Agenda item

Corporate Self-Assessment


The Chief Executive submitted a report, the purpose of which, was to provide an update on the Council’s corporate self-assessment report, as required by the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021 and to seek approval for the report attached at Appendix 1 to the covering report, endorsed by Cabinet at its meeting yesterday.


By way of some background, he confirmed that the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act which received royal assent in January 2021, sets out a new local government improvement regime, which puts more onus on the Council to demonstrate improvement rather than on Audit Wales and other regulators. One of these requirements in the Act is for the Council to make and publish a self-assessment report once each financial year, starting from the 2021-22 financial year. He added that this was also a legal requirement and that this Self-Assessment was for last year as opposed to the current one.   


He explained that the Governance and Audit Committee agreed the process outlined for developing the self-assessment in June. The process utilised existing performance management and governance processes within the Council as much as possible, including the use of corporate performance assessment (CPA).


The process was subsequently followed as agreed and draft findings were presented to CPA members in June and July. The findings and judgements had now been collated into a single, simple, accessible report. In line with WG and WLGA guidance, the self-assessment report and annual well-being assessment have now been merged into a single document, the Chief Executive added. 


The Chief Executive proceeded by stating that Welsh Government provided updates on already published reports and their evolving thinking about self-assessment reports at a meeting with the Council on 12 August 2022. WG asked that reports provide clarity on the real, high-level issues around performance in the Authority, for example, in Bridgend they would expect to reference to the inspection work underway around social services.


It added that there is minimal value in conducting formal consultation/ engagement on the self-assessment report. The preference would be a summary of key engagement/consultation work over the year, relating to the wellbeing objectives. This feedback has been integrated into the draft report.


The draft self-assessment report was presented to the Governance and Audit Committee on 13 October 2022 for consideration, as well as Cabinet on 18 October 2022, he reiterated.


The Corporate Self-Assessment moving forward would also benefit in terms of some consultation and engagement with our communities, key stakeholders and the Overview and Scrutiny process, all of which would in turn assist in the Council improving its ways of working moving forward.


The Chief Executive concluded his submission, by advising of some of the comments made by the Governance and Audit Committee on the Corporate Self-Assessment at its meeting on 13 October 2022.


The Leader thanked the Overview and Scrutiny Chairpersons for their active involvement in this document as part of the Corporate Assessment Framework, which would no doubt strengthen the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny process in the future. He added that both Wales Audit Office and Welsh Government would assess the Corporate Self-Assessment at a future date.


A Member had seen from reading draft WLGA guidance that the Council when forming some conclusions of its Corporate Self-Assessment, should

Take into account some views of its residents, local businesses and staff. He asked if any such consultation had taken place on the current version and whether or not it was felt that the Self-Assessment should possibly be more evidence based.


The Chief Executive advised that this was the early stages of the life of the Corporate Self-Assessment and therefore the process regarding a more improved adaption of this was still to a degree evolving. He added that that there was links with the document as far as consultation was concerned, for example through the Authorities Annual staff survey and its budget consultation exercise that included consultation with the general public, as well as certain service focused consultations, that shaped what the Council thought of key Council services, with a view to the Authority taking some of these on board in order to achieve improvements in terms of service delivery.


A Member also felt the Corporate Self-Assessment needed to drill more into service levels, and for the Self-Assessment to perhaps contain less narrative, with it including more credible and robust indicators.


RESOLVED:                            That Council approved the corporate self-assessment report 2021-22, attached at Appendix 1 to the report, subject to the modifications to certain performance indicator information as referenced above by the Chief Executive.

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