8. Local code of governance
The Local Code of Governance (PDF 1.4Mb) is reviewed every year and has been substantially updated following a recent review.
We are responsible for ensuring its business is conducted in accordance with the law and proper standards. Public money is safeguarded, properly accounted for and used economically, efficiently and effectively.
The attached Local Code of Governance sets out the proposed new governance framework. This links into the production of the Annual Governance Statement that the Council must prepare and report each year.
The Code follows guidance produced by Cipfa “Delivering Good Governance – The New Framework” – 2016. This makes it clear that the links between governance and public financial management are crucially important.
In particular, the guidance highlights the increasing focus on sustainability. The guidance provides that the outcomes of Council activity should be defined (and therefore monitored) in terms of social, economic and environmental benefit.
The council must be able to demonstrate that it has governance structures in place that comply with the updated seven (previously six) core and sub principles contained in this framework.
We have therefore developed and will maintain a local code of governance/governance arrangements reflecting the new principles set out. Whatever form of arrangement is in place, we will need to test their governance structures and partnerships against the Framework’s principles.
We will be required to prepare a governance statement in order to report publicly on the extent to which they comply with their own code of governance on an annual basis. This will include how they have monitored and evaluated the effectiveness of their governance arrangements in the year, and on any planned changes in the coming period.
The process of preparing the governance statement should itself add value to the effectiveness of the governance and internal control framework.
The preparation and publication of an annual governance statement in accordance with the CIPFA Framework 2016 fulfils the statutory requirement in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. For a local authority to conduct a review at least once in each financial year. For the effectiveness of its system of internal control and to include a statement reporting on the review with its Statement of Accounts.
This edition of the framework applies to annual governance statements prepared for the financial year 2016/17 onwards.