Consortium Management Committee
Our Members have constituted a representative body called the Consortium Management Committee (CMC) to co-ordinate oversee and direct the WMA administration, with the terms of reference powers and duties expressed in a Consortium Agreement dated 15 May 2020.
The WMA is not a legal entity – it’s an unincorporated consortium of Internal Drainage Boards (IDBs) where one of its number (King’s Lynn IDB) employs all of the shared staff and enters into contracts for the provision of shared services on behalf of the Member Boards, as set out in the Consortium Agreement. The legal status of the WMA is therefore King’s Lynn IDB trading as “the WMA”. Express powers to do this come from section 11 of the Land Drainage Act 1991.
IDBs are also Risk Management Authorities, as defined in section 13 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010. As such King’s Lynn IDB trading as “the WMA” and its Member Boards are also able to provide/receive administration, technical support and operations delivery services to/from other Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Authorities that are not part of our group, via Public Sector Cooperation Agreements.
Each Member Board in the WMA has agreed to:
- Co-ordinate, oversee and direct its administration through the WMA Consortium Management Committee.
- Share the costs and responsibilities of employing admin. staff and running the central office through the CMC.
- Work with others in the group to collectively influence policy makers at a national and regional level for the benefit of all the Member Boards.
- Position themselves in the WMA group, so they are better placed to meet the increasing expectations of a public administration and respond to the challenges advocated by government.
Collaboration, not Public Procurement
From a procurement perspective, the Consortium Agreement and the cooperation between public authorities which it represents means that it’s not a public services contract within the scope of the Directive. The Member Boards benefit from the Hamburg Waste and Teckal exemptions. As such the Member Boards do not need to periodically tender for the services they receive from their own Consortium, in order to comply with the Public Contracts Regulations. Instead the Member Boards ensure that they are getting value for money from their own Consortium by exercising structural and functional control over the CMC’s decision making and by benchmarking performance against Key Performance Indicators that have been developed specifically for IDBs by DEFRA.
In terms of Financial Reporting the WMA is a JANE (Joint Arrangement Non Entity), which means that the Government has no power to appoint an auditor to carry out an external audit of the WMAs Financial Statements. The Member Boards can therefore have the WMAs Annual Accounts audited each year by their own independent Auditor, in order to provide each Board in the Alliance with the assurance that, amongst other things, they are paying their fair share of the costs, as set out in the Consortium Agreement. Furthermore, it is important to note that each Member Board continues to have their own Accounts audited by an Independently Appointed External Auditor.
Control of the WMA
The WMA is controlled by the Member Boards through the CMC, which meet at least 4 times a year. Each Member Board is entitled to appoint 3 representatives onto the CMC and has equal voting rights. Each Member Board scrutinises and provides feedback on the delegated decisions taken by the CMC and on the various reports considered by the CMC that informed those decisions. Each Member Board then mandates its representatives before the CMC next meet, so that the Committee can address any matters which have been raised by the Member Boards directly.
Jurisdiction of the WMA
The WMA has no remit to do any of the following for its Member Boards:
- Exercise general supervision over matters relating to the drainage of land in any Internal Drainage District.
- Exercise control of statutory powers and duties, in place of any participating Member Board or other Risk Management Authority.
- Take any decision that is reserved to the Member Boards, as set out in their Schedule of Reserved Matters.
Exit Strategy – the Boards
A Member Board is able to withdraw from the WMA by giving a minimum of 12 months notice to expire on 31 March in any year. Unwinding arrangements are relatively straight forward and are outlined in the Consortium Agreement. TUPE arrangements apply.
Governance – the Boards
Each Member Board has its own governance arrangements in place, which can be accessed from this website by selecting the Board’s ‘Governance’ page.