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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

306.

Membership

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

Minutes:

The Chairman Councillor Paul Hodgson-Jones and Councillor Worster had been replaced as members of this Committee, for this meeting, by Councillor Graham and Councillor Legate respectively.

307.

Communications and Apologies

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

 

(b)            Apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies had been received from Council Kieran.

 

308.

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.

309.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 35 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 26 September 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 26 September 2013 be approved and signed as a correct record.

 

310.

Anti-Fraud Unit Performance Update Report pdf icon PDF 51 KB

This report provides the Committee with information on the performance of the Anti-Fraud Team between April and November 2013.

 

Minutes:

The Fraud Investigator introduced his report which provided the Committee with an update on the performance of the anti-fraud unit for the period up to 30 November 2013. The total amount of overpayment identified for the year so far, was £278,761, and there had been 19 sanctions (cautions and administrative penalties) and 8 prosecutions. The Unit had 96 allocated or active cases and a further 190 cases pending potential allocation.

 

The Committee noted that a single fraud investigation service was to be set up from April 2014. The Service would be introduced on a phased basis from October 2014 to March 2016. Members noted that in future local effort would be directed to non-benefit fraud.

 

RESOLVED that the information contained in the report of the Investigating Officer be noted.

  

311.

External Auditors' recommendations - Officers' Update pdf icon PDF 32 KB

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

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report A/14/02 provided Members with an update on progress made with the implementation of agreed recommendations contained in reports produced by the Council’s External Auditors.

 

The meeting noted that all recommendations had been addressed.

 

RESOLVED that the information contained in the report be noted.

 

312.

Annual Audit Letter 2012/13 pdf icon PDF 347 KB

The key findings arising from the following work carried out by Grant Thornton are summarised in the 2012/13 Annual Audit Letter for the year ended 31 March 2013: auditing the 2012/13 accounts and Whole of Government Accounts submission (Section two); assessing the Council's arrangements for securing economy, efficiency and effectiveness in its use of resources (Section three), and certification of grant claims and returns (Section four).

 

Minutes:

The Committee received the Annual Audit Letter for Hertsmere Borough Council from the external auditors Grant Thornton. The Letter summarises the key findings arising from the following work that the auditors had carried out at the Council in the year ended 31 March 2013:

 

• auditing the 2012/13 accounts and Whole of Government Accounts submission (Section two),

• assessing the Council's arrangements for securing economy, efficiency and effectiveness in its use of resources (Section three), and

• certification of grant claims and returns (Section four).

 

The Letter communicated key messages to the Council and external stakeholders, including members of the public and provided:

 

• an unqualified opinion on the accounts which give a true and fair view of the Council's financial position as at 31 March 2013 and its income and expenditure for the year

• an unqualified conclusion in respect of the Council's arrangements for securing economy, efficiency and effectiveness in its use of resources.

 

The Committee were pleased to note these conclusions and recorded their thanks to the Director of Resources; the Head of Finance and Business Services and staff in the Finance Department.

 

RESOLVED that the Annual Audit Letter be noted.

 

313.

Risk Management update pdf icon PDF 55 KB

This report reviews and updates the Strategic Risks and proposes new strategic risks.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Resources introduced this report and drew attention to the proposed addition of ‘Elstree Way Corridor’ and ‘Data Protection & Information Management’ as new strategic risks. With regard to the Procurement Strategic Risk, it was proposed that the likelihood be reduced to a value of 1.

 

The Committee was content with these changes but suggested that a review of the Affordable Social Housing Risk be undertaken.  Members suggested that an exchange of its position with the Workforce Capacity risk may be appropriate.

 

RESOLVED that

 

(1)       the information contained in the report be noted,

 

(2)       the introduction of ‘Elstree Way Corridor’ and ‘Data Protection & Information Management’ into the Strategic Risk register in the proposed positions be approved,

 

(3)       the amendment of the ‘Procurement’ Strategic Risk to a likelihood value of 1 be approved, and

 

(4)       consideration be given to the position of the ‘Affordable Social Housing’ and ‘Workforce Capacity’ in the strategic risks matrix.

 

 

314.

Internal Audit Progress report pdf icon PDF 201 KB

This report provides information on progress made by SIAS in delivering the 2013/14 Internal Audit Plan, findings for the period 1 April to 13 December 2013, proposed amendments to the approved Audit Plan and the implementation status of previously agreed Audit recommendations.

 

Minutes:

 

The Shared Internal Audit Service (SIAS) submitted a report to the Committee detailing progress made by SIAS on: delivery of the Council’s 2012/13 and 2013/14 Internal Audit Plans as at 13 December 2013; findings for the period 1 April to 13 December 2013; proposed amendments to the Audit Plan; status of audit recommendations and an update on performance management information as at 13 December 2013.

 

The Committee noted that 64% of the Audit Plan had been delivered.

 

RESOLVED that the information contained in the Shared Internal Audit Service progress report (A/14/05) be noted.

 

 

315.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Committee is scheduled to take place on 1 April 2014 at 7.30 p.m. in the Civic Offices, Elstree Way, Borehamwood.

 

Minutes:

Noted that the next meeting of this Committee would take place on 1st April 2014.