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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Audit Committee: 25th February 2013

 

Report of the Managing Director

 

Auditor General for Wales: Improvement Assessment Audit Letter

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To advise Audit Committee of the results of the audit and assessment work by the Auditor General for Wales in relation to whether the Council has discharged its duties and met the requirements of the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009 (the Measure).

Recommendation

1.             That the Audit Committee considers the results of the Improvement Assessment Audit and recommends to Cabinet that the contents of the Auditor General's letter be noted.

Reason for the Recommendation

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 reporting;

·         The Council’s arrangements to undertake effective self-evaluation; and

·         Further proposals for improvement and/or recommendations.

 

Relevant Issues and Options

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

·         The Council has discharged its improvement reporting duties under the Measure.  There is scope for the Council to act more in accordance with Welsh Government guidance by:

Explaining more fully on how the Council has evaluated its performance e.g. peer reviews, scrutiny assessment or benchmarking.

Performance indicators are the prime measure of achievement used in the Plan, however, other methods used and developed by the Council should be utilised in the future to present a fuller picture of service quality and of users' experiences.

The Council should include assessment of performance against other comparable bodies;

Reporting on collaboration should also include details of whether a collaborative activity has achieved its intended outcomes and whether collaboration supported the achievement of improvement objectives.

·         The Council is improving its performance reporting arrangements by developing outcome-focused measures but the information available for 2011-12 meant the Plan could not provide a complete picture of performance and there is scope to make the Plan more readily accessible.

·         No proposals for improvement are being made in this letter, however, the AGW will continue to monitor and report on the progress made by the Council in implementing the proposals set out in previous reports and letters.

5.             No proposals for improvement are being made in this letter, however, the AGW will continue to monitor and report on the progress made by the Council in implementing the proposals set out in previous reports and letters.

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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