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Agenda Item No 5

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Audit Committee: 6th February 2014

 

Report of the Managing Director

 

Auditor General for Wales: Improvement Assessment Letter December 2013

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To advise Members of the results of the assessment by the Auditor General for Wales in relation to whether the Council has discharged its statutory duties in respect of improvement planning

Recommendations

1.         That the Committee considers the contents of the report.

2.         That the report be referred to Cabinet to keep them informed.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To keep Audit Committee informed.

2.         To provide for scrutiny and review of the Auditor General's letter.

Background

2.         The Auditor General for Wales has a duty under the Local Government (Wales) Measure (2009) to report his conclusions on whether the Council has acted on its duty to achieve continuous improvement.

Relevant Issues and Options

3.         The Auditor General's letter is attached at Appendix 1. In summary the Auditor General found that:

  • the Council approved and published its Annual Review of Performance 2012-13 (the Review) within the statutory deadline of 31 October 2013;
  • the Review assesses the Council’s performance in the preceding financial year (2012-13);
  • the Review includes details of performance and comparisons as measured by some national statutory performance indicators and the Council subsequently provided a link to all of the national statutory performance indicators which it routinely publishes;
  • the Review includes a section outlining the key collaborative activities the Council is involved in and a summary of progress in achieving their outcomes; and
  • the Review is available in English and Welsh in hard copy and on the Council’s website.

4.         No further recommendations for improvement were made, although there were comments that there is scope to refine arrangements by:

  • Ensuring the Report sets out how the Council has sought to discharge its duties under the Measure.
  • Further extending the use of a wider evidence base to strengthen the Council’s evaluation of performance. The Review makes good use of case studies and includes reference to more qualitative information than it did last year but the predominant evidence used is still quantitative performance indicators.
  • Extending the use of comparative information including historic performance and more targeted comparisons with other similar councils and outlining what the Council has done in light of this information.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

5.         Audit and inspection fees for the Council total £277,757 plus VAT for the 2013/14 period.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

6.         Regulators must have due regard to sustainability implications in their regulatory reports.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

7.         The Auditor General is required, under the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009 (the Measure) to report his audit and assessment work in relation to whether the Council has discharged its duties and met the requirements of the Measure.

Crime and Disorder Implications

8.         None directly.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

9.         None directly.

Corporate/Service Objectives

10.      The Corporate Plan 2013/2017 outlines community leadership as a priority for the Council.

Policy Framework and Budget

11.      This is a matter for consideration by the Audit Committee as those charged with governance.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

12.      Not applicable

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

13.      Corporate Resources

Background Papers

Appendix 1: Auditor General for Wales, Improvement Assessment Letter

Contact Officer

Bev Noon, Operational Manager - Corporate Policy and Communications

Officers Consulted

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

Head of Performance and Development

Performance Manager

Responsible Officer:

Sian Davies, Managing Director

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