Your Councillors


Policy and Resources Committee

28 June 2017

Is the final decision on the recommendations in this report to be made at this meeting?

Yes

 

Annual Governance Statement 2016-17

 

Final Decision-Maker

Policy and Resources Committee

Lead Head of Service

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Lead Officer and Report Author

Angela Woodhouse, Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Classification

Public

Wards affected

All

 

 

This report makes the following recommendations to this Committee:

1.   To review and approve the Annual Governance Statement 2016-17 and Local Code of Corporate Governance 2017 prior to sign-off by the Leader of the Council and Chief Executive

 

 

 

 

This report relates to the following corporate priorities:

         Keeping Maidstone Borough an attractive place for all - Effective corporate governance arrangements ensure the councilís priorities are understood and delivered

         Securing a successful economy for Maidstone Borough -Effective corporate governance arrangements ensure the councilís priorities are understood and delivered

 

 

Timetable

Meeting

Date

Corporate Leadership Team

6 June 2017

Audit, Governance and Standards Committee

26 June 2017

Policy and Resources Committee

28 June 2017



Annual Governance Statement 2016-17

 

 

1.        PURPOSE OF REPORT AND EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

1.1 Attached at Appendix A is the Annual Governance Statement for 2016-17, the purpose of the Annual Governance Statement is to provide assurance on the councilís governance arrangements.

 

1.2 Attached at Appendix B is the Local Code of Corporate Governance, which has been rewritten to meet the requirements of the new CIPFA and Solace framework 2016.

 

 

 

2.        INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

 

2.1†† Each year we carry out a review of our Governance arrangements to ensure compliance with the Local Code of Corporate Governance. The purpose of the review is to provide assurance that governance arrangements are adequate and operating effectively and to identify action which is planned to ensure effective governance in the future. The outcome of the review takes the form of an Annual Governance Statement prepared on behalf of the Leader at the Council and Chief Executive.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

2.2The Council produces an Annual Governance Statement (AGS) to accompany the statement of accounts. The Audit, Governance and Standards Committee is asked to consider this statement prior to submission to Policy and Resources and signing by the Leader and Chief Executive. The statement looks back at the governance arrangements for 2016-17 and identifies areas for action for 2017-18.

 

2.3†† A new Local Code of Corporate Governance has been developed to reflect the ĎDelivering Good Governance Frameworkí introduced by CIPFA/Solace in 2016. The format of the AGS has also been updated.

 

2.4†† Action taken last year includes the introduction of a mandatory training module for data protection, new policies and guidance for all staff on information management. A new Member Sounding Board has been introduced and has met regularly to look at communication issues and how members can be engaged and informed. There were a number of web casting issues in 2016-17 these have now been resolved through the hard work of the Democracy Committee, democratic services team working with the provider.

 

2.5†† Overall the governance arrangements are sound.† However, there are a number of areas where improvements can be made, including contract management, areas that continue to have weak assurance following audit reviews and ensuring the council is prepared for the new General Data Protection Regulations.

 

 

3.        AVAILABLE OPTIONS

 

3.1     The Committee is asked to review the Annual Governance Statement and make amendments prior to sign off by the Chief Executive and Leader of the Council

 

 

 

4.        PREFERRED OPTION AND REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATIONS

 

4.1     The Committee is asked to review the Annual Governance Statement and action plan and approve the areas suggested for improvement for 2017-18 prior to sign-off

 

 

 

5.       CONSULTATION RESULTS AND PREVIOUS COMMITTEE FEEDBACK

 

5.1     The Councilís Corporate Governance Working Group has reviewed the Annual Governance Statement (AGS). The Audit, Governance and Standards Committee have reviewed it on 26 June and any amendments will be tabled at this meeting for consideration by the Policy and Resources Committee.

 

 

6.       NEXT STEPS: COMMUNICATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DECISION

 

6.1†† Once approved the Code and Annual Governance Statement will be made available on our website and shared with our external auditors.

 

 

 

7.       CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES AND IMPLICATIONS

 

 

Issue

Implications

Sign-off

Impact on Corporate Priorities

Effective corporate

governance arrangements

ensure the councilís priorities

are understood and delivered

Head of Policy Communications and Governance

Risk Management

The AGS considers and gives

assurance on the Councilís

approach to risk

management

Head of Policy Communications and Governance

Financial

This report has no direct financial implications.† The AGS is a requirement of statutory regulations and provides assurance about the Councilís governance arrangements.

Director of Finance and Business Improvement

Staffing

There are implications in relation to training and information management in the action plan for 2017-18

Head of Policy Communications and Governance

Legal

There are no legal implications, good governance ensures we meet statutory requirements.

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Equality Impact Needs Assessment

Good governance ensures

the council is adhering to the

public sector equality duty

Policy & Information Manager

Environmental/Sustainable Development

N/A

Head of Policy Communications and Governance

Community Safety

N/A

Head of Policy Communications and Governance

Human Rights Act

N/A

Head of Policy Communications and Governance

Procurement

N/A

Head of Policy Communications and Governance

Asset Management

N/A

Head of Policy Communications and Governance

 

8.        REPORT APPENDICES

 

The following documents are to be published with this report and form part of the report:

         Appendix A: Annual Governance Statement 2016-17

         Appendix B: Local Code of Corporate Governance 2017

 

 

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