Delivering Good Governance in Local Government: Guidance Notes for Scottish Authorities (2016 Edition)

Delivering Good Governance in Local Government Guidance Notes for Scottish Authorities 2016 Edition Online


These guidance notes are intended to assist local authorities and associated organisations and systems – such as joint boards, partnerships and other vehicles established through which authorities now work in Scotland – in reviewing the effectiveness of their own governance arrangements by reference to best practice and using self-assessment.







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Local government continues to undergo significant change, much of which has been driven by austerity measures together with an increasing demand for services.

To cope, authorities will need to continue to adapt the way in which they operate.

Local authorities have responded to austerity through increased partnership working and developing their role as ‘enablers’. Authorities will continue to make difficult decisions which may mean that certain services are no longer provided, but in doing this they need to communicate effectively with their communities, service users, stakeholders and individuals to ensure that the most vulnerable citizens are protected.

At the same time, local government has been undergoing significant change and the environment in which it works is increasing in complexity.

In addition to economic and financial challenge, the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014 and other legislation have brought about new roles, opportunities and greater flexibility, as well as challenges, for authorities.

Whether working with other authorities, public sector bodies, the third sector or private sector providers, local authorities must ensure that robust governance arrangements are established at the outset which provide for a shared view of expected outcomes supported by effective mechanisms for control and risk management thereby ensuring that the public purse is properly protected.

These guidance notes relate to Delivering Good Governance: Framework (2016) (the Framework) which is intended to be used as best practice for developing and maintaining a locally adopted code of governance.

The Framework, first published by CIPFA in association with Solace in 2007, sets the standard for local authority governance in the UK. CIPFA and Solace reviewed the Framework in 2015 to ensure it remains ‘fit for purpose’ and published a revised edition in Spring 2016.

These guidance notes will assist authorities in interpreting the principles and terminology contained in the Framework in a way that is appropriate for their governance structures, taking account of the legislative and constitutional arrangements that underpin them. However it is not intended that the guidance notes are in any way prescriptive – all authorities are encouraged to consider carefully the content of the Framework and to use it in a way that best reflects their structure, type, functions and size.

These guidance notes are aimed at local government in Scotland and will be particularly useful for officers. They are intended to help those supporting political and officer leadership with establishing robust governance. They signpost component parts of the process and establish a hierarchy of support.

This publication is available as a downloadable PDF. Customers and subscribers will need to log in to CIPFA’s website to access the publication. 

Also available to purchase is:

The revised edition of Guidance Notes for Policing Bodies (2016 Edition) is free to download.

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