Good decision making is the cornerstone of a robust governance framework, and the quality of information presented to boards can prove essential as a catalyst for constructive challenge and discussion resulting in high quality decisions. Each trustee should have sufficient information, of appropriate detail, to be confident the charity is well run. Board packs should not be so detailed as to stray into operational matters, nor so voluminous that trustees find it hard to tell what is important. Board information should be framed in a manner to support the decision making of the board, and not merely present management data with little or no supporting narrative, context or visual aids.
The purpose of a cover sheet is to allow senior managers and other staff to present information in a consistent manner and to highlight key issues, including (if relevant) pertinent changes in circumstances since trustees last discussed a topic.