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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

516.

Membership

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

Minutes:

Noted that Councillors Graham and Wayne were attending the meeting as members in place of Councillors Gilligan and Worcester.

 

517.

Communications and Apologies

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

 

(b)            Apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for their inability to attend the meeting were submitted on behalf of Councillors Dobin, Gilligan and Worster. Following a suggestion from the Chairman, the meeting observed a silence in memory of Baroness Thatcher.

 

518.

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 disc losable 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.

 

519.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 36 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 7 January 2013

 

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 held on 7 January 2013 be approved and signed as a correct record.

 

520.

Grant Thornton progress report

Grant Thornton will make an oral report to advise the Committee of progress with their work.

 

Minutes:

Mr Greenlee of Grant Thornton reported to the Committee with a brief progress report on work undertaken by his organisation. He was pleased to point out that there were no matters to bring to the attention of the Committee.

 

The Committee asked that a written report be submitted to their July meeting.

 

RESOLVED that the verbal report of the Grant Thornton representative be noted.

 

521.

Risk Management Progress report pdf icon PDF 62 KB

This report reviews and updates the Strategic Risks and details progress against the Risk Management Strategy.  A revised Risk Management Guide and Strategy is attached to the report.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

On 9 April 2013, the Audit Committee considered the attached Risk Management Progress and Update report. Members noted that it was proposed to review all strategic risks annually at the Audit Committee however the Committee wanted to receive a 6 monthly report on all medium and high strategic risks and an annual report on all risks. Also the Committee suggested that the officer Governance Group play a role in monitoring all strategic risks quarterly.

 

The Council’s Risk Matrix showed all the strategic risks facing the Authority and the Audit Committee proposed that a report on each of the high risk issues be submitted to every meeting of the Committee. Also the Committee wanted a report on the strategy for reducing the likelihood and dealing with the impact of all high and medium risks.

 

The Committee noted that the “External Financial Pressures” risk was currently shown as a highest category 4x4 risk. Members noted that the Chancellors statement had clarified the financial circumstances of local government and suggested that the likelihood had reduced to 3. It was agreed that this risk be re-visited at the September meeting of the Committee.

 

RESOLVED that

 

1. the revised Strategic Risks be noted subject to the likelihood of the External Financial Pressure risk being reduced to 3, and submitted to Council for approval.

 

2. progress against the Shared Internal Audit Service audit recommendations, detailed at paragraphs 2.8 and 2.10, be noted

 

3. the revised Risk Management Policy, Strategy and Guide be recommended to Council for approval, subject the changes set out above.

 

522.

SIAS Audit Plan 2013/14 pdf icon PDF 128 KB

This report provides the Committee with the proposed Hertsmere Borough Council Internal Audit Plan 2013-14.

 

Minutes:

The Shared Internal Audit Service submitted a report proposing the adoption of the Hertsmere Borough Council Internal Audit Plan 2013-14. The Plan set out the programme of internal audit work for the year ahead and formed part of the Council’s wider assurance framework. Members noted that the Plan provided for the same number of audit days as the 2012/13 Plan.

 

RESOLVED that the Hertsmere Borough Council Internal Audit Plan 2012-14 be approved.

 

523.

SIAS Progress report pdf icon PDF 143 KB

Report A/13/13 provides information on progress made by SIAS in delivering the 2012/13 Internal Audit Plan; findings since 14 December: proposed amendments to the approved Audit Plan; the implementation status of previously agreed Audit recommendations, and an update on performance management.

 

Minutes:

The Shared Internal Audit Service (SIAS) submitted a report to the Committee detailing progress made by SIAS on: delivery of the Audit Plan; findings for the period 14 December 2012 to 28 March 2013; proposed amendments to the Audit Plan; status of audit recommendations and an update on performance management information as at 28 March 2013.

 

The Committee noted that 98% of the Audit Plan had been delivered.

 

RESOLVED that the information contained in the Shared Internal Audit Service progress report (A/13/13) be noted.

 

524.

Anti-Fraud progress report pdf icon PDF 30 KB

This report provides information on the performance of the Anti-Fraud Team.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received information on the performance of the Anti-Fraud Unit between April 2012 and 15 March 2013. It was noted that the Unit had achieved its 2012/13 targets and that 66 investigations were currently active.

 

Members then discussed the penalties applied by the courts and noted that these usually took the form of fines. For the September meeting, the Chairman asked that information be provided on the cost to the Council of pursuing prosecutions and whether or not those costs were reimbursed by the Court and/or other bodies. Officers were also asked to carry out a risk assessment of the forthcoming changes to benefits to identify those areas were the Council should focus its anti-fraud work. This would help ready the Council to deal with the implications of the new benefit system. Members also asked for comparative data to be reported to the September meeting on the number of cases and outcomes experienced by other district councils in Hertfordshire, so that Hertsmere’s performance could be compared.

 

The meeting was of the opinion that more publicity should be given to impact when fraudulent claimants are caught and to highlight the fact that the chances of fraudulent claimants being identified was now substantial.

 

RESOLVED that

 

1)     the information contained in the report of the Investigating Officer be noted, and

 

2)     officers report to the September meeting of this Committee as detailed above.

 

525.

External Auditors progress report pdf icon PDF 32 KB

This report advises the Committee of progress made with the implementation of recommendations made by the Council’s external auditors.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report A/13/11 provided the Committee with an update on progress made with the implementation of agreed recommendations from the Council’s external auditors.

 

RESOLVED that the information contained in the External Auditor’s progress report be noted.

 

526.

Any other non-confidential business

Minutes:

None.

 

527.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Committee is scheduled to take place on 11 July 2013 at 7.30pm in the Civic Offices, Elstree Way, Borehamwood.

 

Minutes:

Noted that the next meeting of this Committee would take place on 11 July 2013.