Issue - meetings

Annual Governance Report

Meeting: 30/11/2023 - Audit and Standards Committee (Item 6)

6 Annual Governance Report pdf icon PDF 116 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The item was introduced by Sarah Duxbury (Director of Strategy, Planning and Governance). She reminded members there was no statutory requirement for an annual governance report to be produced, but it was considered good practice to demonstrate the processes in place and provide assurances on governance matters. She drew members’ attention to the fact the staff gifts and hospitality and whistleblowing policies had both been revised during the year, and made reference to the external inspections that had been undertaken. The staff code of conduct and modern slavery and human trafficking statements had also been updated, and the Constitution had been amended to reflect legislative changes. Proposed amendments to the health and safety framework were due to be completed by the end of December, following consideration by Corporate Board.

 

Responding to a question from the Chair regarding learning lessons from other authorities that had been subject to Section 114 orders, Sarah Duxbury said officers reviewed as many publications as possible and shared their outcomes to ensure the Council was aware of, and learning from, such cases. Warwickshire County Council was also part of various local government networks, such as a Monitoring Officer Forum, where examples of good governance and financial practice were shared.

 

Responding to a question from Councillor Bill Gifford about the Procurement Act and any changes required to the Constitution, Sarah Duxbury said this was likely to be considered by members in the July 2024 cycle of meetings. This would likely involve amendments to Contract Standing Orders, which would be considered by the Audit and Standards Committee before going on to Full Council for formal approval.

 

Responding to a question from the Chair, Sarah Duxbury said that, wherever possible, the Council’s approach was to resolve member complaints informally at the earliest possible stage. 

 

Members noted the contents of the report.