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Governance

Helping you ensure lawfulness in decision making

Our Governance team specialises in providing a comprehensive, efficient and effective legal and Monitoring Officer service in relation to corporate and ethical governance and other local government law. We support clients in their activities and ensure lawfulness and balance in decision-making, including providing legal advice, support and representation in relation to corporate and ethical governance.

Legal support for corporate governance

Our expertise covers:

  • Election compliance
  • Devolution support
  • Political structures and executive arrangements
  • Development, maintenance and review of the Council Constitution
  • Decision-making and other procedures (including those under Financial Procedure Rules, Contract Procedure Rules and Property Procedure Rules)
  • Access to information requirements
  • Members’ allowances and support to the Independent Remuneration Panel on Members’ Allowances
  • Political restrictions
  • Maintaining, reviewing and developing governance and constitutional frameworks and governance documentation/terms of reference of committees/bodies
  • Development of codes and protocols for operation of Council business, (e.g. Protocol on Officer/Member Relations, Protocol on Audio/Visual Recording and Photography at Meetings)
  • Counter fraud work including anti-corruption legislation and provisions (e.g. anti-money laundering, Bribery Act, Whistleblowing)

Ethical governance advice for businesses

Our ethical governance work covers:

  • Provision of statutory Monitoring Officer role
  • Development and maintenance of standards regime under Localism Act 2011
  • Support to Standards Committees, including the preparation of agendas and reports and work programme delivery
  • Preparation, maintenance and review of standards documents, systems and processes, including Members’ and Officers’ Codes of Conduct, Registers of Members’ and Officers’ Interests and Registers of Members’ and Officers’ Gifts and Hospitality
  • Protocols for Members’ and Officers’ Gifts and Hospitality
  • Dispensation request procedures
  • procedures re vexatious complainants
  • Standards complaint handling, including managing the burdens of persistent/vexatious complainants
  • Standards complaint investigations and investigation report preparation
  • Preparation of briefing papers, materials and newsletters, such as the Standards Bulletin newsletter re ethical issues. This is an important area to ensure public engagement in local democracy; openness, transparency and accountability in decision making; and avoiding challenge and delay in the delivery of services.

For advice and guidance around all aspects of governance, contact our team.