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How we run ourselves

Magna publishes the information below to help you understand how we are run, how you can find out more about us, and how you can influence us.

The questions and points which we answer in this document are taken from the ‘Langlands Report’ on how public service organisations like ours should run themselves.  Publishing information like this is one of the recommendations of the Langlands Report.  We hope you find it helpful.

How Magna’s Board carries out its primary functions

The Board agrees a Strategy for Magna. It does so with the benefit of advice and views from its executives and others, and by following a methodical process of analysis. Magna’s Strategy determines its overall Purpose. From both are derived Magna’s strategic objectives. These represent the broad areas in which Magna has to achieve in order to, in turn, achieve its Strategy.

Magna accounts to the public for its performance in several ways. It follows its Policy on access to information about Magna, which states ‘we aim to make information available unless there is good reason to withhold it’. We make the information available through our annual report to tenants, press releases, our website, our residents’ magazine, ‘Opendoor’, and other documents.

We ensure that Magna is managed with probity and integrity by following a Code of Conduct and relevant policies and procedures, including a comprehensive Fraud Response Plan. Our internal audit programme checks their operation to provide independent assurance to our Board. We operate a whistle-blowing system, which encourages staff to raise relevant matters confidentially with our independent internal auditors. We train and test members and staff alike in their obligations.

We hold our executives to account by, firstly, following a methodical approach to agreeing Magna’s business aims. Having these is a pre-condition for clear accountability. The Board and Committees receive periodic reports on achieving Magna’s objectives, and its key performance indicators. In particular, we make an annual assessment of how far we have achieved our Purpose. We also publish an annual statement of our value for money approach and achievements.

Magna has used a mixture of theory and experience in devising the systems described. Periodic independent assessments support our view that our approach to each function is appropriate and effective.

The roles and responsibilities of non-executives and executives

Non-executives and executives have different, but complementary, roles to play.   Through the Board and Committees, and with the help and advice of their executives, non-executives draw on their wide experience and abilities to make decisions about strategy, direction, policies and other matters reserved for the Board and Committees in the agreed Scheme of Delegation.  The role of executives is to advise Board and Committees on these matters, to implement what they decide, and to report back to them on the success or otherwise of implementation.  The Scheme of Delegation lists those decisions reserved for the Board. All others are delegated to the Chief Executive, who in turn delegates responsibility to his staff.

In summary, non-executives set out what Magna is for and what they want it to achieve. It is the job of executives to implement and achieve what the non-executives want, using whatever methods and procedures they think best. Non-executives then examine performance, holding executives to account, and amending strategy and direction as necessary.

What is our Purpose?

To help people meet their housing needs.

Yes, in our Strategy which is published on our website.

Yes, in our annual reports, on our website, in our performance reports, or by asking for other specific data.

Magna has a very demanding Purpose. It guarantees that we constantly strive to improve. We assess annually how far we have achieved it, using feedback from customers. Our annual work plans are all designed to make us better. We carry out service value reviews, as required, in areas where we are less sure we are providing good service.

Yes, in our annual report, our annual financial statements, our press releases, our residents’ magazine, our website or by asking for other specific data.  We also issue an annual value for money self assessment which is published on our website.

Who is in charge of the organisation?

The board is responsible for the proper conduct of the Magna's affairs. The Chairman of Magna Housing's board is Mr Adam Peat OBE. The Chief Executive is Mr Graham Colls.

All Board Chairmen are subject to annual election by the Board.  All Board Members are elected or appointed in accordance with the Rules.  The Chief Executive is appointed by the Board.

The Chairman of the Board is responsible for the proper conduct of the Board’s business. The chief executive is responsible for advising the Board, carrying out their decisions and reporting to them on the success or otherwise of implementation.

What values guide Magna’s work?

Magna conducts its business so as to achieve its Purpose: to help people meet their housing needs. Our Behaviours describe how we do it: We are committed to Magna and its customers. We are passionate about performance. We lead by example.

Annual priorities are set according to how far they tend to help Magna achieve its Purpose.  Budgets are set accordingly. Magna assesses annually how far it achieves its Purpose.

Magna’s Code of Conduct and supporting policies require staff and Members to behave professionally and impartially.

Who is responsible for what kinds of decisions in Magna?

Magna’s Scheme of Delegation, and supporting policies, describe who is responsible for what kinds of decisions.

Magna’s Scheme of Delegation, and supporting policies, describe who is responsible for what kinds of decisions. In broad terms, The Board reserves for itself matters of strategy, policy, targets and performance monitoring, as well as any decisions which law or regulation requires it to make. Staff make all other decisions.

Yes, although we may withhold information if the law or other good reason requires us to. Our policies place the burden of proof on us to establish if there are any reasons for not providing information, rather than on enquirers to establish why we should. Shareholding Members, and Board and Committee Members, may have access to more information, to match the greater responsibilities they bear.

 

Magna devises and maintains the right systems, and employs the right staff, to ensure that they are.

Magna publishes, as part of its Annual Financial Statements, an assessment of its system of internal control, which includes its risk management system.

Magna’s system of internal control is designed to put policies into practice. Magna publishes an assessment of the system of internal control as part of its Annual Financial Statements.  Magna employs mystery-shoppers to check that individual experience is as we want it to be.We welcome comments from service-users on their experience.

Magna advertises job vacancies widely. It welcomes applications for membership, which are assessed according to published criteria. It also advertises non-executive positions, such as Chairmanships.

Magna trains staff and non-executives, and provides other support such as meeting expenses incurred in helping to run Magna.

Staff and non-executives are subject to a formal performance review. For staff, this takes place four times a year. 

Can I easily get information to answer all these questions?

We hope the fact that we publish these Questions and Answers means that the answer is ‘yes’.

We welcome unsolicited comments. Our Formal Complaints Policy is open to all. We reward staff for nominations by customers and the public for good service. We formally consult residents and others on many aspects of our services.

Yes, yes, and we hope so.  You can get a copy from our communication department. You can also see our financial statements on our website (under facts and figures).

Sometimes we will tell people directly. Sometimes we will issue a general press release or other similar public document. We are happy to respond to individual enquiries.

 

Normal SGM, AGM, Board and Committee scrutiny provide these opportunities for some people. We use focus groups to provide challenge to Magna.  We are happy to answer any unsolicited questions.

Magna has a clear Formal Complaints Policy which includes the appointment of a complainant’s “guide” (one of our staff) to help the complainant understand and use the system.

 

Please contact us with any suggestions for changes.

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