Governance risk and resilience

Governance risk and resilience

A range of national bodies worked together to enhance councils’ understanding of how they can diagnose and reduce the risk of failure in corporate governance, and what success factors can point the way to greater strength in this area.

Research was led by the Centre for Public Scrutiny assisted by Localis, and funded by a consortium of partners – the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the Local Government Association, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, Local Partnerships and the law firm Trowers & Hamlins LLP.

Good governance is important in ensuring good decision making and leadership in local authorities.  Weakness in governance can have far reaching implications for individual councils and the people they serve.  It is therefore important for councils to have a way to work through what good governance looks like for them, how the risk of weak governance can be minimised and the attitudes and behaviours that underpin this. In extreme cases, governance failure can lead to informal and formal oversight being imposed by central Government.

The research engaged closely with these instances because of the wealth of evidence that exists about governance failure – and subsequent improvement – in those cases. But it will not provide a forensic study of individual interventions, instead drawing out common themes and lessons which can be analysed to provide practical support to councils.

The outcome of this exercise came in the production of a  set of practical toolkits which will help council officers and councillors navigate governance risk and resilience.

One of the toolkits will assist senior council staff – the golden triangle of chief executive/monitoring officer/finance officer – exercise their leadership responsibilities to own and champion good governance.

In addition, a separate set has been designed for the needs of individual council officers and councillors not expert in governance to help them play their part in understanding, and acting on, risks that might prevent a council being effective, well run and accountable.

Click here to visit ‘The governance risk and resilience framework’ (takes you to Centre for Governance and Scrutiny website)