Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Alison James  Senior Governance & Committee Services Officer

Items
No. Item

1.

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.

2.

Audit & Governance 2021-22 Q4 Report pdf icon PDF 228 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate/ Chief Finance Officer.

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate / Head of Internal Audit which summarised the work of the Internal Audit team during the fourth quarter of 2020/2021 (January – March 2021).

 

It was reported the Internal Audit team had been able to provide either substantial or adequate assurance over the effectiveness of risk management in all the 10 audits which had been finalised and issued during quarter four.

·         2 were substantial

·         5 were adequate

·         3 were limited.

 

Action plans have been agreed with the appropriate managers to address all the issues identified in a timely manner. Furthermore, the Internal Audit team had completed 97% of their agreed Audit Plan which achieved the agreed target for the year.

 

The submitted report enabled the Audit and Governance Committee, in accordance with their work programme and overall responsibility for governance, to scrutinise the Internal Audit team’s coverage during the fourth quarter of 2020/21 of all Services within the Council. The work of Rochdale Borough Council’s Internal Audit team was governed by the UK Public Sector Internal Audit Standards.

 

Resolved

That the report be noted.

3.

Counter Fraud 2021-22 Q4 Report pdf icon PDF 132 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate/ Chief Finance Officer.

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate / Head of Internal Audit introduced a report summarising the work of the Counter Fraud Team during the fourth quarter of 2021/22. 

 

Members were informed that the Counter Fraud Team had received 246 referrals during the period having achieved £108,432 in overpayments and savings. In relation to the Omicron Business Grant over 300 checks had been undertaken in conjunction with the Business Rates Team.  Furthermore 13 reports have been closed within the National Fraud Initiative, with 100matches having been checked within these reports. The Team had received the

2021 NFI Single Person Discount data matches with 231 matches had been checked during quarter four. Members noted the Counter Fraud Team participated in two proactive Partnership Enforcement Team days of action where fraud checks were conducted on businesses. In addition, the two proactive operations resulted in one arrest and over £20,000 of illegal goods being seized.

 

Resolved

That the report be noted.

4.

Risk Management Annual Report 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 185 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate/ Chief Finance Officer.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate / Head of Risk and Insurance, summarising Risk Management work undertaken during the 2020/2021 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, including the publication of the revised Risk Management Policy. It was reported that the Leadership team had maintained regular reviews of the risks to the overarching Council objectives recorded under the ‘Corporate Risk Register’.

 

The Committee were informed that the Insurance team had successfully handled incoming claims and the placement of the Council’s insurance programme cost-effectively. The Annual Report outlined how the team had managed to achieve a total cost-mitigation on settled claims for the year of £3,253,484.

 

Resolved

That the Risk Management Annual Report 2020/21 be noted.

5.

Internal Audit Annual Report 2021-22 pdf icon PDF 406 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate/ Chief Finance Officer.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate / Head of Internal Audit setting out the work of the Council’s Internal Audit service during 2020/21 and presented their opinion as to the effectiveness of the Council’s overall control environment, governance and risk management for 2020/21.

 

The Committee were advised that of the 97% of the planned audit work that was completed during 2020/21, audit assurance opinions issued on the adequacy of the internal controls were recorded as ‘adequate’ or ‘substantial’ in 97% of cases.

 

Four audits were awarded a ‘limited’ assurance opinion. The Service had carried out an audit in relation to ‘Best Value’ reports issued at three local authorities (Liverpool, Nottingham and Croydon). The report opinion was rated as adequate. Findings had been used in conjunction with the risk register, and with discussions with senior managers, to set the audit plan for 2022/23.

 

The Head of Internal Audit concluded that an adequate level of assurance can be given that the Council's overall framework of governance, risk management and control remains appropriate and has been complied with.

 

Resolved

That the report be noted.

6.

Counter Fraud 2021-22 Annual Report pdf icon PDF 128 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate/ Chief Finance Officer.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate / Head of Internal Audit setting work undertaken by the Counter Fraud Team during 2021/22.

 

It was reported that the team had received 816 referrals and achieved £425,206 in overpayments and savings. Over 200 business grant checks had been undertaken, with 29 reports closed within the National Fraud initiative.

 

Resolved

That the report be noted.

7.

Internal Audit Charter 2022 pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate/ Chief Finance Officer.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate / Head of Internal Audit seeking approval the Internal Audit Charter.

 

The work of Internal Audit is governed by the UK Public Sector Internal Audit Standards (PSIAS). The PSIAS require an Internal Audit Charter to be approved by the Audit and Governance Committee in order to define Internal Audit’s purpose, authority and responsibility. It establishes Internal Audit’s position within the Council and reporting lines, authorises access to records, personnel and physical property relevant to the performance of audit work, and defines the scope of Internal Audit activity.

 

Resolved

That the Internal Audit Charter be approved.

8.

Draft Statement of Accounts 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 117 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate/ Chief Finance Officer.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate / Chief Finance Officer introduced a report setting out the draft Statement of Accounts 2021/22 which had been published for public inspection.

 

Resolved

That the report be noted.

 

9.

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 Press and Public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following item of business, in accordance with the provisions of Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended.

 

Reason for the resolution

Should the press and public remain during debate on this item there may be a disclosure of information that is deemed to be exempt under Part 3 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972

10.

Internal Audit Limited Assurance Reports Q4 2021-22

Report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate/ Chief Finance Officer.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate / Head of Internal Audit setting out the actions in relation to those audits which had received a limited assurance.

 

It was reported that updates for the progress on action points would be brought to a future meeting of the Committee.

 

Resolved

That the report be noted.