Agenda and minutes

Audit and Standards Committee
Monday, 16th April, 2018 7.00 pm

Venue: Reception Room 6 - Civic Offices, Merrial Street, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, ST5 2AG. View directions

Contact: Geoff Durham  01782 742222

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors Hambleton and S White.

2.

Minutes of Previous Meetings pdf icon PDF 68 KB

To consider the minutes of the previous meeting(s).

Minutes:

Resolved:                 That the minutes of the meeting held on 13 November, 2017 be agreed as a correct record.

3.

Declarations of Interest

To receive Declarations of Interest from Members on items included in the agenda

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest stated.

4.

CORPORATE RISK MANAGEMENT REPORT pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council’s Business Improvement Manager, Mr Simon Sowerby introduced a report informing Members of the progress made by the Council in enhancing and embedding risk management for Quarter three (October to December, 2017).

 

Members were informed that there were two overdue risks .  These were outlined in Paragraph 2.1.1 of the report.  There were also two risk level increases and were shown in Appendix A.

 

Members were advised of an error in Appendix A.  Item 2 on the report refers to an item going to Cabinet in December 2017 and this should read January, 2018.

 

Members were advised that there had been minor changes made in the Risk Management Strategy and Policy documents.  These had been changes to dates and the title change from Audit and Risk to Audit and Standards.

 

Resolved:     (i)         That the progress made in manging the risks identified

within the Strategic, Operational, project and partnership Risk Registers be noted.   

 

(ii)        That the number of overdue risks be noted.

 

(iii)       That the risk level increases be noted.

 

(iv)       That the new risks identified between October and December, 2017 be noted.

 

(v)        That the minor changes made in the Risk Management Strategy and policy documents and associated Appendices be agreed.

5.

EXTERNAL AUDIT PLAN pdf icon PDF 453 KB

Minutes:

Mr Phil Jones of Grant Thornton explained the External Audit Plan for the year ending 31 March, 2018.  

 

Members’ attention was drawn to page 64 of the agenda which gave an overview of what was happening within the Council.  Mr Jones explained the financial pressures that would be faced by the Council up to and including 2022/23, totalling £3.43m.

 

One of the key challenges identified was that of the move to Castle House.

 

The report also identified significant risks, possible risks, materiality and value for money.

 

It was hoped that the Audit Findings Report would be received by the council by July, 2018.

 

Resolved:     That the report be received and the comments noted.

6.

INFORMING THE AUDIT RISK ASSESSMENT pdf icon PDF 480 KB

Minutes:

Mr Jones introduced this report, drawing members’ attention to the purpose of the report on page 80 of the agenda – to contribute towards effective two way communication.

 

The report looked at fraud, laws and regulations, going concern, accounting estimates and related parties.

 

Members were informed that Grant Thornton were content with the Management Response Statement.

 

Resolved:     That the information be received and the comments noted.

 

7.

GRANT CLAIMS CERTIFICATION WORK 2016/17

Report to follow.

Minutes:

Mr Paul Harvey of Grant Thornton gave a verbal update on this item advising that there was no large financial impact on the Council and that a report would be brought to the next meeting.

 

Resolved:     That the information be received.

8.

INTERNAL AUDIT UPDATE

A verbal report will be given.

Minutes:

The Council’s Executive Director – Resources and Support Services gave a verbal update on this item.

 

The Audit Plan for last year was about to be completed.  Audits had been carried out on, amongst others, business rates and the Newcastle lottery and all had emerged as either being well or adequately controlled’.

 

The new audit system had been rolled out and training was being given to officers for its use.

 

Temporary cover was being sought to help with the current staffing issues and with the departure of Paul Washington who was the council’s Monitoring officer – this would be discussed at the next meeting of the Executive Management Team.

 

Resolved:     That the information be received.

9.

Urgent Business

To consider any business which is urgent within the meaning of Section 100B(4) of the Local Government Act 1972

Minutes:

There was no Urgent Business.