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Dear Stephen

Discussion in 'Governors' started by Turi, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. Would you please advise me whether a school governor is regarded as a 'public officer'.
    Thanking you in anticipation.
  2. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    A public office holder. I believe so, or at any rate HMRC told me a while back that they considered school governor to be a public office for tax purposes.
  3. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    Is your thinking potential 'malfeasance in a public office', Turi?
  4. montiagh

    montiagh New commenter

    Governing bodies are corporate bodies and, because of this, individual governors are generally protected from personal liability as a result of the governing body?s decisions and actions. Provided they act honestly, reasonably and in good faith, any liability will fall on the governing body even if it has exceeded its powers, rather than on individual members.

    Individual governors have no power or right to act on behalf of the governing body, except where the whole governing body has delegated a specific function to that individual, or where regulations specify that a function is to be exercised in a particular way. The governing body is legally liable for all actions taken in its name by individuals or committees to which it has delegated functions. The governing body should therefore ensure that decisions to delegate specific responsibilities are properly minuted and recorded.
  5. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    Yep, but the devil's in the detail there: "Provided they act honestly, reasonably and in good faith..."

    Unfortunately I am dealing with public office holders who have engaged in precisely the kind of shenanigans lately revealed in S Yorkshire police.
  6. Ditto
  7. grrmummy

    grrmummy New commenter

  8. "Provided they act honestly, reasonably and in good faith..." Yes and do they all - no they don't, so Ditto from me also. I am dealing with the Dfe who will take no action against a GB who have lied to the courts and the dfe and have cost the public purse a huge amount that could and should have been spent on the children.
  9. grrmummy

    grrmummy New commenter

    Ditto again
  10. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Turi, have a look at this HMRC guidance on who an 'officer' is:
    You'll see there is no statutory list or definition but the legal definitions come from case law. I'd say that school governors are well within the definitions in the HMRC guidance - posts created by statute, to which people can be appointed and from which they can resign, a successor then being appointed etc. That's just my view though and I'm not a lawyer! HMRC guidance deals with office holders in general, not just public office holders. Some of the examples eg company secretary are office holders but clearly not public office holders. I'd have thought school governor must be a public office though, not a private one - unless they are an academy governor.....?

  11. My understanding is that there is no set definition of public office, but that a school governor would qualify because s/he is carrying out a duty in which the public has an interest. There is a helpful section on the Crown Prosecution Service's website which covers the issue of public office (and does mention school governors) and also the grounds on which an individual can be found guilty of misconduct in public office - Crown Prosecution Service - Misconduct in Public Office.
    Stephen Adamson
  12. Thank you to all for your posts and I have referred to the Crown Prosecution Service website. I think I have got what I need but if anyone out there can point me in the direction of any other websites I would appreciate it.


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