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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Rooms A and B, Civic Offices, Elstree Way, Borehamwood

Contact: Democratic Services  020 8207 7558

Items
No. Item

557.

Membership

To receive details of any changes in membership of the Committee notified since the agenda was printed.

Minutes:

There were no changes to the membership of this Committee.

 

558.

Communications and Apologies

(a)            Communications (if any) relating to business on the agenda.

 

(b)            Apologies for absence.

Minutes:

An apology was submitted on behalf of Councillor A Sachdev.

 

559.

Declarations of Interest

Members are required to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests they or their spouse/partner have in any matter which is to be considered at this meeting.  Members must also declare any other pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests they have in any matter to be considered at this meeting. The responsibility for declaring an interest rests solely with the member concerned.

 

Members must clearly state to the meeting the existence and nature of any disclosable pecuniary interest, other pecuniary interest or non-pecuniary interest and the agenda item(s) to which it/they apply.

 

Disclosable Pecuniary Interests are prescribed by the Relevant Authorities (Disclosable Pecuniary Interests) Regulations 2012 as follows;

 

Employment, office, trade, profession or vocation

 

Any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for profit or gain.

 

Sponsorship

 

Any payment or provision of any other financial benefit (other than from the relevant authority) made or provided within the relevant period in respect of any expenses incurred by a member in carrying out duties as a member, or towards your election expenses. This includes any payment or financial benefit from a trade union within the meaning of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.

 

Contracts

 

Any contract which is made between the relevant person (and a body in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest) and the relevant authority— (a) under which goods or services are to be provided or works are to be executed; and (b) which has not been fully discharged.

 

Land

 

Any beneficial interest in land which is within the area of the relevant authority.

 

Licences

 

Any licence (alone or jointly with others) to occupy land in the area of the relevant authority for a month or longer.

 

Corporate tenancies

 

Any tenancy where (to the member’s knowledge) - (a) the landlord is the relevant authority; and (b) the tenant is a body in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest.

Securities

 

Any beneficial interest in securities of a body where - (a) that body (to the member’s knowledge) has a place of business or land in the area of the relevant authority; and (b) either (i) the total nominal value of the securities exceeds £25,000 or one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body; or (ii) if the share capital of that body is of more than one class, the total nominal value of the shares of any one class in which the relevant person has a beneficial interest exceeds one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that class.

 

In cases of disclosable pecuniary interest, Members must withdraw from the meeting room while the matter is being considered.

 

Minutes:

No Members had an interest to declare in relation to the items of business on the agenda for the meeting.

 

560.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 80 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 11th January 2016.

 

In accordance with the Constitution, no discussion shall take place upon the minutes, except upon their accuracy.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of this Committee held on 11 January 2016, be confirmed as a correct record.

 

561.

Ernst & Young Progress Report pdf icon PDF 172 KB

The purpose of this report is to provide the Audit Committee with an overview of the stage reached in the Ernst & Young 2015/16 audit and ensure it is aligned with the Committee’s service expectations.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr Andrew Brittain from Ernst & Young introduced a progress report on the 2015/16 audit. It was noted that the financial risks facing the Council had been updated and that a risk of ‘error in property valuations’ had been added. The meeting also noted that there were no value for money risks.

 

RESOLVED that the information contained in the Ernst and Young external audit progress report, be noted.   

 

562.

Shared Anti-Fraud Service report pdf icon PDF 170 KB

This report provides Members with information on: progress made by the new Shared Anti-Fraud Service (SAFS) since its launch on 1st April 2015; progress made against the SAFS Business Plan for 2015/2016; the proposed SAFS/HBC Anti-Fraud Action Plan for 2016/2017 and a proposed Fraud Prosecution Policy to deal with detected fraud within the Councils services.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Shared Anti-Fraud Services submitted a report on their work to the Committee. It provided information on the progress made against the Shared Anti-Fraud Service 2015/16 Business Plan; it sought approval of the 2016/17 Anti-Fraud Action Plan and sought approval of the proposed Fraud Sanction and Prosecution Policy.

 

In response to a question, the Committee noted that co-ordination of fraud work with the Department of Work and Pensions was not complete and that two joint working test sites were now operating.

 

RESOLVED that the information contained in the Shared Anti-Fraud Service Progress Report be noted.

 

563.

Shared Internal Audit Service - Audit Plan 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 434 KB

This report provides the Committee with details of the proposed Hertsmere Borough Council Internal Audit Plan for 2016/17.

 

Minutes:

The Shared Internal Audit Service submitted the proposed Hertsmere Borough Council 2016/17 Audit Plan and details of the audit start dates agreed with officers. The Internal Audit Plan set out the programme of internal audit work for the year ahead and formed part of the Council’s wider assurance framework.

 

The meeting noted the proposed allocation of the 400 audit days in 2016/17 and that the performance indicators were the same as the previous year.

 

RESOLVED that the Hertsmere Borough Council Internal Audit Plan for 2016/17 be approved.

  

564.

Shared Internal Audit Service - progress report pdf icon PDF 457 KB

This report provides information on progress made by SIAS in delivering the 2015/16 Internal Audit Plan, implementation status of high priority recommendations as at 27 April 2016, implementation status of previously agreed Audit recommendations and proposed 2015/16 audit start dates agreed with management.

Minutes:

The Shared Internal Audit Service (SIAS) submitted a report to the Committee detailing progress made by SIAS on: delivery of the Council’s 2015/16 Internal Audit Plan as at 27 April 2016; findings for the period 22 December 2015 to 27 April 2016; proposed amendments to the Audit Plan; status of audit recommendations and an update on performance management information as at 31 March 2016.

 

The Committee noted that on 31 March 2016, 95% of the 2015/16 Audit Plan had been delivered.

 

RESOLVED that the information contained in the Shared Internal Audit Service progress report (A/16/07) be noted and the amendments to the Audit Plan be approved.

 

 

565.

New Accounting Standards Applicable to the Council and a review of the Council's Current Accounting Policies pdf icon PDF 239 KB

This report updates Members on the requirements of IFRS13 Fair Value Measurement as set out in the Code of Practice for 2015/16 and provides information on a number of other changes to the principles and practices of accounting required to prepare a Statement of Accounts which gives a true and fair view of the financial position and transactions of a local authority.

 

Minutes:

The Director of Resources submitted a report which advised Members on the requirements of IFRS13 Fair Value Measurement as set out in the Code of Practice for 2015/16. The three main objectives of IFRS 13 were; to provide a consistent definition of fair value to be applied whenever any other standard had a requirement for measurement or disclosure at fair value; to establish a single framework for measuring fair value and to require standardisation disclosure of the techniques and inputs used in making measurements.

 

The report also advised that group accounts would be prepared to consolidate the performance of Elstree Film Studios and to restate the 2014/15 comparatives. It also provided an update on the change to measuring local authority highways networks at depreciated replacement cost (DRC) instead of historical cost. Finally it recommended that the Council’s current accounting policies be retained except where they were affected by the changes referred to above and throughout this report.

 

RESOLVED that

 

1.         the accounts for Elstree Film Studios be consolidated into the 2015/16 accounts with 2014/15 comparatives,

 

2.         the accounting policy is updated to reflect the requirements of;

 

- International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 13 Fair Value Measurement, and

-  Group Accounts consolidation of EFS

 

3.         the Council retains the other existing accounting policies without change.

 

4.         the information provided concerning the impact of the implementation of:

 

-       narrative reporting (which replaces the Explanatory Forward) in the statement of accounts be noted, and

 

-       the Council not performing any additional work towards adopting the Highways Infrastructure Code, as it is not anticipated that the Council will have any assets that meets the definition of the Highways Network Asset, be noted.

 

566.

Risk Management pdf icon PDF 153 KB

This report reviews and updates the strategic risks and proposes new and amended strategic risks. The Committee is asked to note the Risk and Opportunities Management Strategy which has been updated following an annual review.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee had before them a report from the Risk Manager which reported on a review of the Council’s strategic risks. It was proposed that: the impact of the Data Protection and Information Management risk be increased; that the risk likelihood of External Financial Pressures be increased; that the risk likelihood to Affordable Social Housing be increased and the addition of a new risk “Newberries Car Park Development”.  

 

The Committee also noted that the Risk and Opportunities Management Strategy had been updated following an annual review.

 

RESOLVED that

 

1.         the increase in the impact assessment of the Strategic Risk of Data Protection & Information Management be noted,

 

2.         the increase in the likelihood of the External Financial Pressures Strategic Risk be noted,

 

3.         the increase in the likelihood of the Affordable Social Housing Strategic Risk be noted,

 

4.         the addition of the new risk “Newberries Car Park Development Scheme” be noted, and

 

5.         the updated Risk and Opportunities Management Strategy be noted.

 

567.

Certification Report 2014/15 pdf icon PDF 326 KB

This report summarises the overall assessment by Grant Thornton of the Council’s management arrangements for the certification process and draws attention to significant matters in relation to individual claims.

 

Minutes:

The Council’s former external auditors were required to certify certain claims and returns submitted by Hertsmere Borough Council. Auditor certification was an important part of the process to confirm entitlement to funding. Grant Thornton submitted a report on the outcome from their certification work for 2014/15.

 

In 2014/15 only one claim required auditor certification at Hertsmere BC; the claim for Housing Benefit Subsidy, based on total expenditure (benefit granted) of £41.2m. The work undertaken included additional testing of earned income calculations to address issues identified from previous year testing. This work identified a small number of errors which, under the Certification Instruction, were reported to DWP in a qualification letter. Officers made a number of amendments to the 2014/15 claim prior to certification. Subsequently errors were identified in the workings for amendments relating to non-HRA rent rebates. Revised figures had now been produced and agreed with DWP that the adjustments required would be made through the 2015/16 subsidy claim.

 

RESOLVED that the information contained in the certification report from Grant Thornton be noted.

 

568.

Any other business

Minutes:

None.

 

569.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Committee is scheduled to take place on 7th July 2016 at 7.30 p.m. in the Civic Offices, Elstree Way, Borehamwood.

 

 

Minutes:

The next ordinary meeting of this Committee is scheduled to take place on 7 July 2016 at 7.30 p.m. in the Civic Offices, Elstree Way, Borehamwood.