Public Authorities and Governance

Hamshire council courtyard

If you’re in the “business” of delivering any public service, in particular if you’re responsible for spending public money, you’ll be only too aware of the need to ensure that your decision-making is efficient, effective, transparent but, above all, legal.

Getting this right and, as importantly, being able to show that you’ve got it right, is what “governance” is all about. This is just as important for charities as it is for public sector organisations, and it’s also important to remember that those who make or implement the decisions may be personally liable if it turns out that proper procedures haven’t been followed.

This may sound straightforward to the layperson, but those with responsibility for governance know only too well how difficult this is in practice given rapidly changing legislation, regulations and guidance.

It’s not just the traditional concern about ensuring that money is properly accounted for, governance today also means that you need robust procedures to protect the reputation of your organisation and in particular to protect the information that you hold. The ability to discuss the difficult question of what you can and cannot disclose, with a legal team that has real practical experience applying data protection and freedom of information law, is a massive advantage.

Whilst any lawyer should be able to tell you what the rules say, it’s difficult for those who don’t work in the public sector to tell you what they mean for you in practice. This is what we offer by: supporting local authority monitoring officers (and those with equivalent responsibilities in other organisations); advising on the management and publication of information; and generally by ensuring that those we advise have a full range of robust governance procedures in place, as well as ready access to the day to day support that they will need to guide them through the regulatory maze.

We obviously have particular experience of advising organisations that have elected memberships not only helping to ensure that electoral processes are lawful and transparent but also that the distinctions between members and officers are properly understood.

If you feel that we could help your organisation to ensure that you have the highest quality governance procedures in place then do please contact a member of our Public Authorities and Governance Sector Group.

Services provided

  • Information management
  • Data protection
  • Property transactions
  • General litigation
  • Legal advice
  • Representation at public enquiries
  • Highways litigation
  • Civil claims
  • Judicial reviews
  • Prosecutions
  • Safeguarding
  • Employment law