Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Town Hall - Bridge Street, Bideford, EX39 2HS. View directions

Contact: Tom Vanstone - Democratic Services  Email: tom.vanstone@torridge.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

47.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 59 KB

Confirmation of the minutes of the meeting held on 20 November 2018.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on the 20th November 2018  were presented.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Himan, seconded by Councillor Julian and –

 

Resolved:

 

That the minutes be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

(Vote: For – unanimous )

 

48.

Declaration of Interests

Members with interests should refer to the agenda item and describe the nature of their interest when the item is considered.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

 

49.

Agreement of Agenda Items Part I and II

Minutes:

The agenda as circulated was agreed.

 

50.

Urgent Matters Brought Forward with the Permission of the Chair

Minutes:

There were no urgent matters brought forward.

51.

DRAFT ANNUAL GOVERNANCE STATEMENT pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To receive the report of the Service Improvement Officer.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Service Improvement Officer presented a draft of the Annual Governance Statement 2018/2019 by page and advised committee members that the final report will be approved at its meeting in July, with the intention to publish with the statement of accounts. 

 

The Service Improvement Officer confirmed the draft report format was similar to previous years. Areas of the report which cannot be completed until April were highlighted in red. It was requested that members use this committee meeting as an opportunity to provide any suggestions or comments.

 

Mark Bartlett (Grant Thornton) highlighted an error in the box at the bottom of page 16 – this should say July not August 2018.

 

52.

REVIEW OF GOVERNANCE SUPPORTING EVIDENCE (PRINCIPLE A) pdf icon PDF 115 KB

To receive the report of the Service Improvement Officer.

Minutes:

The Service Improvement Officer presented evidence to support the Annual Governance Statement.  At the Chair’s request the committee looked at evidence of progress on Principle A – behaving with integrity, demonstrating strong commitment to ethical values, and respecting the rule of law. The report was split into 3 main areas:

A1 - Behaving with Integrity

A2 - Ethical Values

A3  - Respecting Rule of Law

 

Following a discussion about advanced training for taxi drivers in relation to vulnerable children and exploitation, the Strategic Manager (Resources) confirmed changes to taxi licensing rules are expected from National Government soon and some in-house work had taken place as well. It was agreed an update will be provided on this work at the next committee meeting. 

 

It was duly noted that committee members were happy with report.

53.

ANNUAL CERTIFICATION LETTER pdf icon PDF 139 KB

To receive the report of Grant Thornton LLP, External Auditors.

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed Alex Walling, who has replaced Geraldine Daly as Grant Thornton’s Engagement Lead for Torridge District Council.

 

The Engagement Manager for Grant Thornton presented a summary of the Annual Certification Letter and appendices, relating to the final part of the 2017-18 financial year.  It was confirmed that the letter was certified on 23rd November and reports of observation went to the Department for Work and Pensions on that date.  

 

A discussion followed regarding the reduction in subsidy highlighted in appendix A and the Engagement Officer explained how these sample size was decided (£4,501 out of a value of £17,159,805) 

 

The report was duly noted.

 

54.

Internal Audit Strategy and plan pdf icon PDF 270 KB

To receive a report from the Service Improvement Officer and DAP Partnership Manager.

Minutes:

The Service Improvement Officer presented the report and highlighted the Internal Audit Plan, Internal Audit Strategy and Internal Audit Charter attached as appendices.  It was explained that the strategy and charter are standard Devon  Audit Partnership documents that have been adopted by Torridge.

 

14:25 Cllr McGeough attended the meeting. 

 

The Service Improvement Officer then made reference to the Internal Audit Plan on page 51 of the agenda and the draft audit plan on page 52. 

 

Discussion followed regarding audits not completed in 2018/19.  The Service Improvement Officer confirmed that resourcing had been agreed so the audits can be completed for their April deadline.

 

There was a further request for assurance around capacity for this work going forward.  The Strategic Manager (Resources) agreed to take this to next Devon Audit Partnership Management Board meeting on behalf of the Chair. 

 

It was proposed by Councillor Julian and seconded by Roger Levick and  -

 

Resolved:

 

That the Internal Audit Plan, Internal Audit Strategy and Internal Audit Charter be approved.

 

Vote: For  - Unanimous. 

 

55.

AUDIT REPORTS ISSUED TO DATE pdf icon PDF 231 KB

To receive a report from the DAP Partnership Manager.

Minutes:

The Service Improvement Officer provided an update on the 6 reports completed since the last Audit and Governance Committee meeting in November, along with their findings. 

 

The audit reports covered Car Parks, Creditors, ICT Change Management, VAT, NNDR and Main Accounts.

 

Committee members duly noted the report. 

 

56.

PROGRESS WITH AGREED ACTIONS pdf icon PDF 96 KB

To receive the report of the Service Improvement Officer.

Minutes:

The Service Improvement Officer presented the report and provided an update on progress with implementing the agreed actions.

 

Members were informed that there since the last meeting 18 actions had been completed, but 7 audit actions had not been competed in time. Extensions have been agreed for 3 of these actions, with the committee being asked to agree second extensions for 3 actions.  A progress update was provided on the remaining action.

 

The Service Improvement Officer provided detail on each of the extension requests and provided an update on progress. 

 

Members discussed the actions in appendix A of the report and were provided with more detail on the reasoning for these extensions and how new timescales were agreed. 

 

An update was provided on the longer term issue regarding waste. SMT have instructed the Waste Manager to follow the procurement route and agree a new contract.

 

In response to a discussion on the Asset Management Plan the Strategic Manager (Resources) confirmed there will be an Asset Capital Monitoring Group meeting next week and a draft report is likely to be shared at that meeting.

 

It was proposed by the Chair, Councillor Hackett, and seconded by Councillor Julian and –

 

Resolved:

 

That the 3 second extensions within the report be agreed.

 

Vote: For - Unanimous. 

 

57.

GRANT THORNTON UPDATE REPORT pdf icon PDF 312 KB

To receive the report from Grant Thornton LLP, External Auditors.

Minutes:

The Engagement Manager provided an update to committee members on work carried out up to the 8th February 2019. This included working towards the statutory deadline of July 2019 and planning for the next financial year. It was confirmed there was no change to value for money work from last year and the results of this work will be reported back at the end of July. 

 

 

The presentation was discussed and committee members duly noted the report. 

 

58.

EXTERNAL AUDIT PLAN pdf icon PDF 196 KB

To receive the report from Grant Thornton LLP, External Auditors

Report.

Minutes:

The Engagement Lead went through the external audit plan for year 18/19, explaining that the report aims to provide the Audit and Governance Committee with an update on progress in delivering the projects as Torridge District Council’s external auditors.

 

It was explained that this report sought to scope out the work for the coming year, highlight the significant risks Grant Thornton have identified nationally and the work planned with Torridge District Council to respond to these risks (Financial Pressures and Political Uncertainty, Changes to the CIPFA 2018/19 Accounting Code and Transforming Torridge) 

 

A discussion followed in relation to the Council’s position regarding financial sustainability. The Strategic Manager (Resources) explained that Torridge District Council have a healthy level of reserves and that the budget and medium term plan will be going to Full Council next week. 

 

Committee members noted the update.

59.

RIPA

To receive an update from the Senior Solicitor.

Minutes:

The Strategic Manager (Resources) provided an update in place of the Senior Solicitor.

 

It was confirmed that in the last year there had been one situation where RIPA was actioned, however this has since been cancelled.

 

Committee duly noted the update.

60.

DATA PROTECTION ACT 2018 (GDPR)

To receive an update from the Senior Solicitor.

Minutes:

The Strategic Manager (Resources) explained that the Senior Solicitor and Human Resources Manager were currently attending a 3 day training course on GDPR.  He also explained that Torridge District council are now in a good position regarding compliance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and thee was an internal audit scheduled in April 2019.

 

Committee noted the update

61.

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Minutes:

The Service Improvement Officer provided an update on the meeting cycle for the 2019/20 Audit and Governance Committees.

 

There is a long gap until the next meeting in July. It was agreed that The Engagement Manager for Grant Thornton and the Service Improvement Officer will send out their report and the audit newsletter in conjunction, it was suggested this could be sent in April/May. 

 

The committee members duly noted the update.

62.

Exclusion of the Public

The Chair to move:

 

That the public be excluded from the remainder of the meeting because of the likely disclosure of exempt information by virtue of paragraph 3 of Part I and paragraph 10 of Part 2 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

Minutes:

It was proposed by Councillor Julian and seconded by Councillor Himan and –

 

Resolved:

 

That under Section 100(a) (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended) the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business because of the likely disclosure of exempt information by virtue of Paragraph 1 of Part 1 and Paragraph 10 of Part 2 of schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

 

Vote: For – Unanimous

63.

PART II (CLOSED SESSION)

64.

CORPORATE ASSURANCE RISK REGISTER - FEBRUARY 2019

To receive a report from the Strategic Manager (Resources).

Minutes:

The Strategic Manager (Resources) provided an update on the Corporate Assurance risk register with members. Following discussion of the update the committee members duly noted the report.

 

It was proposed by the Chair, Councillor Hackett, and seconded by Councillor Julian and –

 

Resolved:

That the meeting leave Part II

 

Vote: For - Unanimous