Formulating devolution proposals can be challenging. For local areas, the need for speedy agreement can work against the need to ensure that a proposal to Government is robust.
There is no “one size fits all” approach to good governance – each area is unique. So, diagnostic work must be different from area to area. We do not have a checklist which we use to identify whether an area’s plans are fit for purpose or not. Instead we review whether key actors in the area understand where responsibility and power will lie, the diagnostic process being a reflection of those overall objectives.
Before a proposal is submitted to Government we can provide assurance in several ways. Primarily, we can help you to evaluate your proposal from a governance perspective, through the use of “design principles”, which we will formulate with you. We can help to predict where flashpoints are likely to occur and how they might be overcome. We can provide independent oversight of the way that you agreement of your governance plans – mediating in disagreements where necessary.
After a deal has been done we can carry out a similar exercise to help you to develop the detail of your permanent governance arrangements. We will again use the idea of a set of “design principles” to ground the design of permanent governance arrangements.
Our diagnostic work can also provide more general oversight. We can troubleshoot particularly complex or intractable governance challenges, identifying agreements that most can sign up to.