Agenda item



The Committee considered the Audit Wales’ report on Carmarthenshire’s Digital Strategy Review. Whilst the review had been undertaken as part of a National Review, individual reports had been prepared for each Council. For Carmarthenshire, the report examined the extent to which its strategic approach to digital services had been developed in accordance with the sustainable development principle and it was hoped that it would help to secure value for money in the use of the Council’s resources with the following key findings having been made:


·       The Council has a clearly articulated strategic approach to digital, that is informed by a good understanding of current and future trends and is understood by key elected members and officers.

·       There are strong governance arrangements to monitor the progress of digital projects supported by implementation plans that include milestone and performance measures.

·       The Council has also reviewed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the delivery of its digital strategy and has applied learning from this to inform its strategic approach.

·       The Council’s arrangements could be further strengthened through improved public engagement, clarifying how it could contribute to the national well-being goals and further exploring opportunities for partnership working.

·       The Council also aims to monitor value for money via project post-implementation reviews, however, these are not always completed, and achievement of savings is not always monitored.


The report had also identified four recommendations (as detailed in the report) and the Councils’ response thereto was appended to the report:


The following issues were raised on the report:


Reference was made to Appendix 1 of the report detailing the questions Audit Wales sought to obtain answers for along with the criteria used to arrive at its findings. The Committee found the inclusion of the Appendix to be most informative in providing clarity and setting out the framework in which the audit had been conducted.


Whilst it was acknowledged an evaluation of any strategy generally could not be undertaken in a one size fits all category, clarification was sought on how the Council would evaluate the Digital Strategy. It was confirmed that key to evaluation was monitoring, and the council would be discussing with Audit Wales on how that could be best achieved. Key to that would be the monitoring of satisfaction rates, both quantitative and qualitative for services provided internally to council departments and externally with the Council’s residents.


With regard to a question on the monitoring of the report recommendations, it was confirmed that would form part of future progress reports to the Committee on regulatory recommendations, as detailed on item 8 of the agenda.


In response to a question on connectivity issues within the county especially the more rural areas it was accepted there was an issue and that over the past three years over £15m had been invested in that area and the new Digital Strategy, to be produced for 2024, would focus on increasing connectivity for the rest of the county’s residents. The Strategy would also have a focus on digital regeneration including improving digital skills and inclusion for the county’s residents.


UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED that the report be received and the Council’s responses to the recommendations be noted.

Supporting documents: