Agenda and minutes

Audit & Governance Committee - Tuesday 7th June 2016 6.00 pm

Venue: Gipping 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 2016/17 municipal year.

 

1.1      The Chair welcomed newly elected Councillor Barber to the Committee and also Councillor Fisher who was in attendance as a substitute.  He also welcomed Councillor Maguire to the Committee in his capacity as an existing Councillor.   

2.

Appointment of Vice-Chair

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

that Councillor Leeder be appointed as Vice-Chair of the Audit & Governance Committee for the municipal year 2016/17.

3.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor R Pope.

4.

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Meeting held on 1 March 2016 pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Minutes:

4.1      An amendment be made to Minute Number 52.1 to read … ‘the report would be submitted to Executive on 8 March 2016’.

 

Resolved:

 

that the minutes of the meeting held on 1 March 2016, with the amendment above, be signed as a true record.

5.

To confirm the dates of the next meetings:-

·         Tuesday 30 August 2016

·         Tuesday 13 December 2016

·         Tuesday 28 February 2017

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

that the dates of future meetings be confirmed as printed on the Agenda, with meetings 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/16/01 Treasury Management Performance 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 121 KB

Minutes:

8.1      The Head of Resource Management introduced Seb Duncan, Finance Advisor who drew attention to the actual investment income of £303,648 which was an increase on that which was forecast.   In answer to a question from Councillor Leeder about the amount of investment income if the repayment from Heritable Bank had not been received, the Head of Resource Management confirmed that even without the repayment the forecast would have been exceeded however, he would circulate details of the actual repayment amount from Heritable Bank to the Councillors on the Committee. 

 

8.2      Mr Hanson asked for information on the range of current interest rates within the analysis of the money market funds and the Head of Resource Management agreed to circulate this information to the Committee.

 

            Resolved:

 

            that the Treasury Management operations for the period 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016, be noted.

9.

AG/16/02 Review of IBC Corporate Risk Register 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 103 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

9.1      The Head of Resource Management explained that this standard report was submitted to the Committee every 6 months and was also reviewed by the Corporate Management Team. 

 

9.2      Mr Hanson asked what the commercial opportunities were as part of CRR-1 - ‘Business Planning and Management risk’.  The Head of Resource Management confirmed that a range of income generating opportunities were considered in the operational plans, one of which was an arms-length company (IBC Assets) which had recently been set up to look at commercial opportunities.

 

9.3      In respect of CRR-12 – ‘Failure to secure a positive Devolution deal involving Ipswich’, the Head of Resource Management confirmed that a negative Devolution deal for IBC would not be considered.  The Chair confirmed that although the timescale for completion was December 2016, a formal decision was due to be considered by the end of June 2016. 

 

9.4      In response to a question from Mr Hanson it was confirmed that ‘JEPU’ was the Joint Emergency Planning Unit, a Suffolk County Council led organisation into which all District and Borough Councils put resource for a consistent approach to emergency planning across Suffolk.    

 

            Resolved:

 

1.    that the updated Corporate Risk Register (CRR) for 2016/17, attached at Appendix 1 to report Ref No: AG/16/02, be agreed.

 

2.    that the Audit & Governance Committee review the Corporate Risk Register at the December 2016 meeting.

10.

AG/16/03 Fighting Fraud & Corruption Locally 2016-19 pdf icon PDF 87 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

10.1    The Head of Internal Audit presented this report aimed at those charged with governance and provided the details of the recently published local government counter fraud and corruption strategy.  The Corporate Fraud Service aimed to follow the good practices within the document to raise awareness of national issues and provide assurances on the strategy provided by the in house service.

 

10.2    It was confirmed that a refreshed Anti-Fraud and Corruption Strategy would be submitted to the Committee at the August 2016 meeting.  

 

Resolved:

 

that the local government counter fraud and corruption strategy 2016-19, ‘Fighting Fraud & Corruption Locally’, attached at Appendix 1 to report Ref No: AG/16/03, be noted.

11.

AG/16/04 Corporate Fraud - Annual Report 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 109 KB

Minutes:

11.1    The Head of Internal Audit presented this report which detailed the type of work referred to the Corporate Fraud Service since the Benefit Fraud Investigators transferred to the Department of Work and Pensions in May 2015.  Apart from the preventative work undertaken, the notional savings of £1,746,114 were considered as excellent value for money, against the cost of the service.

 

11.2    It was confirmed that the caseload per Officer had increased and in terms of clarifying the types of Tenancy Fraud, the Officer agreed to expand on this during the training which would be held prior to the next meeting.  It was agreed to e-mail some details about cases, often involving other organisations using inter-agency work, which had been confirmed as suspicious and the details of the hotline for reporting.   

 

            Resolved:

 

            that the performance of the Corporate Fraud Service for the financial year ending 31 March 2016, be noted.

12.

AG/16/05 Internal Audit Reports - Recently Issued pdf icon PDF 96 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

12.1    Tourist Information Centre Financial Management (DPP007)

 

            It had been noted that the Tourist Information Centre had recently been closed for stocktake for a day during the Easter holidays.  It was under consideration how to undertake the stock take during next year whilst remaining open. 

 

Resolved:

 

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

 

1.    New Capital Programme process (RM026)

2.    Asset Management (CC005)

3.    Tourist Information Centre Financial Management (DPP007)

4.    RAM ICT Key Controls 2015-16 (RM023)

5.    Parks and Open Spaces (CCS006)

6.    NRB ICT Key Controls (SRPi005)

13.

AG/16/06 Annual Internal Audit Report 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 163 KB

Minutes:

13.1    The Head of Internal Audit presented this report which detailed the work undertaken by the Internal Audit Service during the year 2015/16, those still in progress and also included was the Head of Internal Audit’s Opinion, as required by CIPFA.

 

13.2    The Council’s Internal Audit staffing structure was explained and it was reported that interviews were soon to take place for a full time Senior Auditor (which was currently vacant).

 

13.3    An amendment was made to section 10.1 of the report which should read ‘There have been no whistleblowing investigations carried out in 2015-16’.

 

13.4    The three key areas highlighted which the Internal Audit Services considered to be in need of improvement to further governance and control were detailed at item 11.1 of the report.  The Chair expressed the expectation that significant steps were being taken towards full compliance within these areas.  The Head of Internal Audit explained that the Procurement Department was currently going through a phase of Transformation which should be concluded by August 2016.

 

 13.5   Councillor Leeder asked whether consideration of the items within the Internal Audit Plan was a continual process and whether a risk related approach to income generation was reviewed.  The Officer replied that key systems were looked at using a three year process, any changes were mapped, the existing flowcharts were updated and risks re-evaluated.  In respect of Asset Management, once the Asset Management Strategy had been aligned to the Councils Corporate Plan, there would be more opportunity to ensure that significant control would be added to the Council’s value.  

 

13.6    Councillor Phillips asked for clarification of ‘any serious delays’ and at what point the Corporate Management Team (CMT) would feel it was ‘necessary’ to report the failure to meet the due date to the Committee, within the implementation of audit recommendations.  The Officer assured the Committee that the process enabled CMT to seek evidence on both the advice and the recommendations put forward and Internal Audit Services actively monitored the implementation.

 

13.7    The Chair asked for the Committee to be supplied with photographs of all the Fraud and Audit Team to identify those delivering the service and the Officer to let the Committee know the outcome of the pending interviews.

 

            Resolved:

 

1.    that the Internal Audit Performance/Outturn for 2015/16 be noted.

 

2.    that the Head of Internal Audit’s Annual Audit Opinion for 2015/16 be noted and the Committee requested that there be significant progress by the next meeting, in respect of the three areas whose governance and controls had been indicated as requiring improvement.       

 

14.

AG/16/07 Audit & Governance Committee Future Work Programme 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

14.1    It was agreed that the Anti-Fraud & Corruption Strategy would be added to the Audit & Governance Committee Future Work Programme 2016/17 for the August 2016 meeting.

 

14.2    The Chair requested that a short report be brought to the next meeting about the Food Standards Agency hygiene rating at the Corn Exchange in King Street.

 

14.3    Mr Hanson requested that Suffolk County Council be invited to update at a future meeting on the progress made to date to reduce the Pensions deficit.   

           

            Resolved:

 

            that the Audit & Governance Future Work Programme 2016/17, with the amendments as detailed above, be noted.

15.

Exclusion of Public

To consider excluding the public (including the Press) from the meeting during consideration of the following item 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 paragraph 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 items under section 100(A) of the Local Government Act 1972 as it was likely that if members of the public were present during the item there would be disclosure to them of exempt information falling within Paragraphs 3 & 4 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

16.

AG/16/08 Status of Internal Recommendations NFP

17.

AG/16/09 Internal Audit Reports - Recently Issued NFP