* Making a decision in an emergency
* Making decisions relating to health and safety – for example, if something is reported as damaged in a play area, it should not be left until a council to agree to get this fixed
* Being allocated an agreed sum of money to spend on items to assist them in their work, this may include computer sundries, stationery and other office supplies
* Responding to planning applications which meet certain criteria – there can often be too many planning applications for a council to deal with in the time allotted by the principal authority, delegating the unambiguous applications which are not likely to raise controversy may be a way of expediting the process.
The clerk is often an expert in many fields. Each issue that arises in a council, whether that focuses on planning, land, leases, contracts or any number of the possible functions of a council, can bring its own issues, questions and pitfalls.
Correspondence and research can take up a large amount of time as well as attendance at outside meetings and training. A clerk should not be expected to work in their own time or with their own funds. Under s151 of the LGA 1972, a local council must appoint:
An officer to administer their finances and ensure all legislation to meet the Transparency and Accountability regulations. This officer is known as either the Responsible Financial Officer (RFO) or in some cases the “151 officer” (in reference to the section of the Act). In many councils the RFO is the clerk. The RFO compiles budgets and precept requests and ensures that proper practices are undertaken in financial administration.