Plans set out for new task force to ensure 'openness and transparency' at Hartlepool Borough Council
Plans are being set out for a new task force to make sure Hartlepool Borough Council is ‘open and transparent’
The motion called for a review of funding for any organisation to which an elected member is affiliated, for the council to ensure the organisations are audited and findings published, and for the council to state how it validates ‘value for money’ within those companies.
Hartlepool Borough Council leaders moved it would be referred to the Audit and Governance Committee and a working group would be set up to provide scrutiny and look at potential reforms to the funding.
The formation of the working group will be decided, along with its focus of investigation and planned timetable, at a meeting of the committee.
A report from Joan Stevens, statutory scrutiny officer at the council, states it is recommended the working group is made up of councillors and independent persons currently on the Audit and Governance Committee.
However, meetings of the working group are to be open to the public and contributions from all residents and elected members will be welcomed.
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It is recommended Clare Wilson, one of the independent persons currently on the committee, be appointed as the independent chair of the working group.
The report also recommends evidence to be considered includes which organisations are funded by the local authority, why they are funded, monitoring arrangements in place and potential risks to the local authority.
The proposed timetable is for a meeting of the working group to agree the evidence to be provided and questions to be asked as part of the investigation.
Several more group meetings would then take place to consider evidence and agree responses to the referral.
The Audit and Governance Committee would then consider the findings of the working group and approve a final report to be submitted to a full council meeting, currently earmarked for autumn 2019.
The initial plans and make-up of the working group are to be finalised at the Audit and Governance Committee meeting at 5pm on Thursday at the Civic Centre.