Agenda and minutes

Governance & Audit Committee
Wednesday, 27 March 2019 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Time Square, Market Street, Bracknell, RG12 1JD. View directions

Contact: Kirstine Berry  01344 354068

Items
No. Item

33.

Declarations of Interest

Members are asked to declare any disclosable pecuniary or affected interests in respect of any matter to be considered at this meeting.

 

Any Member with a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in a matter should withdraw from the meeting when the matter is under consideration and should notify the Democratic Services Officer in attendance that they are withdrawing as they have such an interest. If the Disclosable Pecuniary Interest is not entered on the register of Members interests the Monitoring Officer must be notified of the interest within 28 days.

 

Any Member with an affected Interest in a matter must disclose the interest to the meeting.  There is no requirement to withdraw from the meeting when the interest is only an affected interest, but the Monitoring Officer should be notified of the interest, if not previously notified of it, within 28 days of the meeting.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

34.

Minutes of previous meeting pdf icon PDF 209 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meetings of the Committee held on 30 January 2019.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on the 30 January 2019 be approved as a correct record, and signed by the Chairman.

35.

Urgent Items of Business

Any other items which, pursuant to Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972, the Chairman decides are urgent.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items of business.

36.

Interim Audit Report pdf icon PDF 537 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Sally Hendrick, Head of Audit and Risk Management attended the Committee and presented a summary of the Internal Audit activity during the period April 2018 to 13 March 2019.

 

Sally Hendrick advised the Committee that:

  • The report followed the interim report provided to the Committee on 30 January 2019.
  • Section 3.4 set out the major control issues identified as the number of audits with a limited assurance opinion and/or priority 1 recommendation and increased occurrence of limited assurance/priority 1 recommendations being issued again at follow-up audits.
  • Common themes arising out of the audits included poor debt management, weaknesses in some financial control across the Council and review and monitoring arrangements in some services such as the annual review of some residential care cases in Adult Social Care and quarterly Direct Payment checks not taking place or being behind schedule.  CMT was to consider common themes of weakness to review the provisional internal audit plan and ensure this addressed these areas adequately.
  • Section 3.6 provided details on nine audits with major issues (eleven audits in this category had previously been reported at the last meeting on 30 January 2019).  These included two ‘repeat offenders’ – Business Rates and Council Tax.
  • A priority one recommendation was raised to address weaknesses in financial monitoring of S106 monies.
  • One priority 1 recommendation was raised in respect of uncertainty about the completeness of sickness recorded.
  • A priority 1 recommendation was raised due to non-compliance with controls to review and approve purchase card expenditure.
  • Appendix A provided details on the status and outcome of all audits carried out to-date in 2018/19 which showed that delivery against the planned programme was on track with audits finalised, issued in draft or in progress.
  • Appendix C provided an update from managers of 2017/18 audits where a limited assurance/priority 1 recommendation had been given more than once.

 

In response to questions from Members, Sally Hendrick, Head of Audit and Risk

Management advised the Committee that:

  • The main weakness identified in financial monitoring of S106 monies had arisen because the monitoring had been carried out by one individual for many years and following their departure, there had been a delayed handover which had resulted in the monitoring spreadsheet not being updated.  New processes had been agreed to address the issue and ICT had been invested in to reduce the reliance on spreadsheets and the implementation was now in progress.  One error in the allocation of S106 monies had been identified whereby the sum of £10,000 was allocated somewhere when it had already been spent.
  • It was noted that if a proportion of S106 monies was allocated incorrectly to different budgets or not allocated at all then the budget holder may lose the monies as there was a limited time to spend the money before it went back to the Developer.
  • As outlined in the Creditors report in the pink section, a transaction had been identified where an officer had approved a transaction for £92k when their Agresso system approval limit was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.

37.

Annual Audit Plan pdf icon PDF 429 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Sally Hendrick, Head of Audit and Risk Management presented a summary of the Provisional Internal Audit Plan for 2019/20.

 

  • Sally Hendrick advised the Committee that the 2019/20 Internal Audit Plan had increased from 454 days to 517 days. The increase of 63 days was largely due to the increased number of audits in 2019/20 to follow up limited assurance audit reports from 2018/19.
  • Members were advised that the Plan proposed was provisional. With the number of limited assurance reports being higher than in previous years, CMT was currently reviewing the audit reports with a limited assurance opinion and/or priority 1 recommendation to identify any key, recurring themes arising from these audit reviews and assess if the 2019/20 plan adequately covered these themes.
  • The new Director of Delivery, Kevin Gibb, had only just started in post and would be consulted on what he was looking for but had already indicated he would like an audit on GDPR to be undertaken.
  • Following a suggestion by Members that the absence management audit should include time management, Sally Hendrick advised that it was unlikely that any processes to improve time recording would be fully in place by the time of the next absence management report.  She had suggested a separate audit on time recording for 2019/20 but again this had not been included for the same reason.

 

The Chairman commented that some of the audits were classed as follow-up; Sally Hendrick explained that sometimes this meant a narrowing-down on the issue uncovered but that a note could be made that indicated all those 2019/20 audits that were limited in 2018/19.

 

RESOLVED: that the Provisional Internal Audit Plan for 2019/20 be approved.

 

Councillor Ian Leake thanked the auditors for their work and for the level of detail and transparency in both the Interim Audit Report and Internal Audit Plan for 2019/20 and asked the Committee to commend and value the work that had been undertaken.  Councillor Ian Leake added that because the auditors had carried out their work so effectively, Members had been made aware of the problems and how they were being addressed.