of the strategy, including details of the levels of reserves held, can be found within section 3.5 (Appendix F) of the Budget documents for 2018/19.
The level of reserves held at year end are also detailed within the notes to the Statement of Accounts.