How councils work - Roles and working relationships in councils: are you still getting it right?
The Accounts Commission's 2010 report, How councils work - Roles and working relationships: are you getting it right? set out the importance of good governance in councils. For councils to make progress, members and officers need to be clear of their roles and responsibilities and build good working relationships. Training and development for councillors is crucial to help them undertake their increasingly complex and challenging role.
The messages in that report reflect broad principles of good public sector governance, and remain valid today. However, since its publication in 2010, the context in which local government operates has changed markedly. The Accounts Commission has therefore decided to re-visit some of the report’s key messages in the light of these changes.
The Commission hopes that this follow-up report will be a useful tool to support councillors and officers in their complex and evolving role. It aims to help them review their practice and to take any necessary actions to ensure that their council’s governance remains fit for purpose. The follow-up report is available below along with a summary of the messages and a checklist.
Accounts Commission follow-up report
Round table discussions
As part of its research for this report, the Accounts Commission hosted two round table discussions to explore how the current local government context impacts on governance in councils. These were attended by senior officers and members from Scottish local authorities and leading local government policy experts and academics. Summaries of the round table discussions can be accessed here.