Agenda and minutes

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Items
No. Item

25.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Donna Martin.

26.

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:

No declarations of interest were made.

27.

Urgent Items of Business

To determine whether there are any additional items of business which, by reason of special circumstances, the Chair decides should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency.

28.

Items for Exclusion of Public and Press

To determine any items on the agenda, if any, where the public are to be excluded from the meeting.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the item Back O’th Moss Community Centre (minute 37 refers).

29.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 80 KB

To consider the minutes of Audit and Governance Committee the meeting held on Monday 10th October 2018.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 2nd October 2018 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

30.

External Audit Progress Report 2018 pdf icon PDF 648 KB

For the Committee to consider the External Audit Progress Report.

Minutes:

The Committee received a progress report from the Council’s external auditors, noting that the focus of their work had been around planning and preparation for the upcoming audit process.   

 

In response to a question on planning for the annual audit, Members were assured that there were no concerns around the prescribed timescales.

 

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

31.

External Audit Strategy Memorandum 2018-2019 pdf icon PDF 870 KB

External Audit will present to the Committee the External Audit Strategy Memorandum 2018-2019.

Minutes:

The Council’s external auditors submitted their Audit Strategy Memorandum 2018/19 for consideration by the Committee. 

 

In presenting the report, Members were advised on key factors including:

·         The scope of the audit and respective responsibilities of the Council and auditors;

·         Materiality thresholds in relation to the Council’s financial statements, including financial parameters for reporting minor errors to the Committee and the value which would require the auditors to issue a qualified opinion on the accounts;

·         Areas of risk, which were noted as being common to all local authorities;

·         The approach to value for money with particularly focus on Health and social care integration, financial pressures and the Councils response to the OFSTED inspection of children’s services.

 

Members raised the following issues:

 

·         The process for authorising any additional audit activity and associated fees: The Committee noted that relevant officers would agree the scope for any additional audit work, but that the Chief Finance Officer would confirm any additional associated costs.

·         Collaboration across Greater Manchester authorities in relation to the pension fund: Members were advised that local authorities were individually responsible for external audit activity on the pension fund but that Mazars were the appointed auditors for most of the GM authorities so could take a holistic view on the operation of the fund

 

RESOLVED: That the External Audit Strategy Memorandum for 2018-19 be noted.

32.

Internal Audit Quarter 2 Report 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 186 KB

For the Committee to receive an update from Internal Audit for Quarter 2, 2018/2019.

Minutes:

The Head of Internal Audit submitted the second quarter performance report detailing progress of the internal audit team in relation to planned audit activity.  Members noted that the service were on target to complete the plan and commended officers from the Counter Fraud Team in their recent recovery actions.

 

In considering the report, Members raised the following:

 

Planned work relating to IT disaster recovery: Recent ICT issues were noted and members sought assurances that the March 2019 completion date for this activity would be achieved.  In response, the Head of Internal Audit advised of a meeting with relevant officers, due to take place shortly, and undertook to report back to the Committee at its April meeting.

 

Establishment of the Section 106 Steering Group: Members were advised that the group were projected to hold their first meeting in January 2019;

 

Internal Audit Performance Indicators: In response to a question on the target cost per audit day, Members were advised that costs were below that of the target figure of £260, currently at £242 per audit day;

 

In relation to the audits completed in Quarter 2, the Committee received assurances that the recommendations for the Trading Standards service would be progress reviewed as part of planned audit follow up activity;

 

On the issue of unplanned work, Members were advised that ad hoc requests for audit activity were anticipated and time set aside in the services work schedule to allow for any issues arising during the year. 

 

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

33.

Audit and Governance Committee Effectiveness - Self-Assessment pdf icon PDF 103 KB

Members are asked to consider a self-assessment

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report on the recent self-assessment exercise which aimed to establish levels of compliance with recognised CIPFA best practice.

 

The evaluation concluded that the Committee had a high degree of performance against good practice principles.  It also identified a number of opportunities to further develop against the self-assessment framework including consideration of the inclusion of independent members, with specialised knowledge on the committee and establishing the core knowledge and skills of existing Committee members as a platform for future learning and development activities.  The Head of Internal Audit requested Members submit their responses to the knowledge and skills framework and offered one to one support to any Member who required assistance.

 

The Committee considered the following:

 

·         How the data from the self-assessment could be used corporately: The Assistant Director (Legal, Governance and Workforce) advised that these could be used as measures in the strategic plan, highlighting, for example, areas of good governance;

·         The role of the committee in challenging risk measures and controls: It was noted that one of the primary functions of the internal audit service was to challenge internal risk controls.  Additionally, the work plan for the services was developed to address risk

34.

Proposal to Recruit an Independent Member on Audit and Governance Committee pdf icon PDF 116 KB

The Committee will consider a proposal to recruit an Independent Member on to the Audit and Governance Committee.

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report outlining proposals to recruit an independent member with specialist knowledge and experience in one or more of the functions of the Committee.  It was noted that this position would be in addition to the 2 independent persons appointed under the Localism Act 2011. It was highlighted that CIPFA guidance endorsed the involvement of independent members as good practice, as they were able to offer a further impartial view on the matters before Committee.

 

Members welcomed the proposal and RESOLVED to recommend to Council that the membership of the Audit and Governance Committee should be extended to include one or more independent members.

35.

RISK MANAGEMENT PROGRESS REPORT - Q2 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 120 KB

The Council’s Risk Manager will provide Members with a report on the Quarter 2 Risk Management data for 2018/2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The committee considered the quarter 2 summary on risk management and insurance activity during 2018/19.  The Risk Manager provided a comprehensive report outlining major risk and insurance focussed initiatives and associated progress. 

 

As an update on claims cost mitigation, Members were advised that the total mitigation figure had further increased to £629,575 and that details would be circulated to the Committee by email.

 

The Committee raised the following:

 

·         What periodic challenge was undertaken in relation to risk controls, particularly in areas of significant risk and high residual risk?  It was noted that high risk areas were factored into both the corporate and service level risk registers which were routinely monitored and challenged.  Further detail on specific risks could be provided to the Committee on request.

·         In relation to claims relating to the condition of highways and pavements, it was noted that the insurance team were involved in identifying priority areas for inclusion in the Councils scheme for repair.

 

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

 

 

36.

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 public and press be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the next item of business on the grounds that discussions may involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

37.

Back O'th Moss Community Centre

For the Committee to receive a report on the Back O'th Moss Community Centre.

Minutes:

The Committee received, for information, a report on the internal audit follow-up activity relating to Back O’th Moss Community Centre.

 

RESOLVED:

That the report be noted.