Agenda item

Annual Governance Statement

To present the Committee with the Annual Governance Statement for 2018/19, update the Committee on progress against the Action Plan agreed in June 2018 and to make recommendations for further actions arising from the report.


Sanjay Prashar, Borough Solicitor, attended the Committee and presented a summary of the Annual Governance Statement for 2018/19.


Members were directed to the Executive Summary which reported on the effectiveness of the Council’s governance arrangements during 2018/19 and took note of a diagram of the overview of the Council’s governance framework.


The statement included a summary of assurance for each of the seven principles on which the Statement was based, which were:


  1. Behaving with Integrity, demonstrating strong commitment to ethical values, and respecting the rule of law
  2. Ensuring openness and comprehensive stakeholder engagement
  3. Defining outcomes in terms of sustainable economic, social and environmental benefits
  4. Determining the interventions necessary to optimise the achievement of the intended outcomes
  5. Developing the entity’s capacity, including the capability of its leadership and the individuals within it
  6. Managing risks and performance through robust internal control and strong public financial Management
  7. Implementing good practices in transparency, reporting and audit, to deliver effective accountability


The progress to address 3 important governance improvement areas from 2017/18 were highlighted:


PROPOSED ACTION: Continue to take a proactive approach to counter fraud and whistle blowing, promoting the Council’s policies and focussing internal audit activity on areas of high risk.

UPDATE: Fraud Newsletters now produced regularly.  Seven fraud awareness training Sessions open to all staff already held in quarter 4 of 2018/19.


PROPOSED ACTION: Review by Standards Framework Working Group of the efficacy of introducing specific requirements in the Councillor Code of Conduct relating to the use of social media.

UPDATE: Social Media Training including in Member Development Programme agreed by Member Development Charter Working Group.


PROPOSED ACTION: To undertake a review of current compliance with GDPR and take any remedial steps as necessary (6 month post implementation review).

UPDATE: Compliance activity undertaken by DPO and IMG against action plan.

Update provided to CMT in December 2018.


Sanjay advised the Committee that the key action points – and their owner – for the year ahead were:


  • Refresh Council Plan and Director Service Plans (CMT).
  • Keep Corporate Business Continuity Management Plan updated and communicate this across the Council (Service Manager, Emergency Planning).
  • Review Strategic Risk Register to align with manifesto commitments (Head of Audit & Risk Management).
  • Directorate Risk Registers to be put in place for all directorates reflecting new structure (Directors).
  • Update Information Governance procedures (Data Protection Officer).
  • Submit 2019/20 NHS Date Security and Protection Toolkit (Data Protection Officer).
  • Cross Council Information Asset Register and Data Retention/Disposal schedules to be updated to improve records management regime (Data Protection Officer).
  • Ensure provision of induction training for new Members (Head of Democratic & Registration Services).
  • Monitoring of actions to address common areas of weakness (CMT).
  • Monitoring of all limited assurance audit reports (DMTs).


In response to questions from Members, Sanjay Prashar, Borough Solicitor advised the Committee that:


  • Three training sessions were planned on Code of Conduct for Members which Sanjay would be running.
  • Members and officer relations training had taken place which was well attended.  Councillor Peter Heydon said this training had been excellent and was carried out by Bethan Evans, a well-known lawyer in local government, who would also be carrying out DMT training.
  • The intention was for Parish and Town Councillors to attend future training.


RESOLVED: that the draft Annual Governance Statement and action plan appended to it be approved.

Supporting documents: