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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Audit Committee Meeting 19th November 2012

 

Report of the Managing Director

 

Auditor General for Wales: Improvement Assessment Update

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To advise Audit Committee of the results of the latest assessment by the Auditor General for Wales of the Council's arrangements to secure continuous improvement.

Recommendations

1.             That the Audit Committee notes the contents of the report.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To keep the Audit Committee apprised and provide for scrutiny and review of the Auditor General's letter.

Background

2.             The Auditor General for Wales (AGW) has a duty under the Local Government (Wales) Measure (2009) to undertake and report upon his audit and assessment work in relation to whether the Vale of Glamorgan Council (the Council) has discharged its duties and met the requirements of the Measure.

3.             Specifically, this includes the AGW's views on:

·         Whether the Council has discharged its statutory duties in respect of improvement - planning;

·         The Council’s compliance with requirements to make arrangements to secure continuous improvement, based on work carried out to date by the Wales Audit Office and relevant regulators, including:

The Council’s progress on areas for improvement and recommendations identified in previous assessments;

Any relevant issues that may have emerged since the AGW's last report, including comments on how the Council is addressing financial challenges; and a brief summary of any reports of relevant regulators issued since the last report.

Further proposals for improvement and/or recommendations; and

Updates to the Wales Audit Office work plan and timetable for delivering the AGW's Improvement Assessment work.

Relevant Issues and Options

4.             The Auditor General's letter is attached at Appendix 1. Matters of note include:

·         The Council has discharged its improvement planning duties under the Measure and has acted in accordance with Welsh Government guidance.

·         Based on, and limited to, work carried out to date by the Wales Audit Office and relevant regulators the AGW believes that the Council is likely to comply with the requirement to make arrangements to secure continuous improvement during this financial year. This conclusion is based upon evidence that:

A number of the proposals for improvement identified in the AGW's previous assessments are being, or are planned to be progressed.

Results from the local work undertaken show the Council is able to demonstrate it is continuing to improve in most areas although it needs to strengthen arrangements for monitoring delivery of the AGW's proposals for improvement.

The Council is well placed to address its financial challenges and has clear transformation plans which are supporting the delivery of efficiency savings, but its impact has only been evaluated in terms of cost savings.

5.             The AGW has indicated that he will be updating his views during the year and will provide a further letter by the end of November 2012.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

6.             Audit and inspection fees for the Council total £281,000 plus VAT for the 2012/13 period.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

7.             None directly.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

8.             The Auditor General has a duty under sections 17, 18 and 19 of the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009 to report the outputs from Corporate and Improvement Assessments of all improvement authorities in Wales.

9.             The Council has a duty to improve under the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009.

Crime and Disorder Implications

10.        None directly.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

11.        None directly.

Corporate/Service Objectives

12.        The Corporate plan 2010/2014 outlines community leadership as a priority for the Council.

Policy Framework and Budget

13.        This is a matter for executive decision by Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

14.        Not applicable

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

15.        Corporate Resources

Background Papers

None

Contact Officer

Alan Jenkins - Head of Accountancy & Resource Management

Officers Consulted

Corporate Performance Manager

Responsible Officer:

Sian Davies - Managing Director

 

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