Agenda and draft minutes

Audit and Standards Committee - Wednesday, 15th January, 2020 6.30 pm

Venue: Burnley Town Hall

Contact: Imelda Grady  Democracy Officer

Items
No. Item

27.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Parish Councillor Kathryn Haworth.

28.

Minutes of Audit and Standards Committee pdf icon PDF 224 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the previous meeting of Audit and Standards Committee on 18th September 2019.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the last meeting held on the 18th September 2019 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

29.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest from Members relating to any item on the agenda, in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Conduct.

Minutes:

Councillor Sue Graham declared an Other (Prejudicial) Interest in Item 13 regarding a Standards Complaint Update.

30.

External Audit Progress Report-January 2020 pdf icon PDF 494 KB

To consider a report on progress from the external auditors in delivering our responsibilities including

a summary of emerging national issues and developments and a number of challenge questions

in respect of these emerging issues.

Minutes:

Marianne Dixon and Chloe Edwards, from Grant Thornton,  reported on an External Audit Progress report as at January 2020.

 

They set out the progress made by the external auditors in delivering

their responsibilities including a summary of emerging national issues and developments, and also the outline of the external audit plan for 2019/20.

 

Members of the Committee asked about recent changes to the Finance team and were assured by Officers that arrangements were being made regarding a Finance Manager.

 

The Chair thanked Marianne Dixon for the work she had done for the Committee as this was her last meeting.

 

IT WAS AGREED

That the report be noted

 

 

31.

Final Accounts 2019/20 Arrangements pdf icon PDF 247 KB

To consider an update on the arrangements made to date and the implications of the changes required for the Council ahead of the closure of the 2019/20 accounts.

To consider approving the accounting policies to be used in producing the Statement of Accounts as set out in Appendix 1, and to set a date for a final accounts workshop for Audit and Standards Committee Members to allow officers to present the 2019/20 Statement of Accounts and explain the findings and issues.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Ian Evenett reported on the Final Accounts 2019/20 Arrangements.

 

Members considered issues regarding decluttering, the apprenticeship levy, preparation, accounting policies, annual governance statement, and risks.

  

 

IT WAS AGREED

 

(1)  That the report and arrangements that the Council is making in advance of the closure of accounts for the year 2019/20 be noted;

 

(2)  That the proposed accounting policies to be followed in producing the Statement of Accounts as shown in Appendix 1 be approved; and

 

(3)  That the date for the final accounts workshop, provisionally set for 22 July 2020, be confirmed.

32.

Annual Governance Statement 2019/20 Arrangements pdf icon PDF 33 KB

To consider a report on the arrangements to provide assurance for an Annual Governance Statement for the financial year 2019/20.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Salma Hussain reported on the Annual Governance Statement 2019/20 Arrangements.

 

Members considered the assurance gathering process as set out in the Appendix to the report.

 

IT WAS AGREED

 

That the proposed process as set out in the report be approved.

 

33.

Internal Audit Progress Q2 pdf icon PDF 126 KB

To consider a report on the work undertaken by Internal Audit for the period 1st July to 30th September 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Salma Hussain reported on the Internal Audit Progress Q2 for 2019/20.

 

Members considered details of 11 audit reports and relevant performance statistics as set out in the Appendices to the report.

 

IT WAS AGREED

 

That the content of the progress report be noted.

34.

Fraud Risk Assessment 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 166 KB

To consider a report on the current fraud trends that affects the public sector.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Salma Hussain reported on the Fraud Risk Assessment 2019/20.

 

Members considered Fraud relating to Council Tax, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support, Business Rates, Housing Tenancy, Procurement, Insurance, Grant, Recruitment, and Payroll.

They also considered Cyber Risk, Organised Crime, National Anti-Fraud Network, and National Fraud Initiative.

 

Members discussed the following points;

·         It was confirmed that the £489k of housing benefit identified as overpaid related to Burnley Council; and

 

·         Cyber crime was focused on by Burnley Council within the strategic risk register and Officer Groups, as well as by cyber insurance, staff awareness campaigns and testing by the Public Service Network on cyber essentials to ensure that the Council complies with National Standards

 

IT WAS AGREED

 

That the current fraud trends that affect the public sector be noted.

 

35.

Strategic Risk Register pdf icon PDF 136 KB

To consider a report on the Strategic Risk Register.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Ian Evenett reported on the current Strategic Risk Register.

 

Members considered risk scores, interest rate increases, price increases, cyber attack, partnerships, flooding, and national risk changes.

 

IT WAS AGREED

 

That the current Strategic Risk Register be noted.

36.

Standards Complaints Update pdf icon PDF 119 KB

To consider an update on complaints about Members of the Council.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Graham did not take part in this item.

 

Members considered a Standards Complaints Update regarding a hearing on 3rd December 2019, which has already been reported to the 18th December 2019 Full Council..

 

IT WAS AGREED

 

That the decision of the Hearing Panel on 3rd December 2019 be noted.

37.

Work Programme 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 103 KB

To consider the Work Programme for the current year.

Minutes:

Eric Dickinson reported on the Work Programme 2019/20.

 

IT WAS AGREED

 

That the Work Programme 2019/20 be noted.