Annual Governance Statement 2015-2016

 

Meeting -                                20 September 2016

 

Report Author                         Director of Corporate Governance and Monitoring Officer

 

Portfolio Holder                       Derek Crow-Brown, Cabinet Member for Corporate       Governance Services

 

Status                                      For Decision

 

Classification:                          Unrestricted

 

Ward:                                      All

 

Executive Summary: To provide Governance and Audit Committee with the Annual

Governance Statement 2015-16 and significant issues action plan for approval.

 

Recommendation(s): Committee consider and approve the Annual Governance Statement and action plan for 2015-2016

 

 

CORPORATE IMPLICATIONS

Financial and Value for Money

There are no financial implications arising directly from this report which have not already been accounted for.

Legal

The Accounts and Audit Regulations and other accounting guidance requires the council to follow prescribed formats in the completion of the Annual Governance Statement.

 

Corporate

The Annual Governance Statement is a corporate document and as such should be owned by all senior officers and members of the authority.

 

Equalities Act 2010 & Public Sector Equality Duty

Members are reminded of the requirement, under the Public Sector Equality Duty (section 149 of the Equality Act 2010) to have due regard to the aims of the Duty at the time the decision is taken.  The aims of the Duty are: (i) eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act, (ii) advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it, and (iii) foster good relations  between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.

 

Protected characteristics: age, gender, disability, race, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief and pregnancy & maternity.  Only aim (i) of the Duty applies to Marriage & civil partnership.

 

Please indicate which aim is relevant to the report.

Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act,

X

Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it

X

Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.

X

There are no specific equity or equalities issues arising from this report.

 

 

 

CORPORATE PRIORITIES (tick those relevant)ü

 

 

CORPORATE VALUES (tick those relevant)ü

 

A clean and welcoming Environment 

 

 

Delivering value for money

x

Promoting inward investment and job creation

 

 

Supporting the Workforce

x

Supporting neighbourhoods

 

 

Promoting open communications

x

 

1.0       Introduction and Background

 

1.1       The council was required to prepare an Annual Governance Statement (AGS) which must be included within the Financial Statement and should be signed by the Leader and Chief Executive.

 

2.0       The Current Situation

 

2.1       The Annual Governance Statement, which is attached at Annex 1, should reflect the

            corporate governance environment of the council as detailed in the adopted Local

            Code of Corporate Governance. In essence, the AGS is the formal statement that

            recognises, records and publishes the council’s governance arrangements.

 

2.2       The AGS is a key corporate document, and the Leader and Chief Executive have joint

            responsibility as signatories for its accuracy and completeness. In order to ensure

            that the AGS accurately reflects our Governance Framework, a number of sources of

            assurance were gathered to feed into the preparation of the document. Following the

            approval process it will be formally signed as required.

 

2.3       The Draft AGS came before the Governance and Audit Committee in August, and was agreed with minor changes. This was then provided to our External Auditors

            Grant Thornton, for them to audit. The Auditors challenged whether all the items included in Section 11 could be classed as ‘significant areas’. The ‘significant areas’ were considered by senior management and a smaller list of issues was agreed.

 

2.4       An action plan for the ‘significant governance issues’ identified has been prepared

            which is attached at Annex 2. Following approval of the AGS this action plan will be

            entered into the performance management system and reported back to this

            Committee on a regular basis.

 

3.0       Options

 

3.1       That Members approve the Annual Governance Statement 2014/2015 and the associated action plan.

 

3.2       That Members do not approve the Annual Governance Statement 2014/2015. This is

            not recommended as the AGS reinforces the council’s governance arrangements.

 

Contact Officer:

Tim Howes, Director of Corporate Governance

Reporting to:

Madeline Homer, Chief Executive

 

Annex List

 

Annex 1

Annual Governance Statement

Annex 2

Significant Governance Issues Action Plan

 

Corporate Consultation

 

Finance

Matt Sanham, Corporate Finance Manager

Legal

Ciara Feeney, Head of Legal Services and Deputy Monitoring Officer