Agenda and minutes

Audit and Governance Committee
Thursday, 25th July, 2019 2.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Blackdown House

Contact: Amanda Coombes  01395 517543; email  acoombes@eastdevon.gov.uk

Note: Due to technical difficulties there is no audio recording from this meeting 

Items
No. Item

1.

Public speaking

Information on public speaking is available online

 

Minutes:

There were no members of the public wishing to speak.

2.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 252 KB

Minutes for 21 March 2019

Minutes:

The minutes of the Audit and Governance Committee meeting held on 21 March 2019 were confirmed as a true record.

3.

Declarations on interest

Guidance is available online to Councillors and co-opted members on making declarations of interest

 

Minutes:

Full Risk Review May/June 2019.

Councillor Paul Hayward, Personal, Clerk to Chardstock, All Saints and Newton Poppleford & Harpford parish councils and has communicated with the council's S106 officer.

 

4.

Statement of Accounts 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 161 KB

Grant Thornton UK LLP the Council’s appointed external auditors have not completed their audit to meet the 31 July deadline due to a lack of staff resources and have as yet not issued an audit opinion on the Accounts. 

The Accounts will be presented back to Committee for approval once this work is complete, it is envisaged approval will be sought at the Committee’s September meeting.

Minutes:

The Strategic Lead Finance presented the Council’s Statement of Accounts for 2018/19. 

Geri Daly, Engagement Lead for Grant Thornton UK LLP the Council’s appointed external auditors, explained they had not completed their audit to meet the 31 July deadline due to a lack of staff resources and had as yet not issued an audit opinion on the Accounts. She apologised for the lack of audits and went on to say that the council did not need an audit opinion to publish its statements of accounts. In answer to a question re penalties being levied for the lack of audits she said there were none for this particular area of audit. The Strategic Lead Finance said there were now issues for council resourcing as staff would normally go on leave in August once the accounts had been signed off and then on return focus on budget preparation for the following year. He stated that the Government and Public Sector Audit Appointments (PSAA) where fully aware of the position and a late audit opinion was out of the council’s control.

 

The Accounts would be presented back to Committee for approval once this work was completed, it was envisaged approval would be sought at the September meeting.

 

RESOLVED:

that the position on publishing the 2018/19 Statement of Accounts and audit opinion be noted.

5.

2018/19 Statement of Accounts - Assessment of Going Concern status pdf icon PDF 250 KB

A key underlying assumption in preparing the Council’s financial statements is that of “going concern”. An authority’s financial statements should be prepared on a going concern basis i.e. the accounts should be prepared on the assumption the functions of the authority will continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future. This report sets out the Council’s Strategic Lead Finance assessment as the Council’s Section 151 officer of the Council’s Going Concern status.

 

Minutes:

The report set out the Strategic Lead Finance’s assessment as the council’s Section 151 officer of the council’s ‘Going Concern’ status; a key underlying assumption in preparing the financial statements. An authority’s financial statements should be prepared on a going concern basis i.e. the accounts should be prepared on the assumption the functions of the authority would continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future. The Section 151 officer confirmed this status.

RESOLVED:
that the assessment of the council’s ‘Going Concern’ status be noted.

 

 

6.

Internal Audit Plan 2018-19 Outturn Report pdf icon PDF 137 KB

The Audit and Governance Committee agreed the 2018-19 Internal Audit Plan at its March 2018 meeting.  This report is to provide an update on the outturn position of the 2018/19 Internal Audit Plan.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Audit and Governance Committee agreed the 2018-19 Internal Audit Plan at its March 2018 meeting. Alastair Woodland, Assistant Director for SWAP provided an update on the outturn position of the 2018/19 Internal Audit Plan.

 

RESOLVED:
that the Internal Audit Plan Outturn report be noted.

7.

Internal Audit Annual Opinion Report 2018-19 pdf icon PDF 218 KB

This report provides Internal Audits overall opinion on the systems of internal control at East Devon District Council. The Audit and Governance Committee agreed the 2018/19 Internal Audit Plan at its March 2018 meeting. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report provided the internal auditor’s overall opinion on the systems of internal control at the council. The Audit and Governance Committee agreed the 2018/19 Internal Audit Plan at its March 2018 meeting. Alastair Woodland explained to members that SWAP was independently assessed and as a result a Quality plan was produced. This was a live document and reviewed regularly.

 

RESOLVED:
that the content of the Internal Audit Annual Opinion report be noted.

8.

Internal Audit Plan Progress July 2019 (2019/20) pdf icon PDF 135 KB

The Audit and Governance Committee agreed the 2019-20 Internal Audit Plan at its March 2019 meeting. This report is to provide an update on the 2019/20 Internal Audit Plan as at end of June 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The committee agreed the 2019/20 Internal Audit Plan at its March 2019 meeting. The report provided an update on the 2019/20 Internal Audit Plan as at end of June 2019.

 

RESOLVED:
that the content of the Internal Annual Audit Progress report be noted.

 

9.

Full Risk Review May/June 2019 pdf icon PDF 268 KB

Risk information for the 2019/20 financial year is supplied to allow the Audit and Governance Committee to monitor the risk status of Strategic and Operational Risks. This follows the full review of risks by responsible officers during May/June 2019.

 

Minutes:

Risk information for the 2019/20 financial year was supplied to allow the Committee to monitor the risk status of Strategic and Operational Risks. This followed the full review of risks by responsible officers during May/June 2019. There was discussion around Community Infrastructure Levy receipts and it was agreed that this be put on the Forward Plan for an update to the Committee in November this year.

 

A discussion followed to which committee Section 106 and Community Infrastructure Levy should sit under as it covered many aspects. The Strategic Lead Finance explained that the areas being raised in relation to procedure and governance fitted well within the Audit and Governance Committee remit.

 

Councillor Dean Barrow questioned the operational risk register concerning the following;

1.     That the facilitating new business space control status as ‘Working and Effective’ was not correct. He stated that a number of projects had been put forward over the last few years that had not come to fruition. 

2.     He did not believe the receipts of Section 106 funds contact status as ‘Working and Effective’ was accurate, as getting this information out to the communities concerned was not effective.

3.     Other typo errors were raised which were noted for correction.

The Strategic Lead Finance said he would pass this information to key officers and ask for an update to be given.

 

RESOLVED:

that the current status of risks following the full risk review undertaken in May/June 2019 be noted.

10.

RIPA update

The RIPA Senior Responsible Officer advised that there had been no requests for RIPA authorisation since the last committee.

 

Minutes:

At the meeting of 18 January 2018, Members agreed to receive an update on RIPA activity throughout the year. The RIPA Senior Responsible Officer advised that there had been no requests for RIPA authorisation since the last committee.

11.

Audit and Governance Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 156 KB

Minutes:

Members noted the contents of the Committee Forward Plan for 2019/20.

 

Items to be considered at the September 2019 committee included:

·       External Audit Report 2018/19

·       Statement of Accounts 2018/19 including Governance Statement

·       Letter of Representation

·       Audit Committee update

·       Annual audit letter

·       Certification Report

·       RIPA update

·   Expenditure on consultantsand agency
   staff 2018/19

·       Internal Audit Activity – Quarter 2 2019/20