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Apologies for absence
To receive any apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Elliot and Symington.
Councilor Tindall substituted for Councillor Symington.
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]
There were no declarations of interest.
To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting and consider the actions
Councillor Silwal said he asked a couple of questions at the last meeting but they hadn’t been included in the minutes.
T Angel said she would review the recording and update the minutes if applicable. She advised she would email Councillor Silwal to confirm any changes. Action.
Councillor Riddick noted the word ‘reasonable’ used numerous times in the minutes. He suggested the term could mean different things to different people and would like to see us being more specific.
P Lazenby advised that the word reasonable was a generally accepted term within the audit community and most audit firm’s use reasonable as one of the benchmark standards. Generally it means that the audit is unable to provide absolute assurance in respect of the area that’s reviewed. Sometimes that is because of a limitation of scope, sometimes because there’s a limitation on the time that has been awarded in order to delve into the underlying risks and so they can only provide a reasonable standard of assurance. He explained that the level underneath reasonable was limited assurance and that means they have concerns to the level that they feel the underlying objective in relation to that area that they’re looking at might be undermined. The level above was substantial assurance and that means they raise barely any recommendations. Reasonable assurance is somewhere in between those areas and whilst it does cover a wide range, it does so with a reasonable degree of direction from the audit industry.
Councillor Tindall asked if members could be provided with a list of terms and descriptions used by the audit industry to help them form a better understanding.
P Lazenby advised there was a description of every level of assurance on every audit report that comes through this committee as well as on the annual report. He said he was more than happy to provide members with further details if they need it.
Councillor Riddick drew attention to the last sentence of the minutes under safeguarding and prevention. He questioned why contractors under £75,000 didn’t comply with safeguarding standards.
N Howcutt explained we have different procurement regulations for different values of contracts; when a contract is less than £75,000 we don’t monitor whether the contractors are abiding by their legislative health and safety requirements. That doesn’t mean they’re not abiding by them, but because of the volume of contracts we have under £75,000 it’s almost impossible for us to understand if they are. They are still expected to follow all the legislative health and safety requirements and that is included in the contract that they sign.
Councillor Riddick explained his email address had recently been subject to a cyber-attack. He felt this may have been part of a pattern as the email circulated was identical to one that had been circulated impersonating the previous Mayor. He asked if there was anything we could do to tighten up security for incidents like these.
N Howcutt replied that was something for them to take away and ... view the full minutes text for item 12.
An opportunity for members of the public to make statements and ask questions in accordance with the rules as to Public Participation
Audit Committee Training
P Lazenby led the training session for members. This focused on the roles and functions of an audit committee member.
N Howcutt advised that the September committee would include all the financial statements and potentially revised strategic risk registers.
He said he would like to schedule in more training sessions with members throughout the year to focus on specific subject areas. He will be liaising with P Lazenby to pencil in dates for these sessions.
Members are welcome to contact him prior to the meeting if they have any questions.
The Chairman thanked everyone and closed the meeting.