The Committee will receive a copy of the draft Annual Governance Statement 2017/18.
The meeting received a joint report of the Chief Executive and Executive Director Core Services submitting the draft Annual Governance Statement for 2017/18, outlining the following:-
· the purpose of the Governance Framework;
· the Governance and Internal Control Framework;
· the process of annually reviewing the effectiveness of the Governance and Internal Control Framework; and
· identifying development and improvement opportunities arising from the Annual Governance Review, to be addressed in 2018/19 contained in the action plan at Appendix 1.
Further work was being undertaken to develop the Annual Governance Statement and the action plan for consideration at the Committee’s next meeting on 20th July, 2018. This included the incorporation at Section 11.4 of issues arising from the Annual Audit Report, as well as specific actions in relation to contract management procedures and data protection, together with recommendations arising from the Information Commissioner’s Office Consensual Audit. Work continued with Service Directors on the review of the Annual Governance Statement, with approximately 50% of responses received in advance of the deadline of 15th June, 2018.
In the ensuing discussion, the following matters were highlighted:-
· Members commented on the extent to which the Council could respond to Brexit, given the general uncertainty as to the final position. However, it was noted that there was already clarity in some areas and that the Council would respond incrementally to the opportunities and challenges presented by Brexit as this developed.
· The meeting noted the focus in Section 5.2.5 on the Sheffield City Region as the basis for Devolution, rather than the wider proposals for Yorkshire. It was noted that the current offer was indeed in relation to the City Region and the need to respond to the recently elected Mayor’s agenda, and perhaps this section could be clarified in this respect. However, a further dimension was the extent to which Barnsley Council provided support services for the Combined Authority and whether a stocktake was needed given the views of the Mayor.
· Members commented that Section 12 did not identify any fundamental issues in relation to governance, risk and internal control arrangements, a similar position to that identified over a number of previous years. Members asked about the process for identifying significant governance issues and the threshold at which these issues might be identified as such. The meeting noted that this section was intended to highlight any issues of significance beyond those identified in the action plan, and this would be updated to reflect any issues arising from the review of the Annual Governance Statement and the Audit Annual Report, including the Information Commissioner’s Office Consensual Audit. This detail was not available when the report now submitted was drafted, but would be provided in the updated report submitted to the July meeting.
RESOLVED that the draft Annual Governance Statement 2017/18 be noted.