The Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015* require councils to produce an Annual Governance Statement (AGS) to accompany its Statement of Accounts.
This report seeks approval for the AGS for BCP Council.
The AGS concludes that BCP Council “has effective and fit-for-purpose governance arrangements in place in accordance with the governance framework”.
After considering all the sources of assurance (for governance arrangements), BCP Corporate Management Board identified that the following significant governance issues existed:
· Governance of Children’s Social Services
· Adjustments to the Highways Register
· Governance Arrangements with Wholly Owned Companies, Lower Gardens and Five Parks Charitable Trusts, BH Live and Russell Cotes Museum
· Minor Omission to make available for public inspection the draft Annual Governance Statement in June 2019
An action plan to address these significant governance issues has been produced and is being implemented. An update against the action plan will be brought to Audit and Governance Committee in January 2021.
*and as amended by the Accounts and Audit (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020
The Head of Audit and Management Assurance presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'C' to these Minutes in the Minute Book. It was explained that The Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 (as amended by Coronavirus Regulations) required councils to produce an Annual Governance Statement (AGS) to accompany its Statement of Accounts.
The conclusion of the AGS was that BCP Council had effective and fit-for-purpose governance arrangements in place in accordance with the governance framework. It was, however, reported that an action plan was in place to address four significant governance issues listed in the report and that an update against the action plan would be brought to Audit and Governance Committee in January 2021. In relation to the reported omission to make the Annual Governance Statement available in June 2019 available for public inspection, it was agreed that the word ’minor’ be deleted from the description of this identified omission.
(a)The Annual Governance Statement 2019/20 for BCP Council is approved and the Leader and Chief Executive are asked to formally sign it;
(b)The BCP action plan to address significant governance issues is approved and a progress update will be presented to Audit & Governance Committee in January 2021.
[Post meeting note. It was subsequently agreed after discussion with the Chairman of the Committee, and with his agreement, that the progress update requested above be submitted to the Committee at its meeting in March 2021. This to align the report more meaningfully with the revised statutory reporting cycle as amended in response to the Covid19 pandemic.]