The South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) is one of 38 LEPs, established to “provide the clear vision and strategic leadership to drive sustainable private sector-led growth and job creation in their area” [Local Growth: Realising every place’s potential, HMG, October 2010]. It encompasses the local authority areas of East Sussex, Essex, Kent, Medway, Southend and Thurrock.
The purpose of the Assurance Framework is to set out the systems and processes in place that are necessary to manage the delegated funding from Central Government Budgets effectively. It is intended to provide Government and Partners with the assurance that decisions over funding are proper, transparent and deliver value for money.
This Assurance Framework reflects the expectations of Government as set out in the National Assurance Framework published October 2016 and the LEP Governance and Transparency Best Practice Guidance, published in January 2018.
Federated Boards, Partners and project sponsors are required to adhere to this Assurance Framework in relation to allocations of SELEP funding and to ensure consistency of prioritisation, programme management and investment, cost control and approval and programme/risk management.
The Assurance Framework should be read in conjunction with the SELEP Terms of Reference agreed by the Strategic Board in December 2016.
The Strategic Board sets the strategic direction of SELEP, providing clear strategic leadership and championing shared SELEP priorities. It is the main SELEP interface with Government, bringing together both private and public sectors to drive local growth and job creation and to oversee all SELEP activity to deliver these aims.
Formal democratic decision-making is through the Accountability Board which approves all funding decisions and is responsible for monitoring delivery of SELEP’s capital programme and actively reviewing associated risks, informed by local area management information. The Joint Committee structure of the Accountability Board roots decision-making firmly in the democratic process and enables it to be subject to democratic scrutiny.
Federated Boards are responsible for local delivery and managing their local programme within tolerance levels for both spending and delivery.
Funding decisions made by the Accountability Board are based on impartial advice provided by an Independent Technical Evaluator who makes recommendations based on value for money assessments of individual business cases.
As the SELEP Accountable Body, Essex County Council, retains overall legal accountability for the SELEP investment programme, supported by Essex’s Section 151 Officer.