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 National Assembly for Wales Commission are:
Effectiveness of Governance and Internal Controls
There are a number of ways the effectiveness of the governance and internal controls of the National Assembly for Wales Commission 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 Commission's Annual Report and Statement of Accounts.
Sources of Independent Advice and Assurance - The Commission, the Chief Executive and Clerk and senior management also receive independent advice on the management and governance of the Assembly, from:
- Assembly Commission Audit and Risk Assurance Committee - An advisory committee chaired by an independent adviser; WAO/Internal Audit representation; functions in accordance with HM Treasury's Audit and Risk Assurance Committee Handbook.
- Internal Audit - Operates in compliance with Public Sector Internal Audit Standards; Audit Needs Assessment & Audit Strategy.
- External Audit - Wales Audit Office.
- Independent Advisors - The Commission has appointed six non-executive, independent advisors who provide independent, constructive challenge to the Assembly Commission and its work. Their responsibilities include performance monitoring and maintaining a critical overview of the Assembly's financial controls and risk management procedures.
In addition, the following independent statutory bodies have been established by the National Assembly for Wales to carry out specific functions:
Independent Remuneration Board - Is responsible for ensuring that Assembly Members have fair and appropriate resources to carry out their roles.
The National Assembly Commissioner for Standards - Provides advice and assistance on any matters of principle relating to the conduct of Assembly Members, and is an independent investigator of complaints that Members of the Assembly have breached any Code, Protocol or resolution of the Assembly.