The Leader presented the report, informing colleagues that it was important for the Council to have an up to date and relevant Code of Corporate Governance. The Council’s Annual Governance Statement was based on the Code of Corporate Governance. The Code was last revised in 2014 and approved by Cabinet.
Newport City Council’s Code of Corporate Governance was updated and revised to comply with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy (CIPFA) and the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers (SOLACE)’s published good practice “Delivering Good Governance in Local Government Framework 2016” and “Delivering Good Governance in Local Government Guidance Notes for Welsh Authorities 2016”, which embraces the elements of internal financial control required by the “Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting in the United Kingdom”.
In order to meet the requirements of the Accounts and Audit (Wales) Regulations 2014, Newport City Council needed to present an Annual Governance Statement (AGS) with its Annual Statement of Accounts. The AGS was based on this revised Code of Corporate Governance since 2016/17.
This Code set out Newport City Council’s approach to achieving and maintaining good corporate governance.
The Council saw Corporate Governance as aiming to do the right things in the right way for the right people, in a timely, inclusive, open, honest and accountable manner. It comprised the systems and processes, cultures and values by which the Council was directed and controlled whilst demonstrating its accountability and engagement with its citizens.
Strong, transparent and responsive governance enabled the Council to put citizens first by pursuing its aims and priorities effectively, and by underpinning them with appropriate mechanisms for managing performance and risk. In order to maintain citizens’ confidence these mechanisms must be sound and be seen to be sound.
The system of internal control was a significant part of this framework and was designed to manage risk to a reasonable level. It provided reasonable but not absolute assurance of effectiveness. Internal control was based on an ongoing process designed to identify and prioritise any risks to the achievement of the Council’s policies, aims and objectives, ensuring the Council’s resources are used in an effective, efficient and economic way.
The Governance Framework
The Council’s Code of Corporate Governance was revised in line with the following principles:
Overarching requirements for acting in the public interest:
A Behaving with integrity, demonstrating strong commitment to ethical values and respecting the rule of law
B Ensuring openness and comprehensive stakeholder engagement
In addition, achieving good governance in the Council required effective arrangements for:
C Defining outcomes in terms of sustainable, economic, social, environmental and cultural benefits
D Determining the interventions necessary to optimise the achievement of the intended outcomes
E Developing the entity’s capacity, including the capability of its leadership and the individuals within it
F Managing risks and performance through robust internal control and strong public financial management
G Implementing good practices in transparency, reporting and audit to deliver effective accountability.
The Council’s Commitments to Corporate Governance were clearly set out in this Code along with the arrangements in place to support good corporate governance.
That the revised Code of Corporate Governance be approved.