Agenda and minutes

Audit & Governance Committee - Tuesday 3rd December 2013 6.00 pm

Venue: Orwell Room, Grafton House. View directions

Contact: Trisha Sutton  01473 432512

Items
No. Item

32.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Goonan.

33.

Unconfirmed Minutes of the meeting held on 3 September 2013 pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

that the Minutes of the meeting held on 3 September 2013 be signed as a true record.

34.

To Confirm the Dates of the Next Meetings

·         Tuesday 11 March 2014

·         Tuesday 17 June 2014

·         Tuesday 2 September 2014

·         Tuesday 9 December 2014

·         Tuesday 10 March 2014

Minutes:

34.1.     The last of the proposed dates should have been listed as ‘Tuesday 10 March 2015’.

 

Resolved:

 

that, subject to the correction above, the meetings of the Audit & Governance Committee be confirmed as printed on the Agenda, to commence at 6.00pm.

35.

To Confirm or Vary the Order of Business

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

that the Order of Business be confirmed as printed on the Agenda.

36.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

37.

AG/13/15 External Audit - Annual Audit Letter 2012/13 pdf icon PDF 37 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

37.1.     Ms Kennedy (PricewaterhouseCoopers) reported that the summary of the External Auditor’s findings of the 2012/13 Audit did not present any additional information from the previous report to Committee. 

 

Resolved:

 

that the Annual Audit Letter 2012-13, attached at Appendix 1 to the report, be noted.

38.

AG/13/16 Treasury Management Performance Update 2013/14 pdf icon PDF 135 KB

Minutes:

38.1.     Mr Hudson (Finance & Procurement Operations Manager) presented the mid-year Treasury Management Performance report, as required by the revised CIPFA Code of Practice on Treasury Management, and highlighted that the Council had received payment of £210,109 from Landsbanki in 2013/14.

38.2.     Mr Hudson reported that the Council had emergency arrangements in place with Barclays following Moody’s downgrading of the Co-op bank, and the new banking contract, to commence from 1 April 2014, was currently out to tender, with 3 bids received.  This would be a joint procurement with 4 other local authorities.

Resolved:

 

that the Treasury Management Operations for the period 1 April 2013 to 30 September 2013 be noted.

39.

AG/13/17 Actions Arising from Anti-Money Laundering Policy pdf icon PDF 46 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

39.1.     Mr Hudson reported that the only changes that had been made to the Anti-Money Laundering Policy and Guidance Notes were in relation to a change in Mr Hudson’s job title and Ms Martin taking over the role of Deputy Anti-Money Laundering Officer.  These changes were approved by the Committee.

39.2.     Mr Hudson reported that three cases of suspected money laundering had been reported to the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), which were in relation to Right to Buy purchases.  Mr Hudson confirmed that these sales had been allowed to proceed following advice from SOCA.

 

Resolved:

 

(i)           that the report be noted;

(ii)          that the changes to the Anti-Money Laundering Policy and Guidance Notes be approved.

40.

AG/13/18 Internal Audit Reports - Recently Issued pdf icon PDF 50 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Procurement (576)

40.1.    Councillor Le Grys expressed concern that Contract Standing Orders were not being complied with in many cases and requested that processes also be checked for contracts with a value less than £25,000, as there may be similar issues.  Councillor Knowles added that the problems were not restricted to procurement staff, but appeared to be endemic throughout the organisation, and asked what was being done to address this.

40.2.    Ms Martin (Audit Partnership Manager) confirmed that this was a corporate issue and it had been discussed at a recent Corporate Management Team (CMT) meeting.

40.3.    Mr Field (Head of Resource Management) further stated that all Heads of Service would be seeking improvement as a matter of urgency.  Procurement training was being progressed, and this course would be mandatory for all officers with financial responsibility.

Action: Ms Martin to feedback the response from CMT to the next meeting, together with an update on what actions have been taken in support of the recommendations raised in the Action Plan, and a further sample audit for contracts of a value less than £25,000.

40.4.    Mr Field added that procurement was also included in the Transformation Programme as a cross-cutting theme.

Creditors (592)

40.5.    Councillor Knowles raised concern at the low percentage (8%) of invoices where the goods received notes agreed with the invoice.  Ms Martin reported that training reminders had been sent out and this area would be included in next year’s audit as a compulsory item.

40.6.    Councillor Le Grys commented that some of the areas of weakness identified, e.g. ability to become a supplier without all of the form being completed and non-compliance with Contract Standing Orders, could leave the Council susceptible to fraud.

40.7.    Mr Field reported that the issues had been highlighted to CMT, and added that the Head of Corporate Services was currently reviewing Contract Standing Orders, Financial Standing Orders and the Employee Code of Conduct.

40.8.    Ms Martin reported that an update on the audit recommendations raised in the Action Plan would be reported to the next meeting.

Action: Ms Martin to provide an update on the audit recommendations raised in the Action Plan at the next meeting.


40.9.    Ms Kennedy reported that this area would be looked at as part of the next External Audit.

HEARS Income – Home Emergency Alarm System (613)

40.10. Councillor Goldsmith asked whether any progress had been made on the new application form for the HEARS service. 

Action: Ms Martin to provide an update to Committee members.

Housing Rents (621)

 

40.11. Ms Martin reported that contextual information would be provided in next year’s report in relation to the Housing Rents Collection Data table.

Ipswich Market Income (634)

40.12. Councillor Harsant raised concern about procedures not being followed.  Councillor Knowles reported that the Council had recently taken over responsibility for Ipswich Market and the issues were being progressed.  Ms Martin reported that an update on the audit recommendations in the Action Plan would be reported to the next meeting.

Action:  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.

41.

AG/13/19 Museums Merged Services - Internal Audit Report pdf icon PDF 53 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

41.1.    Ms Martin reported that the findings of the Internal Audit of the Joint Museums Service (carried out by Deloitte) and a revised Audit Protocol had been presented to the Joint Museums Committee. 

41.2.    Ms Martin highlighted that certain tests previously requested by the Audit & Governance Committee in respect of Ipswich Museums had not been in this Audit Review, but Colchester Borough Council was currently producing its Audit Plan for 2014/15, and it was hoped that these tests would be included in next year’s Internal Audit of the Joint Museums Service.

41.3.    Councillor Le Grys raised concern that the collections inventory was not fully up-to-date, as Ipswich Museum had valuable collections that were loaned out to other museums, as well as borrowing collections from other organisations.

41.4.    Councillor Knowles commented that there needed to be consistency between insurance obligations and operational practices. The collections could not be replaced, but needed to be insured against damage and investigation and recovery in the event of theft.

41.5.    Ms Martin reported that an update would be provided at the next meeting following discussions with the Finance Manager (Audit & Governance) at Colchester Borough Council.

Action: Ms Martin to provide an update on the Internal Audit of the Joint Museums Service at the next meeting.

 

Resolved:

 

that the following documents be noted by the Audit & Governance Committee:

 

1.            The Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service Joint Committee report dated 5 November 2013.

 

2.            The Colchester & Ipswich Joint Museums Service – Audit Protocol dated September 2013.

Councillor Lockington left the meeting.

42.

AG/13/20 Audit & Governance Committee Work Programme pdf icon PDF 40 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

42.1.     No further actions were requested in relation to the proposed Work Programme.

 

Resolved:

 

that the Audit & Governance Committee Work Programme 2013/14 be noted.

43.

Exclusion of Public

To consider excluding the public (including the Press) from the meeting during consideration of the following item(s) under section 100(A) of the Local Government Act 1972 as it is likely that if members of the public were present during that item there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined within paragraphs 1 & 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

 

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

that the public (including the Press) be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following item under section 100(A) of the Local Government Act as it would be likely that if members of the public were present during these items there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined within paragraphs 1 & 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

44.

AG/13/21 Status of Internal Audit Recommendations

45.

AG/13/22 Internal Audit Reports - Recently Issued NFP