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Paper 10 - 27 November 1998 Meeting 

ASSOCIATION OF HAMPSHIRE AND ISLE OF WIGHT LOCAL AUTHORITIES

Friday 27 November 1998

WORKING PROTOCOL - LEAD OFFICERS

Report of County Chief Executive and Honorary Secretary

RECOMMENDATION

That the working protocol agreed by the Chief Executives' Group be endorsed.

1. At its 25 September meeting, the Association asked the Chief Executives' Group to review HIOW support arrangements and to agree an operating protocol. That protocol is intended further to facilitate the smooth running of Association business and to enhance the processes of joint working between its member councils both generally and in the context of strategic issues.

2. Chief Executives' Group considered the matter at its 6 November meeting, with the benefit of a paper from the County Chief Executive, which had been prepared following informal discussions between him and the Hon. Secretary.

3. Group has agreed the following as a statement of protocol:-

(i) HIOWLA is an unincorporated association. As such, the roles, responsibilities and views of its individual members cannot be overridden. Decisions can therefore only be reached by consensus.

(ii) Where there is no consensus there should be a mechanism for formally recording dissenting views and no collective view should be disseminated externally without an adequate 'health warning' where dissent has been expressed.

(iii) The roles of the County Council, the Unitary Councils and the District Councils are different and the differences will be respected. Responsibility may be sole or joint at all tiers of local government.

(iv) Where a tier of authority has the sole responsibility for a service or function a top officer from that type of authority should assume the lead officer role on any work agreed in that area of activity.

(v) Where a tier of authority has the prime responsibility for a service or function a top officer from that type of authority should assume the lead officer role on any work agreed in that area of activity, but in liaison with a top officer from any type of authority concerned.

(vi) Where services are concurrently undertaken - joint lead officers should be established representing the tiers of authority involved.

(vii) Where the issue involved is 'generic' (eg Best Value) - joint lead officer arrangements as between the types of authority on HIOWLA should be agreed.

(viii) All reports commissioned within the HIOWLA work programme should be the subject of full consultation at draft stage between the lead and liaison officers. Draft papers should wherever possible also be considered by the Chief Executives' Group (HIOWLA support) before presentation to the Association.

4. This protocol is intended:-

to "clear the air" in terms of prime and shared responsibilities

to promote opportunities for more active partnership in generic and other matters where there is added value in effective joint working

by extending the Group's previous "lead Chief Executive" arrangements beyond Chief Executives, in particular to assist the County and Unitary Councils and their Chief Executives to be even more fully involved in the Association's work.

5. The Group will be extending the "lead" arrangements to reflect the protocol. The extended list of leads will be the subject of further report to the Association.

CONCLUSIONS

6. The Chief Executives' Group commends the statement of protocol in paragraph 3 to the Association.

PETER ROBERTSON
Chief Executive - Hampshire County Council

CHRIS TAPP
Honorary Secretary

Last update: 21/09/2000
Author: Nick Goulder, Policy Manager

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