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Agenda Item No.

 

THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL

 

AUDIT COMMITTEE: 21ST DECEMBER, 2011

 

REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 29TH NOVEMBER, 2011

 

 

"C1531          AUDITOR GENERAL FOR WALES: IMPROVEMENT ASSESSMENT 2011 (INCLUDING CORPORATE ASSESSMENT UPDATE) (L) (SCRUTINY - CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

 

Cabinet were advised of the results of the assessment by the Auditor General for Wales of the Council's arrangements to secure continuous improvement. 

 

The Auditor General for Wales has a duty under the Local Government (Wales) Measure (2009) to make two assessments of all improvement authorities in Wales:

 

·                         A Corporate Assessment - an assessment of an authorities arrangements to secure the continuous improvement, and

·                         A Performance Assessment - an assessment of whether an authority has achieved its planned improvements.

 

The Auditor General's Improvement Assessment Letter was attached at Appendix 1 to the report, and summarised:

 

·                         the Council's compliance with its statutory obligations to make arrangements for continuous improvement

·                         the Council's progress on areas for improvement and recommendations identified in the 2010 improvement assessment

·                         a brief commentary on any relevant issues that have emerged since the last report including comments on how the Council is addressing financial challenges

·                         updates to the work plan and timetable for delivering improvement assessment work.

 

Matters of note include the following:

 

·                         the Council has discharged its minimum duties for setting improvement objectives under the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009 although there was scope to improve the way it communicates relevant information to citizens

·                         the Council was well placed to address its financial challenges and demonstrated strong and accountable financial leadership

·                         limited progress had been made in two out of four proposals for improvement made in the 2010 assessment.  These related to the development of service plans to consistently include outcome measures and improving performance reporting so that the Council was able to clearly demonstrate the outcome of its activities for the community and service users.

 

The report made one recommendation:

 

·                         establish a transparent programme for the development of outcome focussed measures moving from reporting arrangements that focussed primarily on performance indicators and on the completion, or otherwise, of an action.

 

The development of outcome focussed measures had been identified as an area for improvement in most Welsh Councils and represented a significant challenge in the current financial climate. The Council had recently commissioned the Local Government Data Unit to work with three service areas to develop outcome focussed performance measures as a pilot.  This work would inform a Council-wide approach which would thereafter be rolled out to all service plan areas.  There would be WAO involvement in the process to inform the corporate approach.  Appendix 2 to the report detailed a draft action plan which was currently subject to consultation with the Local Government Data Unit, Wales Audit Office and relevant Chief Officers. 

 

A significant amount of work had been undertaken in addressing the proposals for improvement made in the Council's 2010 assessment, and these were detailed in Appendix 3 to the report.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the contents of the report be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the report be referred to Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) and the Audit Committee.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To keep Cabinet apprised.

 

(2)       To provide for scrutiny and review of the Auditor General's Letter."

 

 

Attached as Appendix - Report to Cabinet: 29th November, 2011