Corporate governance is at the centre of what the council does and how it does it. It is about doing the right thing in the right way for the right people; about being timely, inclusive, open, honest and accountable.
Local Code of Corporate Governance
North Herts Council has adopted a Code of Corporate Governance. The Finance, Audit and Risk Committee review the code annually.
To ensure that it keeps its aims, we will:
- monitor all arrangements in place for practical effectiveness.
- review practices, procedures and guidelines on a regular basis.
- develop an action plan to identify areas of the Code where further work is required, including the allocation of appropriate time scales and the designation of lead officers.
- provide an Annual Governance Statement on how it is complying with the Code, including how it has maintained the effectiveness of its corporate governance arrangements during the year and any planned changes for the forthcoming year.
- ensure that actions identified in the annual Corporate Governance Statement Action Plan are provided for and properly resourced, within the corporate business planning process.
The Local Code of Corporate Governance underpins the Annual Governance Statement and the code is underpinned by a range of policies and codes relating to elected members and employees.
The council is required by law to designate a person to be the Monitoring Officer. One of this person's duties is to ensure proper governance. The Monitoring Officer's role includes looking after the Council's Constitution.
The Monitoring Officer must also ensure lawfulness, probity and fairness of council decision-making. This includes working closely with the Council's Standards Committee to assist it in its role of promoting and maintaining high standards of ethical conduct and probity within the Council.
The Monitoring Officer also provides guidance and advice to Councillors and Officers on governance issues.
Jeanette Thompson, Monitoring Officer
Tel: 01462 474370
The Council has to provide an Annual Governance Statement that is prepared according to proper practice as specified by CIPFA. This is included in the Council's Statement of Accounts.
It is an assessment by the Council that its business is conducted in accordance with the law and proper standards, and that public money is safeguarded, properly accounted for and used economically, efficiently and effectively.
The Annual Governance Statement is compiled on the basis of Assurance Statements provided by Heads of Service, Corporate Managers and the Chairman of the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee. It also takes into account reviews undertaken by external organisations such as our external auditors.
Within the Annual Governance Statement the Council assesses how well it is complying with its Local Code of Corporate Governance and where it needs to make key improvements to the effectiveness of the governance framework.
Annual Governance Report
Our external auditors provide an annual governance report. The report provides:
- a summary of the work they have carried out during their audit of accounts
- the conclusions they have reached
- the recommendations they have made to discharge their statutory audit responsibilities to those charged with governance (in this case the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee at the time they are considering the financial statements).