Principles for section 151 officers working with LEPs
The partnership between local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) and local authorities is an important one. This keystone outlines the principles the section 151 officer role for LEPs should meet when instilling good and proportionate financial governance.
The partnership between local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) and local authorities is an important one. Driving economic growth in local areas is a key strategic objective and one that underpins much of the long-term funding ambitions for the country’s economy.
As the amount of public funding which LEPs are responsible for increases the role of the section 151 officer gains greater prominence in the LEP assurance model.
When a local authority or combined authority acts as the accountable body for a local enterprise partnership, the role of the relevant section 151 officer in overseeing the proper administration of financial affairs is extended to include those of the local enterprise partnership. It is important that the roles and responsibilities of all key stakeholders are transparent and clearly communicated.
Although effective partnership and strong collaborative working underpin many LEP and Local authority relationships. The Mary Ney Review into LEP governance and transparency recommended that additional clarity was needed on the expectations of the role of the section 151 officer and the substance of how LEPs need to work with that role.
Working together, CIPFA and the Cities and Local Growth Unit have developed five principles which they expect the section 151 officer role for LEPs to meet when instilling good and proportionate financial governance:
- Enshrining a corporate position for the section 151 officer in LEP assurance.
- Creating a formal/structured mandate for the section 151 officer.
- Embedding good governance into decision making.
- Ensuring effective review of governance.
- Appropriate skills and resourcing.