Agenda and minutes

Audit Committee
Wednesday, 14th March, 2018 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 2, Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Daniel Sharples  (0161 474 3209)

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 63 KB

To approve as a correct record and sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 8 November 2017.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes (copies of which had been circulated) of the meeting held on 8 November 2017 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

2.

Declarations of Interest

Councillors and officers to declare any interests which they have in any of the items on the agenda for the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillors and officers were invited to declare any interests they had in any of the items on the agenda for the meeting.

 

The following interests were declared:-

 

Personal Interest

 

Councillor

Interest

John Pantall

Any discussion relating to the GM Pension Fund as the Council’s nominated representative on the Board.

 

 

 

3.

Urgent Decisions

To report any urgent action taken under the Constitution since the last meeting of the Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No urgent decisions were reported.

4.

Public Question Time

Members of the public are invited to put questions to the Chair on any matters within the powers and duties of the Committee, subject to the exclusions set out in the Code of Practice.  (Questions must be submitted prior to the commencement of the meetingon the card provided.  These are available at the meeting. You can also submit via the Council’s website at www.stockport.gov.uk/publicquestions).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members of the public were invited to put questions to the Chair on any matters within the powers and duties of the Area Committee, subject to the exclusions set out in the Code of Practice.

 

No public questions were submitted.

5.

2017/2018 Accounting Principles pdf icon PDF 58 KB

To consider a report of the Borough Treasurer.

 

The report explains that the Borough Treasurer is responsible for the preparation of the Council’s Statement of Accounts in accordance with proper practices as set out in the CIPFA/LASAAC Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting in the United Kingdom (the Code). In preparing the Statement of Accounts, the Borough Treasurer has to select suitable accounting policies and then apply them consistently and make judgement and estimates that are reasonable and prudent.

 

The Committee is invited to consider and comment on the report.

 

Officer Contact: Jonathan Davies on Tel: 0161 218 1025 or email: jonathan.davies@stockport.gov.uk

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A representative of the Borough Treasurer submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) outlining the Council’s Accounting which were set out in Appendix one of the report.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

6.

Internal Audit Progress Report 3 - 1st October 2017 to 31st January 2018 pdf icon PDF 58 KB

To consider a report of the Borough Treasurer.

 

The report sets out progress made by internal audit against the approved 2017/2018 internal audit plan for the period 1st October 2017 to 31st January 2018.

 

The Committee is invited to consider and comment on the report.

 

Officer Contact: John Pearsall on Tel: 0161 474 4033 or email: john.pearsall@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A representative of the Borough Treasurer submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) setting out the progress made by internal audit against the approved 2017/2018 internal audit plan for the period 1st October 2017 to 31st January 2018.

 

The following comments were made/issues raised:-

·         Councillors discussed the Digital by Design project and the project and risk management processes in operation as Phase 2 of the project approached.

·         The recent problems experienced with the online Council Tax collection system and what had been learnt from the experience.

·         Oversight of the GDPR implementation project.

·         The Audit Plan included 145 days for counter fraud work.

·         Councillors noted that the final Internal Audit reports included management action plans to address agreed recommendations to address exposure to risk.

·         The Committee discussed the review of the use of consultants.

·         Concern was expressed with regards to the review of the CYP Imprest Account which has found evidence of duplicate and incorrect payments.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

7.

Draft Internal Audit Plan 2018-19 and Internal Audit Charter 2018-19 pdf icon PDF 53 KB

To consider a report of the Borough Treasurer.

 

The draft internal audit plan has been prepared through the development of an Audit Coverage Model that has highlighted those areas of the Council considered highest risk. Consideration has also been given to the Council’s risk management arrangements and consultation with senior management across the Council.

 

The Committee is requested to consider and comment on the report.

 

Officer Contact: John Pearsall on Tel: 0161 474 4033 or email: john.pearsall@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A representative of the Borough Treasurer submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) outlining the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards and presenting for comment the draft internal audit plan which had been developed in conjunction with the Council’s Risk Management arrangements and in consultation with senior management throughout the Council.

 

The following comments were made/issues raised:-

·         The link between focussing on systems and procedures in the context of achieving ‘Corporate Outcomes.’

·         An explanation of IER35 and the important changes to tax legislation on the public sector.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

8.

Annual Governance Statement Action Plan Update pdf icon PDF 50 KB

To consider a report of the Corporate Governance Group.

 

The Action Plan outlines the key governance issues currently facing the Council along with agreed controls put in place to manage the issue.  A quarterly update is provided via communication and challenge to nominated officers specified by the Corporate Governance Group.

 

The Committee is invited to consider and comment on the report.

 

Officer Contact: John Pearsall on Tel: 0161 474 4033 or email: john.pearsall@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A representative of the Corporate Governance Group submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) providing for comment the Council’s Annual Governance Action Plan arising for the current Annual Governance statement. The plan outlined the key governance issues facing the Council and agreed controls put in place to manage those issues.

 

The following comments were made/issues raised:-

·         Councillors noted the governance issues and discussed the progress made in respect to Information Governance (IG) and notably the response to the new General Data Protection Regulations. The Committee welcomed the efforts being made to enable the Council to meet the requirements that come into force in May 2018.

·         Councillors felt assured at the support being to support phase 2 of the Digital by Design reforms.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

9.

Arrangements For Completion of the Annual Governance Statement 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 51 KB

To consider a report of the Borough Treasurer.

 

The report sets out the proposed arrangements for completion of the

Annual Governance Statement for 2017/18. The final Annual Governance Statement will be produced and presented at the next Audit Committee meeting.

 

The Committee is requested to consider and comment on the report.

 

Officer Contact: John Pearsall on Tel: 0161 474 4033 or email: john.pearsall@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A representative of the Borough Treasurer submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) setting out the proposed arrangements for completion of the Annual Governance Statement for 2017/2018. The final Annual Governance Statement would be presented to the next meeting of the Audit Committee for approval.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

10.

PUBLIC SECTOR INTERNAL AUDIT STANDARDS (PSIAS) - QUALITY ASSURANCE & IMPROVEMENT PROGRAMME (QAIP) 2018/19 and SELF-ASSESSMENT pdf icon PDF 62 KB

To consider a report of the Borough Treasurer.

 

The report sets out the quality assurance arrangements in place for internal audit for 2018/2019 along with the self-assessment results of the QIAP for 2017/2018 and the proposed basis that the Head of Internal Audit, Risk and Insurance will use for the external assessment of the Council’s internal audit function, which is required under the PSIAS.

 

The Committee is invited to consider and comment on the report.

 

Officer Contact: John Pearsall on Tel: 0161 474 4033 or email: john.pearsall@stockport.gov.uk

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A representative of the Borough Treasurer submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) setting out the quality assurance arrangements in place for internal audit for 2018/2019 including the self-assessment results of the QIAP for 2017/18 and the proposed basis that the Head of Internal Audit, Risk and Insurance will use for the external assessment of the Council’s internal audit function, which is required under the PSIAS.

 

The following comments were made/issues raised:-

·         The Committee heard that the QAIP covered all aspects of internal audit activity which enabled conformance with the PSIAS to be evaluated and that the results are reported to Audit Committee as part of the Improvement Plan included in the Annual Internal Audit report.

·         Councillors discussed a number of the on-going reviews and the process for periodic reviews and assessments.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

 

11.

UPDATE ON CORPORATE RISKS 2017/18 (Quarter 3 Review) pdf icon PDF 58 KB

To consider a report of the Borough Treasurer.

 

The report provides an update on the current status of corporate risks.

 

The Committee is invited to consider and comment on the report.

 

Officer Contact: John Pearsall on Tel: 0161 474 4033 or email: john.pearsall@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A representative of the Borough Treasurer submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) providing an update on the current status of Corporate Risks.

 

The Committee heard that key changes had been made in relation to Risk 7 – Digital Capacity, Risk 13 – Information Governance and Risk 15 – Supplier and Partner Risk.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

12.

PEER REVIEW - RISK MANAGEMENT ARRANGEMENTS (IN CONJUNCTION WITH WARRINGTON/SALFORD RISK SERVICES) pdf icon PDF 50 KB

To consider a report of the Borough Treasurer.

 

The report outlines the proposed arrangements for undertaking of a Peer Review of risk management arrangements between Stockport and Warrington/Salford Risk Services. The reviews are scheduled to be undertaken in March/April 2018 and will consist of a review of key documentation and interviews with specific stakeholders involved inthe risk management process.

 

The Committee are invited to consider and comment on the report.

 

Officer Contact: John Pearsall on Tel: 0161 474 4033 or email: john.pearsall@stockport.gov.uk

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A representative of the Borough Treasurer submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) outlining the proposed arrangements for a Peer Review of risk management arrangements between Stockport, Warrington and Salford Risk Services.

 

Councillors suggested that it would be helpful to hear how other Audit Committees at comparable council’s consider risk management.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

13.

External Audit Plan: Year ending 31 March 2018 pdf icon PDF 508 KB

To consider a report of the External Auditor.

 

The Committee is invited to consider and comment on the report.

 

Officer Contact: Stephen Nixon on Tel: 0161 234 6362 or email: stephen.r.nixon@uk.gt.com

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The External Auditor submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) providing an overview of the planned scope and timing of the statutory audit of Stockport Council. The Audit Plan provided information in respect to significant risks, materiality, value for money arrangements, audit logistics and a commentary on the independence of the audit.

 

The following comments were made/issues raised:-

·         The scope of the audit was set in accordance with the Code and International Standards on Auditing (ISAs) (UK). The audit expressed an opinion on thefinancial statements (including the Annual Governance Statement) that have been prepared by management with the oversight of those charged with governance (the Audit Committee) and Value for Money arrangements in place at the Council for securing economy, efficiency and effectiveness in the use of resources.

·         An explanation of how significant risks were identified and an explanation of the suggested proposed measures to mitigate those risks.

·         Councillors discussed the issues raised in the report relating to materiality and the value for money arrangements.

 

RESOLVED – That the report of the External Auditor be noted and endorsed.

14.

Certification Letter for Stockport Council pdf icon PDF 168 KB

To consider the certification letter provided by the External Auditor.

 

The Committee is requested to note the letter.

 

Officer Contact: Stephen Nixon on Tel: 0161 234 6362 or email: stephen.r.nixon@uk.gt.com

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The External Auditor submitted the Certification letter (copies of which had been circulated) which detailed the certification work undertaken for the Council for the year ended 31 March 2017.

 

RESOLVED – That the Certification letter be noted.

15.

Group Financial Statements for the year end 31 March 2018 pdf icon PDF 274 KB

To consider a report of the External Auditor.

 

The Committee is requested to note the report.

 

Officer Contact: Stephen Nixon on Tel: 0161 234 6362 or email: stephen.r.nixon@uk.gt.com

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The External Auditor submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) outlining the Council’s Group Financial Statements for the year ended 31 March 2018.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.