Agenda and minutes

Audit and Resources Committee
Tuesday, 13 February 2018 6:15 pm

Venue: Rooms 16 and 17, Eastleigh House, Upper Market Street, Eastleigh, SO50 9YN

Contact: Cheryll Kemsley, Democratic Services Officer, tel: 023 8068 8112 Email:  cheryll.kemsley@eastleigh.gov.uk  Sarah King, Corporate Director, Support Services (CFO), tel 023 8068 8011 Email:  sarah.king@eastleigh.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

94.

Public Participation

Minutes:

There was no public participation on this occasion.

95.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 140 KB

To consider the Minutes of the meeting held on 16 January 208.

Minutes:

RESOLVED –

 

That the Minutes of the meeting held on 16 January 2018 be confirmed and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

 

With regards to Minute 91 – Action List, Members reported that they were still experiencing problems with telephone communications, this time with direct dialling staff, and were concerned that members of the public were having similar experiences. The Corporate Director – Support Services apologised profusely, she would look into it and report back at the next meeting.

96.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest in relation to items of business on the agenda.

97.

Treasury Management Strategy for 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 172 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Chief Financial Officer (Agenda item 5) that related to all of the objectives in the Council’s Corporate Plan 2015-2025 as it supported the Council’s ability to fund capital and revenue projects and services. The approach continued to build on the Council’s previous success in this respect with significant corporate risk managed carefully as detailed in the report and appendices.

 

The Strategy also included the Prudential Indicators which were designed to demonstrate that in financing the Council’s Community Investment Programme (CIP) it provided for a prudent, affordable and sustainable approach.

 

The Council’s Treasury Management Strategy was compiled in accordance with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) Code of Practice and related Treasury Management Practice Statements.

 

The Corporate Director - Support Services, advised that recent changes in the Bank of England interest rates were being monitored with a view to increasing its long term borrowing in relation to existing debt currently financed at short-term borrowing rates.

 

The Chair thanked the Corporate Director and invited comments and questions from the Committee. The document was considered in length and included the following comments:

 

·         With regards to Risk Management, as Members of Audit and Resources Committee responsible for the scrutiny of Treasury Management activity and practices, they requested that they receive copies of the minutes of the Treasury Management Review Group meetings, and be updated at this Committee twice a year;

 

·         Other Options Considered – The bottom line of the table in the report ‘Reduce level of borrowing’ be amended for clarity;

 

·         Non Specific Investments (g) Hampshire Community Bank – to be amended to delete the reference to ‘preference’ shares; and

 

·         Investment Training – That councillors, as well as staff, be trained on Treasury Management to enable clearer understanding of investment management, Annual Statement of Accounts and Governance Statement.

 

RESOLVED -

 

That a) the report be noted; and b) Cabinet give consideration to the above comments from this Committee.

98.

Verbal Updates from Members Representing Strategic Risk Management Group (SRMG) / Procurement Executive Group (PEG)

Minutes:

(a)         Strategic Risk Management Group (SRMG)

 

Councillor Irish reported that he had not been able to attend the meeting on 15 January 2018 however the Chair had provided the following update:

 

·         A revised Corporate Risk Register was discussed and had been considered by Management Team on 14 January 2018;

·         Service-level risk would be aligned to the Council’s twelve Service Plans along with Business Continuity and Health and Safety. This would improve the risk framework by also considering Project and Programme risks (as Housing and Regeneration programmes were two of the two business areas). Some previous unit risk registers were out of date due to restructuring and changes in staff. Meetings with the twelve new risk owners had been booked and already begun to re-establish this level of the risk framework;

·         The group discussed how to deal with risks to staff from Aggressive Persons in a legal and ethical manner, using new customer database technology;

·         Concerns were raised to increase the level of knowledge about high value contract procurement in the Council; and

·         The next meeting would consider Insurance claims.

 

(b)         Procurement Executive Group (PEG)

 

Councillor Tennent reported that the Group met on 23 January 2018 and reported the following update:

 

·         The group agreed that the PEG Annual report for 16/17 be approved and circulated;

·         The group heard that EU thresholds for inviting tenders and awarding contracts had changed; this information would be included in revised Contract Standing Orders and communicated to staff;

·         Revised Contract Standing Orders were considered, including a proposed increase from £50k to £75k for contracts for which the Council would require three quotes or use a framework agreement. The £75k threshold was being used by a number of local councils. The Group approved the revised Contract Standing Orders for consideration by Management Team and formal agreement by Council;

·         Staff were investigating how environmentally sustainable the Council’s procurement procedure was;

·         With many new staff in post, training on Procurement was being planned, including this being part of any new staff induction; and

·         The Group would look at the Contracts Register at the next meeting.

99.

Action List pdf icon PDF 82 KB

Minutes:

100.

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 85 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered the current Forward Plan of Key Decisions.

 

It was AGREED -

 

That the current Forward Plan be noted.

101.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 102 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered its current Work Programme.

 

It was AGREED -

 

That the Work Programme be noted.