Agenda item

Governance tracking report - AGS tracker 2016-17 and 2017-18

Minutes:

The Director – Finance presented the report, highlighting the following:

 

a.      In relation to the implementation of actions required from the Bundred review:

·         75 actions (88%) were now ranked Green (completed and evidenced).

·         10 actions (12%) were now ranked Amber (in progress with evidence) – further narrative was included in the report on the progress of Amber ranked actions.

·         There were no actions ranked Red (not started/started but not evidenced).

 

b.      In relation to implementation of actions required from the 2016-17 Annual Governance Statement (AGS):

·         15 actions (68%) were now ranked Green (completed and evidenced).

·         7 actions (32%) were now ranked Amber (in progress with evidence).

·         There were no actions ranked Red (not started/started but not evidenced).

 

c.       Appendix C set out 12 draft areas of improvement identified from the 2017-18 AGS. These remained draft until such time as they were formally endorsed by BDO, the Council’s external auditor.  A proposed action plan had been prepared in anticipation that these areas of improvement would be confirmed.

In discussion the following main points were raised/noted/clarified:

 

a.      In relation to performance management of staff (action 12 of appendix C), the My Performance reporting system had been updated for 2018-19 and re-launched in June.  A specific corporate project was also underway to reassess the whole approach to performance management at all levels of the organisation.  The performance management data / arrangements would also be subject to member scrutiny.

 

b.      Although not directly related to this progress report, Cllr Negus referred to the ongoing situation where only the statutory minimum notice (i.e. 28 calendar days) was routinely being given via the Mayor’s forward plan of key decisions to be taken at Cabinet.  In his view, this this was a major concern in terms of the governance of the authority as it effectively removed any opportunity for pre-decision member scrutiny.  In discussion, it was noted that the Forward Plan is kept under review and published monthly.  Any changes about the timing of the notification of “key decisions” via the forward plan were essentially Mayoral decisions.   The Chair suggested that individual political groups may wish to consider making representations to the Mayor’s office on this issue.

 

c.       It was noted that each of the directorate-focused scrutiny commissions would be receiving regular progress updates on directorate risk registers and performance.

 

d.      It was noted that Cllr Stevens would discuss separately with officers a number of specific queries.

 

e.      It was noted that a number of current Amber ranked actions in relation to finance  were being addressed through the restructuring of the Council’s finance section and the finance improvement plan.

 

f.        It was noted that a column had been omitted from the detailed tracker making it difficult to reconcile the summary and the detailed schedule.  It was agreed that this would be rectified and the report re-circulated with the minutes.

Noting and taking account of the above, it was:

 

RESOLVED:

That the committee notes the progress made to date against the AGS action plan for 2016-17 and the new, draft proposed action plan for 2017-18 (which is subject to final approval of the 2017-18 Statement of Accounts and AGS by the external auditor).

 

Supporting documents: