Annual Governance Statement 2016-17
- Meeting of Audit and Risk Management Committee, Monday, 12th June 2017 6.00 p.m. (Item 11.)
- View the background to item 11.
The Assistant Director: Finance and Section 151 Officer introduced the report of the Chief Executive that set out the draft Annual Governance Statement and Action Plan for 2016-17.
The Assistant Director: Finance and Section 151 Officer informed that the draft Annual Governance Statement 2016-17 covered the period from April 2016 to March 2017 and therefore the significant governance issues identified are those which relate to this period. He further informed that progress had been made in relation to the compliance issues including performance appraisal (item of separate report on the meeting agenda, minute 4 refers) and Contract Procedure Rules (minute 10 refers)., The Statement recognises that compliance issues remained outstanding and were retained on the action plan.
Issues relating to IT (minute 9 refers) has been included in the Action Plan. Whilst progress has been made, and continues to be made, the issues were such that this merited inclusion in the Action Plan..
The report informed that the Annual Governance Statement 2016/17 Action Plan outlined the progress that had been made to date on the aforementioned outstanding compliance issues. This progress had included regular updates to this Committee and the report set out the manner in which the Council would continue to ensure the issues were addressed during the current Municipal Year.
The Committee noted that the draft Annual Governance Statement followed the previously utilised format, summarising the significant governance issues identified during 2016/17, together with a detailed report that set out the following key points under the headings:
- Scope of Responsibility;
- What is Corporate Governance?
- The Purpose of the Governance Framework;
- The Governance Framework – monitored against the CIPFA/SOLACE framework that identified seven core principles of governance best practice;
- Review of Effectiveness – that included information on Internal and External Audit, Responsible Officer and key items of report namely the Children’s Services Ofsted Inspection 2016, Serious Case Review and ICT Business Continuity and Resilience Planning;
- Significant Governance Issues and Action Plan; and
Members commented on a number of matters of report, questioning the level of reputational risk that could occur should there be insufficient holding to account of Members, Officers and/or particular Service Areas.
The External Auditor provided additional information to Members, informing that the draft Annual Governance Statement can be updated prior to consideration by Cabinet and sign-off by the Leader of the Council, and that the use of ‘significant’ in the context of the Issues and High Level Action Plan referred to those issues in relation to the Council achieving its vision. Additional detailed information relating to the actioned may be found elsewhere in supporting documentation held within Internal Audit.
The Chair recommended that the reporting of the Annual Governance Statement Action Plan to each meeting of the Audit and Risk Management Committee would ensure progress on each issue be closely monitored.
Resolved – That
(1) the report be updated to indicate the receipt of further letters from Ofsted and the guidance and input from the DfEE;
(2) the steps that will be taken to account for their observations be noted;
(3) subject to the above amendments, the Annual Governance Statement and Action Plan be approved and presented to the July 2017 meeting of the CABINET; and
(4) progress on the Annual Governance Statement Action Plan shall be reported to each meeting of the Audit and Risk Management Committee.