Agenda and minutes

Venue: Rochdale Town Hall, The Esplanade, Rochdale, OL16 1AB. View directions

Contact: Alison James  01706 924711

Items
No. Item

35.

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.

36.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 62 KB

To consider the minutes of meeting held on Monday, 18 December 2017 of the Audit and Governance Committee.

Minutes:

Resolved:

That the minutes of the meeting of the Audit & Governance Committee held on 23rd April 2018 be approved as a correct record.

37.

External Audit Plan - Year Ending 31 March 2018 pdf icon PDF 607 KB

To consider the External Audit Plan for the Year Ending 31 March 2018.

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 2018.

 

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.

 

In response to Members questions the Council’s Chief Finance Officer provided details of the Council’s funding gap for 2018/19. 

 

Resolved:

That the Audit Plan for Rochdale Borough Council for the year ending 31 March 2018 be noted.

38.

Audit Progress Report and Sector Update - Year Ending 31 March 2018 pdf icon PDF 725 KB

To consider the Audit Progress Report and Sector Update for the Year Ending 31 March 2018.

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the External Auditors, Grant Thornton, which informed the Committee of the progress in delivering their responsibilities as the Council’s External Auditors for the current financial year. The report also provided a summary of emerging national issues and developments that might be relevant to the Council.

 

The Engagement Lead and the Engagement Manager from Grant Thornton were in attendance to present the information and address the enquiries of the Committee.

 

The progress at January 2018 was highlighted with regards to the Financial Statement Audit, value for money and other areas of work such as certification and claims, meetings with relevant officers of the Council and provision of training, development and opportunities for discussing the latest information on local government finance.

 

The Committee’s attention was drawn on page 33 of the report to highlight the fact that, in 2016-17, local authorities had financed more of their expenditures from locally retained income (i.e.: Reserves) compared to 2015-16.

 

Resolved:

That the content of the Audit Progress Report and Sector update be noted.

39.

Internal Audit Plan 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 143 KB

To approve the Internal Audit Plan 2018/19.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Head of Internal Audit which set out the proposed Internal Audit Plan for 2018/19 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 2018/19.

 

Resolved:

That the Internal Audit Plan 2018/19 be approved.

40.

Internal Audit Quarter 3 Report 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 183 KB

To review Internal Audit activity in quarter 3 2017/18.

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 2017/18.

 

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 2017/18 on all Services within the Council. The work of RBC Internal Audit is governed by the UK Public Sector Internal Audit Standards.

 

Members raised concerns over activity leading to the prosecution of an employee at a Community Centre and sought assurances that procedures and controls were in place to ensure that a similar situation could not arise again. 

  

Resolved:

(1)  That the Internal Audit – Quarter 3 Report be noted.

(2)  That the Director of Neighbourhoods be requested to report to the next meeting of the Committee detailing the processes and procedures in place for the granting and monitoring of Council funds to Community Centres.

41.

Risk Management Progress Report - Q3 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 110 KB

To review Risk Management activity in quarter 3 2017/18.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report providing a summary of the Risk Management work during Quarter 3 of the 2017/18 year.

 

The report advised the Committee with regard to the work undertaken to update and improve the corporate risk registers across all Council Services and to develop registers for integrated care under the Rochdale Locality Plan.

  

Resolved:

That the report be noted.

42.

Review of Local Government Ethical Standards: Stakeholder Consultation pdf icon PDF 110 KB

To consider responding to the Local Government Ethical Standards: Stakeholder Consultation.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Monitoring Officer presenting the Review of Local Government Ethical Standards by the Committee on Standards in Public Life.  Members were requested to provide a response to the consultation on behalf of the Council.

 

Ann Taylor (Independent Person) set out her response to the consultation which was to be submitted alongside that of the Committee.

 

Members discussed the sanctions currently available to councils and how these had changed following the introduction of the Localism Act 2011. The majority of Members felt that greater power to sanction those failing to follow the Code of Conduct was needed, however, were of the opinion that the former Standards Board for England (SBE) had been dismantled for the right reasons. 

 

Members discussed the various forms of intimidation which may be experienced by elected Members, particular through increasing use of social media and the blurring of lines between what was to be considered personal use against that of acting in the role of a Councillor.

 

Resolved:

That Members of the Committee provide further response directly to the Monitoring Officer for collection prior to submitting a response to the consultation.