Agenda and minutes

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Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of Interest

    Members are required to declare any disclosable pecuniary, personal or personal and prejudicial interests they may have and the nature of those interests relating to items on this agenda and/or indicate if S106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 applies to them.   

    Minutes:

    There were no declarations of interest.

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 62 KB

3.

Introduction to Mazars pdf icon PDF 157 KB

    To introduce the Council’s new external auditor.

    Minutes:

    The Council’s new external auditor Mazars, provided Members with a presentation on the work they would be doing for Rochdale Borough Council. The presentation covered, an introduction to Mazars, their ethos, Local Government audit expertise and the approach to the transition at Rochdale.

     

    The presentation also informed Members of their ambition and expectations that the Council could expect;

    ·         High quality auditor – you can rely on our opinions;

    ·         Good to work with - responsive, constructive, innovative;

    ·         Value for money – a fair fee for the audit and additional fees only where absolutely necessary and agreed with you and PSAA;

    ·         Adding value – insight and making the GM-wide picture count;

    ·         Meeting your needs (where consistent with audit independence) – specialist support;

    ·         Valued partner – social value contribution, sponsorship;

     

    The Committee welcomed the presentation from Mazars and thanked Grant Thornton for the work that had been undertaken in their tenure as external auditor.

     

    RESOLVED

     

    That the presentation be noted.

     

     

4.

Internal Audit Quarter 4 Report 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 197 KB

    To note the Internal Audit Quarter 4 report and evaluate the work undertaken by the Internal Audit Team.

    Minutes:

    The Head of Internal Audit presented to Members a report summarising the work of the Internal Audit Team during the fourth quarter period of 2017/18. The report enabled the Audit and Governance Committee, in accordance with their work programme and overall responsibility for governance, to scrutinise Internal Audit coverage during the fourth quarter of 2017/18 on all Services within the Council.

     

    It was reported that Internal Audit was able to provide either substantial or adequate assurance over the effectiveness of risk management in all the audits completed during the period with the exception of one relating to IT disaster recovery, which concluded with only limited assurance that key risks are being managed effectively.

     

    Members were informed that an action plan had been agreed by management to address all the issues raised by 31 March 2019 with various actions planned to be completed in the intervening period. It was noted that the work of Rochdale Borough Council Internal Audit was governed by the UK Public Sector Internal Audit Standards.

     

    Resolved:

     

    That the Internal Audit Quarter 4 report 2017/18 be noted.

     

5.

Internal Audit Annual Report 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 256 KB

6.

Internal Audit Annual Fraud Report 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 157 KB

    To consider the Internal Audit Annual Fraud Report 2017/18.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Head of Internal Audit provided the Committee with a report summarising the outcome of proactive and reactive anti-fraud and investigation work during 2017/18, the main focus being work delivered by Internal Audit, which included the Council’s Counter Fraud Team. The report future outlined areas of emerging fraud risk and the Council’s strategic and operational arrangements for managing these risks.

     

    The report outlined that any organisation of significant size and complexity, like the Council was inherently vulnerable to risks of fraud and corruption. It was noted that in response to these risks the Council had a range of mitigating controls that were used to both prevent and detect fraud and other similar malpractice that could exist within the Council.

     

    RESOLVED

     

    That the Internal Audit Annual Fraud Report 2017/18 be noted.

     

7.

Risk Management Annual Report 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 143 KB

    To consider the Risk Management Annual Report 2017/18.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Council’s Risk Manager presented to Members a report which summarised the Risk Management work undertaken during the 2017/18 year. The report highlighted the significant progress made to improve the risk register system and provided updated guidance on methods to record and manage Service risks effectively.

     

    It was reported that the Leadership team had maintained regular reviews of the risks to the overarching Council objectives recorded under the Corporate risk register. Guidance had been provided throughout the year to assist the enhancement of risk management processes associated with the integration of health and social care services under the Rochdale Locality Plan.

     

    Members were informed that the transfer of the Insurance team to operate alongside Risk Management had increased opportunities to work towards common risk mitigation objectives. It was reported that the team had overcame unusually high claims numbers during the winter seasonal peak in 2017/18 to achieve a total cost-mitigation on settled claims for the year of £3,331,950.

     

    The Risk Manager was requested to provide additional detail relating to the description of the risk scores in future reports.

     

    RESOLVED

     

    That the Risk Management Annual Report 2017/18 be noted.

     

8.

External Audit Findings Report (including Audit and Opinion) pdf icon PDF 777 KB

    The Chief Finance Officer to report.

    Minutes:

    The Council’s External Auditor’s, presented a report that highlighted the key matters arising from their audit of Rochdale Borough Council's financial statements for the year ended 31st March 2018 in accordance with the requirements of International Standard on Auditing (UK & Ireland) 260, and the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014.

     

    Members were reminded that under the Audit Commission's Code of Audit Practice the External Auditors were required to report whether, in their opinion, the Council's financial statements presented a true and fair view of the financial position and expenditure and income for the year and whether the statements had been prepared properly in accordance with the CIPFA Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting.

     

    The External Auditors were also required to consider other information published together with the audited financial statements and whether it was consistent with the financial statements and in line with required guidance and whether the Council had made proper arrangements to secure economy, efficiency and effectiveness in its use of resources.

     

    RESOLVED

     

    That the Findings Report from External Audit be noted.

     

9.

Annual Governance Statement 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 97 KB

    To consider the Annual Governance Statement for 2017/18.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Council’s External Auditor’s, presented a report that highlighted the key matters arising from their audit of Rochdale Borough Council's financial statements for the year ended 31st March 2018 in accordance with the requirements of International Standard on Auditing (UK & Ireland) 260, and the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014.

     

    Members were reminded that under the Audit Commission's Code of Audit Practice the External Auditors were required to report whether, in their opinion, the Council's financial statements presented a true and fair view of the financial position and expenditure and income for the year and whether the statements had been prepared properly in accordance with the CIPFA Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting.

     

    The External Auditors were also required to consider other information published together with the audited financial statements and whether it was consistent with the financial statements and in line with required guidance and whether the Council had made proper arrangements to secure economy, efficiency and effectiveness in its use of resources.

     

    RESOLVED

     

    That the Annual Governance Statement for the year ended 31st March 2018 be approved.

     

10.

Statement of Accounts 2017/18 (and Letter of Representation) pdf icon PDF 93 KB

    The Chief Finance Officer to report.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Committee considered a report of the Chief Finance Officer that sought approval of the Council’s audited statement of accounts for 2017/18. It was noted that once approved there was a statutory requirement for the accounts to be published by 30th September 2018.

     

    It was reported that the unaudited statement of accounts for 2017/18 had been approved by the Chief Finance Officer on 31st May 2018 and made available for public inspection up to 12th July 2018, during which time questions and objections could be received by the District Auditor. As a consequence of the audit undertaken by the Council’s external auditors, Grant Thornton UK LLP, a small number of changes to the statement of accounts, detailed within the submitted report, had been made in agreement with the external auditors.

     

    The Statement of Accounts 2017/18, together with the management representation letter to the Council’s External Auditors expressing the Council’s opinion that the financial statements gave a true and fair view, were contained within the submitted report.

     

    In response to concerns raised by Members of the Committee about the timescales for considering the Statement of Accounts, the Chair indicated that he was reviewing the process with Officers.

     

    Resolved:

     

    That the audited Statement of Accounts 2017/18 and the Management Representation letter be approved.

     

11.

Audit and Governance Committee Annual Report 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 91 KB

12.

Exclusion of Press and Public

    To consider that the press and public be excluded from the remaining part of the meeting pursuant to Section 100(A)4 of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that discussions may involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the provisions of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 and public interest would not be served in publishing the information.

    Minutes:

    RESOLVED:

     

    That the Press and Public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following two items of business, in accordance with the provisions of Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended.

     

    Should the press and public remain during debate on this item there may be a disclosure of information that is deemed to be exempt under Parts 1 and 4 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

     

13.

Community Centres