Agenda and minutes

Audit and Governance Committee
Tuesday, 31st July, 2018 2.00 pm

Venue: Committee Suite 1,2 & 3, Westfields, Middlewich Road, Sandbach CW11 1HZ. View directions

Contact: Rachel Graves  Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

19.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Philip Gardener.

20.

Declarations of Interest

To provide an opportunity for Members and Officers to declare any disclosable pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests in any item on the agenda.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

21.

Public Speaking Time/Open Session

In accordance with paragraph 2.32 of the Committee Procedural Rules and Appendix 7 to the Rules a total period of 10 minutes is allocated for members of the public to address the Committee on any matter relevant to the work of the body in question.

 

Individual members of the public may speak for up to 5 minutes but the Chairman or person presiding will decide how the period of time allocated for public speaking will be apportioned where there are a number of speakers. Members of the public are not required to give notice to use this facility. However, as a matter of courtesy, a period of 24 hours’ notice is encouraged.

 

Members of the public wishing to ask a question at the meeting should provide at least three clear working days’ notice in writing and should include the question with that notice. This will enable an informed answer to be given.

 

 

Minutes:

No members of the public present wished to speak.

22.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 92 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 31 May 2018 as a correct record.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the minutes of the meeting held on 31 May 2018 and the following amendment was made:

 

Minute 6 – Internal Audit Annual Report 2017/18: the second paragraph to be re-formatted to make it easier to understand: -

 

“In response to questions from Members clarification was given on a number of specific matters including:

 

·       that the current Internal Audit review of the Council’s travel booking system would include travel booked on behalf of Members

·       the staffing position in Internal Audit would be resolved upon completion of an ongoing restructure programme

·       the reference to overpaid/misspent direct payment monies was not in any way connected to Empower Cards that had previously been used to deliver this service

 

In response to a question on investigations that had been undertaken during the year further information was provided in relation to the use of purchase cards.”

 

RESOLVED:

 

That, subject to the above amendment, the minutes of the meeting held on 31 May 2018 be confirmed as a correct record.

23.

External Audit Findings and Action Plan 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 69 KB

To consider the report of Grant Thornton, the external auditors, on their findings from the 2017/18 audit. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Grant Thornton presented the Audit Findings on the 2017/18 Audit.

 

The report identified the key audit risks considered by Grant Thornton on the Financial Statements and Value for Money arrangements and detailed their finding on these, with five recommendations for action being made.  The Management Response to these actions was outlined in Appendix B to the report.

 

The Letter of Representation was circulated to the Committee.

 

RESOLVED:  That

 

1        the Audit Findings Report be received;

 

2        the Management Response to the recommendations contained within the Audit Findings Report Action Plan be noted; and

 

3        the Letter of Representation be approved for signature by the Interim Executive Director of Corporate Services.

24.

Annual Statement of Accounts 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 68 KB

To consider the Statement of Accounts 2017/18. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the 2017/18 Statement of Accounts for Cheshire East Group.

 

The amendments reported in Appendix C of the Audit Findings Report had been agreed and included in the final Statement of Accounts.

 

Following approval the final audited version of the Statement of Accounts would be published on the Council’s website.

 

RESOLVED:  That

 

1        the report be received and the changes made to the draft Accounts in accordance with the Audit Finding Report be noted; and

 

2        the Chairman of the Audit and Governance Committee be given delegated authority to sign off the final Accounts on behalf of the Committee.

 

 

25.

Audit and Governance Committee Annual Report 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 238 KB

To consider the draft version of the Annual Report of the Audit and Governance Committee 2017/18 and agree the final version of the report that will go to Council on 18th October 2018.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the draft version of the Annual Report of the Audit and Governance Committee 2017/18.

 

The report provided details of the work undertaken by the Committee and the assurances received during the year.

 

Members sought clarification on the staffing levels and restructure of Internal Audit and appointment of a Chief Internal Auditor, and on the Air Quality Internal Audit work.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That, subject to the typing errors being corrected, the Annual Report of the Audit and Governance Committee 2017/18 be approved for consideration by Council at it meeting on 18 October 2018.

26.

Annual Governance Statement 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 225 KB

To receive and approve the proposed final Annual Governance Statement 2017/18 for signature by the Leader of the Council and the Acting Chief Executive.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

At its meeting on 31 May 2018 the Committee had considered the draft Annual Governance Statement, which had now been amended to take account of feedback received at that meeting.

 

Members sought clarification on the following on the awarding of the money to Berkeley Academy Car Park and on the two independent advice phone lines for Whistleblowing and Bullying.

 

It was requested that paragraph 5.77 on page 18 of the Statement be redrafted so that it did not read ambiguously.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That, subject to the requested amendments, the Annual Governance Statement 2017/18 be approved.

27.

Risk Management Update Report pdf icon PDF 101 KB

To receive a summary on risk management activity since the previous report at the end of May 2018.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report on risk management activity since the end of May 2018. 

 

The report detailed the work undertaken in relation to Business Continuity, which included the approval by Cabinet of the Business Continuity Statement and Strategy and the undertaking of Cyber Attack Awareness Exercise. 

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the report be noted.

28.

Internal Audit Procurement Review pdf icon PDF 240 KB

To receive an overview of the recent Internal Audit review of procurement.

 

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report on an Internal Audit Review of procurement, which superseded a review initially commenced during 2015 which was paused as a result of a police investigation into the award of contracts.

 

The report detailed the three risks identified for the review, the findings of Internal Audit and the management response to the findings in relation to Risk 3. 

 

The Committee sought clarification on the 33 contracts passed their expiry date and whether they were all from one department, and discussed how long the Committee should continue to review WARNs. 

 

The Committee, at its next meeting, would be receiving a report on the improved arrangements put in place for contract management and it was suggested that this include the controls put in place by the Procurement Board in relation to WARNs.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the content of the report and the management actions agreed as a result of the review be noted.

29.

Information Governance Update pdf icon PDF 262 KB

To receive an update on progress with General Data Protection Regulation.

 

Minutes:

The Committee considered an update on the progress with the General Data Protection Regulations, which came into force on 25 May 2018.

 

The next phase of work would look at the processes and practices in place and testing of these.  Work would also be undertaken on ICT application such as email, software and hardware to ensure compliance with the Regulations.

 

It was reported that 87% of staff had completed the mandatory training and that a reminder would be sent out to those who had not completed the training. 

 

The Data Protection Policy had been approved by the Information Governance Group and would shortly be present to the Portfolio Holder for approval.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the report be noted.

 

30.

Best4Business Project pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To receive a presentation on the governance and assurance arrangements for the Best4Business Project.

Minutes:

The Committee received a presentation on the governance arrangements for the Best4Business project, which would see the replacement of the Oracle operating system with Unit 4 Businessworld.

 

The Committee asked about the provision of backup for the Cloud based service, data migration, interface with partner organisation systems and security of the system.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the presentation be received.

 

31.

Maladministration Decision Notices from Local Government Ombudsman – February – March 2018 pdf icon PDF 222 KB

To receive an update on the Decision Notices issued by the Local Government Ombudsman when their investigations have found maladministration causing injustice to complainants.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report on the Decision Notices issued by the Local Government Ombudsman between 1 February and 31 March 2018.

 

It was reported that two Decision Notices had been issued which concluded that there had been maladministration causing injustice  - these were detailed in Appendix 1 to the report.

 

It was requested in future reports that a link be included to the Decision Notice on the Local Government Ombudsman website.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the report be noted.

32.

Committee Work Plan 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 233 KB

To consider the Committee’s Work Plan for the remaining meetings in 2018/19.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the Committee’s Work Plan for 20181/19.

 

The Committee noted, as stated in the report, that three items scheduled to come to the meeting had been deferred and had been re-scheduled for future meetings. 

 

The unallocated items would be reported back the Committee as and when appropriate.

 

It was reported that CIPFA had now published their 2018 edition of “Practical Guidance for Local Authorities and Police” and a report would be brought to the Committee in due course to advise on the updated guidance and any implications for the Committee.

 

It was requested that an item on reviewing the findings and any governance implications from the recent Employment Tribunal Case be brought to the next meeting.  In order to avoid duplication of work, the Interim Executive Director of Corporate Services undertook to check with the Chairman of the Staffing Committee to see if that Committee was planning to do a review.

 

RESOLVED: 

 

That the Work Plan be approved and that it be brought back to the Committee throughout the year for further development and approval.        

33.

Contract Procedure Rule Waivers and Non-Adherences pdf icon PDF 116 KB

To receive an update on the number and reasons for waivers and non-adherences which have been approved between 1 April - 30 June 2018.

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report on the number and reasons for Waivers and Non-Adherences (WARNs) which had been approved between 1 April and 30 June 2018. 

 

The Committee noted and welcomed the reduction in the number of waivers and non-adherence to the Contract Procedure Rules.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the report be noted.

34.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

The reports relating to the remaining items on the agenda have been withheld from public circulation and deposit pursuant to Section 100(B)(2) of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that the matters may be determined with the press and public excluded.

 

The Committee may decide that the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items pursuant to Section 100(A)4 of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 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 pursuant to Section 100(A)4 of the Local Government Act 1972 as amended on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 1and 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 and public interest would not be served in publishing the information.

35.

Contract Procedure Rule Waivers and Non-Adherences

To note the approved WARNS between 1 April - 30 June 2018.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the WARNs be noted.