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Agenda Item No. 6

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Standards Committee: 15th April 2016

 

Report of the Monitoring Officer

 

Corporate Assessment

 

Purpose of the Report

  1. To advise the Committee of the Vice-Chairman's involvement in the Council's Corporate Assessment.

Recommendation

That the report and update of the Vice-Chairman be noted.

Reason for the Recommendation

To inform the Standards Committee.

Background

  1. Every four years the Council is subject to an in-depth inspection of the improvement arrangements that are in place by external auditors known as a Corporate Assessment. This inspection is undertaken in addition to any other annual inspection work. The Corporate Assessment is undertaken by the Council's external auditors, the Wales Audit Office and overseen by the Auditor General for Wales. During the assessment, a small team of auditors (inspectors) undertake the work.
  2. The purpose of the assessment is for the Wales Audit Office to provide an opinion on the Council's capacity and ability to deliver 'continuous improvement' by looking at the track record of performance and the outcomes that have been achieved for the Council's customers. It also involves inspecting the arrangements (i.e. processes, systems and policies) that are in place that support any improvements to how the Council works and deliver services.
  3. The assessment provides a judgement on how the Council is performing at that point in time in the form of a written report. The report will identify the key strengths and areas for further improvement which may be included as recommendations for improvement. The Corporate Assessment judgement will impact on the Council's reputation in terms of how the Council is viewed by customers, the Welsh Government and other public bodies. The outcome of the inspection will also decide whether the Authority needs to face further follow up monitoring and inspection. A positive result could mean fewer follow up inspections by the Wales Audit Office.
  4. The Wales Audit Office's work focuses on assessing the Council's priorities and our performance in meeting the improvement programme and what impact this is having on achieving outcomes for the Council's customers. The assessment seeks to answer the following question: "Is the Council capable of delivering its priorities and improved outcomes for citizens?".
  5. To answer this question the Council is assessed against four project brief themes as follows:

1.            Performance Management

  • Are we making progress on achieving planned improvements in performance and outcomes?
  • Are we effectively managing our improvement programme?

2.            Governance

  • Do our governance and accountability arrangements support strong and effective decision- making?
  • Does our vision and strategic direction support improvement?

3.            Use of Resources

  • Are we managing our resources effectively to deliver planned improvements in performance and outcomes?

4.            Collaboration and partnerships

  • Are our collaboration and partnership arrangements working effectively to deliver performance and outcomes?

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. In the Chairman's absence Mr. Lane, Vice-Chairman of the Standards Committee, was interviewed as part of the Corporate Assessment process. Mr. Lane and the Monitoring Officer will provide Committee with a verbal update of the process.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. There are no direct implications arising from this report.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. There are no direct implications arising from this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. As set out in the body of the report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. There are no direct implications arising from this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. There are no direct implications arising from this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. To ensure a Standards Committee is constituted in accordance with Welsh Government Regulations.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. This issue is not a matter which forms part of the Policy Framework and Budget.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. This is an internal matter and consultation is, therefore, not necessary.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. None.

Background Papers

The Standards Committees (Wales) Regulations 2001 as amended.

Contact Officer

Mr. C. Hope, (01446) 709855

e-mail: chope@valeofglamorgan.gov.uk

Officers Consulted

Head of Democratic Services.

Responsible Officer:

Ms. D. Marles, Monitoring Officer