Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Jo Maskell 

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of Interest

Councillors’ declarations of interest (if any) in relation to any matters on the agenda.

Minutes:

Councillor Simon Carter declared a non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 14 (Internal Audit Activity Report) as a Council appointed director of HTS (Property and Environment) Ltd.

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 34 KB

To agree the minutes of the meeting held on 8 March 2017.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the meeting held on 8 March 2017 are agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chair, subject to the substitution of  ‘2016/17’ in place of  ‘2017/18’ in the text of Minute 47.

3.

Matters Arising

Minutes:

Review of Audit & Standards Committee Terms of Reference (Minute 49)

 

It was noted that proposed amendments to the delegation ‘for the approval of the Council’s statement of accounts’ would now be considered by the Constitution Panel, as opposed to the submission of a report to the next meeting of this Committee.

4.

Written Questions and Petitions

Minutes:

None.

5.

Non Contentious Business

Minutes:

RESOLVED that agenda item 7 (Committee Work Plan) is taken as non-contentious business.

6.

Committee Work Plan pdf icon PDF 24 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Committee’s work plan for the 2017/18 municipal year be noted.

7.

Local Government Audit Committee Briefing pdf icon PDF 675 KB

Briefing document received from the external auditor.

Minutes:

The Committee received a briefing paper from the external auditor, which highlighted current governmental and economic issues which might have an impact on the Council.

 

This included the Gender Pay Gap Regulations, which had come into effect from April 2017 and required the Council to publish various statistics for gender pay gaps. 

 

            RESOLVED that

 

(a)       the briefing paper is noted;

 

(b)       an update on the Council’s Gender Pay Gap Policy be provided to a future meeting of this Committee.

8.

External Audit Update Report - June 2017 pdf icon PDF 245 KB

Minutes:

The Committee received a report from the external auditor which gave an overview of the work undertaken and yet to be undertaken in relation to the 2016/17 audit.

 

            RESOLVED that the report is noted.

9.

Annual Audit and Certification Fees 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 211 KB

Minutes:

The Committee received a letter from the external auditors which set out the audit and certification work they proposed to undertake for the 2017/18 financial year, together with an indication of the fees to be charged for this work.

 

            RESOLVED that the letter and its contents are noted.

10.

Annual Governance Statement 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 22 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report containing the proposed Annual Governance Statement, which would accompany the Council’s Statement of Accounts for 2016/17.

 

RESOLVED that

 

(a)       the heading of the second column in Table Two be amended to read ‘Action to be taken in 17/18’;

 

(b)       the Annual Governance Statement for 2016/17 (as amended above) is recommended to Cabinet for approval.

11.

Internal Audit Annual Report 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee reviewed the Internal Audit Annual Report and appendices, which summarised the results of internal audit work undertaken during 2016/17 and gave an overall opinion on the Council’s governance, risk management and control framework. 

 

It was noted that, based upon the results of the work undertaken by Internal Audit during the year, the Internal Audit Manager was satisfied that the Council had adequate and effective governance, risk management arrangements and control processes.

 

The Committee highlighted Lone Working Protocols and ICT Disaster Recovery as being of concern as they had each received ‘moderate assurance’ status in the report. These concerns were being addressed through the Internal Audit Recommendation Tracker (See Minute 13 below).

 

RESOLVED that it is agreed that, for the 12 months ended March 2017, the Council has operated adequate and effective governance, risk management arrangements and control processes.

12.

Audit & Standards Annual Report pdf icon PDF 39 KB

Minutes:

The Committee received an initial annual report which, for the first time, outlined its work and achievements during the year ending 31 March 2017.

 

The report demonstrated how the effective operation of this Committee had formed a key element of the Council’s assurance framework.  Members of the Committee were keen to publicise the good work undertaken by this Committee and agreed it would reassure residents if a press release were issued.

 

            RESOLVED that

 

(a)       the report is noted;

 

(b)       a press release be issued outlining the remit of the Audit & Standards Committee and explaining its role in ensuring internal accountability and the robustness of corporate governance and risk management arrangements.

13.

Internal Audit Activity Report pdf icon PDF 55 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report on the work undertaken by the Internal Audit Team since the last update to this Committee in March 2017 and included the recommendation tracker, which monitored the implementation of recommendations arising from various internal audits.

 

It was noted that the 2016/17 Audit Plan had been completed and work had commenced on the 2017/18 Plan.

 

In light of the concerns about lone workers and ICT disaster recovery raised earlier in this meeting (Minute 11 refers), the Committee was further appraised of the actions being taken to address these issues by way of the Recommendation Tracker.

 

It was noted that protocols were in place for lone workers and audit recommendations were being addressed and monitored by the Safety Committee.  It was agreed that these protocols would be circulated to all Councillors for information and consideration would be given to expanding them to include Councillors undertaking case work.

 

It was noted that work was progressing on updating the IT Disaster Recovery Plan.  This would be informed by the Business Continuity Plan, which was currently being reviewed and due for completion by 31 March 2018.  The Committee was keen to ensure the continuity of ICT systems after a disaster.

 

Further to Minute 52 (8/3/17), members of the Committee were encouraged to complete and return their skills and knowledge questionnaires, in order that training provision could be tailored as required.  In the meantime, three training sessions on specific topics were proposed.

 

            RESOLVED that

 

(a)       the activity report is noted;

 

(b)       as potential ‘lone workers’ the protocol be expanded to include Councillors and in the meantime all Councillors be advised of the current Lone Worker Protocols;

 

(b)       the proposed 2017/18 training programme is approved.

14.

References from other Committees

Any references arising from meetings held after the publication of this agenda will be circulated separately.

 

Minutes:

None.

15.

Matters of Urgent Business

Such other business which, in the opinion of the Chairman, should be considered as a matter of urgency by reason of special circumstances to be specified in the minutes.

 

Minutes:

None.