Financial Management

Chwe cham tuag at graffu gwell yng Nghymru

Mae papur trafod a rhestr wirio wedi'u lansio er mwyn helpu i wella'r ffordd mae'r rhai sy'n gwneud penderfyniadau yn cael eu dwyn i gyfrif

Mae papur trafod a rhestr wirio chwe phwynt wedi'u paratoi ar gyfer cynghorau yng Nghymru er mwyn helpu i wella swyddogaethau trosolwg a chraffu. Mae cyhoeddiad heddiw dod â rhai themâu a materion cyffredin sydd wedi'u nodi yn ystod gwaith archwilio ar draws y 22 o awdurdodau lleol yn ystod 2017-18 at ei gilydd.

 

Mae'r papur trafod yn tynnu sylw at chwe maes allweddol y gallai llawer o gynghorau fyfyrio arnynt yn sgil heriau'r presennol a'r dyfodol.

  • Mewn rhai cynghorau erys rhywfaint o ddryswch sylfaenol a chamddealltwriaeth ynghylch rolau a chyfrifoldebau yn ymarferol.
  • Mae llawer o gynghorau yn dal i ddweud bod angen iddynt wella'r ffordd maent yn ymgysylltu â'r cyhoedd.
  • Mae angen gwelliannau i'r ffordd mae cynghorau'n blaenoriaethu ac yna'n cynllunio eu gweithgarwch craffu i wella ei effaith.
  • Efallai y bydd angen i rai cynghorau ystyried adolygu cymorth a hyfforddiant i aelodau o bwyllgorau craffu.
  • Nid yw'r rhan fwyaf o gynghorau'n gwerthuso'n rheolaidd effeithiolrwydd eu swyddogaethau craffu.
  • Mae angen i Lywodraeth Cymru a Chynghorau ystyried sut y mae'r themâu hyn yn effeithio ar rôl trefniadau llywodraethu lleol.

Mewn ymateb i'r materion hyn, ac i gynorthwyo cynghorau i wella, mae chwe cham wedi'u nodi er mwyn helpu i wneud craffu yn ‘barod at y dyfodol.’ Mae hyn wedi'i gynllunio i fod yn rhestr wirio i gynghorwyr:

  1. Gwybod beth yw eich rôl
  2. Gwybod beth yw eich pwerau a'r hyn sy'n ‘bosibl’ mewn craffu
  3. Gwybod beth rydych yn ceisio ei gyflawni
  4. Cynllunio eich gwaith craffu i gyflawni eich nodau
  5. Cynllunio trefniadau cymorth i gyflawni eich nodau
  6. Gwerthuso effeithiolrwydd gweithgarwch craffu'n rheolaidd a gwneud newidiadau'n seiliedig ar adborth

Meddai'r Archwilydd Cyffredinol, Adrian Crompton:

“Mae craffu ym maes llywodraeth leol yn rhan hanfodol o atebolrwydd democrataidd ac mae gan y cyhoedd hawl i gael sicrwydd bod y rhai sy'n gwneud penderfyniadau yn cael eu dwyn i gyfrif mewn ffordd briodol ac effeithiol. Ond mae rhai themâu cyffredin y mae fy archwilwyr wedi'u nodi ar draws Cymru y gallai cynghorau fyfyrio arnynt i wella effeithlonrwydd ac effeithiolrwydd eu swyddogaethau craffu. Rwy'n gobeithio y bydd y papur trafod a'r rhestr wirio yn ganllaw defnyddiol i gynghorau a chynghorwyr wrth iddynt geisio gwella eu dull.”

Diwedd

Nodiadau i Olygyddion:

  • Mae'r rhestr wirio a'r papur trafod wedi'u paratoi yn dilyn gwaith archwilio ar draws y 22 o brif gynghorau yng Nghymru yn ystod 2017-18.
  • Yn ystod ein gwaith archwilio, ystyriwyd sut y mae cynghorau'n ymateb i heriau presennol, gan gynnwys Deddf Llesiant Cenedlaethau'r Dyfodol 2015 mewn perthynas â'u gweithgarwch craffu, yn ogystal â sut mae cynghorau'n dechrau ymgymryd â chraffu ar Fyrddau Gwasanaeth Cyhoeddus. Ystyriwyd hefyd a yw cynghorau mewn sefyllfa dda i ymateb i heriau'r dyfodol fel pwysau parhaus ar gyllid cyhoeddus a'r symudiad posibl tuag at fwy o weithio rhanbarthol rhwng awdurdodau lleol.
  • Gwnaethom gyhoeddi adroddiadau ar wahân gyda chynigion ar gyfer gwella i bob un o'r 22 o brif gynghorau.
  • Yr Archwilydd Cyffredinol yw archwilydd allanol statudol annibynnol y sector cyhoeddus datganoledig yng Nghymru. Mae'n gyfrifol am yr archwiliad blynyddol o'r rhan fwyaf o'r arian cyhoeddus sy'n cael ei wario yng Nghymru, gan gynnwys y £15 biliwn o gronfeydd y pleidleisir yn flynyddol arnynt gan y Cynulliad Cenedlaethol. Mae elfennau o'r cyllid hwn yn cael eu trosglwyddo gan Lywodraeth Cymru i'r GIG yng Nghymru (dros £7 biliwn) ac i lywodraeth leol (dros £4 biliwn).
  • Mae annibyniaeth archwilio yr Archwilydd Cyffredinol yn hollbwysig. Fe'i penodir gan y Frenhines, ac nid yw ei waith archwilio yn destun cyfarwyddyd neu reolaeth gan y Cynulliad Cenedlaethol na'r llywodraeth. 
  • Mae Swyddfa Archwilio Cymru yn gorff corfforaethol sy'n cynnwys naw aelod o'r Bwrdd statudol sy'n cyflogi staff ac yn darparu adnoddau eraill i'r Archwilydd Cyffredinol, sydd hefyd yn Brif Weithredwr ac yn Swyddog Cyfrifyddu'r Bwrdd. Mae'r Bwrdd yn monitro ac yn cynghori'r Archwilydd Cyffredinol, o ran arfer ei swyddogaethau.

Six steps to better scrutiny in Wales

A discussion paper and checklist has been launched to help improve the way decision-makers are held to account

A discussion paper and six-point checklist has been produced for councils in Wales to help improve overview and scrutiny functions. Today’s publication brings together some common themes and issues that have been identified during audit work across the 22 local authorities during 2017-18.

The discussion paper highlights six key areas that many councils could reflect on in light of current and future challenges.

  • In some councils there remains some fundamental confusion and misunderstanding around roles and responsibilities in practice.
  • Many councils still say they need to improve the way they engage with the public.
  • Improvements are needed to the way councils prioritise and then plan their scrutiny activity to improve its impact.
  • Some councils may need to consider reviewing support and training for scrutiny committee members.
  • Most councils do not routinely evaluate the effectiveness of their scrutiny functions.
  • Welsh Government and Councils need to consider how these themes impact on local governance arrangements role.

In response to these issues, and to support councils to improve, six steps have been identified to help make scrutiny ‘fit for the future.’ It’s designed to be a checklist for councillors:

  1. Know your role
  2. Know your powers and what’s ‘possible’ in scrutiny
  3. Know what you are trying to achieve
  4. Plan your scrutiny work to achieve your aims
  5. Design support arrangements to achieve your aims
  6. Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of scrutiny activity and make changes based on feedback

Auditor General, Adrian Crompton said:

“Scrutiny in local government is a vital part of democratic accountability and the public have a right to be assured that decision-makers are being held to account in a proper and effective way. But there are some common themes that my auditors have identified across Wales that councils could reflect on to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their scrutiny functions. I hope this discussion paper and checklist acts as a helpful guide for councils and councillors as they look to improve their approach.”

Ends

Notes to Editors:

  • This checklist and discussion paper has been produced following audit work across the 22 principal councils in Wales during 2017-18.
  • During our audit work, we considered how councils are responding to current challenges, including the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act 2015 in relation to their scrutiny activity, as well as how councils are beginning to undertake scrutiny of Public Service Boards. We also examined how well-placed councils are to respond to future challenges such as continued pressure on public finances and the possible move towards more regional working between local authorities.
  • We issued separate reports with proposals for improvement to each of the 22 principal councils.
  • The Auditor General is the independent statutory external auditor of the devolved Welsh public sector. He is responsible for the annual audit of the majority of the public money spent in Wales, including the £15 billion of funds that are voted on annually by the National Assembly. Elements of this funding are passed by the Welsh Government to the NHS in Wales (over £7 billion) and to local government (over £4 billion).
  • The audit independence of the Auditor General is of paramount importance. He is appointed by the Queen, and his audit work is not subject to direction or control by the National Assembly or government. 
  • The Wales Audit Office (WAO) is a corporate body consisting of a nine member statutory Board which employs staff and provides other resources to the Auditor General, who is also the Board’s Chief Executive and Accounting Officer. The Board monitors and advises the Auditor General, regarding the exercise of his functions.

Angen gwelliannau brys i drefniadau archwilio mewnol cynghorau tref a chymuned yng Nghymru

Yr Archwilydd Cyffredinol yn datgelu “gwendidau sylweddol” y mae angen mynd i’r afael â nhw

Mae adolygiad gan Archwilydd Cyffredinol Cymru wedi datgelu pryderon difrifol ynghylch y trefniadau archwilio mewnol mewn Cynghorau Tref a Chymuned yng Nghymru. Er bod dyletswydd gyfreithiol ar Gynghorau Tref a Chymuned i sicrhau bod trefniadau archwilio mewnol digonol ac effeithiol ar waith, mae staff Swyddfa Archwilio Cymru wedi profi sampl ac wedi canfod:

  • Nad oedd un o bob deg yn gallu bodloni staff Swyddfa Archwilio Cymru bod ganddynt drefniadau archwilio mewnol ar waith.
  • Nid oedd un o bob pum archwilydd mewnol yn ddigon annibynnol.
  • Mae gan ddwy ran o dair gylch gorchwyl annigonol ar waith.
  • Roedd un o bob tri wedi dod i gasgliadau anghywir yn sgil yr archwiliad mewnol.
  • Nid oedd y rhan fwyaf o’r cynghorau’n dogfennu’n ffurfiol sut y maent yn mynd i'r afael ag argymhellion archwilio mewnol.
  • Roedd traean o'r archwilwyr mewnol a gyfwelwyd yn teimlo y byddai rhagor o brofion a chanllawiau ar godi ffioedd yn fuddiol.

Dros y 10 mlynedd diwethaf, bu nifer o achosion o Gynghorau Cymuned yn dioddef colledion i arian trethdalwyr oherwydd methiannau sylweddol yn eu dulliau llywodraeth a rheoli ariannol. Mewn rhai achosion, mae hyn wedi bod oherwydd twyll a lladrad. Gallai’r rhain fod wedi eu hosgoi pe byddai trefniadau archwilio mewnol effeithiol ar waith.

Yn y rhan fwyaf o'r achosion hyn, roedd archwilwyr allanol wedi nodi materion a oedd yn ymwneud â chwmpas a digonolrwydd y gwaith a wnaed gan archwilwyr mewnol. Mae archwilwyr allanol yn adrodd yn aml fod archwilwyr mewnol yn cael eu penodi gan glerc y cyngor heb lawer o gyfraniad, goruchwyliaeth na chyswllt gan y cyngor ei hun. Mewn nifer fach o achosion a gofnodwyd, mae hyn wedi arwain at glercod yn ffugio bodolaeth archwiliad mewnol.

Yn ei adroddiad ar gyfrifon Cynghorau Tref a Chymuned yng Nghymru yn 2015-16, gwnaeth yr Archwilydd Cyffredinol sylwadau ar y casgliadau anghyson y daeth archwilwyr mewnol ac allanol iddynt mewn cysylltiad â materion penodol megis gosod cyllideb.

Mae'r negeseuon yn adroddiad heddiw yn gyson â’r nifer cynyddol o achosion o lywodraethu gwael yr ydym wedi eu gweld mewn cynghorau cymuned, sydd wedi hyrwyddo nifer o adroddiadau budd cyhoeddus ac argymhellion statudol yn ystod y flwyddyn ddiwethaf.

Mae adroddiad arall a gyhoeddwyd gennym yn gynharach y mis hwn, ynghylch llywodraethu a rheoli ariannol mewn Cynghorau Tref a Chymuned yn 2017-18, yn rhoi rhagor o fanylion am yr adroddiadau budd cyhoeddus a’r argymhellion statudol a gyhoeddwyd yn ystod 2018.

Mae’r Archwilydd Cyffredinol yn bwriadu adolygu'r trefniadau archwilio ar gyfer y sector yn 2019-20 a bydd yr adroddiad hwn ar archwilio mewnol yn darparu tystiolaeth ar gyfer yr adolygiad hwnnw.

Dywedodd yr Archwilydd Cyffredinol, Adrian Crompton: “Mae archwilio mewnol yn darparu swyddogaeth hanfodol o fewn sefydliadau – i sicrhau bod dulliau rhwystro a gwrthbwyso ar waith i ddiogelu cyllid a gwasanaethau. Mae'r ffaith ein bod wedi canfod gwendidau difrifol mewn Cynghorau Tref a Chymuned yn annerbyniol ac yn peri pryder – ac mae angen rhoi sylw i’r hyn ar frys.”

Diwedd

Nodiadau i olygyddion:

  • Mae'r adroddiad hwn yn canolbwyntio ar drefniadau archwilio mewnol Cynghorau Tref a Chymuned yng Nghymru. Mae ein prif ganfyddiadau yn seiliedig ar sampl o 113 o’r 735 o Gynghorau Tref a Chymuned yng Nghymru.
  • Mae Rheoliadau Cyfrifon ac Archwilio (Cymru) 2014 yn ei gwneud yn ofynnol i Gynghorau Tref a Chymuned fod â threfniadau digonol ac effeithiol ar waith i gynnal archwiliad mewnol o’u cofnodion cyfrifyddu a’u systemau rheoli mewnol.
  • Mae trefniadau archwilio statudol Cynghorau Tref a Chynghorau Cymuned yr Archwilydd Cyffredinol yn seiliedig ar ‘sicrwydd cyfyngedig’ sy'n gymesur â maint y sector. Fodd bynnag, wrth osod y trefniadau hyn, ceir tybiaeth bod gan gynghorau drefniadau archwilio mewnol digonol ac effeithiol ar waith. Mae risg i enw da trefn yr Archwilydd Cyffredinol pan nodir materion o bwys gan gynnwys twyll, yn ogystal â cholli hyder y cyhoedd yn y cynghorau dan sylw.
  • Yr Archwilydd Cyffredinol yw archwilydd allanol statudol annibynnol y sector cyhoeddus datganoledig yng Nghymru. Mae'n gyfrifol am archwilio’r rhan fwyaf o'r arian cyhoeddus a warir yng Nghymru yn flynyddol, gan gynnwys y £15 biliwn o gyllid y pleidleisir arno bob blwyddyn gan y Cynulliad Cenedlaethol. Caiff elfennau o’r arian hwn eu trosglwyddo gan Lywodraeth Cymru i'r GIG yng Nghymru (dros £7 biliwn) ac i lywodraeth leol (dros £4 biliwn).
  • Mae annibyniaeth archwilio yr Archwilydd Cyffredinol yn hollbwysig. Caiff ei benodi gan y Frenhines, ac nid yw ei waith archwilio yn destun cyfarwyddyd neu reolaeth gan y Cynulliad Cenedlaethol na’r Llywodraeth.
  • Corff corfforaethol sy’n cynnwys naw aelod bwrdd statudol yw Swyddfa Archwilio Cymru. Mae’n cyflogi staff ac yn darparu adnoddau eraill i'r Archwilydd Cyffredinol, sydd hefyd yn Brif Weithredwr i’r Bwrdd ac yn Swyddog Cyfrifyddu. Mae’r Bwrdd yn monitro ac yn cynghori'r Archwilydd Cyffredinol ynghylch arfer ei swyddogaethau. 

Urgent improvements needed to internal audit arrangements at town and community councils in Wales

Auditor General uncovers “significant weaknesses” that need addressing

A review by the Auditor General for Wales has uncovered serious concerns about internal audit arrangements at Town and Community Councils in Wales. Despite there being a legal duty for Town and Community Councils to have adequate and effective internal audit arrangements in place, Wales Audit Office staff tested a sample and found that:

  • One in ten were unable to satisfy Wales Audit Office staff that they had internal audit arrangements in place.
  • One in five internal auditors were not sufficiently independent.
  • Two-thirds have inadequate terms of reference in place.
  • One in three had made inaccurate internal audit conclusions.
  • Most councils did not formally document how they are addressing internal audit recommendations.
  • A third of internal auditors interviewed felt that additional testing and fee charging guidance would be beneficial.

Over the last 10 years, there have been several cases of Community Councils suffering losses to tax payers’ money because of significant failures in their financial management and governance. In some cases, this has been due to fraud and theft. These could have been avoided if there were effective internal audit arrangements in place.

In most of these cases, external auditors identified issues with the scope and adequacy of work carried out by internal audit. External auditors often report that internal auditors are appointed by the council’s clerk with limited input, supervision or contact from the council itself. In a small number of recorded cases, this has resulted in clerks falsifying the existence of internal audit.

In his report on the 2015-16 Town and Community Councils in Wales accounts, the Auditor General commented on the contradictory conclusions drawn by internal and external auditors in relation to specific issues such as budget setting.

The messages in today’s report are consistent with the increasing number of cases of poor governance that we have seen in community councils, which have promoted several public interest reports and statutory recommendations over the last year.

Another report we issued earlier this month, into financial management and governance at Town and Community Councils in 2017-18, provides further detail on the public interest reports and statutory recommendations issued during 2018.

The Auditor General plans to review the audit arrangements for the sector in 2019-20 and this report on internal audit will provide evidence for that review.

Auditor General, Adrian Crompton said: “Internal audit provides a vital function within organisations – to ensure that checks and balances are in place to safeguard finances and services. The fact we have uncovered serious weaknesses at Town and Community Councils is both unacceptable and worrying – and it needs to be urgently addressed.”

Ends

Notes to Editors:

  • This report focuses on internal audit arrangements at Town and Community Councils in Wales. Our main findings are based on a sample of 113 of Wales’ 735 Town and Community Councils.
  • The Accounts and Audit (Wales) Regulations 2014 require Town and Community Councils to have adequate and effective arrangements in place for an internal audit of their accounting records and their systems of internal control.
  • The Auditor General’s statutory audit arrangements at Town and Community Councils are based upon ‘limited assurance’ which is proportionate to the scale of the sector. However, in setting these arrangements, there is an assumption that councils have adequate and effective internal audit arrangements in place. There is a reputational risk to the Auditor General’s regime where significant issues including fraud are identified, as well as a loss of public confidence in the councils concerned.
  • The Auditor General is the independent statutory external auditor of the devolved Welsh public sector. He is responsible for the annual audit of the majority of the public money spent in Wales, including the £15 billion of funds that are voted on annually by the National Assembly. Elements of this funding are passed by the Welsh Government to the NHS in Wales (over £7 billion) and to local government (over £4 billion).
  • The audit independence of the Auditor General is of paramount importance. He is appointed by the Queen, and his audit work is not subject to direction or control by the National Assembly or government.
  • The Wales Audit Office (WAO) is a corporate body consisting of a nine member statutory Board which employs staff and provides other resources to the Auditor General, who is also the Board’s Chief Executive and Accounting Officer. The Board monitors and advises the Auditor General, regarding the exercise of his functions.

Safon bresennol rheoli arian yn “siomedig” mewn gormod o gynghorau tref a chymuned yng Nghymru

Daffodils

Yr Archwilydd Cyffredinol yn galw am weithredu brys wrth i’r swm o arian y mae cynghorau lleol yn ei reoli barhau i gynyddu

Mae safon bresennol llywodraethu a rheoli arian yn parhau i fod yn siomedig mewn gormod o Gynghorau Tref a Chymuned, yn ôl adroddiad a gyhoeddwyd heddiw gan Archwilydd Cyffredinol Cymru. Mae nifer y problemau ariannol a nodwyd gan archwilwyr yn ystod y flwyddyn ariannol hon – sydd wedi arwain at ‘farn archwilio amodol’ – wedi dyblu. Ac mae’r Archwilydd Cyffredinol wedi gorfod cyhoeddi adroddiadau ‘er budd y cyhoedd’, neu wneud argymhellion ffurfiol, i 8 o gynghorau yn 2018.

Mae Cynghorau Tref a Chymuned yn parhau i reoli symiau cynyddol o arian cyhoeddus. Gyda'i gilydd, yn 2017-18, fe wnaethon nhw godi dros £48.5 miliwn mewn incwm, yn bennaf gan dalwyr y dreth gyngor. Fe wnaethon nhw wario dros £47.4 miliwn. Oherwydd bod incwm yn parhau i fod yn uwch na gwariant, erbyn 31 Mawrth 2018, roedd eu cronfeydd wrth gefn wedi cynyddu i dros £38.7 miliwn.

Mae’r adroddiad heddiw yn dod i'r casgliad y bydd nifer sylweddol o gynghorau yn methu â chydymffurfio â'u cyfrifoldebau statudol o ran paratoi eu cyfrifon a sicrhau bod trefniadau priodol yn cael eu gwneud ar gyfer yr archwiliad statudol. Fe ddyblodd nifer yr achosion o roi ‘barn archwilio amodol’ yn 2017-18 i 340 o gynghorau. Ac unwaith eto, mae archwilwyr wedi tynnu sylw at yr angen i ddatblygu a gwella’r swyddogaeth archwilio mewnol – ac mae'r Archwilydd Cyffredinol yn bwriadu cyhoeddi adroddiad cenedlaethol ynghylch archwilio mewnol yn y sector yn fuan ar ôl yr adroddiad hwn.

Mae'r adroddiad hefyd yn tynnu sylw at y rhaglen archwilio yn y dyfodol hyd at 2021, gan ddangos y meysydd y bydd archwilwyr yn canolbwyntio arnynt. Mae'r rhain yn cynnwys cydymffurfio â rheolau sefydlog, trefniadau ar gyfer gwneud taliadau a chyflogi staff. Bydd archwiliadau yn parhau i ganolbwyntio ar feysydd lle bo archwilwyr yn nodi bod lle i wella.

Ym mis Hydref 2018, cyhoeddodd y Panel Adolygu Annibynnol ar Gynghorau Cymuned a Thref yng Nghymru ei adroddiad terfynol gan wneud nifer o argymhellion. Dywed yr Archwilydd Cyffredinol fod hyn bellach yn rhoi cyfle i gynghorau Tref a Chymuned fyfyrio ar y gwasanaethau y maent yn eu darparu i’w cymunedau ac effaith ariannol unrhyw ddatblygiadau arfaethedig. Mae angen iddynt ystyried eu swyddogaeth yn y dyfodol a sut y bydd hyn yn effeithio ar eu trefniadau rheoli ariannol.

Dywedodd yr Archwilydd Cyffredinol, Adrian Crompton: “Flwyddyn ar ôl blwyddyn, mae fy archwilwyr yn datgelu diffygion mewn cynghorau Tref a Chymuned ledled Cymru ac mae'r sefyllfa’n gwaethygu. Ni all hyn barhau. Gydag incwm yn cynyddu a mwy o gyfrifoldeb, mae angen i’r sector fynd i’r afael â rheolaeth ariannol, yn awr yn fwy nag erioed. Mae angen darllen ac ystyried fy adroddiad a gweithredu arno – fel bod cymunedau yng Nghymru yn cael y gwasanaethau a'r sicrwydd y maent yn briodol yn eu haeddu.”

Diwedd

Nodiadau i olygyddion:

  • Yr adroddiad hwn yw 7fed adroddiad blynyddol yr Archwilydd Cyffredinol i lywodraethu a rheoli ariannol mewn Cynghorau Tref a Chymuned. Mae'n crynhoi'r materion a nodwyd gan archwilwyr allanol yn ystod yr archwiliad statudol o gynghorau lleol yng Nghymru.
  • Mae dros 730 o Gynghorau Tref a Chymuned yng Nghymru. Mewn rhai achosion, mae’r cynghorau hyn yn darparu gwasanaethau ar y cyd drwy gydbwyllgorau a sefydlwyd ar gyfer gwasanaethau penodol, fel arfer gwasanaethau claddu. Ceir chwe phwyllgor ar y cyd yng Nghymru. Gyda'i gilydd, mae'r adroddiad hwn yn cyfeirio at y cyrff hyn fel cynghorau lleol.
  • Yr Archwilydd Cyffredinol yw archwilydd allanol statudol annibynnol y sector cyhoeddus datganoledig yng Nghymru. Mae'n gyfrifol am archwilio’r rhan fwyaf o'r arian cyhoeddus a warir yng Nghymru yn flynyddol, gan gynnwys y £15 biliwn o gyllid y pleidleisir arno bob blwyddyn gan y Cynulliad Cenedlaethol. Caiff elfennau o’r arian hwn eu trosglwyddo gan Lywodraeth Cymru i'r GIG yng Nghymru (dros £7 biliwn) ac i lywodraeth leol (dros £4 biliwn).
  • Mae annibyniaeth archwilio yr Archwilydd Cyffredinol yn hollbwysig. Caiff ei benodi gan y Frenhines, ac nid yw ei waith archwilio yn destun cyfarwyddyd na rheolaeth gan y Cynulliad Cenedlaethol na’r Llywodraeth.
  • Corff corfforaethol sy’n cynnwys naw aelod bwrdd statudol yw Swyddfa Archwilio Cymru. Mae’n cyflogi staff ac yn darparu adnoddau eraill i'r Archwilydd Cyffredinol, sydd hefyd yn Brif Weithredwr i’r Bwrdd ac yn Swyddog Cyfrifyddu. Mae’r Bwrdd yn monitro ac yn cynghori'r Archwilydd Cyffredinol ynghylch arfer ei swyddogaethau.

Current standard of financial management “disappointing” at too many town and community councils in Wales

Daffodils

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 8 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.”

Ends

Notes to Editors:

  • This report is the Auditor General’s 7th annual report into financial management and governance at Town and Community Councils. It summarises issues identified by external auditors during the statutory audit of local councils in Wales.
  • There are over 730 Town and Community Councils in Wales. In some cases, these councils jointly provide services through joint committees established for specific services, usually burial services. There are six joint committees in Wales. Collectively, this report refers to these bodies as local councils.
  • The Auditor General is the independent statutory external auditor of the devolved Welsh public sector. He is responsible for the annual audit of the majority of the public money spent in Wales, including the £15 billion of funds that are voted on annually by the National Assembly. Elements of this funding are passed by the Welsh Government to the NHS in Wales (over £7 billion) and to local government (over £4 billion).
  • The audit independence of the Auditor General is of paramount importance. He is appointed by the Queen, and his audit work is not subject to direction or control by the National Assembly or government.
  • The Wales Audit Office (WAO) is a corporate body consisting of a nine member statutory Board which employs staff and provides other resources to the Auditor General, who is also the Board’s Chief Executive and Accounting Officer. The Board monitors and advises the Auditor General, regarding the exercise of his functions.

Methiannau mewn llywodraethu a rheolaeth ariannol mewn mwy o gynghorau cymuned

Mae adroddiadau er budd y cyhoedd a gyhoeddwyd gan Archwilydd Cyffredinol Cymru yn amlygu methiannau mewn tri chyngor cymuned i gyrraedd safonau gofynnol

Mae Archwilydd Cyffredinol Cymru wedi cyhoeddi adroddiadau er budd y cyhoedd yn amlygu methiannau mewn trefniadau llywodraethu ac annigonolrwydd mewn rheolaeth ariannol mewn tri chyngor cymuned – Cadfarch, Glantwymyn a Llanbryn-mair.

Roedd materion tebyg wedi'u hamlygu ym mhob un o'r cynghorau. Yn nodweddiadol, roedd y rhain yn cynnwys y canlynol:

  • Methu â chyflwyno cyfrifon blynyddol i’w harchwilio yn unol â'r amserlen statudol
  • Tystiolaeth annigonol i gadarnhau p'un a roddwyd trefniadau priodol ar waith ai peidio ar gyfer ymarfer hawliau etholwyr
  • Methu â gweinyddu’r gyflogres a’r cynllun Talu Wrth Ennill (PAYE) yn gywir
  • Methu â pharatoi cyllideb yn gywir
  • Methu â chynnal system archwilio mewnol sy’n ddigonol ac effeithiol
  • Methu â chadw cofnodion cyfarfodydd ar y ffurf a ragnodir gan y gyfraith
  • Methu â chydymffurfio â dyletswyddau cyfreithiol i fabwysiadu cod ymddygiad ar gyfer aelodau ac i gynnal cofrestr o fuddiannau aelodau 
  • Nid yw pob dogfen angenrheidiol wedi'i chyhoeddi ar wefan y cyngor

Roedd pob un o'r tri chyngor hyn yn ddibynnol ar yr un unigolyn allweddol, a gafodd effaith ar y gwaith o gyflawni’r gofynion statudol ar gyfer y cynghorau hyn. Mae pob adroddiad yn rhoi sawl argymhelliad tebyg i'r cynghorau i'w helpu i wella llywodraethu, rheolaeth ariannol a phrosesau adrodd.

Dywedodd Adrian Crompton, yr Archwilydd Cyffredinol:

“Mae'r materion a nodwyd yn yr adroddiadau hyn yn amlygu'r ddibyniaeth y mae cynghorau'n ei rhoi ar unigolion unigol. Mae angen i gynghorau fod yn llawn ymwybodol o'u dyletswyddau statudol a chymryd camau gweithredu priodol i sicrhau eu bod yn cael eu cynnal bob tro. Mae yma wersi pwysig y gall pob cyngor cymuned eu dysgu o'r methiannau a amlygwyd yn y tri chyngor hyn.

“Mae tua 735 o gynghorau tref a chymuned lleol yng Nghymru. Mae'r mwyafrif helaeth yn gweithio i safon uchel iawn. Mae'n siomedig, felly, y ceir nifer cymharol fach ond parhaus nad ydynt yn cyrraedd y safon a ddisgwylir gan gyrff a swyddogion cyhoeddus.

“Mae angen sicrhau'r cyhoedd fod gan gynghorau tref a chymuned drefniadau llywodraethu priodol yn eu lle i reoli gweithgarwch y cyngor yn ariannol ac yn weinyddol. Rwy'n parhau i ystyried adroddiadau er budd y cyhoedd ar nifer o gynghorau cymuned eraill am resymau tebyg i'r rhai a grybwyllwyd yma.”

Failures in governance and financial management at more community councils

Reports in the public interest issued by the Auditor General for Wales highlight failures in three community councils to meet required standards

The Auditor General for Wales has published reports in the public interest highlighting failures in governance arrangements and inadequacies in financial management at three community councils – Cadfarch, Glantwymyn and Llanbrynmair.

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;
  • Insufficient evidence to confirm whether or not proper arrangements have been made for the exercise of electors’ rights;
  • Failure to properly administer payroll and PAYE;
  • Failure to properly prepare a budget;
  • Failure to maintain an adequate and effective system of internal audit;
  • Failure to keep minutes of meetings in the form prescribed by law;
  • Failure to comply with legal duties to adopt a Code of Conduct for members and to maintain a register of members’ interests; and
  • Not all necessary documents have been published on the council website.

These three councils were all dependent on the same key person which impacted on the delivery of the statutory requirements for these councils. Each report makes several similar recommendations to the councils to help improve governance, financial management and reporting.

Adrian Crompton, Auditor General said:

“The issues identified in these reports highlight the reliance that councils place on a single individual. Councils need to be fully aware of their statutory duties and take appropriate action to ensure they are always carried out. There are important lessons which all community councils can learn from the failures at these three 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 public need to be assured that town and community councils have proper governance arrangements in place to manage the activities of the council both financially and administratively. I continue to consider reports in the public interest on several other community councils for similar reasons to those reported here.”

Mae angen dull mwy cydlynol o reoli cymorth ariannol i fusnesau ar Lywodraeth Cymru

Mae'r dull presennol yn rhy 'dameidiog', ond mae'n dechrau cael ei ailwampio

Ni wnaeth Llywodraeth Cymru lwyr wireddu ei gweledigaeth am adnewyddu economaidd mewn rhaglen gydlynol o gymorth ariannol i fusnesau, gan ganolbwyntio yn lle hynny ar reoli prosiectau unigol. Mae angen iddi hefyd ddangos yn fwy eglur yr hyn y mae'r cymorth hwn yn ei gyflawni.

Dyna gasgliad adroddiad a gyhoeddwyd gan Archwilydd Cyffredinol Cymru. Mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn dechrau ailwampio ei dull o ddarparu cymorth ariannol i fusnesau, drwy weledigaeth strategol newydd. 

Rhwng Ebrill 2014 a Mawrth 2017, neilltuodd tîm Sectorau a Busnes Llywodraeth Cymru oddeutu £219 miliwn i helpu busnesau i greu neu ddiogelu swyddi, a gwariwyd ychydig dros £167 miliwn ganddynt yn ystod yr un cyfnod. Mae'r arian hwn wedi cynorthwyo amrywiaeth o ddiwydiannau – gan gynnwys gweithgynhyrchu, adeiladu, y diwydiannau creadigol a’r gwyddorau bywyd. Mae dyfarniadau i fusnesau mawr yn tueddu i ddenu cyhoeddusrwydd, ond aeth hanner o'r cyllid newydd tuag at gefnogi swyddi mewn busnesau bach a chanolig. Er bod rhai busnesau proffil uchel wedi methu, gwnaeth y rhan fwyaf o'r prosiectau eraill a gefnogwyd gyflawni eu hamcanion a, phan na wnaethant, llwyddodd Llywodraeth Cymru i gael oddeutu hanner yr arian a ddarparwyd yn ôl.

Ond canfu'r adroddiad nad yw rhai busnesau wedi cael digon o eglurdeb ynghylch pa gymorth ariannol sydd ar gael gan Lywodraeth Cymru a sut i gael mynediad ato. Daw i'r casgliad hefyd fod Llywodraeth Cymru wedi monitro prosiectau unigol ar wahân, ond heb reoli cymorth ariannol i fusnesau fel rhaglen nac adrodd yn rheolaidd ar yr hyn y mae ei chymorth yn ei gyflawni'n gyffredinol.

Canfu'r adroddiad nad yw'r systemau gwybodaeth presennol yn ei gwneud hi'n hawdd i Lywodraeth Cymru roi darlun llawn o'r cymorth ariannol a roddir a'i effaith. Mae Llywodraeth Cymru wrthi'n ailwampio ei dull o ddarparu cymorth ariannol i fusnesau nawr drwy ddull strategol a model gweithredu newydd.

Mae'r adroddiad yn galw ar Lywodraeth Cymru i ddatblygu rhaglen fwy cydlynol, a gefnogir gan wybodaeth reoli gynhwysfawr ac amserol, a dull mwy clir o ddiffinio a rheoli'r lefelau risg derbyniol ar lefel rhaglen.

Dywedodd yr Archwilydd Cyffredinol, Adrian Crompton: "Rhaid i Lywodraeth Cymru allu dangos yn glir ac yn dryloyw sut mae ei chymorth ariannol i fusnesau'n darparu gwerth am arian, drwy wella'r economi a chyfrannu at amcanion llesiant ehangach. Mae'r dull presennol yn rhy dameidiog. Fodd bynnag, os bydd Llywodraeth Cymru yn rhoi fy argymhellion ar waith, gall wella'r sefyllfa hon wrth iddi ddatblygu trefniadau i gefnogi ei Chynllun Gweithredu Economaidd newydd.”

Welsh Government needs a more coordinated approach for managing financial support for business

Current approach too ‘piecemeal’, although it’s starting to be overhauled

The Welsh Government didn’t fully translate its vision for economic renewal into a coordinated programme of financial support to businesses, instead focusing on managing individual projects. It also needs to demonstrate more clearly what this support achieves.

That’s the conclusion of a report by the Auditor General for Wales. The Welsh Government is beginning to overhaul its approach to providing financial support to business, through a new strategic vision. 

The Welsh Government’s Sectors and Business team committed around £219 million between April 2014 and March 2017 to help businesses create or safeguard jobs and spent just over £167 million during that same period. This funding has supported a range of industries - including manufacturing, construction, the creative industries and life sciences. Awards to large businesses tend to attract publicity but half of the new finance awarded was to support jobs in small and medium-sized enterprises. Although there have been some high-profile business failures, most of the other projects supported met their objectives and, where they did not, the Welsh Government recovered around half of the funds provided.

But the report found that there has been a lack of clarity for some businesses about what Welsh Government financial support is available and how to access it. It also concludes that the Welsh Government has monitored individual projects separately but has not managed financial support to businesses as a programme or reported routinely on what its support achieves overall.

The report found that current information systems do not make it easy for the Welsh Government to give a full picture of the financial support that is given and its impact. The Welsh Government is now starting to overhaul its approach to providing financial support to business through a new strategic approach and operating model.

The report calls on the Welsh Government to develop a more coordinated programme, supported by comprehensive and timely management information, and a clearer approach to define and manage acceptable levels of risk at a programme level.

Auditor General, Adrian Crompton said: “The Welsh Government must be able to demonstrate clearly and transparently how its financial support to businesses provides value for money, both by improving the economy and contributing to wider well-being objectives. The current approach is too piecemeal. However, if the Welsh Government implements my recommendations, it can improve this position as it develops arrangements to support its new Economic Action Plan.”