Agenda and minutes

Governance and Audit Committee
Wednesday, 7th December, 2016 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Cecil Street, Margate, Kent

Contact: James Clapson 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

2.

Declarations of Interest

    'To receive any declarations of interest.  Members are advised to consider the advice contained within the Declaration of Interest Form attached at the back of this Agenda.  If a Member declares an interest, they should complete that form and hand it to the Officer clerking the meeting and then take the prescribed course of action.'

     

    Minutes:

    There were no declarations of interest.

3.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 90 KB

4.

Internal Audit Quarterly Update Report pdf icon PDF 105 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Simon Webb, Deputy Head of the East Kent Audit Partnership (EKAP), introduced the report noting that there had been seven internal audit assignments completed since the last committee meeting; three achieved substantial assurance, one achieved a split assurance of substantial/reasonable, two achieved reasonable assurance, and one achieved a limited assurance.  Six follow up reviews were also completed during the quarter.

     

    Christine Parker, Head of EKAP, advised that all the EKAP’s performance indicators remained on target to be met, and that EKAP were on target to complete delivery of the plan by the end of the 2016/17 year.

     

    During consideration of the item, it was noted that:

     

    ·  The Overview and Scrutiny Panel could investigate why the Council had not already installed energy saving LED lighting in Mill Lane and Leopold Street car parks, and to enquire whether potential savings could be made elsewhere at the Council.

    ·  Members requested that the relevant Director and Officers responsible for Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Groups, attend the next Governance and Audit meeting. Members wished to know what improvements had been made since the EKAP’s follow up review which remained at limited assurance.

    ·  Tim Howes, Director of Corporate Governance advised that he would investigate whether Members should be DBS checked.

    ·  The project management audit was no longer deferred to the 2017/18 year; instead it would be briefed shortly and ascertained if it could be conducted in January or February 2017.

    ·  The term ‘outstanding’ should be replaced with the wording ‘not completed’ to remove any potential for confusion in its meaning.

    ·  Any recommendations still not completed after the EKAP conduct their follow-up review were considered by the Corporate Management Team for senior management investigation and action.  Services that remained a concern could be bought forward in the audit cycle for an early re-audit as part of the Councils management of risk.

    ·  Regarding Public Health Burials, it was reported that the Council would cremate unless there was a written instruction to bury as this method was cheaper. Compared with previous years, the number of burials in Thanet had reduced significantly so far in the 2016/17, and was now comparable to the other East Kent Councils.

    ·  Members wished to invite the Director of Operational Services to the next Governance and Audit meeting to advise Members of what action had been taken to improve in response to the EKAP’s findings of limited assurance issued to Street Cleaning, Ground Maintenance and Playgrounds.

    ·  In response to the EKAP’s findings, the East Kent Engineering Partnership had been commissioned to undertake a survey of the Viking ship at the Viking play area in Cliftonville.

    .

    Councillor Campbell proposed, Councillor Taylor-Smith seconded and Members agreed options 3.1 and 3.3 as shown in the report, namely:

     

    ‘3.1  That Members consider and note the internal audit update report.

     

    3.3  That Members request an update from the relevant Director/s to the next meeting of the Committee in respect of any areas identified as still having either limited or no assurance after follow-up.’

     

5.

Annual Governance Statement Action Plan Quarterly Update pdf icon PDF 185 KB

    Report to follow.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Tim Howes, Director of Corporate Governance, introduced the report which provided an update on the Annual Governance Statement 2015/16 action plan.

     

    During consideration of the item it was noted that:

     

    ·  Appointment of an Information Governance Manager had taken place, and the officer was due to start in mid-February.

    ·  CIGG stood for Corporate Information Governance Group, and comprised of the senior information risk officers from Thanet, Dover and Canterbury council’s.

    ·  Consultation had closed on the 16 new information governance policies, these policies would be in place from January 2017.

    ·  The draft asset management plan would be considered for approval in January 2017.

     

    Members Noted the report.

6.

Appointing External Auditors pdf icon PDF 143 KB

7.

Mid Year Treasury Report 2016-17 pdf icon PDF 322 KB

8.

Treasury Management Strategy 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 376 KB

9.

Corporate Risk Register Quarterly Update pdf icon PDF 196 KB

10.

Annual Audit Letter 2015-16 pdf icon PDF 339 KB

    Minutes:

    In the absence of a Grant Thornton UK LLP representative, Tim Willis introduced the Annual Audit Letter 2015-16 for Members’ information.

     

    During consideration of the item it was noted that:

     

    ·  Grant Thornton had offered an unqualified opinion on the accounts, and a favourable opinion on value for money.

    ·  Grant Thornton were unable to certify the accounts until they had resolved their investigation into three objections.

     

    Members noted the report.