The Auditor General for Wales has today published reports in the public interest highlighting failures in governance arrangements and inadequacies in financial management at four community councils – Llanwnnen, Penally, Tirymynach and Whitford.
Similar issues were identified at each of the councils. Typically, these were:
- Failure to submit annual accounts for audit in accordance with the statutory timetable;
- Proper arrangements may not have been made for the exercise of electors rights;
- Failure to maintain proper accounting records;
- Failure to maintain proper arrangements to administer payroll and PAYE;
- Failure to properly prepare a budget and approve the precept; and
- Not all necessary documents have been published on the council website.
Each report makes several similar recommendations to the councils to help improve governance, financial management and reporting.
Anthony Barrett, Assistant Auditor General said:
“There are important lessons which all community councils can learn from the failures at these four councils. There are some 735 local town and community councils in Wales. The vast majority work to a very high standard. It is disappointing, therefore, that a relatively small but persistent number do not meet the standard expected of public bodies and officials. The four councils are already taking action to address the issues highlighted in the report.
I am also considering reports in the public interest on several other community councils for similar reasons to those reported today.
If town and community councils are to play a greater role in the delivery of public services and the shaping of our communities, the public need to be assured that they have proper governance arrangements in place to manage the activities of the council both financially and administratively.”