WiredGov Newswire (news from other organisations)
Wales Audit Office - Current standard of financial management “disappointing” at too many town and community councils in Wales
Auditor General calls for urgent action, as the amount of money local councils manage continues to increase
The current standard of financial management and governance remains disappointing at too many Town and Community Councils, according to a report, published today by the Auditor General for Wales. In this financial year, the number of issues identified by auditors – leading to ‘qualified audit opinions’ - has doubled. And, it has been necessary for the Auditor General to issue reports ‘in the public interest’, or make formal recommendations, to 10 councils in 2018.
Town and Community councils continue to manage increasing sums of public money. Collectively, in 2017-18, they raised over £48.5 million in income, primarily from council tax payers. They spent over £47.4 million. Because income continues to outstrip expenditure, by 31 March 2018, their reserves had increased to over £38.7 million.
Today’s report concludes that a significant number of councils fail to comply with their statutory responsibilities for preparing their accounts and ensuring that proper arrangements are made for the statutory audit. The number of ‘qualified audit opinions’ doubled in 2017-18 to 340 councils. And, auditors have, again, highlighted the need to develop and improve the internal audit function – with the Auditor General planning to publish a national report on internal audit in the sector shortly after this report.
The report also highlights the future audit programme up to 2021 and shows the areas which auditors will focus on. These include compliance with standing orders, arrangements for making payments and the employment of staff. Audits will continue to focus on areas where auditors identify scope for improvement.
In October 2018, the Independent Review Panel on Community and Town councils in Wales’ published its final report and made several recommendations. The Auditor General says this now provides Town and Community councils with an opportunity to reflect on the services they deliver to their communities and the financial impact of any proposed developments. They need to consider their future role and how this will impact on their financial management arrangements.
Auditor General, Adrian Crompton said: “Year after year, my auditors are uncovering deficiencies at Town and Community councils across Wales and the situation is worsening. This cannot continue. With rising incomes and increased responsibility, the sector needs to get a grip on financial management, now more than ever. My report needs to be read, digested, and acted upon – so that communities in Wales get the services and the assurance they rightly deserve.”
Latest News from
WiredGov Newswire (news from other organisations)
Audit Scotland - North Lanarkshire Council has ambitious vision for the future24/05/2019 16:25:00
North Lanarkshire Council has ambitious plans for developing the area and improving services, and it now needs to work with partners to better involve and engage with residents and staff to achieve these.
Road safety targets and a “Vision Zero” approach must be adopted across England, says RoSPA24/05/2019 15:25:00
The Government should take a lead from Scotland and Wales and adopt road safety targets across England to push down the number of deaths and casualties, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).
LGA - Schools staying with their council more likely to remain good/outstanding24/05/2019 14:25:00
Schools which remain with their council are more likely to keep a good or outstanding Ofsted rating than those which become an academy, a new report by the LGA revealed yesterday.
Ofgem must “hold its nerve” and deliver tougher price control, says Citizens Advice24/05/2019 13:25:00
Citizens Advice, in its role as the official consumer champion for energy, has responded to Ofgem’s announcement confirming its methodology for the next energy network price control.
The FRC sets out its transition pathway24/05/2019 12:20:00
The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has published its Plan & Budget for the coming year, with a commitment to push forward quickly its transition to the new regulator, the Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority (ARGA). This work will progress alongside the extensive reform programme already in place in relation to the audit market.
LC: Sentencing (Pre-consolidation Amendment) Bill introduced to Parliament24/05/2019 11:20:00
The Sentencing (Pre-consolidation Amendment) Bill has been introduced into Parliament.
Job assurances for Royal Mail managers sought by Unite24/05/2019 10:20:00
Assurances about the future job security of Royal Mail managers is being sought by Unite, the union, following the company’s ‘poor’ financial statement this week.
UK Space Agency: Out of this world ideas win funding in space competition23/05/2019 16:05:00
Innovative ideas from crime-fighting drones to tracking down trolleys are among the winners of the UK Space Agency’s SatelLife competition for young people.
TUC: Newport City Council signs up to Dying to Work charter23/05/2019 14:05:00
The Leader of Newport City Council, Councillor Debbie Wilcox, yesterday signed an official paper committing the council to the TUC’s Dying to Work charter.