Agenda Item No. 8

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Standards Committee: 17th May, 2018

 

Report of the Monitoring Officer

 

Audit Report - Ethics 2017/18

 

Purpose of the Report

  1. To bring Standards Committee Members' attention to the Audit Report in respect of Ethics which had been undertaken by the South West Audit Partnership (SWAP) on behalf of the Council's Internal Audit Shared Service (IASS) and which formed part of the Council's 2017/18 Audit Plan.

Recommendations

THAT the contents of the report be noted.

Reasons for the Recommendations

In recognition of the Standards Committee's role to promote and maintain high standards.

Background

  1. The purpose of the Ethics Review had been to provide assurance that the Council was operating under high standards of ethical behaviour whilst also assessing the cultural climate in place at the Council.  The Review was part of the 2017/18 Internal Audit Risk Based Plan and was undertaken on behalf of the IASS.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. A copy of the report is attached at Appendix A with the overall conclusion being reached that the Council had performed extensive work to re-define its ethical climate and culture with the input and assistance of staff and as a consequence the Council was commended for the forward thinking approach to ethics and culture. 
  2. The creation of the Council's Staff Charter had been a starting point for this which had been used as a vehicle for further processes to be created and introduced to the Council's environment.
  3. The Auditor concluded that the areas reviewed were found to be adequately controlled and that internal controls were in place and operating effectively and risks against achievement of objectives were all managed.  Therefore an overall substantial assurance opinion had been provided.
  4. Of note is the fact that no formal recommendations had been made following the report and it was extremely pleasing that following a benchmarking exercise with SWAP partners the Council had a greater level of maturity with regards to its ethics and culture and each of the SWAP partners involved in benchmarking.
  5. The Auditor, in conclusion stated that the Council had shown that it had successfully engrained its vision and values into the working environment therefore the Council's approach to ethics and culture and the benefits it could have towards empowering staff during times of organisational change should be praised.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. There are no direct resources implications as a direct result of this report.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. None as a direct result of this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. None as a direct result of this report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. None as a direct result of this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. None as a direct result of this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. One of the roles of the Standards Committee defined in its terms of reference is to promote and maintain high standards of conduct by Councillors, Co-opted Members and Church and Parent Governor representatives.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. The report is in accordance with the Policy Framework and Budget.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. N/A

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. N/A

Background Papers

Public Sector Internal Audit Standards.

Contact Officer

Karen Bowen, Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer

01446 709856

democratic@valeofglamorgan.gov.uk

Officers Consulted

None.

Responsible Officer:

Ms. D. Marles

Head of Legal Services and Monitoring Officer