This report was introduced by an Audit Manager from Audit Wales (AW).
She noted that performance audit colleagues had been unable to join the meeting. They had provided her with notes, and she would try to answer questions. If necessary, she might have to refer back to colleagues to provide Members with answers to particular queries.
She indicated that the attached report was a quarterly update from 30th June and that the September update would be published shortly.
On the financial audit work, the audit of the Council’s statement of accounts was ongoing and it was hoped they would be complete by the end of January.
In terms of grant returns, these are ongoing and not completed. Errors were noted, including Non Domestic Rates (NDR) and the teachers’ pension. That work was ongoing and not complete, and the housing benefit work would follow. She did not think they were going to make the DWP’s usual deadline, and AW are in correspondence with them centrally to let them know that, so there should not be any sort of implications in terms of withholding subsidy.
In terms of performance audits, she indicated that, in terms of the capital programme management work, they had undertaken this work at one local authority but had now decided not to do this as part of their work this year. They would defer it to next year or the year after.
In terms of performance information, they had finished work on this and had recently issued the final report to the Council. This piece of work was undertaken at all local authorities, so a national summary report would be published.
In regard to work for 2023-24, Audit Wales was planning to undertake two thematic reviews. These would involve all local authorities, so it would be possible to benchmark performance. This work was being scoped and the timescales were not confirmed. They were also scoping a local piece of work.
In respect of local government studies work, they recently published a report: ‘Cracks in the Foundations’ – Building Safety in Wales.
In terms of the Corporate Joint Committees, they had issued separate letters to each of them, and a summary report would be published in October.
Members noted and drew attention to a number of issues in response to the report:
The Chairperson concluded this agenda item by drawing attention to two issues:
The Committee noted the Audit Wales Governance and Audit Committee Report at Appendix A.