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AUDIT, GOVERNANCE AND STANDARDS COMMITTEE

13 January 2020

 

Annual Governance Statement Update

 

Final Decision-Maker

Audit, Governance and Standards Committee

Lead Director

Director of Finance, Business and Improvement

Lead Officer and Report Author

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Classification

Public

 

Wards affected

All

 

Executive Summary

This report provides an update on the progress with the Annual Governance Statement actions.

Purpose of Report

 

Noting

 

 

This report makes the following recommendations to this Committee:

That the Annual Governance Statement Update be noted.

 

 

 

Timetable

Meeting

Date

Audit Governance and Standards

13 January 2020



Annual Governance Statement Update

 

1.       CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES AND IMPLICATIONS

 

Issue

Implications

Sign-off

Impact on Corporate Priorities

The four Strategic Plan objectives are:

 

         Embracing Growth and Enabling Infrastructure

         Safe, Clean and Green

         Homes and Communities

         A Thriving Place

 

Effective corporate governance arrangements ensure the councilís priorities are understood and delivered.

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Cross Cutting Objectives

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. Carrying out the actions identified in the AGS helps to ensure that

the Council maintains high governance standards.

Section 151 Officer & Finance Team

Staffing

There are implications for staff in relation to undertaking training.

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Legal

There are no legal implications.

 

Privacy and Data Protection

Good governance is integral to upholding the principles of data protection.

Policy and Information Team

Equalities

Good governance will ensure the Council is adhering to the public sector equality duty.

Policy & Information Manager

Public Health

There are no implications

Public Health Officer

Crime and Disorder

There are no implications

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Procurement

There are no implications

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

 

 

 

 

2.   INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

 

2.1        †The Annual Statement of Corporate Governance for 2018-19 was

considered and approved by the Committee on 30 July 2019. The statement contained an Action Plan for 2019-20. This report provides an update on the progress made against the Action Plan.

 

2.2 The actions outlined in Appendix A arose from areas identified in the corporate governance statement as requiring additional action to maintain the councilís governance standards.

 

 

3.   AVAILABLE OPTIONS

 

3.1     The Committee could decide not to consider the action plan. Considering the action plan is however a key part pf the Committeeís governance remit.

 

 

4.        PREFERRED OPTION AND REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATIONS

 

4.1     The Committee is asked to consider the updated action plan attached at Appendix A and make recommendations for further action as appropriate.

 

4.2     A number of areas were identified for action including:

 

         Ensuring there is sufficient resource to deliver the ambition for embracing growth and enabling infrastructure

         Property Maintenance; and

         Governance for Maidstone Property Holdings

 

4.3     Progress has been made in several areas since the action plan was agreed in July 2019.

 

4.4     An update on contract management was given to the Committee in September 2019 where is was highlighted that progress had been made on all recommendations from the Audit review with all but one completed. The internal audit team had now reassessed the assurance rating for contract management to Sound.

 

4.5     With regard to ensuring there is sufficient resource to deliver the councilís ambition for embracing growth and enabling infrastructure a draft medium-term financial strategy was agreed by Policy and Resources Committee in November 2019. Over the past year, the priority of ĎEmbracing growth and enabling infrastructureí has been made more explicit through our developing plans for an Innovation Centre, for Maidstone East and a new Garden Community. Risk assessment reports on the budget strategy are regularly received and reviewed by the Committee.

 

 

5.       RISK

5.1    This report is presented for information only. Key corporate risks have been identified in the annual governance statement action plan and their status is included in the annual report on risk on this agenda.

 

 

6.       CONSULTATION RESULTS AND PREVIOUS COMMITTEE FEEDBACK

 

6.1 The Committee is invited to provide feedback on the progress with the action plan.

 

 

7.       NEXT STEPS: COMMUNICATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DECISION

 

7.1††† This report has been provided to update the Audit, Governance and Standards Committee and will be publicly available via the committee papers on the councilís website. Any recommendations for further action by the Committee in regard to the action plan will be carried forward.

 

 

 

8.        REPORT APPENDICES

 

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

                    Appendix A: Annual Governance Statement Action Plan 2019-20 Update

 

 

9.        BACKGROUND PAPERS

 

Annual Governance Statement 2018-19