Agenda item

Draft Annual Governance Statement 2021-22


The Head of Internal Audit, Anti-Fraud and Assurance submitted a report presenting the Authority’s draft Annual Governance Statement (AGS) 2021/22.  A copy of the draft Statement was appended to the report.


The Committee noted that the AGS was a statutory requirement as defined in the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 and had been prepared following an Annual Governance Review process as previously reported.


An Action Plan had been prepared to capture issues raised through the review process and this document would form the basis for the Committee monitoring throughout the year.  The Action Plan was appended as Appendix 1 to the Draft Annual Governance Statement and outlined the items upon which further action was required.  An update of the Action Plan would be submitted to the Committee throughout the year.


In the ensuing discussion, reference was made to the following:


·         It was noted that the draft AGS was to be subject to independent audit which it was felt would give reassurance about the robustness of the process

·         The format of the AGS was welcomed being easy to read and understand

·         There was a discussion as to whether or not a commentary on the outcome of Ofsted Inspections should be specifically included within the AGS.  It was noted that information relating to the inspections had been included as it provided a further source of information and assurance about the broader governance arrangements in place.  It was also noted that details of the inspections undertaken were available from the Ofsted website

·         It was noted that there was no reference to the error made at the count for the municipal elections held in May 2022.  A full independent investigation had been undertaken and whilst no systemic failings had been found, as the failings had simply been human error, a number of recommendations had been made for improvements going forward.  A report was to be submitted to Cabinet shortly recommending the adoption of the revised arrangements.  A discussion then ensued as to whether or not reference should be made to the issue within the AGS.  On balance, and on the advice of the Monitoring Officer, it was suggested that inclusion was warranted and was good practice on the basis that it demonstrated that the issue had been investigated and matters arising from it had been addressed

·         Reference was made to the action recommended in relation to procurement and Contract Management, the timescale for which was April, 2024.  The Service Director Finance stated that there were no particular concerns, but any suggestions as to improvements/efficiencies was welcomed




(i)            That the draft AGS, which reflects the governance arrangements in place and the actions arising from the annual governance review process, be noted;


(ii)          That the final AGS be presented to the Committee at its meeting to be held on the 16th November, 2022 where the Final Accounts will be presented alongside the External Auditor’s ISA 260 report and thereafter to the Council on the 24th November, 2022 for approval; and


(iii)         That the Committee receive updates on the progress of the actions identified in the AGS Action Plan at future meetings.

Supporting documents: