Weak corporate governance is a major factor in service failures in
the public sector, a report by the Audit Commission concludes.
The report finds that failures across public services lead to
“tragic consequences”, such as in the case of Victoria Climbi’,
undermining public trust in public organisations.
Well governed public bodies can deliver and sustain high quality
and meet users’ needs, it adds.
Poor corporate governance – a collective term for leadership,
decision making and systems – is common across the sectors, the
report says, although there are specific weaknesses. Risk
management and internal controls are weakest in local government,
while financial risk is highest in the NHS.
The report recommends chief executives and councillors regularly
review corporate governance arrangements and calls on them to be
more “honest” about performance in their external communications
“rather than spinning”.
– Corporate Governance from www.audit-commission.gov.uk