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Agenda Item No. 10

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning): 18 May 2015

 

Report of the Director of Learning and Skills

 

Regulatory Audit Plan 2015

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To present the Council's Regulatory Audit Plan which is produced annually by the Wales Audit Office.

Recommendations

1.         That the Committee accepts the Regulatory Audit Plan 2015.

2.         That the Committee consider the Regulatory Audit Plan when putting together its annual work programme.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To progress the regulatory work programme and to ensure that robust scrutiny of the Regulatory Audit Plan takes place.

2.         To ensure the work programme of the Committee is more closely aligned to the annual regulatory audit and inspection work programme.

Background

2.         The Auditor General Wales is required to carry out an audit which discharges its statutory duties and fulfils its obligations under the Public Audit (Wales) Act 2004, the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009, the Local Government Act 1999 and the Code of Audit Practice. This involves:

·         Examination and certification of the Council's financial statements to ensure they are 'true and fair';

·         Assessment of the Council's arrangements for securing economy, efficiency and effectiveness in the use of resources;

·         Audit and assessment of whether the Council has discharged its duties and met requirements of the Measure; and

·         Bespoke pieces of work aimed at enabling the Council to make improvements in economy, efficiency and effectiveness or financial or other management practices.

3.         The Regulatory Audit Plan 2015 outlines work to be undertaken in the Council during April 2015 and March 2016 by and on behalf of the Auditor General.

Relevant Issues and Options

4.         A copy of the Regulatory Audit Plan is attached at Appendix 1. Key highlights are as follows:

·         Certification work will be undertaken on the Council's grant claims and returns as part of the annual financial audit.

·         The Council will be subject to an in-depth Corporate Assessment during 2015/16 (scheduled for February/March). This is a full review of the Council's capacity and capability to deliver continuous improvement which is undertaken once every four years by the Auditor General Wales in addition to the annual 'light touch' review.

·         Local government specific work is planned on the approach of councils to income generation and charging for services, council funding for third sector services and the effectiveness of local community safety partnerships.

·         A number of national value for money studies have been programmed to take place during the year including, picture of public services, regional education consortia, regeneration investment funding for Wales, flood and erosion risk management (focus on coastal flooding). These studies are funded by the National Assembly and presented to the National Assembly's Public Accounts Committee to support its scrutiny of public expenditure. Where relevant local authorities will be required to provide evidence as part of the data gathering process.

5.         The Regulatory Audit Plan is a product of negotiation between the Council's Relationship Manager and other regulators of various services and is informed by a consideration of the risks and challenges facing the Council, audit and inspection knowledge and the Council's own mechanisms for review and evaluation.

6.         The draft Plan was considered by Corporate Management Team and no changes were made. The Audit Committee also considered the draft Plan on 20th April 2015 with a referral made to Cabinet for final approval.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

7.         The implementation of the Regulatory Audit Plan requires considerable staff resources. The recommendations of audit and inspection can also place burdens on both financial and staff resources. In common with all other local authorities, the Council will be considering some painful options for future service delivery given current and likely future settlements.

8.         The proposed fees for work associated with the Regulatory Audit Plan 2015, is £261,454. There is an additional fee of £45,000 for the grant certification work which will be payable by the Council as work is undertaken. 

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

9.         None directly from this Regulatory Audit Plan.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

10.      The Council has a duty to improve under the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009 and the Local Government Act 1999.

Crime and Disorder Implications

11.      None directly from this Regulatory Audit Plan.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

12.      None directly from this Regulatory Audit Plan.

Corporate/Service Objectives

13.      Service improvement has clear links to the Council's role in community leadership as outlined in the Corporate Plan 2013-2017.

Policy Framework and Budget

14.      This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

15.      N/A. All elected members are being consulted via Scrutiny Committees. The Plan has also been considered by Audit Committee on 20th April 2015.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

16.      All

Background Papers

Appendix 1: Vale of Glamorgan Audit Plan 2015

 

Contact Officer

Julia Archampong, Corporate Performance Manager

 

Officers Consulted

Head of Performance & Development

 

Responsible Officer:

Jennifer Hill, Director of Learning & Skills

 

 

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