Agenda and minutes

Audit
Wednesday, 25th July, 2018 7.30 pm

Venue: Conference Room 2 - The Forum. View directions

Items
No. Item

58.

Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

59.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest

 

A member with a disclosable pecuniary interest or a personal interest in a matter who attends a meeting of the authority at which the matter is considered -

 

(i)            must disclose the interest at the start of the meeting or when the interest becomes apparent

 

and, if the interest is a disclosable pecuniary interest, or a personal interest which is also prejudicial

 

(ii)        may not participate in any discussion or vote on the matter (and must withdraw to the public seating area) unless they have been granted a dispensation.

 

A member who discloses at a meeting a disclosable pecuniary interest which is not registered in the Members’ Register of Interests, or is not the subject of a pending notification, must notify the Monitoring Officer of the interest within 28 days of the disclosure.

 

Disclosable pecuniary interests, personal and prejudicial interests are defined in Part 2 of the Code of Conduct For Members

 

[If a member is in any doubt as to whether they have an interest which should be declared they should seek the advice of the Monitoring Officer before the start of the meeting]

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

60.

Minutes and Actions

To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting and consider the actions

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 31 May 2018 were agreed by the members present and signed by the Chairman.

61.

Public Participation

An opportunity for members of the public to make statements and ask questions in accordance with the rules as to Public Participation

 

Minutes:

None

62.

Strategic Risk Register

To provide an update on the Strategic Risk Register for 2018/19.

 

 

Report to Follow

Minutes:

Deferred to the September meeting.

63.

Dacorum Borough Council Annual Accounts

Report and Final Accounts to follow.

Minutes:

62.  DBC STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTS 2017/18 and AUDIT OF DBC ANNUAL ACCOUNTS GRANT THORNTON (Agenda Item 6b and 6a)

 

Resolved:

 

 

1.    That the Audit Committee

 

a)    notes the final financial outturn for 2017/18;

b)    Approves the additional movements on earmarked reserves from the provisional outturn as set out at 6.4 in the report to the committee;

c)    acknowledges the capital slippage as set out in appendix C of the report;

d)    Completes its review of the Statement of Accounts 2017/18 and any matters on which assurance is sought in order to approve the Statements on behalf of the Council;

e)    subject to consideration of the External Auditor’s Audit Findings Report, approve the letter of representation as attached at Appendix F of the report to the committee in their capacity of those charged with Governance; and

f)     subject to (a) above, approve the Statement of Accounts for 2017/18.

 

2.    Acknowledge that, having substantially completed their audit of DBC financial statements and subject to the outstanding queries and items being resolved, Grant Thornton have proposed an unqualified audit opinion, as detailed in Appendix D of their report to the Audit Committee.

 

Advice

 

The Committee agreed that DBC officers should proceed with an outline of the accounts and then the Auditors would present their opinion. F Jump (FJ), Group Manager: Financial Services first introduced the reports for consideration, including the documents circulated just prior to the meeting.

J Deane (JD), Strategic Director – Finance and Operations was pleased to report a good deal of satisfaction with the presentation of a timely, valid and complete set of accounts this year. This year, the production of the Statement of Accounts had to be delivered on a compressed timetable (submitted by 31 May) despite significant changes in finance personnel during the year; four had left and only one of the replacements was in post ahead of three others joining later. He praised F Jump and the others involved for the efforts made to ensure the accounts were completed on time and in the desired format. The Chair and the remainder of the committee endorsed this view and recorded their thanks to F Jump and her team.

 

FJ then took the committee through the two main elements of the report: the final outturn for 2017/18 and the final Statement of Accounts; and then outlined the various documents and appendices that make up the final Statement.

 

Before moving to the Auditor’s Report, Cllr Birnie sought and was given some clarification on the points raised regarding ‘Reserves’, particularly the difference between ‘usable’ and ‘other’ reserves. He pointed out that the different terminology used in reference to them made it difficult to keep track and examine the function of these reserves. He asked if the reserves are listed anywhere? Officer suggested that members could keep track using the reserves listed in the February Budget Report and monitor their status through the updated list, generally included in the quarterly reports.

 

Audit of DBC Annual Accounts – Grant Thornton  ...  view the full minutes text for item 63.

64.

Statement of Accounts 2017/18 250718 FINAL pdf icon PDF 170 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

See Minute No. 62 above.

65.

2017-18 Grant Thornton Audit Findings report - DBC pdf icon PDF 919 KB

Minutes:

See Minute 62 above.

66.

Dacorum Borough Council Letter of Representation and Proposed Addendum to the Audit Findings Report pdf icon PDF 314 KB

Audit committee 25 July 2018-

 

Letter of Representation: and

 

Proposed Addendum to the Audit Findings Report

Additional documents:

Minutes:

See minute 62 above.

67.

Head of Internal Audit Opinion/Annual Report 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 572 KB

Minutes:

 

63.       HEAD OF INTERNAL AUDIT OPINION /ANNUAL REPORT 2017/18 (Agenda Item 7)

 

M Towler of Mazars (MT) introduced the summary report from the Internal auditors and took the committee through the main points.

He commented that it was good to see the results in the External Auditor’s report and felt the Council could take reassurance from the fact that the report shows the main risks had been identified, addressed, and any areas of concern improved. He felt this is echoed in the work done by Internal Audit and the general tone of their reports. He pointed out that his report shows that in the service investigations carried out there were 8 Full and 10 Substantial assessments leading to an overall assessment of ‘Substantial’ for the work of the council.

His only note of concern and area for improvement involved the return of audit survey reports; of the 18 sent out only 5 were returned completed. MT did add that this is not a material issue but simply a matter of concern. He would encourage their completion as they measure the value of the audit to those audited. After establishing that it only takes about 30 minutes for the manager to complete the survey, Cllr Douris suggested that officers make it one of this year’s targets to achieve 100% return of surveys. NH agreed to take this away and look at our approach.

 

The Chair singled out for praise those services that had achieved Full/Full assessments during the year and recorded for the minutes his and the committee’s thanks to ALL employees, pointing out that they are testament to the improvement efforts being made at DBC (See confirmation from external Auditors Minute 62).

 

 

68.

Internal Audit Progress Report pdf icon PDF 410 KB

Minutes:

64.       INTERNAL AUDIT PROGRESS REPORT (Agenda Item 8)

 

The committee considered the report from the Internal Auditor, Mazars - MT informed the committee on the results from the first quarter in which there was one audit finalised (to be considered at this meeting). There are still five audits outstanding from last year but this is mainly as their implementation dates have not yet been reached. He concluded that in his opinion things are moving forward as planned. Cllr Tindall suggested that the report might benefit from a ‘still outstanding’ column. Officer and MT felt that the comments column should serve this purpose.

 

69.

Internal Audit: Service Report pdf icon PDF 502 KB

To consider the following report

 

  • Housing Rents

 

Minutes:

65        INTERNAL AUDIT SERVICE REPORTS (Agenda Item 9)

 

The committee considered the Mazars report on the audit of Housing Rents

(Evaluation assurance: Full. Testing assurance: Substantial).

The audit raised two Priority 2 recommendations and one priority 3 recommendation as follows:

Recommendation 1: Rent Debits – Termination of Tenancy Forms (Priority 2)

Recommendation 2: Rent Arrears – Former Tenant Arrears (Priority 2)

Recommendation 3: Recharge of Services Provided to Tenants – Calculation of Charges (Priority 3)

Cllr Tindal enquired if the Orchard system had failed us, since it had not prompted any action in two years. L Warden, Group Manager: (Tenants & Leaseholders) (LW) felt the gap in the software had been filled by a more effective structure and reporting line that ensured the team could keep track of the issues. They are collecting and assessing the evidence on how effective this method is before considering investing in a costly software update.

 

The Chair pointed out that the last two lines of the report, the officers’ comments and the expressed satisfaction of the Auditors would suggest that this matter is in hand and being addressed.

 

 

70.

Audit Committee Work Programme pdf icon PDF 55 KB

To consider the Audit Committee Work Programme for July 2018.

Minutes:

66.       AUDIT COMMITTEE WORK PROGRAMME (Agenda Item 10)

 

The committee considered the work programme for 2018/19 and made no alterations or additions.

 

Resolved: That the work programme for 2018/19 be agreed.