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Agenda and minutes

Standards and Ethics Committee
Thursday, 14th January, 2010 2.00 p.m.

Venue: Bailey House, Rawmarsh Road, Rotherham.

Contact: Alan Harston (Tel. 01709 822056)  (E-mail:-  alan.harston@rotherham.gov.uk)

Items
No. Item

46.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 20 KB

Minutes:

Resolved:- That the minutes of the meeting of this Committee held on 10th December, 2009 be approved as a correct record.

47.

Ethical Standards Survey pdf icon PDF 32 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. B43 of the meeting of this Committee held on 10th December, 2009, the Assistant Chief Executive, Legal and Democratic Services, presented the submitted report relating to the survey responses received from Borough Council Members and Officers. A separate report was being prepared in respect of responses from Parish Councillors and Parish Clerks.

 

The report highlighted issues identified by the results of the survey in respect of the various survey headings. Also submitted were proposed areas that might be included in an action plan.

 

Resolved:- (1)  That a Sub-Committee, comprising Councillor Austen, Mrs. A. Bingham, Mr. N. Sykes and Parish Councillor A. Buckley, be established to look at this matter in  more detail and recommend an action plan.

 

(2) That this Committee’s concern regarding the poor response rate be placed on record.

48.

Fraud Survey 2009 pdf icon PDF 40 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Paul Hindle, Chief Auditor, presented the submitted report detailing the results of the recent ‘Fraud Survey’ and highlighting analysis thereof.

 

The objective of the survey was to establish the current level of awareness and confidence amongst staff in the Council’s policies and procedures to manage the risk of fraud.  The approach had been agreed as part of the overall Council’s Fraud and Corruption Strategy. In addition to measuring the effectiveness of existing arrangements, progressing this issue would support the Council’s position relative to the Use of Resources assessment.

 

The survey had been sent to a cross section of employees working for the Council or the Council’s partners in the following target groups:-

 

- Neighbourhoods and Adult Services

- Streetpride

-  RBT

- Non-teaching staff within the comprehensive and the larger primary schools

 

The report included the full details of the responses received and highlighted salient points emerging from the survey results.

 

Discussion and a question and answer session ensued and the following issues were covered:-

 

- numbers/percentage of responses

 

- establishing of a baseline for future surveys

 

Resolved:- (1) That the results of the survey be noted.

 

(2) That support be given to the proposals identified to improve further the levels of awareness and confidence in the Council’s arrangements for preventing and detecting fraud and corruption.

49.

Partnership Governance pdf icon PDF 39 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. B37 of the meeting of this Committee held on 12th November, 2009, the Assistant Chief Executive, Legal and Democratic Services, presented the submitted report regarding criteria currently used by the Council to review partnership governance arrangements. The report also covered what the Council would be required to demonstrate as part of the next Use of Resources Assessment and outlined the work currently being undertaken.

 

The need for a clear understanding and definition of the roles and responsibilities of respective partners was emphasised.

 

Resolved:- (1) That the information be noted.

 

(2) That a further report be submitted later in the year in the light of the work presently being undertaken.

50.

Work Programme Update pdf icon PDF 19 KB

Minutes:

The Committee noted the latest position.

51.

Standards for England Bulletin No. 46 pdf icon PDF 77 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered the latest bulletin covering:-

 

  • Standards and Ethics Award

 

  • Bias, Predetermination and the Code

 

  • Local Assessment : sharing lessons learnt

 

  • Annual Return 2010

 

  • Governance Toolkit for Parish and Town Councils

 

  • Assessment Made Clear DVD

 

  • Using the DVD

 

  • Police Authorities and Joint Standards Committees

 

  • Review of the Standards Framework

 

  • Share your experience of local standards

 

  • Importance of completing information returns

 

  • Update on the transfer of the Adjudication Panel for England into the unified tribunal structure

 

Discussion and a question and answer session ensued and the following issues were covered:-

 

  • examples of predetermination/predisposition

 

  • vexatious complaints

 

  • use of a model complaint form

 

  • informing complainants of possible sanctions on receipt of complaint

 

  • Governance toolkit for Parish and Town Councils

 

  • Good Councillors’ Guide

 

  • Parish/Town Councils’ awareness of the above mentioned toolkit and guide

 

Resolved:- (1) That the information be noted.

 

(2) That Parish/Town Councils be asked regarding their access to the toolkit/guide.

 

(3) That the potential use of a model complaint form be investigated.