8. There are many instances in the Scheme where a director or one of their members of staff are required to consult the Chief Executive where legal action is required or being considered. It would be within the spirit and style of the Scheme if these references to the Chief Executive were replaced with references to the Solicitor to the Council with the proviso that that officer consults the Managing Director. The relevant Scheme of Delegation items are listed at Annexe 1; members are asked to refer to the Members’ Handbook should they wish to read the full text.
9. In respect of licensing matters, the Scheme refers to the Chief Executive for some of the items between 224 and 263 inclusive. It would be reasonable and, again, within the intention and spirit of the Scheme to amend these references to read “Head of Committee and Member Services”, who is responsible for the licensing service, and the instances are also listed in Annexe 1.
10. There are some other miscellaneous references to the Chief Executive. These are also listed in Annexe 1 together with a suggested replacement reference or suggestion to delete the reference entirely.
11. Further to the comment regarding the references to both “Solicitor to the Council” and “Head of Legal Services” to refer to the same post, it would be prudent to standardise references to “Solicitor to the Council” throughout the Scheme of Delegation. This would bring the Scheme into alignment with Contract Procedure Rules.
Contract Procedure Rules
12. The Contract Procedure Rules (CPRs) refer to the “relevant chief officer” in respect of a contract, and this means the Director who is responsible for the project (he may or may not be the line manager of the project leader). Some CPRs make reference to the Chief Executive, and in some instances these could be easily substituted, as detailed in Annexe 2. (As with the Scheme of Delegation, the full text can be found in the Members’ Handbook.)
13. With reference to paragraph 4 above, whoever is the incumbent Managing Director at a point may be required to approve an action in respect of a project that commenced prior to their taking up the position. They will have to act as they would if taking up a position with a new employer, and will need to observe the date upon which they assumed the role and not seek the preceding director to retrospectively approve or authorise an action.
14. The circumstances under which there is potential for a conflict of interest is in respect of seeking a waiver for a contract where, as a relevant chief officer as defined in CPRs, the Director who is also acting as Managing Director needs to seek the Chief Executive’s approval if they consider that a waiver is the best course of action and urgent approval is sought and the matter cannot wait until the Executive next meets or can be convened. The current requirement for a relevant chief officer to seek the Chief Executive’s approval is an important control. In such instances it will be necessary to regard this as falling under CPR W104, an the Managing Director, if also the relevant Director as defined by CPRs, is required to obtain the approval of the Chairman of the Executive.
15. Similarly, the Director of Finance has to be consulted and his approval sought on may aspects of CPRs. Whereas at present he is required to consult the Chief Executive in instances where he is the relevant Director (CPR W103), he will need to consult the Managing Director except at times when is serving as Managing Director. At these times, he will also be required to consult the Chairman of the Executive. Revised wordings for CPR W103 and W104 are included in Annexe 3. Additional words are underscored, deleted words are struck through – the proposed wording assumes approval is given to replacing “Chief Executive” with “Managing Director”.
16. Since the last review of CPRs in March 2006, the Chief Officer Group has been renamed “Management Team”. It is therefore necessary to approve a wording change within CPRs. The specific references have not been given but an overall change is suggested in Annexe 2.
17. There are a few minor amendments that have been identified since the review in March, and approval is now sought, as set out in Annexe 3. Again, additional words are underscored and deleted words are struck through.
18. There are just 2 references to the Chief Executive with Financial Regulations, both of which can appropriately replaced by reference to the Managing Director. These are in C403 and D203.
Staffing establishment - savings
19. At the meeting of the Executive on 6th September 2005, it was agreed that decisions to achieve savings in the staffing budget could be made by the Chief Executive (after consultation with the Leader and the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Human Resources). Now that the post of Chief Executive has been deleted, there is a need to replace this delegation. The Council’s Management Team recommends that such decisions should be undertaken by the Executive, and therefore item 3b in the Scheme of Delegation would require amendment accordingly.
20. Further to the comment made under the CPRs section above, concerning the requirement that the Managing Director takes responsibility for whatever arises during his term of office even if something commenced when another director was serving in the role, it would be prudent to determine who should serve as a deputy Managing Director. As a timetable has been agreed which sets out the periods when each director will be serving as Managing Director, the simplest option would appear to be that the next director to assume the role be the deputy.
21. The deletion of the post of Chief Executive has ramifications for Waverley’s internal rules and governance arrangements. There is potential for conflicts of interest to arise, or for there to be ambiguity, and the recommended amendments to the Scheme of Delegation, Contract Procedure Rules and Financial Regulations would reduce the potential. The nomination of a deputy Managing Director in accordance with a clear scheme would also ensure that there is adequate cover to ensure continuity in the conduct of business.
It is recommended that:
1. the changes to the Scheme of Delegation, as set out in Annexe 1, be approved;
2. all references in the Scheme of Delegation to “Head of Legal Services” be replaced by “Solicitor to the Council”;
3. the changes to Contract Procedure Rules, as set out in Annexes 2 and 3, be approved;
4. references to the “Chief Executive” as contained in Financial Regulations C403 and D203 be replaced by “Managing Director”;
5. savings to be achieved from the staffing budget be delegated, in future, to the Executive; and
6. the Director who is next due to serve as Managing Director fulfills the role of deputy Managing Director.
Background Papers (DoF)
There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.
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