MD2046 Corporate Governance Framework Agreement

Type of decision: 
Mayoral decision
Code: 
MD2046
Date signed: 
30 November 2016
Decision by: 
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

Executive summary

The Mayor is asked to approve the GLA Group Corporate Governance Framework Agreement and associated documents, including a new GLA Group Register of Interests form. The GLA Group Corporate Governance Framework Agreement has been approved in principle by TfL, MOPAC, OPDC, LLDC, LFEPA and the London Assembly

This Agreement is made between the Greater London Authority (GLA) and its functional bodies, the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC), Transport for London (TfL), the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) and the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA). 
 

Decision

To agree the revised GLA Group Corporate Governance Framework Agreement for implementation across the GLA Group.

 

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

In 2009, following a review of the GLA’s Corporate Governance, the Mayor and the Boards of the GLA’s functional bodies signed up to a GLA Group Framework Agreement.
The Agreement is a voluntary but firm commitment by all parties to be open, transparent and accountable for their actions and behaviour. It is also a commitment to hold to specific Mayoral and London Assembly expectations for the group to interact in a way that enhances accountability and service provision to Londoners. It is a high level document that sets common principles that apply across the Group, with the methods of implementation left to each Functional Body to determine.
The Agreement was reviewed in 2016 in consultation with each functional body. It has been simplified and reflects good governance practice. The three to highlight are:
(a)     Gifts and Hospitality: The Agreement proposes a £25 threshold for the reporting of gifts and hospitality across the Group. It also proposes that all bodies regularly report acceptance of gifts and hospitality by senior staff and Members to the relevant audit body. The GLA currently publishes details of any gifts and hospitality accepted by Members and Executive Directors on its website on a quarterly basis. A regular report will be submitted to the London Assembly’s Audit Panel on gifts and hospitality accepted by Members and Executive Directors and their direct reports;  
(b)     Declaration of Interests: It is proposed that a common template Register of Interests form be adopted by all relevant bodies within the Group. The form covers both statutory and some non-statutory disclosures so that it meets the requirements of all organisations/boards. It is recommended that the GLA adopts this form as part of its approval of the overall updated Framework Agreement; and
(c)    Transparency: There are additional, enhanced transparency and openness requirements set out in Part B of the Framework Agreement, paragraphs 2-8.
The GLA has in place protocols and processes that address all of the other requirements of the     Agreement.
 

Objectives and expected outcomes

Implementation of the GLA Group Framework Agreement helps to demonstrate the commitment by the GLA’s elected members, the Mayor’s appointees, members of functional body boards, and officers, to be open, transparent and accountable for their actions and behaviour.  It is also a commitment to hold to specific Mayoral and London Assembly expectations, set out below, and for the Group to interact in a way that enhances accountability and service delivery to Londoners.
 
 

Equality comments

    Section 149(1) of the Equality Act 2010 provides that, in the exercise of their functions, public authorities must have due regard to the need to:
•    Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Equality Act 2010;
•    Advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it; and
•    Foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.

The obligation in section 149(1) is placed upon the Mayor, as decision maker. Due regard must be had at the time a particular decision is being considered.  The duty is non-delegable and must be exercised with an open mind.  

Taking into account the obligations under section 149(1) of the Equality Act 2010, it is likely that there will be a positive impact upon protected groups in implementing the Corporate Governance Framework as it ensures that GLA Group is committed to interact in a way that enhances accountability and service provision to Londoners.
 

Other considerations

a.    The risks associated with possible gaps in the corporate governance requirements set down by this Framework Agreement have been mitigated by discussion and review by relevant officers, and then boards, of all organisations within the GLA Group. The Agreement contains provision for future reviews, to be led by the GLA’s Monitoring Officer.

b.    There are no direct implications for GLA strategies arising from the content of this report.
 

Financial comments

There are no direct financial implications arising from the content of this report.  However, any improvements to the Corporate Governance regimes of the GLA Group may reduce the likelihood of inappropriate or fraudulent behaviour.

Any costs that may arise from implementing the Framework will be subject to further approval via the Authority’s Decision Making process.
 

Planned delivery approach and next steps

Following a decision by the Mayor, the Framework Agreement will be published and circulated to all organisations within the GLA Group for compliance purposes.

 

Appendices and supporting papers

The Corporate Governance Framework can be found here:

https://www.london.gov.uk/about-us/governance-and-spending/good-governan...