Agenda and minutes

Audit Committee - Tuesday, 9th June, 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting - Zoom. View directions

Contact: Nadia ex 4502 

Note: This is a public meeting and can be viewed by clicking on the media link below (you may need to use Chrome as a browser to do so). 

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes from the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 217 KB

The Committee is asked to confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 11th March 2020.

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 11th March 2020 were confirmed as a correct record and signed.

 

2.

Disclosures of pecuniary and personal interest

Minutes:

No disclosures were made.

 

3.

Questions under other committee procedures 12.8

No questions were submitted.

Minutes:

No questions had been submitted.

4.

External Audit Progress Report and Technical Update

A verbal update - External Auditors.

Minutes:

The Committee was advised that the External Audit Team had been furloughed and were therefore unable to attend the meeting or provide an update report.

 

Internal officers advised the Committee that the statement of accounts was due to be completed on time and there was no expectation that the new external audit plan would be much different from last year’s plan.

 

The Committee was happy to note the report.

5.

Internal Audit Progress Report pdf icon PDF 456 KB

A report of the Head of Strategic Support.

Minutes:

A report of the Head of Strategic Support summarising the progress against outstanding audits for the 2019/20 Audit Plan was submitted (item 6 on the agenda filed with these minutes).

 

The Audit Manager attended the meeting to assist with consideration of the item.

 

The Committee was advised that the Covid-19 outbreak had caused the proposed audit plan to change as work could not continue as usual. The plan would be reviewed to reflect the new risk environment and work would be prioritised again.

 

Work was also continuing to align the three Councils within the new shared service, to standardise processes and continue with undertaking audits.

 

RESOLVED

 

1.    That the Committee notes the progress report set out in Appendix 1.

2.    That the Committee approves the proposed changes to Internal Audit opinions as set out in Appendix 2.

 

Reasons

 

1.    To ensure the Committee is kept informed of progress against the approved Internal Audit Plans.

2.    To introduce a standardised approach to Internal Audit engagement opinions across the Shared Internal Audit Service which comply with CIPFA guidance.

 

Councillor Harris joined the meeting part way through this item.

6.

2019/20 Annual Internal Audit Report pdf icon PDF 210 KB

A report of the Head of Strategic Support.

Minutes:

A report of the Head of Strategic Support presenting the Annual Internal Audit report was submitted (item 7 on the agenda filed with the minutes).

 

The Audit Manager attended the meeting to assist with consideration of the item.

 

The Committee was advised that a moderate assurance level had been issued based on the audits that had been completed. There was a discussion about the assurance levels given over the years and it was felt by the Committee that assurance had slipped but there was a hope that it would improve again.

 

RESOLVED that the Committee note the report.

 

Reason

 

To acknowledge the Committee’s consideration of the matter.

7.

Internal Audit Charter pdf icon PDF 267 KB

A report of the Head of Strategic Support.

Minutes:

A report of the Head of Strategic Support to present the Internal Audit Charter to the Committee was submitted (item 8 on the agenda filed with these minutes).

 

The Audit Manager assisted with consideration of the item.

 

The Committee was advised that the audit charters for the three Councils was being standardised as it was important that the charter was the same for the shared service. There was also more emphasis on key relationships and record retention under the new charter.

 

The Audit Team had also been receiving feedback from their satisfaction surveys and the current return rate was around 50%. The Committee was advised that the Team would be introducing an online form which would be easier to complete and they hoped to improve their return rate.

 

RESOLVED that the Internal Audit Charter be approved.

 

Reason

 

To acknowledge the Committee’s consideration of the matter and to conform with the requirements of the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards (PSIAS).

8.

Environmental Audits - Report on Outcomes pdf icon PDF 322 KB

A report of the Head of Planning and Regeneration.

Minutes:

A report of the Head of Planning and Regeneration to update the Committee on the outcomes of environmental audits undertaken for February 2020 was submitted (item 9 on the agenda filed with these minutes).

 

The Head of Planning and Regeneration and the Sustainability Officer attended the meeting to assist with consideration of the item.

 

The Committee discussed the environmental audit and a request was made that future reports provide clarity on the specific timescales, to add clarity .

 

RESOLVED that the Committee notes the report.

 

Reason

 

To acknowledge the Committee’s consideration of the matter.

 

9.

Treasury Outturn Report 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 861 KB

A report of the Head of Finance and Property Services.

Minutes:

A report of the Head of Finance and Property Services reporting the Council’s Treasury Management, Investment Management and Prudential Code Outturns for the year 2019/20 was submitted (item 10 on the agenda filed with these minutes).

 

The Strategic Director for Corporate Services and the Head of Finance and Property Services attended the meeting to assist with consideration of the item.

 

The Committee was advised that due to the Covid-19 pandemic a recovery report would be presented to the Cabinet later in the year describing how the Council would fund its operations and how any reserves would be used, including the £5m for commercial and property investment. It was acknowledged that any investments made now would be more difficult to manage so the recovery report would consider the challenges faced.

 

RESOLVED that the report be noted.

 

Reason

 

To acknowledge the Committee’s consideration of the matter.

10.

Risk Management (Risk Register) Update pdf icon PDF 313 KB

A report of the Head of Strategic Support.

Minutes:

A report of the Head of Strategic Support presenting the Strategic Risk Register for 2020/21 was submitted (item 11 on the agenda filed with these minutes).

 

The Head of Strategic Support assisted with the consideration of the item.

 

The Committee was advised that a separate risk register had been developed in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic which summarised the most significant risks the Council faced including loss of income.

 

It was acknowledged that whilst services had run through an online presence there were still vulnerable and elderly residents who needed a face to face service.

 

The Chief Executive had been named as a risk owner on some of the registers so the Committee discussed whether this was appropriate but it was noted that there was a collective responsibility for the risk registers which held the Council to account.

 

RESOLVED

 

1.    That a future update be provided to the Committee on the Covid-19 Risk Register.

2.    That the report be noted.

 

Reasons

 

1.    To provide the Committee with a detailed update on the current situation.

2.    To acknowledge the Committee’s consideration of the matter.

11.

Council's Use of Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) pdf icon PDF 100 KB

A report of the Head of Strategic Support.

Minutes:

A report of the Head of Strategic Support to provide the Committee with a summary of the Council’s use of RIPA powers was submitted (item 12 on the agenda filed with these minutes).

 

The Head of Strategic assisted with the consideration of the item.

 

The Committee was advised that there had been no use of RIPA powers between 1st February 2019 to 30th April 2020. This was deemed to be positive.

 

RESOLVED that the report be noted.

 

Reason

 

To acknowledge the Committee’s consideration of the matter.

12.

Work programme pdf icon PDF 120 KB

A report of the Head of Strategic Support.

Minutes:

A report of the Head of Strategic Support was submitted to enable the Committee to consider its work programme (item 13 on the agenda filed with these minutes).

 

The Committee was advised that following a restructure to the Council’s scrutiny procedure it was noted that the Audit Committee should work more with the Scrutiny Commission group. The Democratic Services Team advised that they would officiate a meeting between the two chairs to discuss how this would work.

 

RESOLVED

 

that the Committee proceeds on the basis of the following work programme, which incorporates all decisions made at this meeting:

 

ISSUE

MEETING

 

Internal Audit Business

Ongoing

2019/20 Review of the effectiveness of Internal Audit (Feedback from Panel)

28th July 2020

(deferred from 9th June 2020)

 

Annually


2019/20 Members’ Allowances Claimed

28th July 2020

(deferred from 9th June 2020)

 

Annually

Whistle Blowing and Anti-fraud, Corruption and Bribery

28th July 2020

(deferred from 9th June 2020)

 

Annually

2019/20 Statement of Accounts

 

28th July 2020

(Accounts Meeting)

 

Annually

2019/20 Annual Governance Statement and Review of the Code of Corporate Governance

28th July 2020

(Accounts Meeting)

 

Annually

Internal Audit Plan – Progress

 

22nd September 2020

 

Quarterly

Risk Management

(Risk Register)

 

22nd September 2020

 

Quarterly - detailed report every six months, exception report quarters in-between.

Council’s Use of Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA)

22nd September 2020

 

Quarterly

 

 

Annual IT Health Check (Code of Connection)

Confidential Report

22nd September 2020

 

Annually

Treasury Management Mid-Year Review

22nd September 2020

 

Annually

Environmental Audits Outcomes – Progress update

November 2020

2020/21 Treasury Management Statement, Annual Investment Strategy and MRP Strategy

February 2021

 

Annually

2021/22 Internal Audit Plan

February 2021

 

Annually

 

 

2020/21 Annual Internal Audit Report

June 2021

 

Annually

 

Internal Audit Charter

 

June 2021

 

Annually (for approval)

 

Environmental Audits – Report on Outcomes

June 2021

 

Annually

 

Note: Six month exception report where identified actions are not implemented by the target date.

 

2020/21 Treasury Management Outturn

June 2021

 

Annually

Future of Local Public Audit

Report on Government proposals considered 5th July 2011.

Further report once final regulations/guidelines are known.

Note:

Appointing Your External Auditor briefing note considered June 2016.

 

.           Policy for Engagement of External Auditors for non-audit work

 

Considered March 2013.

 

Review policy - date to be agreed

 

UUUUpdate on Covid-19 Risk Register

To be scheduled

 

External Audit Business

Ongoing

 

External Audit Progress Report and Technical Update

22nd September 2020

 

Quarterly

 

2019/20 Annual Governance Report

 

 

28th July 2020

(Accounts Meeting)

 

Annually

 

2020/21 Annual Audit Letter

February 2021

 

Annually

 

2021/22 External Audit Plan

 

February 2021

 

Annually