Watchdog queries how Newport councillors held to account
2:55pm Saturday 5th July 2014 in News
A REPORT from the Wales Audit Office has raised questions over how cabinet members on Newport council are held to account.
The audit body’s annual improvement report on Newport council has criticised how elected members have been given information by the council, and said it was unclear how cabinet members are appraised.
The report, which covers 2012-13 through until 2013-14, says the authority has progressed in achieving its objectives to improve, and its education service mostly performs at or above expected levels.
But it says the council is not achieving everything it set out to do in other key services.
The report re-iterates six recommendations previously given to the council by the WAO, including that the authority should ensure that elected members are provided with robust information at the earliest opportunity “to enable them to inform, take and challenge choices and decisions effectively.”
Auditors said that during 2012-13 members were “not always engaged in considering the full range of options and implications in a balanced and timely way to effective challenges and to make informed decisions.”
Auditors explained: “Cabinet members have delegated decision-making powers and responsibilities but it was unclear how they are appraised or held to account for their performance and portfolio responsibilities.”
The report will be considered by cabinet at its meeting on Monday.