Agenda item

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman Update Report

Minutes:

The Monitoring Officer submitted a report providing an update on the final requirements of the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman following their report regarding a complaint.

 

Further to Minute No 24 of the meeting held on the 28th July, 2021, it was noted that the finding relating to a planning matter had been resolved, however, the Ombudsman had recommended that the Committee receive assurances more broadly regarding the Council’s compliance with the Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014.

 

The report in outlining in detail how the Council fulfilled its statutory obligations in respect of these regulations as well as the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to information) (England) Regulations 2012 indicated that the Council was also undertaking a review of its Constitution and Scheme of Delegation over the next few months.  To this end, a working group had been established and its findings would be presented to this Committee for consideration and assurance purposes.

 

In addition to the above, an Internal Audit had been commissioned to look at how the Council complied with the statutory Local Government Transparency Code 2015 and associated LGA Guidance with regard to the publication of specified categories of data.  The findings of this audit would also be presented to this Committee in due course.

 

The Local Government Ombudsman had been informed of the progress made and had been provided with a copy of this report.

 

In response to specific questioning the following responses were provided:

 

·         The Working Group looking at the review of the Constitution and Scheme of Delegation would comprise a variety of officers.  The Monitoring Officer would seek information as to whether or not Elected Members were to be involved in this process.  He gave an assurance, however, that regular update reports on progress would be submitted

·         The Head of Internal Audit, Anti-Fraud and Assurance stated that it was the intention that Internal Audit would be part of the Working Group and would provide an element of objective check and challenge.  He then went on to give a brief summary of the work that would be involved with the audit of how the Council complied with the Local Government Transparency Code.  An update on this would be provided as part of the usual Audit Update report

 

RESOLVED that the report be received, and the actions taken and planned to address the Ombudsman’s recommendations be acknowledged.

Supporting documents: