Good Governance – Effective Relationships Between Departments and their Arm's Length Bodies
HC 469, Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General, Session 2006-07
- Northern Ireland Audit Office (NIAO)
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
Strengthening governance in the public sector is seen as a means of improving the capability of public bodies to deliver high quality services. The need to promote and encourage good corporate governance within departments and arms length bodies (ALBs) in Northern Ireland has been underscored by several high profile cases of weaknesses – the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, education and library boards, and the Local Enterprise Development Unit (LEDU) – that became the subject of recent Northern Ireland Audit Office (NIAO) Public Accounts Committee reports.
This report, 'Good Governance – Effective Relationships Between Departments and their Arm's Length Bodies (HC 469)', based on a review of six departments and ten of their ALBs, examines three main areas: structural relationships; management of sponsorship risks; and accountability.
The report finds that:
Structures within departments for dealing with sponsored bodies should be clearly defined with clear channels of management, accountability, and communication.
A coherent strategic management approach should promote consistency of business objectives, and Departments and ALBs should co-operate in setting objectives and agreeing targets.
Departments should ensure that ALBs have in place necessary financial and management controls and procedures.
Departments should have processes in place for the identification and management of risks associated with sponsorship, and these processes should be regularly reviewed.
Internal audit can provide assurance on risk management and, to safeguard accountability, effective liaison, reporting, and monitoring arrangements are required.
ALB boards, and departmental and ALB audit committees have crucial roles to play in the area of accountability.
|Format||Paperback||Published||04 May 2007|
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