Decision details

Decision details

Annual Review of the Committee's Effectiveness

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


The Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive confirmed that


·         All members had completed the survey. 

·         Many of the 80 questions had required yes/no answers.

·         The answers to questions for which there had been some ‘no’ or ‘don’t know’ answers were clarified as follows:

o   Q3       NDC do not have an Overview and Scrutiny Committee any more. There was a Policy Development Committee for which agenda items can be forwarded if necessary.  There have been occasions where a meeting has been cancelled when not quorate, or delayed when Councillors were late. The Corporate and Community Services officer had been telephoning Members to remind them to attend the meetings or give apologies in advance.

o   Q7       All Members of the Committee had been provided with training when appointed to the Committee, with a refresher taking place two years following. Other training had been made available, including LGA Finance training and any further courses required could be considered. Although no specific requirements for members to have prior financial/suitable knowledge had been implemented by NDC it was expected that the Group Leaders would have sought to appoint suitable Members to each Committee.

o   Q13     Every agenda has an item where Members were asked to declare any interests.

o   Q17    As per Q3 regarding quorum issues.

o   Q27     There was some integration assessing risk when reports were considered. Some cover risk management.

o   Q29     This was covered in June 2021 with the updated Anti-Fraud and Corruption Policy being approved.

o   Q33     The Internal Audit Plan (and the Corporate Risk Register) was considered by the Senior Management Team (SMT) to help to focus the direction of audits.

o   Q39     This was covered by the Statement of Accounts (at the September meeting).  Large write-offs were considered by Strategy and Resources, then Full Council, rather than by the Governance Committee. Any write-offs over £1500 were considered in consultation with the Leader and not the remit of this committee.

o   Q41 & Q43    Yes the Committee receives both of those reports. (External Audit report and Letter of Representation).

o   Q45    Topical legal and regulatory issues were presented to the Committee within the External Auditors Report.

·         During a discussion regarding the layout and content of the reports received from the Auditors, the Chair confirmed he found them well-presented and easy to understand


The Internal Auditor confirmed that they were currently undertaking a review of the reports provided to each of the Devon Authorities and ascertain any different requirements across the region.


 The Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive advised that:


o   Q76    A peer review had been undertaken, and the results circulated previously.  That had covered areas of work that could come to the Committee within the work programme.


In response to a question from the Committee, the Chief Executive confirmed that the findings of the Organisational Development team had been circulated to officers and a report would be presented to this Committee in due course. This work considered the culture of the organisation: both staff and members.


The Chief Executive reiterated that the role of the Governance Committee was to look at the controls and procedures set in place and ensure issues were picked up through performance rather than specific cases or incidents.


The Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive advised that:


o   Q77     Assurance was sought by the auditors as part of their Value for Money assessment.

o   Q80     The value of assets and loans was included within the Statement of Accounts.

o   Q84     The appointment of an ‘Independent person’ appointed to Committees was being considered, along with the possibility of sharing such an individual with other Devon authorities.




a)    That the Internal Auditors’ report on the Review of the reports provided/required by each of the Devon Authorities be circulated by the Corporate and Community Services Officer to the Committee Members as soon as it became available;


b)    An ‘Exit’ questionnaire be developed and issued to Members at the end of their term;


c)    That Performance Framework be considered at a future Governance Committee; and


d)    The update on the Annual Review of the Committee’s Effectiveness be noted.


Report author: Jon Triggs

Publication date: 06/12/2022

Date of decision: 15/11/2022

Decided at meeting: 15/11/2022 - Governance Committee

Accompanying Documents: