Boards help departments and government succeed in achieving their aims by encouraging good planning, managing performance regularly and raising delivery capability. They also help foster a culture of openness and good governance by providing a clear oversight structure. The code provides for a ‘comply or explain’ approach, whereby a department can depart from the code’s provisions provided the reasons are explained in its annual governance statement accompanying the department’s accounts. The principles outlined in the code will also prove useful for other parts of central government and they are encouraged to apply arrangements suitably adapted for their organisation. The 2017 versions of the code and accompanying guidance update the previous 2011 editions.