East Devon District Council

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Policy Code of Corporate Governance

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3. Principle B

Principle B – Ensuring openness and comprehensive stakeholder engagement

We will:

  • Ensure an open culture through demonstrating, documenting and communicating the Council’s commitment to openness.
  • Make decisions that are open about actions, plans, resource use, forecasts, outputs and outcomes. Our presumption is for openness. If that is not the case, a justification for the reasoning for keeping a decision confidential will be provided.
  • Provide clear reasoning and evidence for decisions in both public records and explanations to stakeholders and be explicit about the criteria, rationale and considerations used. In due course, ensure that the impact and consequences of those decisions are clear.
  • Use formal and informal consultation and engagement to determine the most appropriate and effective interventions / courses of action.
  • Effectively engage with institutional stakeholders (being those other organisations that we need to work with to improve services and outcomes (such as commercial partners and suppliers as well as other public or third sector organisations) or organisations to which they are accountable) to ensure that the purpose, objectives and intended outcomes for each stakeholder relationship are clear so that outcomes are achieved successfully and sustainably.
  • Develop formal and informal partnerships to allow for resources to be used more efficiently and outcomes achieved more effectively.
  • Ensure that partnerships are based on:
    • trust
    • a shared commitment to change
    • a culture that promotes and accepts challenge among partners

and that the added value of partnership working is explicit.

  • Establish a clear policy on the type of issues that the Council will meaningfully consult with or involve communities, individual citizens, service users and other stakeholders to ensure that service (or other) provision is contributing towards the achievement of intended outcomes.
  • Ensure that communication methods are effective and that members and officers are clear about their roles with regard to community engagement.
  • Encourage, collect and evaluate the views and experiences of communities, citizens, service users and organisations of different backgrounds including reference to future needs.
  • Implement effective feedback mechanisms in order to demonstrate how views have been taken into account.
  • Balance feedback from more active stakeholder groups with other stakeholder groups to ensure inclusivity.
  • Take account of the impact of decisions on future generations of tax payers and service users.

When this policy has been published and will be reviewed

Policy published 9 January 2017 (due for review by 1 January 2018)