West Midlands Pension Fund receives CIPFA governance award

11 Nov 15

The West Midlands Pension Fund is the first public sector body to be awarded CIPFA’s Governance Mark of Excellence, which recognises excellence across seven core governance principles.

Following a four-month assessment of its governance procedures using CIPFA’s International Good Governance Framework, WMPF was judged to have met the standard to be given the excellence award.

WMPF provides pension services to over 277,000 current and former employees of the seven district councils and over 490 public body employers within the West Midlands. It is governed by a committee which, by delegation from administering authority Wolverhampton City Council, manages and administers the fund on behalf of members.

CIPFA’s review found no weaknesses in any of the seven categories assessed, which include behaving with integrity, ensuring openness and defining outcomes in terms of sustainable economic, social, and environmental benefits. The fund achieved full marks in the areas of ensuring openness and comprehensive stakeholder engagement, and defining outcomes.

The final report concluded that the way the fund is constituted and governed was very clear, while it also formed open and effective relationships and had clear priorities.

The award will be received by the fund’s head of finance David Kane at CIPFA’s Annual Pensions Conference today.

CIPFA's lead governance assessor Steve Mungavin said public bodies were under pressure to demonstrate good governance and public accountability.

“Often enough we learn from governance weakness and failure in public bodies, but now, through our rigorous assessment and accreditation tool, CIPFA is able to identify and promote to others, an example of a well governed organisation like WMPF that can now demonstrate a new level of assurance for their stakeholders,” he stated.

The seven principles in CIPFA’s International Framework: Good Governance in the Public Sector are:

1. Behaving with integrity, demonstrating strong commitment to ethical values, and respecting the rule of law.

2. Ensuring openness and comprehensive stakeholder engagement.

3. Defining outcomes in terms of sustainable economic, social, and environmental benefits.

4. Determining the interventions necessary to optimise the achievement of the intended outcomes.

5. Developing the entity’s capacity, including the capability of its leadership and the individuals within it.

6. Managing risks and performance through robust internal control and strong public financial management.

7. Implementing good practices in transparency, reporting, and audit, to deliver effective accountability.

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