Issue - meetings

Annual Governance Statement 2020/21

Meeting: 02/06/2021 - Governance and Audit Committee (Item 7)

7 Annual Governance Statement 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 99 KB

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That the Annual Governance Statement 2020/21 be attached to the Statement of Accounts and recommended to Council for adoption.


The Internal Audit Manager presented the Annual Government Statement (AGS) 2020/21 which would accompany the Statement of Accounts.  As requested, the approach for developing the AGS had been extended this year to include participation by Members of the Committee through a challenge workshop.  The main changes to the AGS were summarised and outcomes from the workshop included agreement for further changes to the process for future years.


In welcoming the simplified format of the document, Sally Ellis gave examples of further improvements and she asked that the points raised at the workshop be more clearly reflected in the AGS.  Officers agreed that comments raised at future workshops would be noted to demonstrate how they were applied.


Sally Ellis sought assurance that feedback from the workshop on the risks around a particular service were being addressed in the most appropriate way.  The Chief Officer (Governance) said that this specific risk and associated mitigating actions had been identified as a strategic issue in the second part of the AGS.


The Chief Executive gave assurance that actions on this risk would be recorded in more detail and that he was leading work on scoping a performance review with the service.  Whilst this was not under the remit of the Governance & Audit Committee, the Internal Audit Manager would provide support on the assessment of performance.  In acknowledging the need to improve the readability of the AGS, he referred to the prescribed format and the importance of delivering the key issues within the document.


In response to questions from Allan Rainford on actions for defining outcomes in terms of sustainable economic, social and environmental benefits (Principle C in the AGS), the Internal Audit Manager provided clarification on changes implemented due to the emergency period.


On the mitigation of risks on strategic issues within the AGS for 2019/20, the Chief Executive said that information previously shared with the Committee on recovery objectives and risk management had been subject to regular review by Overview & Scrutiny.  The role of the newly formed Recovery Committee would be to oversee risk management to full recovery during the next year and the recently adopted Council Plan demonstrated forward planning despite disruptions to strategy and continuity.


The Chief Officer (Governance) and Corporate Finance Manager responded to specific queries on actions taken to replenish reserve levels held by the Council and managing financial risks during the emergency period.


The recommendation was moved and seconded by Councillors Janet Axworthy and Martin White.




That the Annual Governance Statement 2020/21 be attached to the Statement of Accounts and recommended to Council for adoption.