Waverley Borough Council Home Page Waverley Borough Council Home Page


Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 07/03/2006
Ethical Governance Framework



APPENDIX O
Waverley Borough Council

EXECUTIVE – 7TH MARCH 2006

REFERENCE FROM STANDARDS Committee - 3RD MARCH 2006
_________________________________________________________________________
Title:
ETHICAL GOVERNANCE FRAMEWORK
[Wards Affected: N/A]
_________________________________________________________________________
Summary and purpose:

This report seeks the approval of the Standards Committee for a more comprehensive survey of Members and officers in respect of setting high ethical standards than that previously approved by the Committee as part of an independent ethical governance diagnostic to assess the Council’s arrangements and justify areas for improvement.
_________________________________________________________________________
Environmental implications:

There are no environmental implications.

Social / community implications:

The following impact on the service delivered to the community:

q Ensuring compliance with Codes of Conduct
q Prevention and detection of fraud and corruption
q Clear officer/Member responsibility for decision making
q Strategic and integrated approach to diversity, human rights and user focus
q Council has a high reputation for efficiency and integrity.

E-Government implications:

The survey will be web-based and the responses will be sent to the independent web address of the Audit Commission.

Resource and legal implications:

The additional cost of a more comprehensive survey of Members and officers, if approved, will be met from existing budgets.
_________________________________________________________________________

1. At its meeting on 7th November 2005, the Committee authorised the Monitoring Officer to commission an independent ethical governance diagnostic, developed by the Audit Commission in conjunction with the IdeA, to assess the Council’s arrangements for setting and maintaining high ethical standards. The diagnostic contains three elements, namely:-

q A traditional audit including a self assessment by the Monitoring Officer;
q A survey for Members and officers; and
q Workshops using scenarios

2. The total cost of this exercise was estimated to be up to 3,000, of which 1,500 would be spent on a survey of Members and officers. The actual survey would be web-based and would be conducted by the Audit Commission who would then deliver the data to Waverley for officers to undertake a detailed analysis of the results.

3. Officers have since given further consideration to the arrangements for the survey, and in the light of discussions with the Audit Commission, have concluded that it would be preferable for the Audit Commission to undertake both the survey and analysis of the results. A draft project specification prepared by the Audit Commission is attached as Annexe A.

4. As will be seen from this specification, the Audit Commission will provide a short analysis and summary report of the survey findings which will be presented to the Standards Committee, and will then discuss with the Council whether further, in-depth work is appropriate. The additional cost of the analysis will be 3,000 which can be met from existing budgets.

5. Preparation for the Council’s next Comprehensive Performance Assessment is now well underway. While the results of the consultation on the CPA options have still to be made available, it is a certain fact that ethical standards will be a significant key line of enquiry, together with the use of resources and provision of value for money. It is therefore important that the Council undertakes at this stage a thorough assessment of its practice in respect of maintaining and promoting ethical standards.

6. It is proposed that the survey should be carried out during April 2006 and that feedback is provided to the Council in May 2006.

Recommendation

The Committee is asked to consider and authorise, if appropriate, the Monitoring Officer to commission both the survey of Members and officers and the analysis, at an additional cost of 3,000, to be met from existing budgets.

________________________________________________________________________
Background Papers (CEx)

Audit Commission Presentation: CPA: inspecting and auditing the ethical dimension.
________________________________________________________________________

CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Mrs Anne Bott Telephone: 01483 523415

E-mail: abott@waverley.gov.uk


Comms/exec/05-06/306