Agenda Item No.
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (CORPORATE RESOURCES): 11NOVEMBER 2014
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 3 NOVEMBER 2014
C2504 AUDITOR GENERAL FOR WALES: ANNUAL IMPROVEMENT REPORT 2014 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES)
Cabinet was advised of the results of the assessment by the Auditor General for Wales of the Council's arrangements to secure continuous improvement.
Each year, the Auditor General must report on how well Welsh councils were planning for improvement and delivering their services. The Wales Audit Office's Annual Improvement Report of the Council was attached at Appendix 1 to the report
Overall, the Auditor General had concluded that: the Council was making good progress in delivering improvement in its priority areas, but needed to report more clearly on the outcomes achieved. The Council’s performance evaluation and reporting arrangements were improving, but did 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 were sound.
The report concluded that:
The Council achieved most of its objectives and was focussed on addressing areas of weakness but should make greater use of external benchmarking in relation to internal targets and reporting performance;
The Council complied with Welsh Government publication requirements; although its methods of data verification for the Leisure Services contractor were not as strong as for its own services;
The Council had effective plans for managing the financial challenges it faced and had developed a plan intended to prepare its workforce for the future;
The Council generally had strengths in driving improvement across most services and responded positively to challenge. However, significant improvement was required in the delivery of disabled facilities grants and in managing the leisure contract
The report made three proposals for improvement:
(P1) Improve performance reporting by clearly explaining the:
- benefits arising from the achievement of objectives; and
- issues arising from not achieving objectives and the action being taken to secure improvement
(P2) Review target setting methods as a means of driving improvement to ensure they achieve the level of service expected by members.
(P3) Improve the management of the Leisure contract by:
- refining the contract management regime to ensure that it formally and systematically tests the extent to which contracts are being monitored effectively paying particular attention to the Leisure contract;
- undertaking a review to determine the appropriate level and skills mix of resources required to effectively monitor the Leisure contract;
- ensuring the standard definitions for performance indicators were being utilised and data was recorded accordingly paying particular attention to the Leisure contract; and
- training members to ensure that an effective level of challenge is presented to officers.
This was a matter for Executive decision
(1) T H A T the contents of the report be noted.
(2) T H A T the report be referred to Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) for information.
Reasons for decisions
(1) To note the contents of the report.
(2) For the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) to review of the Auditor General's Improvement Assessment Report.
Attached as Appendix – Report to Cabinet – 3 NOVEMBER 2014