Issue - meetings

Improvement Plan 2014-15 Audit - Certificate of Compliance

Meeting: 24/09/2014 - Audit Committee (Item 29)

29 Improvement Plan 2014-15 Audit - Certificate of Compliance pdf icon PDF 28 KB

Additional documents:


(a)       That the presentation be received; and


(b)       That the report and the Council’s Executive response be noted.


The Chief Executive introduced the positive Certificate of Compliance which had been received from the Auditor General for Wales in respect of the audit of the 2014-15 Improvement Plan, together with the Council’s Executive response.  He explained that the Certificate of Compliance had replaced the full letter (issued in previous years by Wales Audit Office) and had been received by Cabinet and the Corporate Resources Overview & Scrutiny Committee.  Discussion at the latter had led to agreement to establish a Task & Finish Group to work with the Chief Executive and Policy & Performance Manager on some of the process issues including target-setting and quality assurance of some of the narrative within the Improvement Plan.


The Committee received a presentation from Mr. Paul Goodlad of Wales Audit Office (WAO) who indicated that the feedback was mainly positive.  The main points of the presentation were:


·         Context and Background

·         Summary

·         The Council has addressed the key areas of concern highlighted in the September 2013 Improvement Assessment letter from WAO

·         Improvement Objectives and sub-priorities within the Plan are (with a few exceptions) generally clear and robust

·         Achievement measures do not always clearly reflect planned achievements/outcomes

·         A few inconsistencies between aspirations to improve and the targets set for 2014-15

·         In a few cases, the ‘bigger impact’ expected from the Plan is not apparent

·         A minority of targets set for 2014-15 do not appear to be challenging

·         In the significant majority of cases, the Council should be able to clearly demonstrate achievement of each improvement objective and sub-priority

·         Gaining access to and awareness of the Improvement Plan and its key messages may be challenging for some stakeholders

·         Proposals for Improvement


Mr. Goodlad referred to the austerity measures facing all Councils and the need for greater emphasis on clarity in defining improvement which could mean delivering the same service for less money.  In terms of raising awareness of the Improvement Plan, it was confirmed that the ‘Your Council’ newsletter was available for anyone to access on the Council’s website, with an option for users to subscribe if they wished.


Councillor Haydn Bateman commented on the potential for Flintshire Connects centres to help raise awareness of the Improvement Plan to members of the public.  The Chief Executive commented on the challenges amongst all Councils in attracting public interest in corporate areas such as the Improvement Plan, whereas initiatives such as the Big Budget Conversation had generated considerable interest and had benefited from the use of social media.




(a)       That the presentation be received; and


(b)       That the report and the Council’s Executive response be noted.