Agenda and minutes

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Items
No. Item

34.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 26 KB

Members must indicate at this stage any items on the agenda in which they must declare an interest.  Members must verbally give notice of their interest at the meeting and complete the form attached with this agenda. 

 

Members are also advised to take advice with regard to any matter where there is potential bias or predetermination in any business to be considered at the meeting and whether they should take part in decision making at the meeting.

 

Members are reminded that, in accordance with the Localism Act 2011 and the Council's adopted Code of Conduct, they must declare the nature of any discloseable pecuniary interest; personal interest and/or prejudicial interest required of them and, in the case of any discloseable pecuniary interest or prejudicial interest, withdraw from the meeting during consideration of the item, unless permitted otherwise within the Code of Conduct.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

35.

Variation of Order of Business

Minutes:

In accordance with the Council Procedure Rule 2.2 the Chair indicated that agenda item 10 - Risk Management Progress Report - Q3 2016/17 - would be considered before agenda item 5 - Grant Thornton - Grants Letter 2015 - 16 - and prior to all other business contained within the agenda thereafter.

36.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 72 KB

To consider the minutes of meeting of Audit and Governance Committee held on 6th December 2016.

Minutes:

DECIDED – That the minutes of the meeting of the Audit and Governance Committee held on 6th December 2016 be approved as a correct record.

37.

Presentation - STAR Procurement

Presentation by the STAR Director of Procurement, Lorraine Cox.

Minutes:

The Committee received a presentation from Lorraine Cox, Director of Procurement at STAR (Stockport, Trafford and Rochdale) Procurement.

 

The presentation gave detailed information in relation to the following areas:-

  • The STAR Governance Model;
  • The Law and Contract Procedure Rules;
  • Working with Partners;
  • Balanced Scorecard
  • Compliance

·         Performance/ Customer Satisfaction

  • Social Value
  • Rochdale’s Success to Date;
  • The future –

·       Added Value - Strategic

·       Added Value - Operational

  • Raising the Profile of STAR;

 

Members were advised that Rochdale had made procurement savings of £1.2m this year with a further £152,000 of savings currently awaiting ratification.

 

A Committee Member referred to problems that had been experienced with a number of contracts and requested that STAR closely examined where the failings have occurred in order to ensure that all contracts offer good value for money in the future.

 

A request was raised by a Member of the Committee for the Scorecard output to be linked to Townships and if possible individual Wards in the future. 

 

DECIDED – that Lorraine Cox be thanked for her presentation on STAR procurement.

 

38.

Presentation - Risk Management

Minutes:

The Committee received a presentation on the Environmental Management Service Risk Management.

 

The presentation gave detailed information in relation to the structure of the Council’s Risk Registers which provided a record of all key risks relating Service objectives. The Risk Registers were seen as an effective tool to support managers to achieve their objectives and the actions arising had been used to inform the development of the Directorate Plans. 

 

The Committee was advised that the Corporate Risk Register was managed by the Leadership Team with a further 22 Service Risk Registers grouped under the six Directorate Headings.

 

The Committee were provided with an overview of the Environmental Management Risk Register which had 31 risks identified. These risks were examined regularly by the Service Management Team to ensure that identified risks were managed and that the control action plans are in place.

 

DECIDED – that the presentation be welcome and noted.

 

39.

Risk Management Progress Report - Q3 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 147 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Director of Resources which summarised Risk Management activities during the period from the date of the previous committee meeting on 6th December 2016.

 

The report was to enable the Audit and Governance Committee, in accordance with their work programme and overall responsibility for governance, to scrutinise Risk Management activities. The work of RBC Risk Management was an ongoing requirement from the Accounts and Audit Regulations to produce an Annual Governance Statement (AGS), with Risk Management processes being an integral part of the AGS.

 

DECIDED – that the Risk Management – Quarter 3 2016/17 progress report be noted.

 

 

40.

Grant Thornton - Grants Letter 2015 - 16 pdf icon PDF 112 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered a letter issued by Grant Thornton, which provided details of the Certification work for Rochdale Borough Council for the year ended 31st March 2016.

 

Grant Thornton was required to certify the Housing Benefit subsidy claim submitted by the Council. This certification typically took place six to nine months after the claim period and represented a final but important part of the process to confirm the Council's entitlement to funding.

 

DECIDED – that the letter from Grant Thornton relating to the Certification of the Housing Benefit subsidy claim for the financial year 2015-16 for year ended 31st March 2016, be noted.

 

41.

Grant Thornton - Rochdale Borough Council Audit & Governance Committee Progress report and update pdf icon PDF 5 MB

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report on the progress being made by Grant Thornton in delivering their responsibilities as the Council’s external auditors.

 

The report included a summary of emerging national issues and developments for the Committee to consider.

 

The Committee was updated with regard to the recent decision of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) to indefinitely postpone the move to measuring the Highways Network Asset outlined in the submitted report as the cost of the required work would outweigh the expected benefits. 

 

DECIDED – that (1) the report on the progress made by Grant Thornton in respect of their responsibilities as the Council’s external auditors be noted; and

 (2) the summary of emerging national issues and developments be noted.

 

 

42.

Grant Thornton - External Audit Plan 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 760 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Council’s external auditors, Grant Thornton LLP, which gave Members an overview of the planned scope and timing of the audit for the year ending 31st March 2017.

 

The Committee were advised that the submitted Audit Plan set out the audit work required on the Council's financial statements and also the Value for Money conclusion. The Plan highlighted some of the Council’s key challenges and their responses to these. The report also noted audit risks that had been identified and outlined how the external auditors planned to address these risks through their ongoing work.

 

Grant Thornton also set out their initial findings from interim audit work undertaken. The contents of the Plan had previously been discussed with the Council’s management.

 

DECIDED – that the Audit Plan for Rochdale Borough Council for the year ending 31 March 2017 be noted.

 

 

 

43.

Internal Audit - Quarter 3 Report pdf icon PDF 221 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Head of Internal Audit which summarised the work of the Internal Audit team during the third quarter of 2016/17.

 

The report was submitted to enable the Audit and Governance Committee, in accordance with their work programme and overall responsibility for governance, to scrutinise Internal Audit coverage during the third quarter of 2016/17 on all Services within the Council. The work of RBC Internal Audit is governed by the UK Public Sector Internal Audit Standards.

 

In response to a query raised in discussion of the report with regard to whether the audit reviews with ‘limited’ assurance opinions and follow up audits represented a wider area of concern the Head of internal Audit assured the Committee that no fundamental issues had been noted and that improved controls had now been implemented where required.

 

DECIDED – that the Internal Audit – Quarter 3 Report be noted.

 

44.

Internal Audit Plan 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 340 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Head of Internal Audit which set out the proposed Internal Audit Plan for 2017/18 which had been developed in accordance with the Internal Audit Charter and with close liaison with both the Leadership Team and Senior Management to identify and evaluate the key areas of risk. The proposed plan provided appropriate coverage of Council services in order to ensure that an independent opinion can be given on the effectiveness of risk management, control and governance processes at the end of the year.

 

The Audit Plan also provided for flexibility to allow for new and emerging areas of risk to be evaluated during the course of the year. The report sought to inform the Audit and Governance Committee of the proposed work programme of Internal Audit to facilitate approval of the Internal Audit Plan for 2017/18.

 

DECIDED – that the Internal Audit Plan 2017/18 be approved.

 

45.

Governance Arrangements 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 151 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Assistant Director – Legal, Governance and Workforce which provided an update on key outcomes following a review of the Council’s Governance arrangements.

 

The Council had reviewed its governance arrangements on a regular basis, with a view to implementing mechanisms for the delivery of efficient and effective decision making. The Member Democratic Structures Working Group had reviewed the content of the Council’s constitution alongside the decision making structures. 

 

The proposals contained within the submitted report were to be recommended to Council at its meeting scheduled to be held on 29th March 2017.

 

DECIDED – that (1) the outcome of the review of the Council’s Governance arrangements be noted; and

(2) Members be requested to advise the Chair of the Audit and Governance Committee and the Head of Governance with comments on the proposals contained within the submitted report.