Agenda item

Annual Governance Statement

Report of the Director of Legal and Governance



The Committee received a revised version of a report by the Director of Legal and Governance, prior to the meeting.



The Director of Legal and Governance explained that the Council was required to conduct at least annually, a review of the effectiveness of its Governance Framework and System of Internal Control. This report also formed part of the Statement of Accounts, which will be presented to the Committee at a future meeting.



It was mentioned that the report set out the Council’s Governance Framework and how it operated. It then highlighted how the Council had reviewed it effectiveness. It was mentioned that following the review, nothing of significant impact was identified, that needed to be included in the Council’s Statement of Accounts.



The report also referred to the recent changes in Governance arrangements from May 2022 although related to Governance throughout 2021/22.



It was mentioned that the Audit & Standards Committee received an email, which highlighted the completion percentages of mandatory learning at the Council. It was added that the overall percentage was approximately 42% therefore this issue needed to be addressed. The Performance and Delivery Board was looking into this.



The Committee were informed that Council employees will have to apply automated retention labels and retention policies to documents, this means that records will be automatically deleted at their specified time. This has the benefit of ensuring compliance with data requests and supporting staff with correctly disposing of data at the relevant time.



Members of the Committee asked questions and the following responses were provided: -



A Member of the Committee raised concerns around the low percentage figure for staff completing mandatory training.



The Senior Finance Manager, Internal Audit stated that maintained schools were provided with templates for example, Schools Finance Policy and have code of conduct, in addition to teachers having professional standards.



A Member of the Committee supported the reports statement that Performance and Delivery Board should monitor the issues outlined in the report. Although he suggested that a report came to the Committee in spring of 2023, to assure the Committee that progress were being made.



The Director of Legal of Governance explained that the Council had a requirement for regulatory compliance in regard to Freedom of Information and Subject Access Requests and that the information commissioner’s office were the Council’s regulator for that. This meant that the Council were liable to fines and civil claims, which was why not processing data requests were part of the Delivery Plan.



RESOLVED: The Council is required to produce and have signed off, as part of its annual accounts, an Annual Governance Statement.  The statement is intended to identify any significant control weaknesses and also to set out how the council intends to address any weaknesses identified.

To note the contents of the Statement and that this has been signed by the Council Leader, Chief Executive and the Director of Finance and Commercial Services and that the statement forms part of the Annual Accounts.



Supporting documents: