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Good Governance Diagnostic

July 2009. Good Governance Diagnostic. Vale of Glamorgan Council Initial key messages. Louise Fleet, Emma Giles and Simon Jones GL4865. Good Governance Diagnostic. The good governance diagnostic was undertaken based on the Assembly Government’s citizen-centred good governance principles:

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Good Governance Diagnostic

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  1. July 2009 Good Governance Diagnostic Vale of Glamorgan Council Initial key messages Louise Fleet, Emma Giles and Simon Jones GL4865

  2. Good Governance Diagnostic The good governance diagnostic was undertaken based on the Assembly Government’s citizen-centred good governance principles: • Putting the Citizen First • Knowing Who Does What and Why • Living Public Service Values • Engaging with Others • Fostering Innovative Delivery • Being a Learning Organisation • Achieving Value for Money Good Governance Diagnostic

  3. Aim of the diagnostic The diagnostic is designed to help the Council evaluate governance arrangements in the context of the seven principles and to identify the potential for further development of arrangements. This is achieved by means of: • analysing the responses in questionnaires returned by members and officers • undertaking interviews with members and officers • running focus groups and observing meetings and other Council activities • having regard to previous audit and inspection experience • some interviews with partners yet to take place Good Governance Diagnostic

  4. Positive Characteristics Culture - there is: • Good public engagement, with commitment to develop further • Clear understanding amongst officers and member about accountability and functions • Commitment to good governance and a good public sector ethos amongst members • Examples of innovation embedded within appropriate risk management arrangements • Good opportunities for member development and a staff performance management framework is in place • A developing commitment to engagement and collaboration with others • Corporate focus on delivering efficiencies and a positive VFM conclusion from auditors Good Governance Diagnostic

  5. Particular areas for development have been identified as: The impact on processes and culture of impending financial pressures Until fully developed as planned, there are constraints on the contact centre’s capability to deliver excellent customer service, and the Council needs to develop its complaints process Scope to develop the awareness, role and effectiveness of members in some cases Celebrating success Developing a culture of better strategic engagement with stakeholders Areas for development and further consideration Good Governance Diagnostic Slide 5

  6. Putting the citizen first • Positive indicators: • Wide range of initiatives: Citizens’ Panel (good response rate); biennial survey; state of the area debates; Vale Waves; Older People’s Forum • Public Engagement Framework and good practice guide • OneVale contact centre as focal point for customer engagement • Service level engagement with customers – eg food waste collection; Youth services; service response to consultation required in service plans • Evidence of member engagement with citizens: links with Community Councils; Leader • Areas for development and further consideration: • Service plans do not always clearly demonstrate how services have responded to consultation findings • There are some difficulties with the services provided to the public, which require resolution as the contact centre continues to develop • Risk that service quality might suffer given future focus on efficiency savings Good Governance Diagnostic

  7. Knowing who does what and why • Positive Indicators: • Positive responses about accountability & functions – members and officers • Member induction programme • Constructive working relationships between members and officers • Council adopted unified, cohesive approach in relation to recent social services problem • CMT effective forum for considering corporate and cross-cutting issues • Council maturing in the way it conducts its business through the cabinet/scrutiny split • Areas for development and further consideration: • Scrutiny Committees varied in effectiveness • In common with other councils, the requirement to make difficult decisions, as the financial situation tightens, may split the Council along party lines and thus challenge the political stability going forward. • Ensuring a role for all members Good Governance Diagnostic

  8. Living public sector values • Positive Indicators: • No issues reported about member and staff behaviour • Council has Code of Governance, and Annual Governance Statement (a year earlier than necessary) • Audit Committee generally well-regarded • Strong public sector ethos among members – willingness to co-operate for the common good of the citizens of the Vale • Areas for development and further consideration: • Members’ awareness of whistle-blowing policy? • Should standards committee take a more active role? Good Governance Diagnostic

  9. Fostering innovative delivery • Positive Indicators: • Members and officers believe the Council strives to identify more effective and innovative ways of working • Culture of willingness to challenge existing practices given current financial situation • Some examples: OneVale; mobile working; Barnardos service • Good level of risk awareness – officers and members • Areas for development and further consideration: • Is there the appetite and capacity to take the really hard decisions? Good Governance Diagnostic

  10. Being a learning organisation • Positive Indicators: • PDRS system indentifies staff training needs • Member training – strategy, working group etc. • Service plans include “where we excel” section • Performance management regime effective in bringing together top down and bottom up issues • Areas for development and further consideration: • Member performance appraisal (at individual and committee levels) • Scope for the Council to celebrate its own success more? • More rigorous, structured, identification of good practice • Not a fully corporate approach to managing complaints (due to resource constraints) • And? • Scope for more positive engagement with regulators? Good Governance Diagnostic Slide 10

  11. Engaging with others • Positive Indicators: • Consultation officer; Public Engagement Framework • Internal and external communication strategy • Examples of successful collaborations with other organisations – Gwyrdd; SE Wales, Wales Purchasing Consortium, SS joint commissioning • LSB becoming a useful mechanism • Proposals to centralise partnership management in Chief Exec’s office – intended to lead to greater efficiency • Recognition that partnership working likely to be an important element in managing the increasingly difficult financial position • Areas for development and further consideration: • Mixed / conflicting responses about effective engagement with stakeholders – not always seen as positive partner to work with Good Governance Diagnostic

  12. Achieving value for money • Positive Indicators: • Corporate focus on delivering efficiencies • Some helpful examples of benchmarking – social services and looked-after children • Ffynnon software widely available – including members • Audit and Scrutiny Committees play a role in ensuring vfm • Positive vfm conclusion from auditors • Areas for development and further consideration: • Need for more comprehensive information to fully understand whether all services provide quality and value for money Good Governance Diagnostic

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