Taking informed and transparent decisions

Taking informed and transparent decisions which are subject to effective scrutiny and managing risk
 
  • Being rigorous and transparent about how decisions are taken and listening and acting on the outcome of constructive scrutiny 
  • Having good-quality information, advice and support to ensure that services are delivered effectively and are what the community wants/needs 
  • Ensuring that an effective risk management system is in place
  • Using their legal powers to the full benefit of the citizens and communities in their area
 
The code should reflect the requirement for local authorities to: Compliance can be demonstrated by:

Develop and maintain an effective scrutiny function which encourages constructive challenge and enhances the authority's performance overall and that of any organisation for which it is responsible

  • Scrutiny task and finish groups Terms of Reference - Scrutiny Committee
Develop and maintain open and effective mechanisms for documenting evidence for decisions and recording the criteria, rationale and considerations on which decision are based
  • Minutes of meetings
  • Publication of portfolio holder decisions
Put in place arrangements to safeguard members and employees against conflicts of interest and put in place appropriate process to ensure that they continue to operate in practice
  • Codes of conduct
Develop and maintain an effective audit committee which is independent of the executive and scrutiny functions or make other appropriate arrangements for the discharge of the functions of such a committee
  • Audit Committee Terms of reference
  • Membership of the Audit Committee
  • Training for committee members
Ensure that effective, transparent and accessible arrangements are in place for dealing with complaints
  • Complaints procedure
Ensure that those making decisions whether for the authority of the partnership are provided with information that is fit for the purpose - relevant, timely and gives clear explanations of technical issues and their implications
  • Members' induction scheme
  • Training for committee chairs
Ensure that professional advice on matters that have legal or financial implications is available and recorded well in advance of decision making and used appropriately
  • Job Description/Person Specification
  • Training Plans
  • IIP Standards
Ensure that risk management is embedded into the culture of the authority, with members and managers at all levels recognising that risk management is part of their jobs
  • Risk Management Strategy and Policy
  • Reports on risk control
  • Internal control framework
  • Risk and Performance Management System
  • Audit Committee Terms of Reference
  • Scrutiny Committee Terms of Reference
  • District Executive reports
  • Service plans
  • Project management methodology
Ensure that arrangements are in place for whistle-blowing to which staff and all those contracting with the authority have access
  • Whistle blowing policy
Actively recognise the limits of lawful activity placed on them by, for example, the ultra vires doctrine but also strive to utilise powers to the full benefit of their communities
  • Constitution
  • Monitoring officer provisions
  • Statutory provision
Recognise the limits of lawful action and observe both the specific requirements of legislation and the general responsibilities placed on local authorities by public law
  • Monitoring officer provisions
Observe all specific legislative requirements place upon them, as well as the requirements of general law, and in particular the integrate the key principles of good administrative law - rationality, legality and natural justice - into their procedures and decision making processes
  • Monitoring officer provisions
  • Job description/Person specification
  • Statutory provision