Governance Effectiveness

Effectiveness - [ih-fek-tiv-ness] - the extent to which an activity fulfils its intended purpose or function - the extent to which objectives are met ('doing the right things').

The UK Independent Commission on Good Governance in Public Services has set out an excellent framework for good governance that warrants review. The good governance framework sets out six key principles that when applied result in governance effectiveness.


The good governance standard comprises six core principles including:

1. Good governance means performing effectively in clearly defined functions and roles

  • Being clear about the functions of the governing body
  • Being clear about the responsibilities of non-executives and the executive, and making sure that those responsibilities are carried out
  • Being clear about relationships between governors and the public

2. Good governance means promoting values for the whole organization and demonstrating values of good governance through behavior

  • Putting organizational values into practice
  • Individual governors behaving in ways that uphold and exemplify effective governance

3. Good governance means taking informed, transparent decisions and managing risk

  • Being rigorous and transparent about how decisions are taken
  • Having and using good quality information, advice and support
  • Making sure that an effective risk management system is in operation

4. Good governance means developing the capacity and capability of the governing body to be effective

  • Making sure appointed / elected governors have the skills, knowledge and experience they need to perform well
  • Developing the capability of people with governance responsibilities and evaluating their performance, as individuals and as a group
  • Striking a balance, in the membership of the governing body, between continuity and renewal

5. Good governance means focusing on the organization’s purpose and on outcomes stakeholders

  • Being clear about the organization’s purpose and its intended outcomes for stakeholders
  • Making sure that users receive high quality service
  • Making sure that taxpayers receive value for money

6. Good governance means engaging stakeholders and making accountability real

  • Understanding formal and informal accountability relationships
  • Taking an active and planned approach to dialogue with and accountability to the public
  • Taking an active and planned approach to responsibility to staff
  • Engaging effectively with institutional stakeholders

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