Key Policies and Procedures
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- Key Policies and Procedures
Our governance framework consists of a range of policies and procedures, control systems and external validation to ensure we are fulfilling our obligations.
As the Local Enterprise Partnership for Oxfordshire, we are acutely aware of the public responsibilities we hold and we make every effort to ensure our decision-making is transparent, accountable and delivers value for money.
To support this, our work is aligned with Government’s National Assurance Framework for Local Enterprise Partnerships, which sets out our governance arrangements, policies and protocols.
Listed below are a number of key policies and procedures relating to our work and supporting governance:
Our assurance framework allows our organisation to manage potential risk and outlines a governance framework to support our operations and decision-making.
It is important that our stakeholders are clear as to how decisions are made at OxLEP, how projects are planned and how resources are controlled – this is the purpose of our assurance framework.
It is used by our Board, sub-groups, committees, corporate management team, our accountable body and partners to identify, monitor and evaluate strategic risks to funded projects.
It also allows our accountable body – Oxfordshire County Council – to ensure we have adequate controls in place over the use of public funds and that we are complying with them.
When recruiting for Board members, we are ambitious as an organisation and look to attract experienced business leaders to become non-executive directors, keen to play a pivotal role in driving growth in the Oxfordshire economy and creating sustainable jobs.
By joining our Board, non-executive directors will:
- Represent the business interests of the county by setting the strategic direction and purpose of the organisation, helping to create an environment in which the Oxfordshire economy will grow to benefit all
- Actively engage in the work of the Board, ensuring that the interests of business are voiced and that we are united (and motivated) towards a common goal and purpose
- Actively seek to promote the interests and ambitions of OxLEP in high-level negotiations with key influencers in government, business and community, with the broad aim of driving a positive future for the county and our role in supporting it
- Maintain a clear and informed view of the strengths and challenges facing the local and national economy
- Champion our work, our objectives, outcomes and results to relevant partners, organisations, networks and the media
We recognise diversity as an important issue and that improvements can always be made to the level of diversity on our Board. It is our aim to work with groups to enhance this, ensuring we are both diverse and representative of the business communities we support when recruiting new directors.
Irrespective of gender, religion or ethnicity, we aim to recruit high-calibre individuals to our Board, supporting us to meet our vision for Oxfordshire as a ‘vibrant, sustainable, inclusive and world-leading economy’.
Board opportunities are promoted in our 'vacancies' section.
We are committed to conducting our business with honesty and integrity and we expect all staff to maintain high standards. Any suspected wrongdoing should be reported as soon as possible without fear of victimisation or harassment.
Confidential reporting (whistleblowing) is the reporting of suspected wrongdoing or dangers in relation to our activities. This includes bribery, fraud or other criminal activity, miscarriages of justice, health and safety risks, damage to the environment and any breach of legal or professional obligations. Wrongdoing also extends to any perceived breaches of the Standards in Public Life (the Nolan Principles) or the OxLEP Code of Conduct for Board Directors.
Working as the local enterprise partnership for Oxfordshire; dealing with public money requires us to operate the highest levels of financial probity and accountability.
We maintain a robust system of financial control, monitoring and reporting to ensure transactions are transparent and scrutinised. However, we always encourage our staff - who have concerns over our financial arrangements - to raise them at the earliest opportunity, so we can be sure systems are working effectively.
We are a small, 'close-knit' organisation, therefore it is more appropriate that where employees had suspicions about the financial propriety of our work, we call on the expertise of our accountable body to investigate.
All suspected frauds, irregularities or financial improprieties can be reported to our Chair, who also chairs our Finance and Audit Committee. A request is made to our accountable body, who undertake an initial investigation. Upon conclusion, findings will be reported back to the Finance and Audit Committee who will take a judgement on what action to take.
We were established in 2011 and entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Oxfordshire County Council in 2012.
OxLEP Ltd was incorporated in 2015 and we are responsible for championing and developing the Oxfordshire economy, working with businesses, academia and the public sector.
Our funding is issued by central government pursuant to section 31 of the Local Government Act 2003 and therefore can only be paid to a local authority nominated to act as accountable body. We have agreed that the county council act as our accountable body in respect of core funds and any additional central government funding received, including Growing Places Fund, City Deal and Local Growth Funds.
We may receive additional funding streams in addition and consequently, our MOU is intended to apply to all arrangements where the county council act as accountable body on behalf of OxLEP.
Our MoU sets out our respective roles and responsibilities of Oxfordshire County Council acting as our accountable body and that of OxLEP itself.
It is important to us that we deliver a high-quality service - therefore, we need to hear from stakeholders when we have performed well, or not performed so well.
We understand that there are always things we could do better and all feedback is important - good or bad - in helping us identify those areas and addressing them.
Please be assured we will listen to feedback and treat comments seriously.
If you are not happy with your interaction with OxLEP, please provide us with as much detail as possible, including:
- What the issue is
- Any communications you have already had with us on the subject
- The name of the person, if appropriate, who you feel is responsible for the issue