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Chairman's Column - 8 June 2021

Published on Tuesday, 8th June 2021

Chairman of the council Cllr Mark Heard June 2021

Performance, Governance and Audit Committee Explained

“Back in March I explained about Maldon District Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee which examines the performance of Committees and Council Officers, but another of the main Council Committees is the Performance, Governance and Audit Committee. Today I want to explain the functions of this committee or ‘PG & A’ as it is known.

“There is a stark difference between Overview and Scrutiny and PG & A because this Committee monitors and looks at the Council’s performance and delivery of services, measuring that against its business plans. It also reviews the operation of the Council’s Financial Regulations and procedures making recommendations on any changes.

“The PG & A Committee supports continual improvement at MDC. It approves the appointment of an external auditor and the external audit plan. It will also approve the internal audit plan and monitor progress by way of an annual report, using the opinion of the Officer responsible for Internal Audit to consider the level of assurance given in respect of the Council’s corporate governance arrangements.

“It is vital that we make sure WHAT we’re measuring is relevant, and that the value of the audit process is promoted. This Committee also receives and considers the reports from the external audit and inspection agencies, reviewing the external auditor’s opinion and monitoring management action in response to the issues raised.  

“The Committee itself is made up of 5 Independent Councillors and 3 Conservative Councillors, 1 democratic alliance and 1 non-aligned. The Chairman is Councillor Jeanette Stilts (Ind Maldon South) and Vice Chair is Councillor Karl Jarvis (Con Non-aligned – Wickham Bishops and Woodham) both Councillors have held these positions since November 2020 and were recently ratified for the next 12 months at our Statutory Annual Meeting in early May.

“The last meeting (25th March) focussed on the Audit aspect looking at External Audit Fees, Internal Audit Reports and a Payroll Audit. It also examined recent Staff Survey results.

“The PG & A Committee ensures that the Council achieves value for money and that satisfactory arrangements are in place to promote economy, efficiency and effectiveness. It also looks at the Authority’s fraud and corruption arrangements (including ‘Whistleblowing’) and promotes an anti-fraud culture relating to all the activities of the Council. The Committee may require any officer to attend its meetings to provide pertinent information and advice in relation to any internal or external audit report.

“This Committee has a key role to provide independent assurance to the Council on the adequacy of the risk management framework and the associated internal control environment and the extent to which the Council is complying with good corporate governance principles.

“Its next meeting is at 7.30pm on Thursday 10th June at the Council offices but will also be livestreamed and you can catch up with it afterwards on YouTube or through the MDC website.

“Keep safe!”

Councillor Mark S. Heard
Chairman of Maldon District Council