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Agenda Item No 6

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Audit Committee: 27th July 2016

 

Report of the Managing Director

 

Annual Governance Statement 2015-16

 

Purpose of the Report

  1. The purpose of this report is to submit the Annual Governance Statement for review and to recommend its adoption by the Leader of the Council and the Managing Director.

Recommendation

THAT the Annual Governance Statement for 2015-16 be recommended for adoption by the Leader and the Managing Director.

Reason for the Recommendation

To provide for a review of the governance framework and the system of internal control, which has been in place within the Council for the year ended 31st March 2016?

Background

  1. The Council at its meeting held on 6th May 2009 (minute no. 1083) approved the adoption of a Code of Corporate Governance. The Code describes the Council's commitment to and understanding of corporate governance and outlines the arrangements that the Council has to put in place to ensure ongoing effective implementation and monitoring.
  2. The Accounts and Audit (Wales) Regulations 2014 as amended from time to time, requires every Welsh local authority to conduct a review, at least once in a year, of the effectiveness of its system of internal control and the governance arrangements with its Annual Statement of Accounts. The production of an Annual Governance Statement is a statutory requirement for local authorities in Wales to support the annual Statement of Accounts.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. The Annual Governance Statement (AGS) should relate to the mechanism used to demonstrate that, during the financial year ended 31st March 2016, the Council had an adequate governance regime in place and all business was conducted in compliance with the existing arrangements. However, significant events or developments relating to the AGS that occur between the balance sheet date and the date on which the Annual Statement of Accounts is signed by the responsible financial officer should also be reported.
  2. The AGS for the 2015/16 financial year relating to the activities of the Council is attached at Appendix A. It has been drawn up with regard to the Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting in the UK: A Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP). It also has regard to guidance issued by CIPFA/SOLACE in its publication "Developing Good Governance in Local Government" and the Council's Code of Corporate Governance.
  3. The overall Annual Governance arrangements within the Vale of Glamorgan Council for the financial year 2015/16 are considered to be satisfactory. However, issues relating to the unprecedented challenges the Council faces with ever diminishing funding impacting on how the Council delivers its services, embarking on an ambitious programme of transformational change makes planning for the future difficult. This together with the control weaknesses identified within Waste Management are reflected in Section 11 - Significant Governance Issues of the AGS.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. The AGS includes the requirement that public money is safeguarded, properly accounted for and used economically, efficiently and effectively.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. None directly from the Annual Governance Statement.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. Production of the Annual Governance Statement is required under the Accounts and Audit (Wales) Regulations 2014 as amended from time to time and supports the annual Statement of Accounts.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. A proper system of internal control provides appropriate measures to prevent and detect crime and disorder.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. None as a direct consequence of this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. A sound governance framework will support the achievement of all corporate and service objectives

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. The proposals in this report are in accordance with the policy framework and budget.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. No further consultation is proposed

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Corporate Performance and Resources

Background Papers

None

Contact Officer

Carys Lord - Head of Finance / Section 151 Officer

Officers Consulted

Corporate Management Team

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas - Managing Director

 

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