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The Transparency Code for Smaller Authorities

September 27, 2023 @ 18:00 20:00

This workshop is suitable for new and continuing Clerks, RFOs and interested Councillors.

It is interactive, drawing on people’s experience and insights from the tutor to lead into group work. It
covers relevant legislation and explores how this can be translated into tasks and actions to satisfy
the requirements of the Code.

Briefing slides are used to introduce discussion and activities. Checklists and action plans for Clerks
are produced in group work, drawing on reflections on experience and tips from the facilitator.

Topics covered include an overview of the Code, documents and information to be published,
timetables for information to be updated and the implications of the Code on the AGAR.

The tutor, Zöe Godden, is an experienced local government officer, who has worked in the sector in
various roles for over ten years. She involves learners throughout the workshop and is outcome
focused.

A typical programme includes the following activities (with approximate timings). Attendees will work
to produce a checklist of the information they will need to publish in order to comply with the
Transparency Code.

  • Introductions and outline of the workshop (5 minutes)
  • Reflections on your experience – group work (15 minutes) Share your experience and tips as clerks for dealing with the publication of information for your council(s). Activity: Discuss how you currently publish information, what information you publish and how the public can access this information. Discuss how effective your current methods of publication are and how they might be improved.
  • Overview of the Transparency Code (20 minutes) Introduction of the main points of the Code and how it links with other legislation and council policies and procedures, including the process for exempting a council from external audit.
  • What to publish and how – non-financial information (30 minutes) Detailed information on the information that must be published that is not directly associated with council finances. Activity: Draft a checklist of non-financial information relevant to your council that you will need to publish, including timings for publication.
  • What to publish and how – financial information (30 minutes) Detailed information on the information that must be published that is directly associated with council finances. Activity: Draft a checklist of financial information relevant to your council that you will need to publish, including timings for publication.
  • Challenges you might face – group work (20 minutes) Activity: Look at the headings from the Code and discuss how publication of the relevant information might present challenges. Suggest ways to tackle those challenges in your council.
  • Key learning points and follow up actions (10 minutes)

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