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Agenda Item No. 5

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Shared Regulatory Services Joint Committee: 28 February 2017

 

Report of the Director of Environment and Housing

 

Food Standards Agency Audit

 

Purpose of the Report

  1. To update Members of a scheduled audit of the Food Service by the Food Standards Agency.

Recommendations

  1. The Joint Committee notes the content of the report in relation to the audit that will be carried out in accordance with the Food Law Code of Practice.
  2. The Committee continues to receive regular updates in relation to the performance of the Food Service.

Reasons for the Recommendations

  1. To ensure the Committee is aware of the scheduled audit from Food Standards Agency.
  2. To allow Joint Committee to exercise effective oversight of this key area of working

Background

  1. The Food Standards Agency has a remit to oversee Local Authorities' food and feed law enforcement activities to ensure appropriate local services are in place.
  2. The Food Standards Agency in Wales has committed to a three year rolling programme of full audits to assess Local Authority service delivery.
  3. The Shared Regulatory Service is the first collaborative service to be audited as part of the aforementioned programme.
  4. The audit will be conducted in line with the terms of the Local Authority Framework Agreement on Official Feed and Food Controls and associated guidance.
  5. The Shared Regulatory Service outlined service delivery against these requirements in the Food Law Code of Practice consequently agreed by Members of the Joint Committee on 28th June 2016.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. In readiness for the audit a pre-audit questionnaire is sent in advance for completion. The aim of the questionnaire is to provide auditors with appropriate information in relation to the Shared Regulatory Services Food Law enforcement systems and procedures.
  2. The aforementioned questionnaire was returned on 24th February 2017.
  3. An onsite audit is scheduled to take place week commencing 20th March 2017 and will take approximately one week.
  4. The onsite audit will consist of examination of files and records, interrogation of computer systems, reality checks at local food businesses and interviews with food law enforcement staff.
  5. Interviews will also be conducted with lead food hygiene and food standards officers along with interviews of Senior Managers.
  6. It is not envisaged that elected Members will be involved in this audit, however Joint Committee will be briefed in relation to the findings.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. A summary of the resources available across the Regulatory Service for dealing with safety (Food Hygiene and Food Standards) is contained in the Food Law Service approved by Joint Committee on 28th June 2016. To deliver the full requirements of the Framework Agreement would require additional resource.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. Sustainability and climate change implications have been taken into consideration when drafting this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. Under Section 41 of the Food Safety Act 1990, as amended by paragraph 18 of Schedule 5 to the Food Standards Act 1999, the Food Standards Agency can require Food Authorities to provide them with reports and information regarding the Authorities' enforcement of the Act. Local Authorities are required to supply them with statistical information on inspections, prosecutions, official samples, and informal samples.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. Crime and disorder implications have been taken into consideration when drafting this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. Equalities issues have been taken into consideration when drafting this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. This report demonstrates the partner Councils' commitment to improving social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being and promoting sustainable development in line with the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. Improving how the Council evidences and reports achievement of its Well-being Outcomes contributes towards promoting well-being.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. There are no implications for Ward Members resulting from this report.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. There are no implications for Ward Members resulting from this report.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Scrutiny is carried out at each partner Council.

Background Papers

None.

Contact Officer

Christina Hill, Operational Manager, Commercial Services, Shared Regulatory Services.

Officers Consulted

Assistant Chief Executive, Bridgend County Borough Council

Director of Environment, City of Cardiff Council

Accountant, Vale of Glamorgan Council

Legal services, Vale of Glamorgan

Head of Shared Regulatory Services

Responsible Officer:

Miles Punter - Director of Environment and Housing

 

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