Corporate Governance and Internal Control
Corporate governance is the term used to describe the way in which organisations are directed, controlled and led. It defines relationships, accountability and responsibilities in the organisation and determines the rules and procedures through which the organisation sets and monitors performance against its aims and objectives.
Corporate Governance Framework and System of Internal Control
The main elements that make up the Corporate Governance framework and system of internal control for the Senedd Commission are:
- The governance principles and supporting provisions - In carrying out its functions and responsibilities, the Senedd has adopted a set of governance principles and supporting provisions. These set out the accountabilities, roles and responsibilities for the Senedd and the Commissioners, the Presiding Officer and the Chief Executive and Clerk.
- The delegation of functions to the Chief Executive and Clerk - In accordance with the Government of Wales Act 2006, the Senedd delegates its functions, including responsibility for the management of staff, to the Chief Executive and Clerk, subject to a number of exceptions and conditions.
- Key supporting corporate strategies, plans, policies and procedures.
Effectiveness of Governance and Internal Controls
There are a number of ways the effectiveness of the governance and internal controls of the Senedd are assessed:
- Internal Assessment - An annual internal assessment is carried out to test awareness, understanding and effectiveness of the corporate governance and internal control framework, details of which are published in an annual Governance Statement by the Chief Executive and Clerk (Accounting Officer) as part of the Commission's Annual Report and Statement of Accounts.
- Sources of Independent Advice and Assurance - The Senedd Commission, the Chief Executive and Clerk and senior management also receive independent advice on the management and governance of the Senedd, from:
- Senedd Commission Audit and Risk Assurance Committee - An advisory committee chaired by an independent adviser; AW/Internal Audit representation; functions in accordance with HM Treasury's Audit and Risk Assurance Committee Handbook.
- The Remuneration Committee makes recommendations on matters regarding the remuneration and terms of service of the Clerk of the Senedd and Directors. This assists the Commission in ensuring that remuneration arrangements meet the highest standards of probity and accountability for the use of public funds.
- Internal Audit - The Commission Internal Audit services are provided by an in-house Head of Internal Audit. This is supplemented by a contract for the provision of additional internal audit services. Operates in compliance with Public Sector Internal Audit Standards.
- External Audit - Audit Wales
- Independent Advisers - The Commission appoints Independent Advisers to ensure that Commissioners and the Commission’s executive team are provided with constructive challenge and assurance that governance arrangements are correct, effective and appropriate.
In addition, the following independent statutory bodies have been established by the Senedd to carry out specific functions:
- Independent Remuneration Board - Is responsible for ensuring that Members of the Senedd have fair and appropriate resources to carry out their roles.
- The Senedd Commissioner for Standards - Provides advice and assistance on any matters of principle relating to the conduct of Members of the Senedd, and is an independent investigator of complaints that Members of the Senedd have breached any Code, Protocol or resolution of the Senedd.