Agenda and minutes

Audit & Standards Committee
Wednesday, 17th June, 2015 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Centre

Contact: Jo Maskell, 01279446055, Email: jo.maskell@harlow.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of Interest

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

Minutes:

None.

 

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 36 KB

To agree the minutes of the meeting held on 4 March 2015.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 4 March 2015 are agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

3.

Matters Arising

Any matters arising from the meeting held on 4 March 2015.

Minutes:

(a)       Internal Audit Compliance with the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards (Minute 43 Refers)

 

Internal Audit Strategy and Plan 2015/16 (Minute 44 Refers)

 

In each of the above minute items, there was a reference to the title of ‘Head of Internal Audit’ in Committee reports being substituted with ‘Internal Audit Manager’.

 

However, the Head of Finance explained that Harlow Council’s ‘Internal Audit Manager’ post had been deleted, since the Council had entered into a shared service agreement with Broxbourne District Council.  That Council’s Head of Internal Audit now managed the internal audit teams in both Councils and, as from 1 June 2015, this also included managing Epping Forest District Council’s internal audit function.

4.

Written Questions and Petitions

To receive any questions and petitions in accordance with Council procedure rules.

Minutes:

None.

5.

Non Contentious Business

To agree which agenda items (if any) are taken as non-contentious business.

Minutes:

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

6.

Committee Work Plan pdf icon PDF 28 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Committee’s Work Plan for the 2015/16 municipal year is noted.

7.

Annual Governance Statement 2014/15 pdf icon PDF 31 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a covering report and the Annual Governance Statement, which would accompany the Council’s Statement of Accounts for 2014/15.

 

Members of the Committee raised two issues for further consideration.  Firstly that small teams with a low turnover should be especially taken into account with regard to succession planning; and secondly they enquired when the work undertaken by the Corporate Equalities Group would come to fruition.  The Head of Finance agreed to investigate the former and report back to a future meeting on the latter.

 

RESOLVED that

 

(a)       the Annual Governance Statement for 2014/15 be referred to the Cabinet for approval, subject to Page 16 of the agenda being incorporated in the Statement as an Appendix; and the correction of two typographical errors in the ‘Action Taken’ column of Table One as follows:

 

(i)         Item 3 – Substitute ‘Their’ with ‘Its’ in the second sentence.

 

(ii)        Item 6 – Substitute ‘London’ with ‘Local’ in the second sentence.

 

(b)       this Committee receives a report back on the work undertaken by the Corporate Equalities Group.

8.

Internal Audit Annual Report 2014/15 pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received the Internal Audit Annual Report for 2014/15, which summarised the results of internal audit work during that year and gave an overall opinion of the Council’s governance, risk management and control framework.

 

Members of the Committee considered the contents of the report and appendices as part of their review of the adequacy and effectiveness of internal control.

 

On behalf of the Committee, the Chairman congratulated the Internal Audit Team for exceeding the target percentage of audit plans completed for 2014/15 and for achieving 100% acceptance of their recommendations.

 

            RESOLVED that

 

(a)       the contents of the report and appendices are noted;

 

(b)       it is noted that, for the 12 months ended 31 March 2015, the Internal Audit Manager confirms that the Council has an adequate and effective governance, risk management and control framework.

9.

Internal Audit Activity Report pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report on the work undertaken by Internal Audit since the last update to this Committee in March 2015.  This included the Recommendation Tracker, which was used to monitor the implementation of recommendations arising from previous internal audits.

 

The Committee was concerned to note the time it had taken to formalise the pricing policy at the Latton Bush Centre, since the original recommendation had been raised.

 

            RESOLVED that

 

(a)       the contents of the report are noted;

 

(b)       the Head of Place is invited to the next meeting of the Committee to explain the delay in implementing Internal Audit’s recommendations regarding formalisation of the pricing policy at the Latton Bush Centre.

10.

References from other Committees

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

 

Minutes:

None.

11.

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.