Agenda and minutes

from 9 Oct, Audit and Resources Committee
Tuesday, 2 October 2018 6:15 pm, MOVED

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

24.

Public Participation

Minutes:

There was no public participation on this occasion.

25.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 88 KB

To consider the Minutes of the meeting held on 10 July 2018.

Minutes:

RESOLVED –

 

That the Minutes of the meeting held on 10 July 2018 be confirmed and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

 

Minute 12 - Councillor Grajewski, who was in attendance at the meeting, pointed out that the ‘note’ should reflect Councillor Ray Dean.

 

Minute 15 - Review of Health and Safety, Community Safety and Emergency Planning – Councillor Atkinson asked if all councillors had been set up on the system regarding ‘lone working’.

 

Minute 16 - Woodside Avenue Housing Project Update - Councillor Atkinson enquired if there had been any further update to Councillor Tyson-Payne’s previous question regarding feedback from tenants with full sun. The Corporate Director for Support Services advised that she would follow this up.

 

Minute 17 - The Point and Berry Theatres - Councillor Atkinson enquired when the theatres’ business plans would be completed and added to this Committee’s work programme. The Corporate Director for Support Services advised that she would follow this up.

 

 

26.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

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

27.

Medium Term Financial Plan 2018/19 to 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 97 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the annual joint report of the Corporate Director for Strategy and the Corporate Director for Support Services (Chief Financial Officer) which outlined the budget projections for the period 2018/19 to 2023/24. This report was to be considered by Cabinet on 4 October 2018.

 

The Plan provided, on a rolling basis, a projection of the Council’s revenue finances over a five-year period and in doing so established the broad financial principles around which Members could develop their service plans.

 

A summary of the overall position was detailed in Appendix A to the report.  The summary forecast to 2023/24 represented a longer term view and clearly there were many unknowns in future years.  The strategy introduced the need for a phased efficiency strategy.  Appendix A reflected the achievement of the recommended Efficiency Strategy.

 

The Corporate Director for Support Services (Chief Financial Officer) reported that the Council was in a very good financial position. It had met the previous £4.7M efficiency targets and was now looking forward. The report contained a number of recommendations to be considered by Cabinet and Council that would pave the way forward to 2023/24.

 

Councillors were made aware that the Council Tax Support Grant Subsidy for parish councils would be phased out over a period of three years.

 

During the discussion a number of matters were raised and explained, including a request that descriptions set out in Appendix A to the report be more meaningful; and, with ongoing uncertainties regarding the Country’s forthcoming exit from the European Union, the Committee wished that it be recommended to Cabinet that it continued to monitor the risks and impact of financial implications surrounding this, as highlighted in Appendix B 1(ii).

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)         That the report be noted; and

 

(2)         That the Audit and Resources Committee recommend to Cabinet that it continued to monitor the risks and financial implications surrounding the exiting of the European Union.

 

28.

Internal Audit Monitoring Statement for the Period 1 April 2018 to 30 June 2018 DOCX 76 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Chief Internal Auditor, which outlined the audit activity for the first quarter of this financial year, period 1 April 2018 to 30 June 2018, as summarised in Appendices A and B to the report.

 

The Committee was pleased to learn that the remit of Internal Audit had been provisionally agreed to be extended to include Corporate Counter Fraud. To support the delivery of this, an Internal Audit Senior Specialist with responsibility for supervising the work of the Internal Audit Specialists, supporting the counter fraud function and completion of complex audit reviews under the direction of the Internal Audit Lead Specialist would be recruited on a two-year fixed term contract.

 

Internal Audit Activity – Members raised concerns regarding the Legal Services system for recording and monitoring payment of income, and sought assurances that the right processes be put in place to follow through on the implementation of the three recommendations, two graded as priority 2 and one graded as priority 3.

 

With regards to Appendix C to the report, the Chief Internal Auditor reported that EY had confirmed that all recommendations with the exception of the last one regarding group accounts had been addressed or was the subject of further recommendation in their forthcoming report. Therefore Appendix C to the report would be updated to remove all recommendations with the exception of the last one which would be updated to reflect that group accounts were not required for 2017/18 but may be required for 2018/19. 

 

Following discussion on the progress of the implementation of Internal Audit recommendations as set out in Appendix B to the report, the Chief Internal Auditor confirmed that she would continue to closely monitor the timescale for implementation of recommendations graded 1 (immediate action) or graded 2 (action within 1 month) to ensure where the suggested timescale was not feasible the proposed timeframe was appropriate.

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)         That the Internal Audit Monitoring Statement for the first quarter of 2018/19 be noted; and

 

(2)         That the progress made on the implementation of Internal and External Audit recommendations be noted.

29.

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

Minutes:

(a)         Procurement Executive Group (PEG)

 

Councillor Atkinson reported that neither Councillor Dean nor she had been able to attend the meeting on 25 September, but she had notes from both that meeting and 17 July 2018.

 

·         The waiver form was to be amended to provide more information and make a better link with Contract Standing Orders

·         The 17/18 Annual report had been approved at the meeting on 17 July 2018, with format changes adopted for the forthcoming 2018/19 review.

·         It was agreed that Apprenticeship training providers should be procured on a case-by-case basis.

·         Officers were making preparations for changes to legislation coming in on 18 October 2018.  These related to changes to Contract Standing Orders and the Procurement Policy document, more than actual practice as the Council was already compliant with the new requirements.

·         The Contracts Register had been improved significantly and was being reviewed by PEG members.

·         The Operational Manager in Support Services was investigating further efficiency measures on how the Council conducted Procurement.

·         An Action Plan had been drawn up for review at each PEG meeting

·         A set of Performance measures had been drafted for review by PEG at its next meeting with actual performance being reviewed against this framework in the New Year.

 

(b)         Strategic Risk Management Group (SRMG)

 

·         Councillor Irish reported on two meetings, 16 July and 17 September 2018     

 

·         The Group had agreed to introduce risk categories to help with risk management: 

·         Financial

·         Operational

·         Reputational

·         Compliance

·         Strategic

·         The Group reviewed Risk Registers relating to the Strategy and Support Services directorates, noting that there could be improvements to details of new mitigation measures.

·         The Group would review Direct Services and Specialist Services and Case Management registers at its next meeting.

·         Training was to take place for all staff (online) and senior managers (training workshops) later this year.

 

·         The Chair thanked both Councillors Atkinson and Irish for their updated and continued support.

30.

Action List pdf icon PDF 50 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered the Action List, and removed the Council owned land log as this was due to be presented to this Committee in November.

 

It was noted that the Council’s policies were still not easily available on the website. The Corporate Director for Support Services advised that she would follow this up with the Performance and Governance Manager.

 

It was AGREED -

 

That the Action List be amended to reflect matters identified in the meeting.

31.

Forward Plan DOCX 28 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered the current Forward Plan of Key Decisions.

 

It was AGREED -

 

That the current Forward Plan be noted.

32.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 55 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered its current Work Programme and schedule of topics. It was noted that the Councillor Service visit to the Depot had taken place on 18 September 2018. Councillors who attended said they had found the experience extremely useful and informative, and recommended that all Members take the opportunity to see how the service operates.

 

It was AGREED -

 

That the Work Programme be noted and an item on External Audit Progress be added to every meeting.