Robust corporate governance ensures organisations are doing the right things in the correct manner in an open, honest, inclusive and accountable way.
Good governance leads to good management, performance and outcomes.
We have a framework of policies and procedures in place which collectively make up its governance arrangements.
Local code of corporate governance
The Local Code of Corporate Governance sets out our governance arrangements and is based on the guidance “Delivering Good Governance in Local Government” published by CIPFA (the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy) and SOLACE (the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives) in 2016.
The CIPFA/SOLACE guidance identifies seven core principles and various sub principles; the Local Code of Corporate Governance is based on these seven core principles:
- behaving with integrity, demonstrating strong commitment to ethical values and respecting the rule of law
- ensuring openness and comprehensive stakeholder engagement
- defining outcomes in terms of sustainable economic, social and environmental benefits
- determining the interventions necessary to optimise the achievement of the intended outcomes
- developing the Council’s capacity, including the capability of its leadership and the individuals within it
- managing risks and performance through robust internal control and strong public financial management
- implementing good practices in transparency, reporting and audit to deliver effective accountability
Annual governance statement
As part of the arrangements for preparing the Annual Statement of Accounts, we are required by law (the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 and the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015) to undertake an annual review of the effectiveness of its system of internal control and produce an Annual Governance Statement.
Good practice requires that such a statement should extend beyond a narrow focus on financial controls to cover the way in which we:
- determine what its local community wants and needs
- decides how those requirements are to be met
- and ensures that it delivers what is required without wasting public money.
The Annual Governance Statement looks at how the effectiveness of our governance arrangements have been monitored and evaluated during the year and looks at any planned changes.
We have agreed a constitution which sets out how we operate, how decisions are made and the procedures which are followed to ensure that these are efficient, transparent and accountable to local people. Some of these processes are required by the law, while others are a matter for us to choose.
The constitution is divided into 14 Articles that set out the general rules governing our business. More detailed procedures and codes of practice are provided in separate rules and protocols within the constitution.
You can read our full constitution on our democracy web pages.
We are required by law to take decisions in an open and transparent way.
Decisions may be taken by the Council, Cabinet, Committees, Individual Members and Officers. The Scheme of Delegation (in the Constitution) sets out who can take which type of decisions.
Legislation and we have set out decision making arrangements and guidance is available to assist officers. Various report templates have been developed.
You can view decisions on our democracy web page.
We have in place a whistleblowing policy which sets out a process for people to confidently report concerns, such as fraud.
This policy makes it clear that people can report their concerns without fear of reprisals.
The whistleblowing policy is reviewed and monitored annually by the Standards and Personnel Appeals Committee and the Audit Committee.
Contract procedure rules
The Contract Procedure Rules set out how we procure our good and services. This is to ensure transparency and avoid potential fraud, corruption or bribery. These rules are regularly reviewed and approved.