1 July 2007Guideline for Municipal CompetencyLevels:Accounting OfficersMunicipal Regulations on Minimum Competency Levelsissued in terms of theLocal Government: Municipal Finance Management Act,2003
IntroductionThis guideline is one of a series to explain the Local Government Municipal FinanceManagement Act, 2003: Municipal Regulations on Minimum Competency Levels foraccounting officers, senior managers, finance officials, and other officials responsible forsupply chain management of municipalities and municipal entities. Sections 83, 107 and 119of the MFMA require officials to meet prescribed competency levels in financial and supplychain management and should be read with the Municipal Regulations on MinimumCompetency Levels. This guide also complements the performance managementregulations issued under the Municipal Systems Act by the Department of Provincial andLocal Government.Minimum competencies: accounting officersCompetencies required of every accounting officer of a municipality and municipal entitymust be understood within the broader context of the MFMA. Roles and responsibilities areassigned to the accounting officer throughout the MFMA. Chapter 8 contains specificresponsibilities in this regard, that should be noted.The Regulations require the accounting officer to meet minimum competency requirementsin the four categories below and each is discussed further in this guideline: Financial and supply chain management competencies, as prescribed in theRegulations and described in these guidelines (see table)Core managerial and occupational competencies, as described in the MunicipalPerformance Regulations issued in terms of the Municipal Systems ActHigher education qualification at NQF Level 6 or a Certificate in Municipal FinancialManagementMinimum five years work experience at a senior management levelFinancial and supply chain management competenciesGenerally speaking, the financial and supply chain management skills required of officialsare categorised into 11 competency areas, they are:126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.9.10.11.Strategic leadership and managementStrategic financial managementOperational financial managementGovernance, ethics and values in financial managementFinancial and performance reportingRisk and change managementProject managementLegislation, policy and implementationStakeholder relationsSupply chain managementAudit and assuranceThe table contained within this guideline provides a comprehensive guide to the knowledgeand skills required of the accounting officer to effectively implement the MFMA, in each ofthe 11 competency areas. The knowledge and skills are drawn directly from the MFMA andthe roles and responsibilities assigned to the official. The table has been used to identifyrelevant Unit Standards on which the Regulations are based.The Regulations prescribe Unit Standards (US ID) that match the skills and knowledgerequired in respect of each competency area. In some cases a suitable Unit Standard wasGuideline for Municipal Competency Levels: Accounting OfficersMunicipal Regulations on Minimum Competency Levels1
not available hence there may be some competency levels without a standard shown. Forexample the accounting officer has no project management or audit and assurance UnitStandards prescribed. The table however, still provides guidance on the required skills andknowledge and in time Unit Standards will be developed to address any gaps. It is importanttherefore, to read both the Regulations and these guidelines together to ensure officials areappropriately skilled for their positions.Unit Standards referred to in the Regulations are registered by the South AfricanQualifications Authority (SAQA) and form part of the following higher educationqualifications:The Certificate in Municipal Financial Management (Qualification ID No. 48965)National Diploma: Public Finance Management and Administration (Qualification ID No.49554) The Unit Standards specify minimum training outcomes and provide guidance on the specificabilities that the official must demonstrate.Core managerial and occupational competenciesIn addition to financial and supply chain management competencies, accounting officersrequired to have the core managerial and occupational competencies, as described inMunicipal Performance Regulations. Further information on and queries relating toMunicipal Performance Regulations can be obtained from and should be directed toDepartment of Provincial and Local Government.arethethetheHigher education qualificationsAn accounting officer must have or attain by 1 January 2013 a higher education qualificationthat is at least at NQF level 6.Foreign qualifications obtained outside the Republic of South Africa and qualifications thathave not been accredited by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) held byexisting officials and applicants for new positions must be submitted to SAQA for evaluation.“NQF” refers to the National Qualifications Framework prescribed by regulations issued interms of the South African Qualifications Authority Act, 1995 (Act 58 of 1995). The followingtable provides examples of qualifications within the various NQF levels and should be usedas a guide only. The criteria for determining the NQF level of qualifications is available onthe SAQA website (see below for contact details).BandsExamples of Qualifications8Higher education and trainingDoctorates and research masters7Higher education and trainingHigher degree: Honours, postgraduate certificate & diploma6Higher education and trainingFirst three-year degrees & higher diplomas5Higher education and trainingTwo year diplomas and occupational certificates4Further education and trainingHigh School/College/NGO certificates/Grade 123Further education and trainingSchool/College/NGO certificates2Further education and trainingSchool/College/NGO certificates1General education and trainingGrades 4-9, ABET 1-4NQFGuideline for Municipal Competency Levels: Accounting OfficersMunicipal Regulations on Minimum Competency Levels2
Work related experienceAccounting officers must be able to demonstrate a minimum of five years work relatedexperience at a senior management level. Regulation 1 contains a definition of seniormanagement level.Where an official claims previous work related experience outside the local governmentsphere the municipality or municipal entity will need to evaluate past work experience toensure it is indeed substantially similar to the local government sphere. Experience shouldbe verified by contacting past employers, obtaining copies of job descriptions and viewingexamples of past work where appropriate.Implementation of the RegulationsWhen the regulations become effective, there will be existing accounting officers inmunicipalities and municipal entities that do not meet the prescribed competencies. Themunicipality or entity must ensure that the competencies of existing officials are assessedpromptly in order to identify and address gaps. Where an existing official does not meet theprescribed higher education qualification and/ or required minimum competency level in therequired unit standards, he/ she should enrol for appropriate SAQA recognised qualificationsand address all other gaps on or before 1 January 2013.The municipality and municipal entity may only recruit new accounting officers that meet theprescribed financial and supply chain management competencies, higher education andprior experience requirements. During the implementation period however, new officials thatdo not meet the prescribed competency levels may be recruited provided the official’scontinued employment is subject to a condition that the official attains the requirements nolater than 1 January 2013. This will require the official to attain the higher educationqualification and the required minimum competency level in the required Unit Standards foreach competency area on or before 1 January 2013.After 1 January 2013 no person may be employed that does not meet the requirements ofthe Regulations.Performance agreementsThe attainment of prescribed competencies and qualifications should be incorporated intothe job description and evaluation criteria as reflected in the annual performance agreementof existing and any new accounting officer of a municipality or municipal entity. When doingso it is important to consider the following: The development plan and learning pathway of the accounting officer should be reflectedin his or her annual performance agreement to ensure that existing competency gaps aremet within the prescribed timeframes;New candidates applying for the position of accounting officer must have theircompetencies assessed in accordance with the Regulations prior to their appointment.Any advert to invite applications for this position should make reference to the requiredcompetencies for this position.Assessment of competency levelsAll assessments of competencies must be undertaken by assessors accredited by the LocalGovernment Sector Education Training Authority (LGSETA) in terms of SAQA guidelinesand NQF-registered Unit Standards and criteria.Guideline for Municipal Competency Levels: Accounting OfficersMunicipal Regulations on Minimum Competency Levels3
SAQA provides guidelines for the assessment of NQF-registered Standards and criteria forthe registration of assessors. Officials in possession of qualifications obtained outside theRepublic of South Africa will have to submit their qualifications to SAQA for evaluation.LGSETA can be contacted as followsSAQA can be contacted as .zaPostal addressBox 1964Bedfordview 2008Postal addressSAQA Postnet 248Private bag X06Waterkloof, Pretoria 0145Physicaladdress4/6 Corporate ParkBuilding, 4th floorSkeen BoulevardBedfordview 2007Physicaladdress1067 Acadia StHatfield 0083Telephonenumbers011 456 8574 (reception)011 450 4948 (fax)Telephonenumbers012 431 5000 (reception)012 431 5147 (fax)086 010 3188 (help desk)Monitoring and reporting competency levelsThe accounting officer is responsible to monitor and take all necessary steps to ensurecompliance with the Regulations, including regular reporting.Each municipality is required to furnish half yearly implementation returns to the NationalTreasury and relevant provincial treasury for the period ending 31 December and 30 June.The return is to be in the format of the Schedule to the Regulations and, where applicable,include consolidated information on all its municipal entities. The consolidated returns are tobe furnished by no later than 30 January and 30 July respectively. The annual report of themunicipality must reflect the information as at the end of the financial year to which it relates.Municipal entities must submit the return in the Schedule to its parent municipality (by nolater than 20 January and 20 July) in order for the parent to consolidate the information andmeet its reporting obligations. The annual report of the municipal entity must reflect theinformation as at the end of the financial year to which it relates.Use of the tableGeneral: The following table provides guidance on the implementation of the MunicipalRegulations on Minimum Competency Levels and will assist with the interpretation of thefinancial and supply chain management skill levels and areas of competency of the specificposition. The table must be read in conjunction with the Regulations.Municipal Entities: In applying the table below, unless indicated otherwise, a reference to amunicipality, a municipal council, a mayor (or executive mayoral committee) or anaccounting officer (the municipal manager) must be read as referring to a municipal entity,the board or directors of a municipal entity, the chairperson of the Board of Directors of amunicipal entity or the accounting officer (chief executive officer) of a municipal entity,respectively.In applying the table below, unless indicated otherwise, a reference to a municipality’sintegrated development plan (IDP) must be read as referring to a municipal entity’s strategicGuideline for Municipal Competency Levels: Accounting OfficersMunicipal Regulations on Minimum Competency Levels4
plan or strategic business plan and a reference to a municipality’s service delivery andbudget implementation plan (SDBIP) must be read as referring to a municipal entity’s servicedelivery agreement (SDA) with the parent municipality.Guideline for Municipal Competency Levels: Accounting OfficersMunicipal Regulations on Minimum Competency Levels5
Table: Description of competency areas for the Accounting Officers in municipalities and municipal entitiesCompetency area1.Strategicleadershipand managementCompetencies requiredThe ability to lead service delivery systems ofa complex nature and to manage theachievement of municipal strategies andgoals.Knowledge and Skills The ability to formulate and influence short,medium and long-term service delivery plansto deliver on municipal strategies and goals. The ability to provide supportive leadership tothe municipal council and senior managementteam. The ability to develop and maintain strategicalliances with various stakeholders. Guideline for Municipal Competency Levels: Accounting OfficersMunicipal Regulations on Minimum Competency LevelsProviding visible, supportive & effective leadership across a municipality.Motivating and empowering staff to deliver on municipal strategies and goals.Fostering a positive and creative management culture.Aligning municipal strategies and goals with national and provincial policies and withinthe district.Managing and overseeing implementation of an effective performance managementsystem across the municipality.Utilising strategic planning methods and toolsEnsuring that the municipality’s service delivery is based on Batho Pele principles ofgovernmentProviding direction and contributing to the development and review of credible plansincluding the integrated development plan (IDP) and service delivery and budgetimplementation plan (SDBIP).Aligning municipal strategies and goals across the functional areas of the municipality.Assessing the financial and non financial implications of plans and municipal strategiesand goals.Assessing and monitoring the impact of financial and non-financial changes on plansincluding national and provincial policy statements and changes.Implementing plans within the local government legal framework.Identifying and managing risk in plans.Based on the past and current performance and financial position of the municipality,advise on municipal plans and strategies and goals.Working closely in conjunction with the senior management team to support the mayorand/or executive mayoral committee and/or municipal council.In conjunction with the senior management, contributing and advising on policyobjectives to ensure clear purpose and direction.Evaluating and reporting to the mayor and/or executive mayoral committee and/or themunicipal council on the alignment and achievement of strategies and goals in respectof activities, service delivery and performance.Formulating, in conjunction with the municipal council and senior management team, aclear vision, mission and strategies and goals.Establishing a culture of learning within the municipality.Developing and maintaining strategic alliances within the cooperative governanceframework.For the purpose of achieving the Constitutional mandate of local government,developing and maintaining strategic alliances with organisations and bodies outsidegovernment.Communicating the municipality’s mission and vision to various stakeholders6
Competency area2.StrategicmanagementfinancialCompetencies requiredThe ability to guide the management of aneffective, economic and efficient financefunction, supported by effective financialmanagement policies and practices.Knowledge and Skills The ability to forecast revenue andexpenditure and assessing the impact thereofon a municipality’s financial position andperformance.Guideline for Municipal Competency Levels: Accounting OfficersMunicipal Regulations on Minimum Competency Levels Knowledge of and understanding public sector financial managementKnowledge and practical use of information technology and software, includingPowerPoint, Excel and Word to support the financial management functionGood verbal and written communication and presentation skills, excellent interpersonalrelation and human resource management skills, negotiation skills and the ability toshare knowledge and promote a learning environmentFormulating and implementing finance strategies, which enhance good financialmanagement and decision-making practices across the municipality.Developing and implementing financial policies and systems to ensure efficient andeffective financial administration and control.Developing, implementing and maintaining financial management guidelines, financialinstructions, credit control procedures, debt collection and related financial policies.Managing the control of assets according to policies and procedures.Managing and overseeing implementation of an effective performance managementsystem within the finance function.Overseeing the financial management, tax implications and performance of servicedelivery mechanisms (internal and external (including municipal entities in the case of amunicipality)) and outsourced service agreements.Preparing multi-year revenue and expenditure forecasts aligned with the strategic plansand budget and advising the impact thereof on service delivery, performance andfinancial position.Developing sustainable strategies to address revenue shortfalls in alignment withstrategic plans.7
Competency area3.OperationalmanagementfinancialCompetencies requiredThe ability to guide the commissioning andoperation of financial systems.Knowledge and Skills The ability to maintain sufficient workingcapital (cash flow/short-term liquidity) to meetthe needs of the municipality. The ability to guide and oversee the budgetpreparation and implementation process Guideline for Municipal Competency Levels: Accounting OfficersMunicipal Regulations on Minimum Competency LevelsFormulating specifications, commissioning and overseeing the maintenance ofappropriate and accurate financial operating systems, including the areas of debt, cash,investment-, asset and liability management, revenue management expendituremanagement, audit- and analytical requirements and statutory deductions.Generating, regular reporting, measuring and monitoring of financial information toensure financial control and to measure and monitor performance.Ensuring adequate control of financial operating systems.Through the use of financial operating systems, analyse, evaluate and report on thefinancial position, borrowings and performance of the municipality and how that impactson the implementation of the budget and service delivery and budget implementationplan (SDBIP).Determining requirements for in-house or outsourced or shared service agreements forthe operation of financial systems.Regular review of the efficiency and effectiveness of financial operating systems toalign with the changing needs of the municipality.Monitoring the effects of changes, including legislation, inflation and resourceallocations, on the working capital.Prioritising working capital to align with strategies and goals.Monitoring and reporting on working capital, including how that affects investmentoptions, revenue and debt collection.Monitoring and reporting, through analysis, the implications of borrowing and thesignificance thereof to service delivery programmes and possible influences on thefinancial markets.Applying ‘best practice’ risk management practices to the management of workingcapital.In the case of a municipality:o Advising the mayor on the time schedule outlining key deadlines for thepreparation, tabling and approval of the annual budget and the annual reviewof the IDP, budget related policies and related consultative processes.o In conjunction with the mayor ensuring that the budget process aligns thebudget and related budget policies to the integrated development plan (IDP)and service delivery and budget implementation plan (SDBIP) of themunicipalityIn the case of a municipal entity:o Advising and supporting the board or directors on the budget process andannual review of related policies and related consultative processes with theparent municipality. This includes the alignment of the entity’s budget with itsstrategic plan and the service delivery agreement (SDA) and the integrateddevelopment plan (IDP) of its parent municipality.o Ensuring the proposed budget is submitted to the parent municipality and thatany recommendations of the council of the parent municipality are consideredby the board of directors prior to approval of the budget.8
Competency area3.Operationalmanagement (cont.)Competencies requiredfinancialKnowledge and Skills Overseeing the preparation, adoption and implementation of the budget and providing support to the mayor or board of directors throughout the budgetprocessEnsuring compliance to the legislative framework governing budgets andformats.Knowledge of financial planning, taxation, budgeting and forecasting and theinterrelation thereof. Guideline for Municipal Competency Levels: Accounting OfficersMunicipal Regulations on Minimum Competency Levels9
Competency area4.Governance, ethics &valuesinfinancialmanagementCompetencies requiredThe ability to lead, establish and implementgood governance in the municipality.Knowledge and Skills Guideline for Municipal Competency Levels: Accounting OfficersMunicipal Regulations on Minimum Competency LevelsEstablish clear roles and responsibilities, separation of powers and regular reportinglines for all role players within the municipality to ensure transparency andaccountability.Knowledge and understanding of governance and ethics in financial management,embodied in the King Report on Corporate Governance, as it applies to the localgovernment legal framework.Promoting the generation and sharing of knowledge and learning to enhance thecollective knowledge, capacity and skills of officials and councillors or directorsEstablish and oversee the formulation of codes of conduct for all role players within themunicipality, which shall as a minimum include financial management, supply chainmanagement and the codes of conduct set out in the Local Government: MunicipalSystems Act.Establish and oversee the implementation of systems to encourage and enforce goodgovernance, ethics and the codes of conduct. These systems could includemechanisms to report misconduct, fraud, corruption, favouritism and non-compliancewith legislation and disclosure of conflicts of interest, inducements, rewards, gifts,hospitality and favours. Ensuring that investigations are conducted within 30 days ofdiscovery of allegations and that cases that may constitute a criminal offence arereported to the South African Police Service.Ensuring that codes of conduct, roles and responsibilities and reporting lines are clearlycommunicated, understood and observed by all role players throughout a municipality.Leading by example and promoting high standards of ethical behaviour by acting withfidelity, honesty, integrity and in the best interests of the municipality and maintainingthe confidentiality of information.10
Competency area5.FinancialperformancereportingCompetencies requiredandKnowledge and SkillsThe ability to guide and manage the financialreporting process of the municipality. The ability to guide and manageperformance reporting process ofmunicipality.thethe Guideline for Municipal Competency Levels: Accounting OfficersMunicipal Regulations on Minimum Competency LevelsKnowledge and understanding of the legislative framework governing financial reportingin local government, including generally recognised accounting practice (GRAP).Guide and manage the timely preparation, submission and publication of statutoryreports, including the annual financial statements, annual report and in-year reports(e.g. in the case of a municipality monthly (section 71), mid-year (section 72),withdrawals from bank accounts (section 11(4)) etc)Guide the preparation and publication of the council’s oversight report (section 129).Ensure that the content of financial reporting is specific (unambiguous), measurable,accurate and valid, reliable and time specific.Analyse and evaluate the financial reports to understand the impact on, and to guideplanning in respect of, strategies and goals including the financial position, borrowings,performance, implementation of the annual budget and service delivery and budgetimplementation plan (SDBIP), tariff-, rates-, credit control, debt collection-, supply chainmanagement-, and other relevant policies.Knowledge and understanding of the local government legislative framework governingperformance reporting.Establishing, implementing and maintaining a performance management system. In thecase of a municipal entity also regularly monitoring, measuring, reviewing and reportingits performance to its parent municipality.Guide and manage the timely preparation, submission and publication of statutoryreports relating to performance. For example the annual performance report (section121(3) of the MFMA), mid year performance reporting (section 72 of the MFMA) of amunicipality and in the case of a municipal entity, an assessment of the entity’sperformance (section 121(4) of the MFMA), mid year performance reporting (section 88of the MFMA)Ensure that the content of performance reporting is specific (unambiguous),measurable, accurate and valid, reliable and time specific.Analyse and evaluate the performance reports to understand the impact on, and toguide planning in respect of, strategies and goals including the implementation of thebudget and service delivery and budget implementation plan (SDBIP) and policies.Analyse and evaluate the performance of:o service delivery mechanisms (internal and external) and outsourced serviceagreements against performance targets, ando in the case of a municipality, of each of its municipal entities against theservice level agreement and performance targets for that entity,11
Competency areaCompetencies required5.Financial and performancereporting (cont.)Knowledge and Skills Guideline for Municipal Competency Levels: Accounting OfficersMunicipal Regulations on Minimum Competency LevelsEnsuring that there is a link between the performance indicators and targets and theintegrated development plan (IDP), service delivery and budget implementation plan(SDBIP) and the individual performance agreements of all senior managers andofficials.Ensure the remuneration and appraisal system is performance based and that allperformance bonuses are only awarded after consideration of actual performance of themunicipality against the performance targets for a specific period.Regularly benchmark the performance of the municipality against the performance ofsimilar and/or comparable municipalities to improve and guide in the planning anddelivery of services.12
Competency area6.RiskandmanagementchangeCompetencies requiredThe ability to understand risk and guide themanagement of risk for the municipality.Knowledge and Skills The ability to guide the management ofchange for the municipality. Guideline for Municipal Competency Levels: Accounting OfficersMunicipal Regulations on Minimum Competency LevelsGuiding and ensuring the establishment and maintenance of effective, efficient andtransparent systems of financial and risk management and internal controlGuide and oversee the implementation of a risk management- and fraud preventionplanOverseeing regular risk assessments and ensuring that risks are prioritised according tohighest versus lowest potential riskManaging the mitigation of risks for the municipality or municipal entity as a whole inaccordance with the prioritisation of riskEnsuring that the management of risk (including the possible transfer of risk) includesconsideration of potential risks relating to mechanisms for service delivery (both internaland external), outsourced service agreements. In the case of a municipality it must alsoconsider its municipal entities and Public-and-Private Partnerships (PPPs) and thetransferring of funds to organisations and bodies outside governmentEnsuring that the internal audit activities are prioritised according to the risk exposureAnalysing the reports of the internal audit unit and the audit committee whenconsidering risk and risk management.Understanding the local government environment (including legislative, social, politicaland economic) and the ability to analyse the financial and non-financial impact ofchanges in the external and internal environment that could affect the municipality/municipal entity and recognising when this necessitates changeGuide and oversee the implementation of change managementThe ability to be proactive and find creative and innovative solutions to changeConsultation with and management of various stakeholders particular to the changeManaging and resolving any resistance to changeAligning strategies and goals with the need for change13
Competency area7.Project managementCompetencies requiredThe ability to provide strategic direction andguide overall project management for themunicipalityKnowledge and Skills Guideline for Municipal Competency Levels: Accounting OfficersMunicipal Regulations on Minimum Competency LevelsKnowledge and understanding of project budgeting, human resource management,change management, negotiation skills, service delivery mechanisms (internal andexternal) and outsourced service agreements (including in the case of a municipalityPublic-and-Private Partnerships) and the legal framework governing the variousservicesKnowledge and basic understanding of the operation and technical
Guideline for Municipal Competency Levels: Accounting Officers Municipal Regulations on Minimum Competency Levels 2 not available hence there may be some competency levels without a standard shown. For example the accounting officer has no project man
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UNESCO EDUCATION SECTOR 5 Systems thinking competency Anticipatory competency Normative competency Strategic competency Collaboration competency Critical thinking Self-awareness competency Integrated problem-solving competency Promotion of key competencies for sustainability ESD enables all individuals to contribute to achieving the SDGs by equipping them
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transferred from France or newly created in French: Battle (Sx; La Batailge), Boulge (Sf; Bulges), Bray (Bk; Braia), Cantlop (Sa; Cantelop), Capel St. Andrew (Sf; Capeles), Meshaw (D; Mauessart), Montacute (So; Montagud), Montgomery (Montgomeryshire; Montgomeri/Montgumeri), and a lost Bolebec (DB fol. 254r; PN Sa 1: xii). My analysis of LVVRE confirms its likely membership of this category .