The Council's Annual Governance Statement 2018/19 & Code of Corporate Governance
Decision Maker: Audit, Risk and Governance Committee
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
The County Council is required to produce and
approve an Annual Governance Statement (AGS) which will be included
in its Annual Statement of Accounts for 2018/19.
A draft AGS is presented for the Committee's consideration.
In addition, Full Council in July 2016 approved a new Code of Corporate Governance for the County Council that reflected new CIPFA/Solace guidance. Full Council also agreed that the Code would be reviewed on an annual basis.
Therefore, the Committee is asked to consider the updated Code of Corporate Governance and whether it wishes to make any changes to recommend to Full Council.
Paul Bond, Head of Legal and Democratic Services, presented the 2018/19 Council's Annual Governance Statement to be included in the Annual Statement of Accounts and the Code of Corporate Governance for annual review.
The following areas were highlighted:
· The draft Statement reflected the issues highlighted in the Internal Audit annual report and included: the key elements of the governance framework; the Council's approach to risk management and performance; an update on the budget setting process, reporting and performance management; the role of the corporate management team in receiving reports on service performance, risk and the budget and the work of the Committee throughout the year.
· The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) had raised concerns regarding the time the Council was taking to process subject access requests. Members were assured that a recovery plan had been agreed with the ICO and good progress was being made in clearing the backlog.
· Issues from 2018/19 had been highlighted to the Committee via the review of the Corporate Risk and Opportunities Register throughout the year. In addition the reports regarding the Neighbourhood Wellbeing grants had been brought to the Committee separately and a key policy document was now in place for Our Vision for Lancashire, which provided an update on the corporate strategy and the performance framework.
· The key issues for the coming year were captured on the corporate risk register which was the action plan to monitor actions taken to mitigate risks. The register was presented and discussed at this Committee, the Cabinet Performance Improvement Committee and the Corporate Management Team.
· It was clarified that the Code of Corporate Governance included the new corporate strategy, actions to be taken to achieve the supporting principles and how this would be evidenced.
The chair commented that it was evident how the reported documents linked together and informed the Annual Governance Statement.
In response to a question it was confirmed that the hyperlinks to the Register and the Code would be inserted into the final document, once they had been agreed.
(i) The draft Annual Governance Statement for 2018/19 be approved for inclusion in the draft Statement of Accounts.
(ii) It be noted that the Annual Governance Statement would be signed by the Chief Executive and Director of Resources (S151) and Leader of the Council and published on the Council’s website following the final approval of the Statement of Accounts.
(iii) The Committee had considered the updated Code of Corporate Governance and had not proposed any amendments for recommendation to Full Council.
Report author: Paul Bond
Date of decision: 20/05/2019
Decided at meeting: 20/05/2019 - Audit, Risk and Governance Committee