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To sign as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 21 March 2016.
The minutes of the meeting held on 21 March 2016 were signed as a correct record.
Councillor D Fairbairn commented that the minutes were not detailed enough.
Declaration of Interests
Councillors/Staff to give notice of any disclosable pecuniary interest, other registrable interest or any other interest and the nature of that interest relating to any item on the agenda in accordance with the adopted Code of Conduct.
To answer questions from members of the public – 2 days’ notice of which must have been given in writing or by electronic mail.
To inform the Committee of the work performed
by the Assurance, Risk and Audit Section in the financial year
2015/16 and to compare the work undertaken against the approved
annual plan. To confirm the content of the Audit Committee Terms of
The Assurance, Risk and Audit Manager presented the Assurance, Risk and Audit report for the quarter ending 31 March 2016 (quarter 4). The report set out the work performed by the Assurance, Risk and Audit Section in the financial year 2015/16 and compared the work undertaken against the approved annual plan.
Members noted the level of chargeable time achieved for quarter 4 was 85.73% which was below the planned target of 87.04%, mainly due to the increased amount of training provided by the team for the new Assurance, Risk and Audit Assistant which was non-chargeable but vital.
The Committee noted the assurance activities for the quarter, which focused mainly on the completion of the statutory audit reviews and providing risk management facilitation support to Senior Management and Third Tier Managers.
The following reports were submitted during the quarter:
· Banking and Receipts
· Housing Benefits Payments
· Council Tax
· Car Parking
Members noted the status of the following audit reviews which were in progress at 31 March 2016:
· Risk Management
· Main Accounting
100% of recommendations made by Assurance, Risk and Audit were accepted by management during the quarter.
It was noted that of the 7 agreed actions due for implementation within the quarter, at the time of writing the report 1 action had been implemented, 6 actions were in progress and 12 actions were overdue from previous quarters.
The Assurance, Risk and Audit Manager informed Members that a number of the overdue actions related to software upgrades and implementation and business continuity. Training sessions and a desk top scenario would be taking place to implement business continuity outstanding actions before the end of September 2016. Members asked if they could be updated after the outstanding actions had been implemented.
Members noted the Corporate Risk and Issues Log.
Councillor A Davis-Johnston felt that it was an important form of assurance for the Council to monitor members of staff who were required to hold certain qualifications for their job role, to ensure that they maintained these qualifications, such as by performing random checks or performance reviews. The Assurance, Risk and Audit Manager informed Members that she would raise it as an action to look into further.
Councillor D Fairbairn enquired about progress of the mitigating strategies for the management of the risk ‘increased number of families in poverty’. The Assurance, Risk and Audit Manager agreed to look into this and provide Members with an update.
Councillor D Fairbairn asked if the Council was collecting business rates on all wind turbines and solar farms within Allerdale. The Assurance, Risk and Audit Manager agreed to raise this with the Revenues Manager.
Members asked the Assurance, Risk and Audit Manager to email them instructions on how to access the Corporate Risk and Issues Log on the Council’s intranet.
Members approved of the updated Audit Committee Terms of Reference, attached as an appendix to the report.
The Committee noted the Audit Committee effectiveness review action list, attached as an appendix to the report.
Members noted ... view the full minutes text for item 471.
The Assurance, Risk and Audit Manager presented a letter on behalf of Grant Thornton UK LLP, detailing the proposed work programme to be undertaken as external auditors of the Council and the scale of fees for 2016/17.
The proposed 2016/17 scale audit fee was £48,128, which was the same level as the previous year.
The scale fee covered:
· Audit of the Council’s financial statements
· Work to reach a conclusion on the economy, efficiency and effectiveness in the Council’s use of resources (value for money conclusion)
· Work on the whole of government accounts return (if applicable)
The Council’s indicative grant certification fee had been set by Public Sector Audit Appointments Limited at £13,118. This fee covered the cost of certifying the housing benefit subsidy claim only and was based on final 2014/15 certification fees.
The letter outlined the external auditors’ audit timetable.
The auditor’s key team members for 2016/17 were:
J Bellard, Engagement Lead
R Robinson, Engagement Manager
Richard Anderson, In Charge Auditor
Members noted the letter.
That the letter be noted.