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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

44.

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 A Sachdev as a member of this Committee for this meeting.

 

45.

Communications and Apologies

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

 

(b)            Apologies for absence.

Minutes:

The Vice Chairman reported that Councillor A Sachdev had apologised for not being able to attend this meeting.

 

46.

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.

 

47.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 119 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meetings of the Committee held on 30th January and 17th May 2017.

 

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

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meetings held 30th January and 17th May 2017, be approved as a correct record.

 

48.

Ernst and Young progress report 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 112 KB

The purpose of this report is to provide the Audit Committee with an overview of the stage reached in the Ernst & Young 2016/17 audit and ensure it is aligned with the Committee’s service expectations.

 

Minutes:

The Council’s external auditors, Ernst and Young, submitted a report that provided an overview of the stage they had reached in the 2016/17 audit.

 

They were completing their audit in accordance with the requirements of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014; the National Audit Office’s 2015 Code of Audit Practice; the Statement of Responsibilities issued by Public Sector Audit Appointments (PSAA) Ltd the requirements of auditing standards and other professional requirements. The representative of Ernst and Young said that completion of their interim reviews had not identified any issues that they wished to bring to the attention of this Committee.

 

RESOLVED that the information contained in the progress report from Ernst and Young be noted.

 

49.

Ernst and Young Local Government Audit Committee briefing pdf icon PDF 675 KB

This briefing from Ernst and Young for Audit Committees covers issues which may have an impact on this authority, the Local Government sector, and the audits that they undertake.

 

Minutes:

The Committee received a document from Ernst and Young entitled ‘Local Government Audit Committee briefing’. This information report was designed to support Audit Committees in their work and reported on technical issues as well as wider matters of potential interest.

 

RESOLVED that the information contained in the briefing report be noted.

 

50.

SIAS Audit Plan 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 398 KB

This report provides the Committee with details of the proposed Hertsmere Borough Council Internal Audit Plan for 2017/18.

 

Minutes:

The Shared Internal Audit Service (SIAS) submitted a report which detailed the proposed Hertsmere Borough Council 2017/18 Audit Plan. This plan set out the programme of audit work for the year ahead and formed part of the Council’s assurance framework. In presenting the report, the Head of Assurance pointed out that the proposed number of days for the DFG Capital Grant Certification should be ten days and not one day.

 

In reply to a question about independence of the audit function, the Head of Assurance said it was his duty to ensure that management did not lead audit work and that he had an ability to look at any area he considered necessary. He added that learning from other Councils in Hertfordshire was applied to Hertsmere, so that risk identified in other Councils was taken into account here.

 

In respect of Fees and Charges Benchmarking the Committee was assured that Hertsmere would also look to the situation in London before amending its own charges.

 

RESOLOVED that the Hertsmere Borough Council Internal Audit Plan for 2017/18 be approved.

  

51.

SIAS Progress report pdf icon PDF 487 KB

This report provides the Committee with (a) the progress made by the Shared Internal Audit Service in delivering the Council’s 2017/18 Internal Audit Plan as at 12 May 2017, (b) the findings for the period 1 April 2017 to 12 May 2017, (c) the proposed amendments required to the approved 2017/18 Audit Plan, (d) the implementation status of previously agreed audit recommendations, and (e) an update on performance management information as at 12 May 2017.

 

Minutes:

The Shared Internal Audit Service (SIAS) submitted a report to the Committee detailing progress made by SIAS on: delivery of the Council’s 2017/18 Internal Audit Plan as at 12 May 2017; findings for the period 1 April 2017 to 12 May 2017; proposed amendments to the 2017/18 Audit Plan; status of audit recommendations and an update on performance management information as at 12 May 2017.

 

Given the time that had elapsed between the date of the Committee report and the date of the meeting, the Head of Assurance provided an update on the performance data contained within the report. The Committee noted that 10% of the 2017/18 Audit Plan days had now been delivered. 

 

During discussion of this report, Members asked that future progress reports include reference to completed projects that have been given assurance rating of moderate or lower, along with a summary of the actions required to attain an improved assurance level.

 

RESOLVED that the information contained in the Shared Internal Audit Service progress report (A/17/14) be noted and the amendments to the Audit Plan be approved.

 

 

52.

SIAS 2016/17 Annual Assurance Statement and Internal Audit Annual report. pdf icon PDF 516 KB

This report provides the overall SIAS opinion on the adequacy and effectiveness of the Council’s control environment. It also shows the outcomes of the self-assessment against the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards (PSIAS) incorporating the requirements of the Quality Assurance and Improvement Programme (QAIP). The report then summarises the audit work that informs this opinion and shows SIAS performance in delivering the Council’s audit plan. Finally it presents the 201718 Charter.

 

Minutes:

The Committee had a report before them which detailed the Shared Internal Audit Service’s (SIAS) overall opinion on the adequacy and effectiveness of Hertsmere Borough Council’s control environment. It also set out the outcome of the self-assessment against the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards (PSIAS) which incorporated the requirements of the Quality Assurance and Improvement Programme (QAIP). The report went on to summarises the audit work that informed that opinion, and showed SIAS’s performance in respect of delivering the Council’s audit plan. Finally it presented the 2017/18 Audit Charter.

 

The Committee was pleased to note that the SIAS opinion of Hertsmere’s financial services was one of substantial assurance, while the opinion of non-financial systems was, again, one of substantial assurance.

 

During discussion of this item, the Corporate Director gave formal notice that the scope and resources given to SIAS had not been subject to inappropriate limitations in 2016/17.

 

RESOLVED that

 

(1)   the Annual Assurance Statement and Internal Audit Annual report be noted.

 

(2)   the results of the self-assessment required by the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards and the Quality Assurance and Improvement Programme be noted.

 

(3)   the SIAS Audit Charter be approved, and

 

(4)   it be noted that management had provided an assurance that the scope and resources for internal audit had not been subject to inappropriate limitations in 2016/17.

 

53.

Annual Governance Statement 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 175 KB

This report explains how the Council has maintained sound governance during the 2016/17 financial year, how it meets various legislative requirements and identifies any significant governance issues.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Resources introduced the Annual Governance Statement for 2016/17 to the Committee. The Statement explained how the Council had maintained sound governance during the 2016/17 financial year and how the Council met the requirements of the Accounts and Audit (England) Regulations 2015. The Director pointed out that this Statement was very closely related to the Statement of Accounts to be considered later in the meeting, and that these documents provided information on the Council’s general performance in 2016/17.

 

It was noted that the paragraph numbering on page 10 of the Statement would be corrected.

 

The meeting considered the contents of the Annual Governance Statement Action Plan and suggested that ‘Use of Temporary Staff’, an issue from the 2015/16 Statement Action Plan, be retained in the 2016/17 Statement.

 

RESOLVED that

 

(1)     the Council’s Annual Governance Statement (AGS) and Action Plan be approved,

 

(2)     the Action Plan associated with the Annual Governance Statement be noted, and

 

(2)    subject to any changes required prior to their signing, the Annual Governance Statement be included in the Statement of Accounts 2016/17.

 

54.

Presentation of the 2016/17 Draft Accounts pdf icon PDF 357 KB

This report presents the Council’s Statement of Accounts for 2016/17 for recommendation to external audit.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee had before it a report presenting the Council’s draft 2016/17 Statement of Accounts for noting before submission to external audit. According to Regulations, the Chief Financial Officer must, by 30 June following the year end, sign and date the Statement of Accounts and confirm that they present a true and fair view of the financial position as at 31st March and for the year then ended.

 

During debate the Committee asked for information on Section 106 funds and wanted to know when funds had been received, how much was in the budget and the anticipated spend timescale.

 

RESOLVED that the draft Statement of Accounts for 2016/17 be noted and their submission to external audit be approved.

 

55.

Review of Whistle-Blowing Policy pdf icon PDF 100 KB

This report requests the Audit Committee to consider the latest revision of the Council’s Whistleblowing Policy and to refer any comments thereon to the Standards Committee.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the latest revision of the Council’s Whistleblowing Policy and was asked to refer any comments thereon to the Standards Committee.

 

The Committee noted that the approved policy would be available via the Council’s website.

 

RESOLVED that

 

(1)      the draft revised Whistleblowing Policy set out in the Annexe to report A/17/18 be noted, and

 

(2)     the Standards Committee informed that the Audit Committee has no comments on the revised policy.

 

56.

Risk Management Progress and Update Report pdf icon PDF 210 KB

The report reviews and updates the Strategic Risks.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received information on a review of Hertsmere’s strategic risks and noted a proposal to reduce the assessment of the Workforce Capacity; Future Development Plans for Elstree Studios and Cyber Risks. The meeting was also asked to note the separation of the risk for Business Continuity from IT Disaster Recovery, to form two separate strategic risks, along with the increased likelihood for Business Continuity.

 

During discussion of this report, Members questions the rating of the Newberries Car Park Development Scheme and suggested that it did not warrant an impact rating of 4, nor a likelihood of three. It was proposed that an impact rating of 3 and a likelihood rating of 2 would be more appropriate.

 

For the Cyber Risk, the Committee wished to see that re-calibrated to a likelihood of 3 and an impact of 3.

 

It was also suggested that further consideration be given to the risk rating of the Impact of the Housing and Planning Act

 

RESOLVED that

 

(1)       the current Strategic risks be noted, in particular

 

-       the reduction in the assessment of Workforce Capacity and Future Development Plans for Elstree Studios

 

-       the separation of the risk for Business Continuity and IT Disaster Recovery to form two separate Strategic risks.  The risk of Business Continuity has an increased likelihood.

 

(2)       the updates made to the Risk & Opportunities Management Strategy following an annual review, be noted.

 

(3)       the rating for the Cyber Risk be a Likelihood of 3 and an Impact of 3 (box 12) and the rating for Newberries Car Park Development Scheme be a Likelihood of 3 and an Impact of 3 (box 12).

 

57.

Any Other Business

Minutes:

None.

 

58.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Committee is scheduled to take place on 31st July 2017 at 7.30pm in the Civic Offices, Elstree Way, Borehamwood.

 

Minutes:

It was noted that the next meeting of this Committee was scheduled to take place on 31st July 2017 at 7.30 p.m. in the Civic Offices, Elstree Way, Borehamwood.