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Governance at Ordnance Survey

We are committed to high standards of corporate governance and for these to be seen as transparent.

We will apply and abide by the principles of the Corporate Governance in Central Government Departments: Code of Good Practice. We will also comply with the various provisions and policies associated with your information rights.

Accountability and responsibility

Minister – Ordnance Survey is an independent non-ministerial government department with Executive Agency status operating as a Trading Fund under the Ordnance Survey Trading Fund Order 1999 (SI 1999/965). Ordnance Survey is accountable to Parliament though the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). Ministers in BIS will approve the policy and financial framework within which Ordnance Survey operates and the Corporate Business Plan and Agency Performance Monitors.

Ordnance Survey Framework Document

Director General and Chief Executive – accountable to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) for the performance of Ordnance Survey in accordance with the Framework Document, the Corporate Business Plan and the Agency Performance Monitors.

Accountability to Parliament – The Secretary of State is answerable to Parliament for all matters concerning Ordnance Survey, and will deal with questions of policy and enquiries from Members of Parliament, Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly and the European Parliament.

Accounting Officer – The Director General is appointed by HM Treasury as the Accounting Officer for Ordnance Survey. As such, he or she is responsible for the proper effective and efficient use of public funds and may be required to appear before the Public Accounts Committee.

Boards and committees

The principal governance structure of Ordnance Survey consists of the Strategy and Operating Boards supported by the Audit and Risk, and Remuneration Committees.

Strategy Board – responsible for determining the long term strategy and vision; monitoring the external business environment and challenging internal business performance to ensure the strategy remains relevant and effective; and oversight of the successful discharge of the remit assigned to Ordnance Survey by Ministers, focusing on the strategic priorities for the business.

Strategy Board terms of reference

Executive Board – responsible for all operational matters at a corporate or multi-group level; ensuring the implementation of the strategy agreed by Strategy Board; managing the resulting operations efficiently and effectively; and making strategic recommendations to Strategy Board as and when appropriate.

Executive Board remit and terms of reference (previously known and detailed in this document as Operating Board)

Audit & Risk Committee (of Strategy Board) – responsible for the independent appraisal of Ordnance Survey's Internal Audit function and the effectiveness of the systems of internal control established to identify, assess, manage and monitor risks which may impact the organisation.

Audit and Risk Committee remit and terms of reference

Remuneration Committee (of Strategy Board) – responsible for reviewing and recommending Directors and Senior Manager Heads' salaries, Non-Executives Directors' payments and agency bonuses.

Second Tier Governance

The following are governance groups accountable to Operating Board for day to day governance of aspects of the business.

Investment Group – responsible for corporate oversight of all investment activity and its funding.

Propositions Oversight and Prioritisation group – responsible for corporate oversight of the development and management of the product portfolio through its life-cycle, and for the co-ordinated development of product enhancements and replacement products.

Pricing and Trading Group – responsible for corporate oversight of the development and operation of the business’s pricing and licensing model(s), and trading activities

National Geographic Database Board – responsible for the oversight of management and development of the content of the NGD.

Recruitment Governance Board – responsible for the oversight and approval of all recruitment and movement of staff.

Advertising and marketing Expenditure Group – responsible for the oversight of all marketing and promotional activity.

Shareholder Executive

Ordnance Survey reports to The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) through the Shareholder Executive (SE) which is an Executive Agency of BIS, and whose Chief Executive reports directly to the Permanent Secretary of BIS. SE advises BIS ministers on the management of the government interest in Ordnance Survey. The Terms of Reference of the SE involvement focus on four key areas: assessing corporate and business plans; consideration of board membership, remuneration and succession issues; monitoring performance; and supporting commercial interests. The SE focuses on increasing the value of the government's interest in Ordnance Survey.

EU INSPIRE Directive

We are a Legally Mandated Organisation under the Directive which means that we have obligations to comply with. We are also helping provide the services necessary for INSPIRE in the UK.

Geospatial information and policy-making

We work with our public sector customers to help them benefit from using geospatial information in all stages of evidence-based policy-making.

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