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Agenda and minutes

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

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Items
No. Item

178.

Membership

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

Minutes:

The Vice Chairman reported that Councillor Graham had replaced Councillor Goldstein as a member of this Committee for this meeting.

 

179.

Communications and Apologies

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

 

(b)            Apologies for absence.

Minutes:

An apology for absence was submitted on behalf of Councillor Goldstein.

 

180.

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 Member had an interest to declare in relation to the items of business on the agenda for the meeting.

 

181.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 89 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 7th July 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 7 July 2016 be confirmed as a correct record.

 

182.

Shared Anti-Fraud Service Report - September 2016 pdf icon PDF 152 KB

This is the first report for the Councils Audit Committee providing progress against the Councils published anti-fraud action plan that was adopted by this Committee in May 2016.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Shared Anti-Fraud Service reported to the Committee on progress against the Council’s published anti-fraud action plan and noted that all mile stones had been met or were on course for delivery. The meeting also received information on activities performed by the Shared Anti-Fraud Service and noted the type of fraud being reported; who was reporting fraud and the outcome of cases.

 

Members were concerned to note that, according to reports from the former Audit Commission Office; the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau among others, fraud loss across local government in England exceeded £2 billion each year. Members asked for information of the likely level of fraud in Hertsmere compared with neighbouring authorities and how Hertsmere’s recovery effort compared.

 

RESOLVED that

 

(1) the information contained in the report of the Shared Anti-Fraud Services be noted, and

 

(2) the Committee be advised of the likely level of fraud within Hertsmere and the recovery effort compared with other Hertfordshire authorities.

 

183.

Presentation and Approval of the Statement of Accounts for 2015 - 16 pdf icon PDF 154 KB

This report submits the Council’s Statement of Accounts 2015/16 for approval by the Committee following completion of the external audit.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Resources presented the Council’s Statement of Accounts for 2015/16 to the Committee for approval. The meeting was reminded that it had, on 7 July 2016, approved the submission of the accounts to Ernst & Young for external audit. The Committee noted that there had been no material changes to the accounts following that audit. The Financial Services Manager then drew the Committee’s attention to some minor presentational changes.

 

The meeting noted that the accounts for Elstree Film Studios Ltd had, for the first time, been consolidated into the Council’s accounts. In response to this Members asked to be provided with more information on the practice of consolidation to help it decide when such action should be taken in respect of other Council controlled bodies.

 

RESOLVED that

 

(1) the audited Statement of Accounts 2015/16 be approved, as required by the Accounts and Audit (England) Regulations 2011, and

 

(2) the contents of the Letter of Representation 2015/16 be noted.

 

184.

External Audit Results - year ended 31st March 2016 pdf icon PDF 517 KB

The National Audit Office’s Code of Audit Practice (the Code) requires the Council’s external auditors to report to those charged with governance – the Audit Committee – on the work they have carried out to discharge their statutory audit responsibilities together with any governance issues identified. This report summarises the findings from the Ernst and Young 2015/16 audit.

 

Minutes:

The Council’s external auditors, Ernst & Young, submitted a report which detailed the outcome of their 2015/16 audit. At the meeting this report was updated and corrections made to the indexing of the appendices.

 

The Committee was pleased to note the auditors had found that the Council had in place proper arrangements to secure value for money in the use of resources and to secure economy, efficiency and effectiveness in its use of resources.

 

RESOLVED that the report of Ernst & Young detailing their approval of the 2015/16 accounts, be noted.

 

185.

Treasury Management Annual Outturn report and Treasury Indicators 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 89 KB

This report provides Members with an annual review of the performance of the treasury management function including prudential indicators during 2015/16.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Finance and Business Services advised the meeting that from 2016/17 onwards the Audit Committee had become the nominated body responsible for ensuring the effective scrutiny of the treasury management strategy and policies. It was noted that members of the Audit Committee had been offered treasury management raining to support them in this new role.

 

In future the Audit Committee would annually be sent and asked to scrutinise the following treasury reports;

 

            Treasury Management Strategy

            Treasury Management mid-year review

            Treasury Management outturn report

 

The Treasury Management report now before the Committee also reviewed the performance of the Treasury Management function including the prudential indicators during 2015/16. It was noted that the Council had no liquidity difficulties.

 

Members debated the current borrowing climate and highlighted the need to consider carefully the future borrowing requirement of Hertsmere.

 

RESOLVED that

 

(1) the Treasury Management Annual outturn report and Treasury Indicators 2015/16 be agreed and submitted to Council for approval.

 

(2) the Audit Committee consider further Hertsmere’s prudential indicators in the light of new Council initiatives, including the establishment of a Development Company.

 

186.

Internal Audit Progress Report pdf icon PDF 417 KB

This report provides the Committee with (a) the progress made by the Shared Internal Audit Service in delivering the Council’s 2016/17 Internal Audit Plan as at 19 August 2016, (b)     the findings for the period 18 June 2016 to 19 August 2016, (c) the proposed amendments required to the approved 2016/17 Audit Plan, (d) the implementation status of previously agreed audit recommendations, and (e)            an update on performance management information as at 19 August 2016.

 

Minutes:

The Shared Internal Audit Service (SIAS) submitted a report to the Committee detailing progress made by SIAS on: delivery of the Council’s 2016/17 Internal Audit Plan as at 19 August 2016; findings for the period 18 June 2016 to 19 August 2016; proposed amendments to the Audit Plan; status of audit recommendations and an update on performance management information as at 19 August 2016.

 

Given the time that had elapsed between the date of the Committee report and the date of the meeting, the Audit Manager provided an update on the performance data contained within the report. The Committee noted that 34% of the 2016/17 Audit Plan days had now been delivered. 

 

RESOLVED that the information contained in the Shared Internal Audit Service progress report (A/16/18) be noted and the amendments to the Audit Plan be approved.

 

187.

Internal Audit Annual Report 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 934 KB

This report illustrates the work of the partnership during its fourth year of activity, highlights key areas of success in the year, describes the performance of the partnership during 2015/16 and looks ahead to the future developments that will continue to deliver the partners’ vision.

 

Minutes:

The Committee had before it the fifth annual report from the Shared Internal Audit Service (SIAS) and noted that the Service had, in 2015/16, again achieved both its key productivity measures. During the year the service had been the subject of an independent peer review which found SIAS was operating at the highest level of conformity. In addition the new audit methodology adopted by SIAS was commended by the review team.

 

RESOLVED that the information contained in the Shared Internal Audit Service Annual report 2015/16 be noted.

 

188.

Risk Management Progress and Update Report pdf icon PDF 145 KB

This report reviews and updates the Strategic Risks facing this Authority.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received information on a review of Hertsmere’s strategic risks and noted that there had been no changes in the assessment of these risks since the last report.

 

During debate it was pointed out that the present monetary policy of the Council impacted upon the External Financial Pressures risk. The Director of Resources would consider this point.

 

RESOLVED that the information contained in the Risk Management Progress and Update report be noted.

 

189.

Any other business

Minutes:

None.

 

190.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Committee is scheduled to take place on 30th January 2017 at 7.30 pm in the Civic Offices, Elstree Way, Borehamwood.

 

Minutes:

The next ordinary meeting of this Committee is scheduled to take place on Monday, 30 January 2017 at 7.30 p.m. in the Civic Offices, Elstree Way, Borehamwood.