Why we are engaging with Easthall Park Housing Co-operative Ltd (Easthall Park)
We are engaging with Easthall Park about its governance.
We began engaging with Easthall Park about its governance during 2020. This followed concerns over its handling of an employment matter as well as the circumstances leading up to the submission of a notifiable event in early 2021. Easthall Park commissioned independent support to review these matters and to provide assurance about its wider governance arrangements. It has since implemented the recommendations of the review and has also taken steps to strengthen its governing body with the appointment of two co-optees, one of whom resigned in February 2022.
We continued to engage with Easthall Park following further notifiable events that raised concerns about Easthall Park’s capacity to manage a range of complex governance issues.
Easthall Park’s senior officer resigned in December 2021. This followed the resignation of its previous senior officer in December 2020. As a result, Easthall Park has decided to carry out an independent strategic options appraisal and has appointed an interim senior officer, pending the outcome of the strategic options appraisal.
Easthall Park has also commissioned other independent support to ensure that it complies with the Regulatory Standards of Governance and Financial Management (the Regulatory Standards) and regulatory requirements in its handling of its governance issues and the strategic options appraisal. This includes independent financial services, governance, human resources and legal support. With this support,, Easthall Park has implemented improvement actions to ensure it has effective financial and treasury management controls and procedures in place.
In March 2022 and following our feedback, Easthall Park commissioned its internal auditor to review its compliance with Regulatory Standard 3 alongside the wider remit of Easthall Park’s internal audit programme for 2022/23 . Easthall Park has also developed a governing body succession plan to identify the skills and experience it needs to further strengthen the governing body and it is taking steps to implement this plan.
Easthall Park is continuing to work openly and constructively with us to ensure that it is complying with Regulatory Standards and requirements.
What Easthall Park must do
Easthall Park must:
- provide monthly updates on progress with the strategic options appraisal as well as the wider remit of the interim director;
- provide the report on the outcomes of the strategic options appraisal when complete;
- provide monthly updates on the progress of the review into its compliance with Regulatory Standard 3 and on the outcomes from the wider internal audit programme for 2022/23;
- provide the report on the review of compliance with Regulatory Standard 3;
- provide updates on progress with the implementation of its governing body succession plan; and
- provide updates on its provisions for its finance function and the senior officer position including any recruitment or change in temporary arrangements.
What we will do
- monitor and review updates from Easthall Park on its progress with the strategic options appraisal and the wider remit of the interim director;
- review the report on the outcomes of the strategic options appraisal and liaise as necessary;
- consider the outcome of the review into Easthall Park’s compliance with Regulatory Standard 3 and outcomes from the wider internal audit programme for 2022/23 and engage as necessary;
- monitor the progress with the implementation of Easthall Park’s governing body succession plan and engage as necessary;
- review updates on Easthall Park’s provisions for its finance function and senior officer position;
- arrange to observe a governing body meeting and provide feedback; and
- update our published engagement plan in light of any material change to our planned engagement with Easthall Park.
Easthall Park must provide us with the following annual regulatory returns and alert us to notifiable events as appropriate:
- Annual Assurance Statement;
- audited financial statements and external auditor’s management letter;
- loan portfolio return;
- five year financial projections; and
- Annual Return on the Charter.
It should also notify us of any material changes to its Annual Assurance Statement, and any tenant and resident safety matter which has been reported to or is being investigated by the Health and Safety Executive or reports from regulatory or statutory authorities or insurance providers, relating to safety concerns.