Your Councillors


AUDIT, GOVERNANCE AND STANDARDS COMMITTEE

21 November 2016

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

Yes

 

Annual Governance Statement Action Plan 2016-17 Update

 

Final Decision-Maker

Audit Governance and Standards Committee

Lead Head of Service

Head of Policy and Communications

Lead Officer and Report Author

Angela Woodhouse, Head of Policy and Communications

Classification

Public

Wards affected

 

 

 

This report makes the following recommendations to this Committee:

1.   The Annual Governance Statement Action Plan 2016-17 update be noted.

 

 

 

 

This report relates to the following corporate priorities:

·         Keeping Maidstone Borough an attractive place for all

·         Securing a successful economy for Maidstone Borough

 

 

Timetable

Meeting

Date

Audit, Governance and Standards Committee

21 November 2016



Annual Governance Statement Action Plan 2016-17 Update

 

 

1.        PURPOSE OF REPORT AND EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

1.1     At its meeting on 11 July 2016 the committee approved the Annual Governance Statement for 2015-16 and action plan for 2016-17. The purpose of this report is to provide the committee with an updated action plan.

 

1.2     The report provides an update on the actions that have been taken to improve governance.

 

 

2.        INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

 

2.1     The action plan attached at Appendix A was produced and published with the Annual Governance Statement.

 

2.2     The actions arose from areas identified in the governance statement as requiring additional action and assurance.

 

 

3.        AVAILABLE OPTIONS

 

3.1     The committee could decide not to consider the action plan. Considering the action plan is however a key part of the committee’s 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.

 

 

Areas of Action

 

4.2     A number of areas were identified for action including:

 

·         Training and communication on information management

·         Resident involvement in decision making

·         Risk Management

·         Audit Reviews with weak assurance

 

4.3     Action has been taken in all areas as set out in Appendix A.

 

4.4     A communication and engagement strategy has been agreed by Policy and Resources Committee focussed on promoting pride in the borough. A budget roadshow and on-line survey has been undertaken to gain residents’ views on our front facing services.  This will inform our budget proposals for 2017/18 and the strategic plan refresh.

4.5     Work has continued on risk management, including establishing risk appetite.  The most recent update report went to Policy and Resources Committee at its meeting on 26 October.  Audit Governance and Standards Committee members will be briefed on progress before the Committee’s meeting on 21 November.

4.6     Audit recommendations arising from two out of the three reviews that identified weak assurance remain to be implemented, although action has been taken across all three areas covered by the reviews. The interim report from Audit on this agenda contains more information on these reviews.

 

 

 

5.       CONSULTATION RESULTS AND PREVIOUS COMMITTEE FEEDBACK

 

5.1     The updated action plan has been reported to and informed by the Corporate Governance Group. The Committee is invited to consider the report.

 

 

 

6.       NEXT STEPS: COMMUNICATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DECISION

 

6.1    The Annual Governance Statement and action plan are published on the council’s website.

 

7.       CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES AND IMPLICATIONS

 

Issue

Implications

Sign-off

Impact on Corporate Priorities

High standards of corporate

governance are integral to achieving our corporate priorities.

Head of Policy and Communications

Risk Management

The annual governance statement has identified actions on risk management

Head of Policy and Communications

Financial

Good governance is integral to good financial arrangements

Section 151 Officer & Finance Team

Staffing

The action plan includes ensuring staff are aware of our priorities.

Head of Policy and Communications

Legal

Good governance arrangements are essential in ensuring robust and lawful decision-making and therefore minimising the risk of legal challenge. The action plan focuses on specific area to ensure a programme of continuous improvement.

Interim Deputy Head of Legal Partnership

Equality Impact Needs Assessment

No implications from this action plan

Head of Policy and Communications

Environmental/Sustainable Development

No implications from this action plan

Head of Policy and Communications

Community Safety

No implications from this action plan

Head of Policy and Communications

Human Rights Act

No implications from this action plan

Head of Policy and Communications

Procurement

No implications from this action plan

Head of Policy and Communications

Asset Management

No implications from this action plan

Head of Policy and Communications

 

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 2016-17 Update

 

9.        BACKGROUND PAPERS

 

None