WQ93146 (e) Tabled on 07/06/2024

Will the Cabinet Secretary publish the agreement and any terms of reference between the Welsh Government and the Valuation Office Agency in relation to the Agency's work for a council tax revaluation or the development of the automated valuation model?

Answered by Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Constitution and Cabinet Office | Answered on 13/06/2024

An annual Service Level Agreement between the Welsh Government and the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) is in place for the provision of council tax valuation services in Wales. The VOA has sole statutory responsibility for assessing the values of domestic properties in Wales for council tax purposes. As the VOA is an executive agency of HMRC, it is independent of the Welsh Government.

In relation to its work on council tax reform, the VOA is accountable to the Welsh Ministers as a result of s21(2) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, which allows the Welsh Ministers to set assumptions and principles. Currently, section 22B of the Act also allows for the date for a revaluation in Wales to be set by Welsh Ministers. However, the detailed methods of valuation are a matter for the VOA, and it is important that valuations are carried out independently.

The Chief Executive of the VOA is a HM Treasury appointed Accounting Officer, who is accountable for safeguarding the public funds for which the VOA is responsible for; and for the conduct of the agency’s day-to-day operations and management.