Agenda item

Audit Committee Governance Update


F Jump presented the update, first noting the review of local authority audit arrangements, the Redmond Review. A key recommendation from the review was the appointment of independent persons on an audit committee and F Jump noted her proposals on how to address this. F Jump asked the Committee for its approval to proceed to appoint these independent persons based on the process outlined in the document.


F Jump referred to the Audit Committee Terms of Reference, noting that if the Committee agrees to the appointment of independent persons then it will be relevant to update the terms of reference to reflect the membership.


On independent persons, F Jump advised that appointing these is considered best practice and that they are likely to be required to appoint them in future so the recommendation is to start the process now.


Cllr Birnie commented on the recommendation for two independent persons and asked if the proposal is for just one.


F Jump clarified that the recommendation is for up to two persons and they would appoint up to two if they have suitable candidates.


Cllr Birnie asked if the independent persons would need to be paid.


F Jump confirmed that the position is not salaried and that the individuals could claim reasonable expenses for committee attendance.


Cllr Elliot felt it would be challenging to find people to act as an independent person on the Committee voluntarily. Cllr Birnie agreed with the comment.


F Jump asked C Harris what arrangements are in place at other local authorities. C Harris advised that some pay individuals a lump sum to attend whereas some sectors are entirely made up of independent persons, such as the police, and have good representations of people who want to be on the committee. C Harris suggested that they look to the market and potentially review the process if they are unable to attract relevant candidates.


Cllr Birnie commented on the person specification for independent persons and suggested that 'or the councillors' auditors' be added to items 4 and 5.


Cllr Douris noted a typo on the penultimate line on page 104. F Jump confirmed she would correct this.


Cllr Douris asked if they should look to recruit independent persons from outside of Dacorum to allow for a more impartial view. Cllr Birnie agreed with the comment and suggested that having someone local to Dacorum could be counterproductive.


F Jump advised that, when looking at other local authorities, they tend to look at individuals who know the local area but she also acknowledged the potential advantage of broadening the scope.


C Harris commented that they would also need to consider the travel required and suggested that they take any geographical boundaries out of the description.


The Chair suggested that they move being a Dacorum resident from essential to desirable, Cllr Birnie suggested that it be removed altogether.


ACTION: To update independent person’s description and remove requirement to be based in Dacorum (F Jump).


The Chair agreed that they first test the market and review the description if they are unable to attract suitable candidates.


Cllr Douris commented on the interview panel and suggested that it would be helpful to have the Chair of the Audit Committee and one other member. The Chair agreed with the suggestion.


The Committee accepted the proposal.




The Committee approved the amended Audit Committee Terms of Reference.


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