Agenda and minutes

Governance & Audit Committee - Wednesday, 16 September 2020 7.30 pm

Venue: Online Only

Contact: Hannah Stevenson  01344 352308

Link: This meeting will be held online


No. Item


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.


Cllr Tullett declared an affected interest as he was the managing director of a company that had  received a discretionary grant.


Minutes of previous meeting pdf icon PDF 157 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meetings of the Committee held on 24 June 2020.


RESOLVED that, subject to the amendments above, the minutes of the meeting of the committee held on the 24 June 2020 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

The Director: Resources provided an update to the Committee on the Statements of Accounts, which had been expected to be brought to this meeting of the Committee for formal sign off. However, the Council’s external auditors, Ernst & Young had not yet completed the audit of the accounts, and they were still waiting for Deloitte’s to finish the audit of the pension funds.


It was hoped that this would be brought back to the Committee before the deadline of 30 November 2020, and a special meeting may be required around this date.



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.


There were no urgent items of business.


Internal Audit and Risk Management Update pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To recive an update on progress on the annual Internal Audit Plan and the latest version of the Strategic Risk Register


The Committee received a report, which presented an update on progress on the annual Internal Audit Plan and the latest version of the Strategic Risk Register.


Sally Hendricks, Head of Audit and Risk Management, reported that, progress against the 2020/21 Internal Audit Plan was set out in Appendix 1 and as expected was behind original schedule due to delays in starting audits with departments due to the Covid-19 pandemic which had created a backlog which was now being addressed.


Delivery of the Council’s internal audit services have historically been outsourced and at a previous meeting it had been reported that there had been delivery issues with the contractor, therefore the decision was made to increase in-house capacity and an experienced senior auditor had been assisting us since late July.


Although it was too early in the financial year to comment on progress in improving the control environment especially given the delay in progressing the Audit Plan due to COVID 19, the Head of Audit and Risk Management was able to report that the planned action to set up a working group to identify other approaches that could help address continuing weaknesses in the area of expenses and purchase cards had been implemented and arising from this a number of workshops had already been held providing training on use and controls of purchase cards.


Arising for the Committees comments and questions, the following points were made:


·        The Head of Audit and Risk Management was hopeful that the team would be able to catch up with the audit plan as good progress was being made, however it would depend on the service areas being able to accommodate the audits, but Sally was keen for not too many audits to be deferred to quarter 4, as they had the previous year which had been delayed further due to Covid-19. 

·        The audit plan was being monitored at every DMT meeting.

·        Since the Covid-19 pandemic, the government business rate grants had been audited, which was key. Audits on the first tranche of grants around small businesses had been completed, and the arrangements for the discretionary grants were being currently looked at.

·        The cash management audit was currently being relooked at, as there were limited cash transactions happening due to the pandemic.

·        Since the pandemic, the priorities of audits hadn’t changed too much, but the grants being key thing too look at, however there hadn’t been too much movement in the plan. It was being addressed at DMT whether there were now additional areas that needed to be included within the plan as a result of the pandemic.


Sally Hendricks, Head of Audit and Risk Management provided an update on the Council’s risk register.


The Register had been reviewed by the Strategic Risk Management Group and the

Corporate Management Team on 11and 26 August 2020 and the changes made were detailed at 5.7 in the report.


The adult supply chain risk 6 had been increased for both unmitigated, current

residual and target risk score reflecting  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.