“How an organization controls its actions. Governance describes the mechanisms an organization uses to ensure that its constituents follow its established processes and policies. It is the primary means of maintaining oversight and accountability in a loosely coupled organizational structure. A proper governance strategy implements systems to monitor and record what is going on, takes steps to ensure compliance with agreed policies, and provides for corrective action in cases where the rules have been ignored or misconstrued. “
There is nothing new in the idea of Proper Governance, it just means running an organization in the best way we can devise. What would be new would be for government to be a bit more grown up about it. Many of the major issues in politics, The NHS, education, transport, the police, supply of services. all come down to problems in governance.
Proper Governance is not just a choice between private and state control, rather there should be scepticism about all “ideologies”. Proper Governance is the end; not “the market” or competition or even democracy. These are the means, sometimes useful but not always.
What is needed is for the idea of Proper Governance to become widely recognized and discussed. We should asking all the time: how efficient is the organisation? and: in whose interest is it being run?.
It means general acceptance that creating good governance for a particular organisation is not a trivial task. That we should be looking at cross-party agreement rather than a quick fix by the party of the day. rather we should be
In particular there must be a clear-sighted acceptance that a good system of governance has to deal robustly with human fallibility: corruption, greed, laziness and self-delusion. Further that this is for the long term. Many organisations work well at first but, over time, become stale, inward looking or bogged down in bureaucracy. It must be open to innovation and change.
Can Proper Governance become the new orthodoxy? Can it become a item required in the manifesto of any party that aspires to govern?