Book News: November 18th, 2003

This checklist of good practice describes the elements of governance and lists issues that partnerships may consider in determining whether their processes for decision-making and accountability are transparent and robust. The checklist was developed by a working group comprising representatives from the Department of Health, Health Action Zones, District Audit and Merseyside Internal Audit, in the context of increasing government emphasis on the need for a more joined-up, holistic approach to social issues.The document is intended as an aide memoire to help partnerships address key governance issues that can arise. The issues are described as: leadership, planning, reporting performance, decision making, standards of conduct, financial arrangements, consultation, communication, appointment of staff, complaints, legality, and audit. Tables provide cross-references to supporting issues highlighting strategic policy-making and operational structures, partnership leader responsibilities, planning guidance, performance management, decision-making, partnership agreement, personnel policy, and good practice protocol. Appendices provide a list of members of the Health Action Zone governance working group, and examples of partnership in the UK.

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