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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

95.

Membership

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

Minutes:

No changes of membership had been made since the publication of the agenda.

 

96.

Communications and Apologies

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

 

(b)            Apologies for absence.

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed Councillor Winters to his first meeting of this Committee and said that Councillor Dobin, another new member of the Committee, had apologised that he was unable to attend this evening. An apology had also been received from Councillor Ron Morris.

 

97.

Declarations of Interest

Members must clearly state the nature of the interest, and indicate whether it is Personal or Personal and Prejudicial.  The responsibility for declaring an interest rests solely with the Member concerned.

 

Personal interests: A personal interest arises in relation to any matter which might reasonably be regarded as affecting, to a greater extent than other Council Tax payers, ratepayers or inhabitants of the authority’s area, the well‑being or financial position of the Member or of a relevant person.

 

Where that interest arises solely from membership of, or position of control or management on a body to which the Member has been appointed or nominated by the Council or another body exercising functions of a public nature then, provided they do not also have a prejudicial interest, Members need only declare a personal interest at a meeting when they address the meeting on that business.

 

Personal and Prejudicial interests: A Member has a personal and prejudicial interest in a matter if the interest is one which a member of the public with knowledge of the relevant facts would reasonably regard as so significant that it is likely to prejudice the Member’s judgement of the public interest.  In these cases the Member concerned must declare the interest and withdraw from the meeting room while the matter is being considered.  Members with such interests may, however, attend the meeting for the purpose of making representations, answering questions or giving evidence relating to the business where the public have a similar right.

 

Further details and full definitions of personal and prejudicial interests are set out in the Councillors’ Code of Conduct (Section 5.1 of the Constitution).

Minutes:

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

 

98.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 66 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 12 April 2011.

 

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

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meetings held on 12 April and 18 May 2011 be approved and signed as a correct record.

 

99.

External Auditor - audit progress report pdf icon PDF 51 KB

A progress report by the Council’s External Auditor is attached.

Minutes:

The representatives of Grant Thornton advised the Committee of progress with the accounts audit; value for money work; the new internal audit arrangements and 2011/12 planning.

 

Members noted that Grant Thornton was carrying out a review of the Council’s planning service and asked that a copy of the final report be submitted to a future meeting.

 

RESOLVED that the audit progress report by Grant Thornton be noted.

 

100.

An introduction to the Shared Internal Audit Service (SIAS) pdf icon PDF 20 KB

The attached report introduces Members to the Shared Internal Audit Service.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Audit Manager presented a report to the Committee that provided information on the operation of the new Shared Internal Audit Service. He said that the Head of Assurance for the new service, Ms Helen Maneuf, was sorry that she was unable to attend this meeting but would attend the Committee’s next meeting in September.

 

The Audit Manager reported that the Shared Internal Audit Services served five Hertfordshire District Councils, along with the County Council. The 3.6 posts in Hertsmere’s Internal Audit had transferred to the new service and were part of a total of 26 staff in the new service based in Stevenage. He said the audit service would have facilities locally and that an audit manager would have responsibility for Hertsmere plus two other authorities. Presently new audit staff were engaged in training and the new service would be formally launched on 1 July 2011. The meeting noted that standardisation of processes would produce efficiencies, while maintaining quality levels.

 

Members raised questions about the staffing level of the new service and noted that discussion on this matter could take place with the Head of Assurance at their next meeting.

 

RESOLVED that the information contained in the report of the head of Assurance, be noted.

 

101.

Transition to International Financial Reporting Standards pdf icon PDF 31 KB

A report by the Council’s Director of Resources is attached.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Financial Services advised the Committee that the Council had prepared the accounts for 2010/11 under International Financial Reporting Standards and had re-stated the comparative figures for the year ended 31 March 2010 and the balance sheet at 1 April 2009. He pointed out that the valuation of the Council’s assets at 31 March 2011 included application of Modern Equivalent Asset methodology to value the Council’s sports centres. Members asked that a draft of this valuation report be submitted to the Asset Management Panel meeting later this month. The Chairman then asked for that report to be submitted to the next meeting of this Committee.

 

The Committee was reminded that they had approved two modifications to the Council’s accounting policies at their meeting on 5 January 2011. The modifications were detailed in the appendix to the report.

 

The meeting noted that the Approval of Statement of Accounts Committee would meet on 11 July.

 

RESOLVED that (1) the report on completion of the Council’s preparations for transition to the International Financial Reporting Standards and the arrangements for approving the annual accounts be noted, and (2) the two modifications to accounting policy as detailed in the appendix to report A/11/18 be approved.

 

102.

Internal Audit Team - Annual report 2010/11 - Detailed Annual report 2011/12 - Progress report 2011/12 pdf icon PDF 40 KB

The attached report provides Members with a summary of the Internal Audit Team’s performance during 2010/11; a schedule of Planned Audit Projects 2011/12, and a summary of the Internal Audit Team’s performance in 2011/12.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Audit Manager reported to the Committee on the Internal Audit Team’s Annual Report 2010/11; the Internal Audit Annual Plan 2011/12 and the Internal Audit Team’s Progress Report 2011/12.

 

The meeting noted information on the performance of the Internal Audit Team in 2010/11 and that the Audit Manger had concluded that the Council’s internal control environment was, in overall terms, adequate and effective. He added that he was not qualifying his opinion. Members were informed that paragraph 17 of the Annual Report was not yet complete and that it would be circulated to them later.

 

On the Internal Audit Team’s Plan for 2011/12, the Committee noted the number of audit days available in 2011/12 and the proposed allocation of available audit days. In response to a question, the Audit Manger said that the Shared Internal Audit Service would audit Elstree Film Studios but the position with regard to Bushey Golf and Country Club was dependent on the outcome of the present procurement exercise.  

 

The Audit Manager laid round at the meeting a review of the Internal Audit Team’s performance for this year up to June 2011 and apologised for its late circulation. He pointed out that an Auditor had been off sick for some time and this had had a negative impact on the capacity of his unit. Members noted that staff transferring to the new Shared Internal Audit Service had spent time training for the new service. Also it was noted that the new audit arrangements would provide audit in Hertsmere with increased resilience. Following a question, the Audit Manager undertook to circulate detail on the activities carried out by Internal Audit in June.

 

RESOLVED that

 

(1) the performance of the Internal Audit team during the financial year 2010/11 be noted;

 

(2) the Audit Plan for 2011/ 12 be approved, and

 

(3) the performance of the Internal Audit team during the first two months of the 2011/12 financial year be noted.

 

103.

The Anti-Fraud - Annual Report 2010/11 and Progress report 2011/12. pdf icon PDF 21 KB

A report on the work of the Anti-Fraud Team in 2010/11 and during the first two months of 2011/12 is attached.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Audit Manager reported to the Committee with the Anti-Fraud Unit’s Annual report 2010/11 and Progress report 2011/12. He apologised for circulating the Annual report at the meeting. The Committee noted the success of the Anti-Fraud Unit in achieving their targets and that the future management of this Team would be undertaken by the Head of Financial Services. It was also noted that the shared service was to end which would result in the loss of the 0.5 (fte) Anti-Fraud Manager. 

 

For future reports, Members asked that the amounts actually recovered and the amounts outstanding be reported. Members noted that recovered funds were used in the Revenue Budget but that no income from this source was anticipated.   

 

RESOLVED that the performance of the Anti-Fraud Team in 2010/11 and during the first two months of 2011/12 be noted.

 

104.

Risk Management Annual Report 2010/11 pdf icon PDF 37 KB

A report from the Risk Manager is attached.

 

Minutes:

The Audit Manager introduced the Risk Management Annual report for 2010/11 and pointed out that the Risk Manager post had been deleted.  The Committee wanted to hear from the Chief Executive on how risk management was to be monitored in the future.

 

RESOLVED that the Risk Management Annual Report 2010/11 be noted.

 

105.

The Council's Draft Annual Governance Statement for the Financial year 2010/11 pdf icon PDF 40 KB

The attached report provides Members with the Council’s Draft Annual Governance Statement for 2010/11.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Audit Manager introduced the Draft Annual Governance Statement for 2010/11 to the meeting. He reminded Members that the Statement would be considered by both the Standards Committee and the Executive, where amendments may be made, before being signed off by the Chief Executive and the Leader of the Council. The Manager also laid round an addendum to the Statement setting out paragraphs 73, 74, 80, 81, 86, 87 and 88.

 

Members noted the follow-up information on the 2009/10 Significant Issues and that the Audit Manager had suggested the retention of all four issues. Members were of the opinion that Leisure Services Procurement was no longer a significant issue and that risk management, external controls and performance management should be added.

 

RESOLVED that the Draft Annual Governance Statement be noted and amendments be made to paragraph 86 ‘Significant Governance issues, as detailed above.

 

106.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Committee is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, 27 September at 7.30pm in the Civic Offices, Elstree Way, Borehamwood.

 

Minutes:

Noted that the next meeting of the Committee would be held on 27 September 2011 and would be preceded by internal audit training.