Agenda and minutes

Venue: Training and Conference Suite, First Floor, Number One Riverside, Smith Street, Rochdale, OL16 1XU. View directions

Contact: John Addison  01706 924829

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence.

2.

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 Declaration of interests needed to be declared as the meeting was not quorate.

3.

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.

Minutes:

There were no items of Urgent Business.

4.

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:

There were not items for the exclusion of the Press and Public.

5.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 76 KB

For Members to approver the minutes of the meeting held on the 8th April 2019.

Minutes:

Members considered the Minutes of the previous meeting.

6.

Internal Audit Quarter 4 Report 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 175 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 2018/19. 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 2018/19 on all Services within the Council.

 

It was reported that actions relating to a school audit which had previously been given a limited assurance rating had now been completed and that the control environment had significantly improved since that audit.

 

Members were informed that the Counter Fraud Team had achieved £18,358 in identifying savings and overpayments during the 4th quarter and for the year ending March 2019 the total stood at £528,787.

 

In response to a question around work completed on the Audit Plan for 2018/2019, it was reported that Internal Audit had completed 96% of the agreed Audit Plan which achieves the agreed target.

 

 

7.

Internal Audit Annual Report 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 283 KB

To consider the Internal Audit Annual Report 2018/2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Internal Audit presented to Members a report summarising the work of Internal Audit during 2018/19 and their opinion on the effectiveness of the Council’s overall control environment, governance and risk management for 2018/19.

 

Members were reminded that the findings and overall opinion report formed a key element of assurance provided to the Audit and Governance Committee, enabling Members to approve the Annual Governance Statement and the Annual Statement of Accounts. It was noted that the Annual Governance Statement would be presented to the July meeting of the Committee along with the Statement of accounts.

 

The Head of Internal Audit informed Members that aside from the assurances provided by both Internal Audit and external audit over the adequacy of the controls in place to manage key risks, it was noted that there were numerous internal mechanisms through which management was able to provide their own assurances that the risks that they had ownership of were being managed effectively.

 

Additionally, there were also assurances provided by various external bodies which were independent to the Council. It was reported that in order to recognise the contribution that these other sources of assurance had on the overall opinion of the control environment, Internal Audit had produced an Assurance Map using the “three lines of defence model” as a basis for evaluating assurances over the management of the risks set out within the Corporate Risk Register. Members were informed that this model represented the three main levels of control/ assurance that should exist in any organisation such as Rochdale Borough Council, namely:

 

·         First line - the risk and control environment that management has established to control day-to-day activities;

 

·         Second line – oversight functions that co-ordinate, facilitate and provide assurance over the risk and control environment, including policies, procedures and guidance; and

 

·         Third line – assurance provided by bodies who are independent of the front-line Services and operations, both internally (Internal Audit) and externally (such as Ofsted, CQC etc). Such assurances are generally derived from and documented in reports. Internal Audit continues to liaise with senior management in each Directorate to obtain copies of relevant reports and external assurance work programmes to confirm that no issues arise which may influence or compromise the annual opinion of the Head of Internal Audit. As a consequence, reliance has been placed on these various external assurances in forming the Head of Internal Audit’s opinion.

 

8.

Internal Audit Annual Fraud Report 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 160 KB

To consider the Internal Audit Annual Fraud Report 2018/19.

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 2018/19, 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 highlighted a number of key issues arsing and outcomes achieved through the year ending March 2019. Members were reminded that the Council needed to ensure that public money was safeguarded and not lost due to fraud. At a time when local government finances continued to be cut back, it was important that resources were directed to those who genuinely need it.

 

Members were further informed of a number of issues and safeguards, which had been put in place to direct the anti-fraud work, in particular;

 

·         Anti-Fraud Report - "Protecting the English Public Purse" (PEPP)

·         Annual Fraud and Corruption Survey

·         CIPFA Managing the Risk of Fraud

·         Fighting Fraud Locally

 

9.

External Audit Fees 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 337 KB

For Members to consider the External Audit Fee’s for 2019/2020.

Minutes:

Members received a report that outlined External Audit Fees 2019/20, with it being noted that the Public Sector Audit Appointments Ltd (PSAA) had consulted on its scale of fees for 2019/20.  It was reported that no changes had been made to the work programme for 2019/20 and scale fees remained at the same level as the previous year.

 

10.

Risk Management Annual Report 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 136 KB

To consider the Risk Management Annual Report 2018/19.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council’s Risk Manager presented to Members a report which summarised the Risk Management work undertaken during the 2018/19 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.