Agenda and minutes

Audit & Governance Committee - Tuesday 1st July 2014 6.00 pm

Venue: Orwell Room, Grafton House. View directions

Contact: Trisha Sutton  01473 432512

Items
No. Item

1.

Election of Chair

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

that Councillor J Cook be elected as Chair of the Audit & Governance Committee for the municipal year 2014/15.

2.

Appointment of Vice Chair

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

that Councillor D Goldsmith be elected as Vice-Chair of the Audit & Governance Committee for the municipal year 2014/15.

3.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

3.1       Apologies for absence were received from Mr A Hanson.

4.

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Meeting held on 11 March 2014 pdf icon PDF 56 KB

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

that the minutes of the meeting held on 11 March 2014 be signed as a true record.

5.

To confirm the dates of the next meetings:

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Tuesday 9 December 2014

Tuesday 3 March 2015

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

that the meetings of the Audit & Governance Committee be as printed on the agenda, to commence at 6.00pm.

6.

To Confirm or Vary the Order of Business

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

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

7.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

8.

AG/14/01 Corporate Counter Fraud - Annual Report 2013/14 pdf icon PDF 101 KB

Minutes:

8.1      The Audit Partnership Manager presented this report which provided a summary of the performance of the Corporate Counter Fraud Service for the period 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014.  The fraud teams from Babergh District Council and Mid Suffolk District Council had amalgamated on 1 April 2011 and links also operated between the Fraud Team at Suffolk Coastal District Council and Waveney District Council. 

 

8.2      The £684,000 identified in benefit related fraud and error overpayments had far exceeded the budget of £420,000 set aside for the team which operates with 7.6 full time equivalent Officers.

 

8.3      A future report would be brought to the Committee about the significant changes expected to the Corporate Fraud Service due to the emergence of a Single Fraud Investigation Service (SFIS) across England as of 1 May 2015.

 

8.4      In response to a question about how fraud referrals were filtered the Audit Partnership Manager explained that a risk matrix assessment of every prospective fraud was undertaken to assess the quality of the referral evidence and the financial limits to comply to a best practice standard.

 

8.5      In respect of ‘Right to Buy’ applications, checks had been introduced into the process to assess the legitimate entitlement of the applicant to receive discount which resulted in three applications being refused and 15 applications being withdrawn after fraud service involvement.      

 

8.6      The Audit & Governance Committee noted that the future changes meant a period of uncertainty for the Corporate Fraud Team however; all the staff involved were thanked for their work in identifying the high proportion of fraud during 2013/14.

 

Resolved:

 

that the performance of the Corporate Counter Fraud Team for the year ending 31 March 2014, be noted.

9.

AG/14/02 Revised Risk Management Strategy & Associated Action Plan pdf icon PDF 70 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

9.1    The Head of Resource Management presented the annual review of the Risk Management Strategy and Action Plan which had been updated in accordance with recommendations in the Internal Risk Management report.  As a result of one such recommendation, risk tolerance levels and risk appetite had now been included in the Risk Management Strategy.

 

9.2    Following discussion it was agreed that a briefing session on Performance & Risk Management would be arranged as part of the Council’s Corporate Leaning & Development programme before the next Audit & Governance Committee meeting.

 

Action: A briefing session on Performance & Risk Management to be arranged.

 

            Resolved:

 

that the revised Risk Management Strategy, the associated action plan and that a briefing session on Performance and Risk Management be arranged, be agreed.

10.

AG/14/03 Review of IBC Corporate Risk Register 2014/15 pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

10.1    The Head of Resource Management presented this report which identified the 15 key risks encountered by the Council as a result of monthly monitoring by the Corporate Management Team using the business planning process.    

 

10.2    The Head of Resource Management gave the following responses to questions posed by members:-

 

i)             CRR-10 Governance - no strict criteria existed to define ‘a key supplier.’ This risk was focussed on procurement activities so did not apply to the community grant funding process. 

ii)            CRR-8 Emergency Planning - risks were reviewed by each operational area on a regular basis working with the Joint Emergency Planning Unit (JEPU) to ensure an appropriate response to managing external threats.

iii)           CRR-6 People – A review of management development was being undertaken.

iv)                CRR-14 Strategic – The Head of Housing & Customer Services to provide a response to members about the 2019 timescale of a development project plan about the failure to deliver the council house building programme.

 

Action: The Head of Housing & Customer Services to provide a response about the development of the project plan for council house building being 2019.

 

Resolved:

 

that the Corporate Risk Register (CRR) for 2014/15, and the action detailed above, be agreed.  

11.

AG/14/04 Internal Audit - Annual Report and Head of Internal Audit Opinion 2013/14 pdf icon PDF 135 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

11.1    The Audit Partnership Manager explained that the assurance levels of the planned audit work were sound with the exception of the following three areas:- Procurement, Business Continuity and Contract Management.  An improved action plan, to update the Procurement Strategy and align it to legal and operational procedures and also to strengthen the Contract Management Strategy to enable effective and administration of contracts, was being undertaken.  Work was also in place to review Business Continuity Plans and demonstrate further evidence that appropriate arrangements were in place, and that an ICT Disaster Recovery Plan existed in the event of the loss of HQ.  In response to concerns the Officer agreed to re-issue an updated Internal Audit & Corporate Governance Control document for Procurement

 

Action: The Audit Partnership Manager to re-issue the Internal Audit report re: Procurement.

 

            Resolved:

 

1.    that the Internal Audit performance/outturn for 2013/14 and the action detailed above, be noted.

 

2.    that the Head of Internal Audit’s Annual Audit Opinion for 2013/14, be noted.

12.

AG/14/05 Internal Audit - Status of Recommendations pdf icon PDF 54 KB

Minutes:

12.1    The Audit Partnership Manager presented this report which informed the Committee of the status of agreed audit recommendations, complete, pending or overdue, as a result of Internal Audit reviews up to 31 May 2014.  Although improved progress on the past years overdue figures was noted, further information on the overdue recommendations was requested and the Officer agreed to supply this, particularly those of high importance.

 

            Action:  The Officer to supply further information on the overdue recommendations, in particular those of High Importance.  

 

            Resolved:

 

            that the Internal Audit, Status of Recommendations report and the action detailed above, be noted.

             

13.

AG/14/06 Internal Audit - Recently Issued Reports pdf icon PDF 51 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

13.1    The Audit Partnership Manager confirmed that in respect of Appendix 5 – Sports Centres – Financial Controls Review that recommendation 1 (Control Area – Petty Cash) all reconciliations should be managed regularly and a record of future transactions would be kept as evidence.    

 

            Resolved:

 

            that the contents of the Internal Audit reports on the following be noted and the recommendations within the following reports be endorsed.

 

            1.         Agresso IT Key Controls (622)

            2.         Benefit Changes (666)

            3.         IBC Housing Rents (649)

            4.         Procurement Cards 2013/14 (656)

            5.         Sports Centre – Financial Controls Review (646)

            6.         RAM IT Key Controls (624)

            7.         Treasury Management 2013/14 (643)

14.

AG/14/07 Internal Audit Charter pdf icon PDF 58 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

14.1    The Audit Partnership Manager presented this report and detailed that no major significant changes had been made except that the Audit Charter had been refreshed to include benchmarking and was now compliant with the Public Sector Internal Auditor Standards 2013.    

 

          Resolved:

 

          that the Internal Audit Service Audit Charter, attached at Appendix A to report Ref No: AG/14/07, be noted.

15.

AG/14/08 Treasury Management Performance - Annual Report 2013/14 pdf icon PDF 74 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

15.1    The Finance & Procurement Operations Manager presented this report which complimented the information supplied in the quarterly budget monitoring reports and requested a minor change to a minimum long term credit ratings required for 2014/15 investments.

 

15.2    Discussion took place about the cost of the decision to sell the remaining part of the investment in Landsbanki.

 

15.3    Following discussion it was agreed that a briefing session on the Treasury Management process would be arranged.

 

Action: A briefing session on the Treasury Management process to be arranged.

 

Resolved:

 

1.    that the Treasury Management Operations for the period 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014, be noted.

 

2.    that the minimum Long Term rating needed from Moody’s for Foreign Financial Institutions in 2014/15 be changed to Aa3.

16.

AG/14/09 Audit & Governance Committee Work Programme 2014/15 pdf icon PDF 40 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            Resolved:

 

            that the Audit & Governance Committee Work Programme 2014-2015, be agreed.

17.

Forthcoming Vacancy for the Appointment of an Independent Member of the Audit & Governance Committee (Verbal)

Minutes:

17.1    The Audit Partnership Manager explained that the four year term of office for the Independent Member of the Audit & Governance Committee was due to be renewed in October 2014.  In response to a question, it was reported that following a decision at Council on 27 October 2010, it was possible that the term of office of the current Independent Member could be extended for a further four years if appropriate.  A report detailing this would be brought to the next meeting.

 

            Resolved:

 

            that a report about the recruitment of the Independent Member be submitted to the next meeting. 

18.

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, 2, 3 & 4 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 items under section 100(A) of the Local Government Act 1972 as it is likely that if members of the public were present during the items there would be disclosure to them of exempt information falling within Paragraphs 1 & 3 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

19.

Unconfirmed Exempt Minutes of the meeting held on 11 March 2014

20.

AG/14/10 Internal Audit - Recently Issued Reports