Agenda and minutes

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No. Item



To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Hussain, Councillor Rashid, Mrs. A. Taylor (Independent Person) and Mr. A. Underdown (Independent Person).


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.   


There were no declarations of interests.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 75 KB

To consider the minutes of Audit and Governance Committee the meeting held on Monday 17th December 2018.



That the minutes of the meeting of the Audit and Governance Committee held 17th December 2018 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.


Update on STAR Procurement

The Committee will receive a presentation on STAR Procurement.


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


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

  • The STAR Governance Model (noting that STAR now had 39 employees)
  • Business Plan 2017 – 2020
  • Responsible Procurement Strategy
  • Delivery Plan
  • ‘5 star’ Measures (relating to: ‘commercial’, ‘communities’, ‘compliance’, ‘champions’ and ‘collaborative’
  • Communications and Marketing Strategy
  • Rochdale’s Success to Date – in terms of dividends and savings accrued;
  • Raising the Profile of STAR including the possibility of extending the STAR brand beyond the current four local authorities; 


Members considered the presentation in detail seeking clarification on: the proportion of expenditure that is exempt from VAT regulations; the STAR brand itself and the possibility of other local authorities joining the initiative; that STAR is providing ‘value for money’ for its contributing authorities.



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

2.     a further presentation, updating Members of the activities of STAR procurement be scheduled for the Committee’s meeting on 16th December 2019.


External Audit Progress Report pdf icon PDF 697 KB

A progress report of the Council’s Auditors: Mazars LLP


The Committee received an update report from representatives of Mazars, the organisation with responsibility for auditing the Council. The report provided an update on progress in the delivery of their responsibilities as the Council’s external auditors and it also presented the Audit Strategy Memorandum


Since reporting on progress at the Committee’s previous meeting on 17th December 2018, Mazars had completed their interim audit visit. This included early substantive testing in the following areas: Months 1–10 (March – January 2018/19) non-pay expenditure; Months 1–10 payroll expenditure; Months 1–10 fees and charges income; Existence and ownership testing of the Council’s property, plant and equipment and heritage asset balances; Agreement of opening ledger balances to the prior year financial statements.


The report found that there were no issues to bring to the Authority’s attention at this stage of their audit.


In considering the report Members of the Committee sought assurances in relation to measures that were being taken to counter fraud and on work that was being undertaken, by Mazars, in relation to their summary of the NHS long-term plan, insofar as it affects the Borough of Rochdale.



That the update report be noted and welcomed.


Accounting Policies 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 124 KB

A report outlining changes to accounting policies for the 2018/19 accounts.


The Committee considered a report of the Director of Resources that informed Members of the changes to accounting policies in respect of the 2018/19 accounts.


Alternatives considered:

The Council’s Financial Regulations dictate that any changes to the Council’s accounting policies are required to be approved by the Audit and Governance Committee, therefore no alternatives were considered. Also, it was noted that if the accounting policies were not amended to reflect changes in financial reporting requirements, there would be a risk that the 2018/19 Statement of Accounts may be qualified.



The amended accounting policies, detailed in the submitted report, be approved for implementation for the 2018/19 accounts.


Risk Management Progress Report - Q3 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 133 KB

The Council’s Risk Manager will provide Members with a report on the Quarter 3 Risk Management data for 2018/2019.

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report of the Director of Resources that provided Members with a summary of Risk Management and Insurance work during Quarter 3 of the 2018/19 year (October – December 2018). The report enabled the Committee, in accordance with its work programme and also allowing Members an oversight of governance, to make them better placed to scrutinise the Risk Management and Insurance Team’s coverage during the 2018/19 year for all Council Services.


The Committee were informed that work towards the implementation of the new Pentana software system has progressed during the reporting period. However technical issues regarding data migration and system configuration had resulted in a delay to the originally planned launch date in April 2019.


It was noted that the Insurance Team had achieved a claims cost mitigation figure of £1,216,328 for the 3rd quarter 2018/19.


In terms of risks it was reported that the demand for Children’s Social Care services continues to increase, leading to potential budgetary management issues. Likewise there was an increased demand for Adult Social Care Services with associated risks in terms of capacity, quality and business continuity.



That the report be noted.


Internal Audit Quarter 3 Report 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 193 KB

For the Committee to receive an update from Internal Audit for Quarter 3, 2018/2019.


The Committee considered a report of the Head of Internal Audit that summarised the work of the Internal Audit team during the third quarter of 2018/19 (October – December 2018). The Internal Audit team had been 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 school which had received a limited assurance opinion due to weaknesses in their ‘control environment’. However, an action plan had subsequently been agreed with the school’s management which should ensure a more robust control environment is established going forward and the Head of Internal Audit Manager was able to verbally assure the Committee that this was indeed the case.


The Committee were advised that the Internal Audit team had completed 75% of its agreed Audit Plan and the head of Internal Audit verbally confirmed at the meeting that this team had achieved their targeted completion of the Audit Plan of 96% by 31st March 2019 (the end of the 2018/19 financial year).


In addition the Counter Fraud Team had achieved £33,073 in identifying savings and overpayments during the period (£510,429 for the nine months to 31st December 2018) together with two sanctions comprising two fines for fraud.


Further to Appendix B of the submitted report, the Head of Internal Audit assured Members that both he and the Chair of the Committee would pursue officers to ensure that the ‘Section 106 Planning Obligations’ were being carried out in an appropriate manner.



That the report be noted.


Internal Audit Plan 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 142 KB

The Committee will receive a report on the Internal Audit Plan 2019/20.

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report of the Head of Internal Audit which set out the proposed Internal Audit Plan for 2019/20, that had been developed in accordance with the Internal Audit Charter and with close liaison with the Council’s Senior Management team to identify and evaluate key areas of risk. A central aim of the Plan was to provide appropriate coverage of all Council services so as to ensure that an independent opinion could be given on the effectiveness of risk management, control and governance processes at the end of the year.


The Internal Audit Plan provides for flexibility to allow for new and emerging areas of risk to be evaluated during the course of the year. The submitted report therefore sought to inform Audit and Governance Committee, in the context of the Members being charged with the overall responsibility for governance, of the proposed work programme of Internal Audit to facilitate approval of the Internal Audit Plan for 2019/20.



That the Internal Audit Plan 2019/20 be approved.


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.


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.


IT Disaster Recovery Follow Up Audit

The Committee will receive a report on the IT Disaster Recovery Follow up Audit.


The Committee considered a report of the Head of Internal Audit which updated Members on a follow-up audit, of the ICT service, establishing that the five recommendations contained in the original audit report, prepared in June 2018, had been implemented.


The report of June 2018 was an audit assurance opinion of ‘Limited’ meaning that ‘A number of key risks were not being managed effectively.  The ‘RAG’ rating, for this report, was Red and the five specific recommendations, contained therein, were due to be implemented by no later than 31st March 2019. As a result of actions taken since the report in June 2018 was issued, the Internal Audit service was now able to provide adequate assurance that the risks which were identified were being managed appropriately, therefore a ‘RAG’ rating of Amber had been issued.


The follow-up audit also covered issues relating to the Council-wide ICT downtime experienced in November 2018.



That the report be noted.