Agenda item

Revised Code of Corporate Governance and Annual Governance Statement

1.   That the Committee approves the Annual Governance Statement 2018/19 at Appendix 1 for sign off by the Leader of the Council and the Managing Director for inclusion in the Annual Statement of Accounts;

 

2.   That the Committee approves the revised Local Code of Corporate Governance at Appendix 2; and

 

3.   That the Committee approves the Corporate Governance Action Plan 2019/20 at Appendix 3 and notes that progress will be reported to each meeting of the Committee during the year.

 

Minutes:

The Deputy Director of Governance presented the report to the Committee in three parts beginning with the Annual Governance Statement. The Annual Governance Statement is a statutory requirement and is a statement of assurance from the Monitoring Officer about the degree of compliance and need for improvement in governance arrangements. The Annual Governance Statement reflects on themes and priorities identified in the City Plan and records activity from the Audit and Governance Committee as well as the Corporate Governance Board. The Deputy Director of Governance told the Committee the Statement demonstrates a more proactive approach to governance with a commitment to ongoing improvements. Additionally, an overlap with strategic priorities can be seen with Customer Services and property related investment. The Deputy Director of Governance noted that there were no matters to be brought to Members’ attention as written in section 5 of the Annual Governance Statement.

 

Members commented that they were pleased to see functions being brought back in house and that the Council may be more cautious in the future when looking at outsourcing.

 

The Deputy Director of Governance then presented Appendix 2 Local Code of Corporate Governance 2019/20. The Local Code of Governance has been updated to better reflect the new 7 CIPFA principles however, the processes of what the Council does and how has been left largely unchanged. The Deputy Director of Governance further explained diagrams have been incorporated to better demonstrate how the 7 principles relate to each other. One minor amendment  was made to the document which was clarified by the Deputy Director of Governance.

 

Members complimented the report for its use of clear, easy to understand language.

 

The Deputy Director of Governance presented Appendix 3 of the report, the Corporate Governance Action Plan 2019/20. The Deputy Director of Governance stressed the importance of the Committee knowing what is happening over a 12 month period and having a realistic but challenging work programme. The Action Plan sets out a series of actions for improvements, identifying the lead officer and which audit department is responsible for the oversight. One area of focus is identified against each of the 7 CIPFA principles.

 

Members asked questions about the terminology used in the Action Plan, asking for clarification of terms that could have differing definitions. Members also asked about the Corporate Governance Board, who it comprised of and its function. The Deputy Director for Governance responded that it was an Officer led board which reviews policies before they come to Committee and that it is not a decision making board. Members further asked if Minutes from the Corporate Governance Board could be seen by the Audit and Governance Committee and if the “Governance Oversight Body” could be changed from the Corporate Governance Board to the Audit and Governance Committee, as specified on P.33 first row of table.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee:

1.           approves the Annual Governance Statement 2018/19 at Appendix 1 for sign off by the Leader of the Council and the Managing Director for Inclusion in the Annual Statement of Accounts; and

2.           approves the revised Local Code of Corporate Governance at Appendix 2; and

3.           approves the Corporate Governance Action Plan 2019/20 at Appendix 3 and notes that progress will be reported to each meeting of the Committee during the year.

Supporting documents: