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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Audit Committee: 8 July 2013

 

Report of the Managing Director

 

Auditor General for Wales: Annual Improvement Report 2013

 

Purpose of the Report

1.            To advise members of the results of the assessment by the Auditor General for Wales of the council's arrangements to secure continuous improvement.

Recommendations

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

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To provide for review of the Auditor General's Annual Improvement Report.

Background

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

·               A Corporate Assessment - an assessment of an authority's arrangements to secure continuous improvement; and

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

Relevant Issues and Options

3.            The Wales Audit Office's Annual Improvement Report of the council is contained within the report attached at appendix 1. Each year, the Auditor General must report on how well Welsh councils are planning for improvement and delivering their services. Drawing on the work of the relevant Welsh inspectorates, as well as work undertaken on his behalf by the Wales Audit Office, this report presents a picture of improvement over the last year.

4.            Overall, the Auditor General has concluded that: the council is making good progress in delivering improvement in its priority areas, but needs to report more clearly on the outcomes achieved. The council’s performance evaluation and reporting arrangements are improving, but do not yet provide a complete and easily accessible explanation of the outcomes achieved. The council’s planning for improvement and its arrangements to support improvement are sound.

5.            The report concludes that:

·               Corporate governance arrangements are generally sound.

·               The council made good progress in modernising its children’s services and improving opportunities through collaboration with key partners.

·               Services for the elderly and vulnerable have improved, although key challenges remain.

·               The council has worked effectively with its partners to introduce arrangements and facilities in the community to support those deemed at risk of harm.

·               The council has achieved some of its improvement objectives to improve the environment, health and hygiene, but faces challenges to revitalise the local economy.

·               The council has made progress in achieving efficiencies, improving its Human Resources (HR) systems and asset management; however, there are some weaknesses in its information technology operations.

·               The council’s arrangements for monitoring and evaluating its performance are improving but the quality of reporting results is inconsistent.

·               The council makes its reports accessible to the public and meets the requirements of the Welsh Language Scheme.

·               The council is developing a more outcome-focused approach to support its planned improvements.

·               The council has clear and robust financial plans.

6.            The report makes no proposals for improvement.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

7.            Audit and inspection fees for the Council are met from existing budgets.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

8.            None as a direct consequence of this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

9.            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.

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

Crime and Disorder Implications

11.       None directly.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

12.       None directly.

Corporate/Service Objectives

13.       The Corporate Plan 2013/2017 outlines community leadership as a priority for the council.

Policy Framework and Budget

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

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

15.       Not applicable

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

16.       Corporate Resources

Background Papers

Appendix 1: Auditor General for Wales, Annual Improvement Report 2013

Contact Officer

Beverly Noon, Operational Manager – Corporate Policy and Communications

Officers Consulted

All relevant Officers have been consulted on the contents of this report:

Corporate Management Team

Responsible Officer:

Sian Davies, Managing Director

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