The Report provides information on a minor omission to make available for public inspection the draft Annual Governance Statement in June 2019. It is presented to the Council for information only as changes were made to the relevant processes in 2019 when the omission came to light and the omission is unlikely to recur.
The Chief Executive presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'D' to these Minutes in the Minute Book.
The Chief Executive explained that he was introducing this report on behalf of Anne Brown the Monitoring Officer who had left due to illness. He also wanted to take the opportunity of thanking her for her service in the short time that she was with the Council.
The Chief Executive reported that all Councils had a legal duty to publish a draft Annual Governance Statement alongside the Statement of Accounts which had been a legal requirement since April 2015 including for public consultation. The Chief Executive explained that the Annual Governance Statement sets out the Council’s assessment of the key governance issues faced by the Council and the process for identifying those issues. He reported that the Council had carried forward the accounting practices from preceding authorities and in doing so had omitted to fulfil the specific legal duty of publishing the draft Annual Governance Statement for Bournemouth Borough Council. The Council had recognised this omission which had been identified by a local resident. The Chief Executive thanked him for bringing it to the Council’s attention.
The Chief Executive reported that the Council had remedied this for the future and changed its practices, and he confirmed that the Annual Governance Statement for BCP Council for 2019/20 was published from 3 August until 14 September 2020 in accordance with the Regulations. He explained that the Monitoring Officer had a legal duty to advise the Council of the breach and that was why the report had been submitted to the Council.
A Councillor thanked Mr Gatrell who was a resident in his ward for bringing the matter to the attention of the Council. He reported that it was not necessarily a minor error as the Council broke the law. The Councillor highlighted the huge amount of effort undertaken by Mr Gatrell, that he was delighted that it had now been recognised and placed on record his thanks to Mr Gatrell. His comments were echoed by another Councillor who expressed his concern about the Council’s approach.
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
Note the meeting was adjourned from 20:57 until 21:09