Agenda item

Agenda item


To receive the Internal Audit Annual Governance Statement Report 202-23 (copy enclosed).


The Chief Internal Auditor presented the Annual Governance Statement 2022-2023 to the committee (previously circulated). He guided members through each section the Annual Governance Statement (Appendix1).  

The Council had a statutory duty to publish an Annual Governance Statement (AGS). It was explained that the AGS formed part of the Statement of Accounts. It was presented to members separately to allow members to discuss and review the AGS on its own merit.

The report was a thorough investigation on the governance functions within the council. Based on self-assessment and reports presented to committees throughout the year.

The Chief Internal Auditor confirmed reports and information was gathered and consolidated from a range of service areas. The statement had been prepared in accordance with the guidance produced by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy (CIPFA) and the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers. Members were guided through the core principals which underpinned the framework.

The Governance Statement included areas around the key contributors to developing and developing the governance framework. Information on the different council bodies that support the development framework for good governance was included. Since covid, meetings were now held hybrid with members able to attend in person or online and was working well.

Information on key indicators had been included on key performance areas within the authority. He confirmed that over the 12 months no low or no assurance had been issued.

Members were guided through the actions taken in response to 2021/22 Governance Statement and Improvement Actions Arising from 2022/23 Annual Governance Statement.


The Chair thanked the Chief Internal Auditor for the presentation of the report.

Responding to members’ questions the Chief Internal Auditor and officers:

·         Confirmed levelling up grants and other grants received should contribute to funds replacing EU funding following the Exit from the EU.

·         Engagement with businesses had taken place during the period. The engagement had not been as productive as hoped. The aim had been to engage with all stakeholders within Denbighshire. Contact had attempted with all stakeholders. Members expressed concern that the number of engagement had not been what was hoped and stressed the importance of continued promotion of engagement with the authority. It was hoped more could be done to better engagement especially with businesses and umbrella businesses in Denbighshire. Part of the communication strategy, businesses were included in liaising with officers of the authority.

·         Members were aware of a number of actions rolled over.

·         The Chair suggested an amendment to the recommendation to the report to read ‘the committee reviews and recommends for approval the draft Annual Governance Statement 2022/23’.

·         The Chair stated in his opinion the importance of a Council commitment to good governance. In particular, making reference to the seven principals of public life plus the additional 3 for Wales. The Monitoring officer stated the Corporate Plan adopted by the Council, contains a commitment to governance. In particular, the theme for a well-run and high performing council it made reference to the seven core governance functions.  

·         The Chair suggested a training session on Risk Management be scheduled before the Corporate Risk Register is presented to the committee in November 2023.

·         Actions against Safeguarding risks had been included in Annual Internal Audit report. providing details of work being done to address each risk and what controls are in place around each risk.

·         The report identified some of the key areas of risk for the authority. Members stressed the importance of including any risks to governance of the council.

·         Members suggested an amendment to 2.6.4 of the Governance Statement to reflect some of the difficulties and delays faced with the Closure of the Statement of accounts during the year.

·         The Chair suggested an amendment to the Chief Internal Auditors opinion, in his opinion the details of staff sickness and recruitment problems did not need to be included. The Internal Audit Annual report provided those details.

·         Members suggested the list of Improvement areas identified in 2023/24 could be listed in order of big to small areas of improvement need. It would allow a focus on the priorities of the Council.

·         The Chief Internal Auditor confirmed he wanted to revisit the Workforce Planning processes at a later date. He wanted to ensure some of the key actions were met by the deadlines set. The date should read to be completed by 31/03/24.


The Chair thanked the Chief Internal Auditor for the detailed work involved in gathering the information and presenting to the committee. He suggested in the long term, a commitment could be made to review a more user friendly format for the report to be presented to members.  


All members were in agreement to amend the resolution as stated it the report. It was therefore;

RESOLVED, the committee reviews and recommends for approval the Draft Annual Governance Statement 2022/23 subject to representations made by members to content and presentation.


Supporting documents: