Responding to COVID-19: insight, support and guidance

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


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 Wales – 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 the austerity measures.

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, significant reform is envisaged for local government in Wales. The guidance notes for Welsh authorities therefore seek to reflect the statutory implications on governance of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, the provision of which commenced on 1 April 2016.

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.

The 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 Wales (excluding police which are covered in a separate guidance note Delivering Good Governance: Guidance Notes for Policing Bodies) 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 only available as an online version.

It has both searchable HTML and a bookmarked downloadable PDF of the publication that can be shared throughout your organisation.

Customers will need to register and login to CIPFA’s website to access the publication.

Details of licensing arrangements for other categories of purchaser, which includes those organisations operating shared service arrangements, are available from CIPFA’s Publications Department.

Also available to purchase is:

• Framework (2016 Edition)

• Guidance Notes for English Authorities (2016 Edition)

• Guidance Notes for Scottish Authorities (2016 Edition)

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

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