CIPFA Service Reporting Code of Practice (SeRCOP) 2021/22: Service Expenditure Analysis (SEA)


The invitation to comment for the CIPFA Service Reporting Code of Practice, Service Expenditure Analysis for England and Wales is now under way.

The SEA sets out a framework for reporting local authority service expenditure. This structure is an important factor in determining and defining the information that we collect in the CIPFA statistics and also government returns such as the RA/RO, Section 251 and ASC-FR.

Effectively revising the SeRCOP SEA and keeping it fit for purpose is about finding a consensus across these many considerations and the various stakeholders. It is therefore essential to gather a broad base of opinion to inform this process. Any thoughts or contributions you have will be gratefully received.

While ensuring the accuracy of the current structure and the definitions therein is important, we are also keen to challenge the usefulness of the analysis in the following ways:

  • Do the expenditure divisions reflect how services are delivered and organised in practice?
  • Do the service divisions provide the basis for robust, reliable, consistent and comparable information?
  • Is the number of mandatory and discretionary levels about right in your service area?
  • Are they well balanced in terms of the proportion of total costs in each division?
  • Does the current breakdown help you in your benchmarking, policy or value for money analysis?

We request any recommendations for change that you feel should be considered for the 2021/22 edition of SeRCOP, should be sent by email to by 24th June 2020. Once we have collated all the comments we will produce a wider public consultation paper on the changes in the summer.

In the meantime, should you have any queries or require further clarification please email

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