Agenda and minutes

Audit Committee - Monday 27th June, 2016 2.00 pm

Venue: Lonsdale Room, Allerdale House. View directions

Contact: Dean Devine  01900 702556

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 63 KB

To sign as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 9 May 2016.


The minutes of the meeting held on 9 May 2016 were signed as a correct record.


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.


None declared.



To answer questions from members of the public – 2 days’ notice of which must have been given in writing or by electronic mail.


None received.


Head of Internal Audit Year End Report 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 53 KB

Additional documents:


The Assurance, Risk and Audit Manager submitted the Assurance, Risk and Audit Year End Report 2015/16, which had been prepared in line with the adopted Local Code of Corporate Governance, the CIPFA statement on the role of the Head of Internal Audit and the Public Sector Internal Audit, 2450 Overall Opinions.


The report provided a summary of work completed by the Assurance, Risk and Audit (ARA) service for the financial year 2015/16.


The ARA service worked in support of the organisation and its approach to improving fraud awareness and the detection of corporate fraud. There had been no instances of corporate fraud reported during 2015/16. During this year the ARA service had taken action to educate and promote a zero tolerance approach to fraud by providing an e-learning tool and communicating fraud case studies in a bulletin to all staff.


The Assurance, Risk and Audit Manager had worked with the Housing Benefits and Revenues Managers to look at ongoing improvements to fraud detection and prevention based on various data sources provided. This would form the basis of the completion of an organisation wide fraud risk assessment during 2016/17.


In line with the Public Sector Internal Audit Standard 2120, a review of the effectiveness of the risk management process was undertaken in September 2015. The recommendations made had been progressed and when fully implemented would enhance the organisations risk maturity.


The Senior Management Team had committed to six monthly risk review workshops to develop risk management activities and had also adopted service risk registers into the Service Planning process. This would improve accountability, awareness and ownership of risk throughout the organisation.


The ARA service measured performance using performance indicators relating to productive time (time and cost), acceptance of recommendations (quality) and customer feedback (quality and improvement). The results for 2015/16 were as follows:


·  The overall cumulative productive time was 85.69% compared to the target of 87.04%


·  All 39 recommendations made were accepted by management


·  11 responses had been received in relation to client feedback for all reviews completed


Business continuity was considered a significant area for improvement. Agreed actions remained outstanding in relation to the successful implementation of an organisational wide Business Continuity Plan. A final plan of business continuity priorities was yet to be finalised and tested. The indicated date for finalising this action was 30 September 2016.


It was in the Assurance, Risk and Audit Manager’s opinion that the independent assurance reviews completed by the ARA service and the evidence gathering processes employed by the Governance group provided substantial assurance over the adequacy and effectiveness of the organisations framework for risk management, control and governance.


Members noted the report.




That the report be noted.


Annual Governance Statement pdf icon PDF 61 KB

Additional documents:


The Head of Governance and Monitoring Officer submitted a report setting out the Council’s draft Annual Governance Statement for 2015/16. The Council was required to prepare and publish an Annual Governance Statement to meet the statutory requirements set out in the Accounts and Audit (England) Regulations 2015.


The Annual Governance Statement set out the Council’s governance arrangements and the controls it employed to manage the risk of failure to achieve the Council’s priorities.


Councillor A Davis-Johnston asked that as much jargon be removed from the report as possible, namely the amount of abbreviations. He also commented that the inclusion of hyperlinks was not good practice and asked that instead references be added as footnotes with a date, time and web address. The Head of Governance and Monitoring Officer agreed to address this.


Councillor A Davis-Johnston asked that the first sentence of section 3.5 of the Annual Governance Statement be reworded. The Head of Governance and Monitoring Officer agreed to this.


The Audit Committee approved the draft Annual Governance Statement subject to minor amendments.






a)  the Head of Governance and Monitoring Officer amend the draft Annual Governance Statement following the comments made by the Audit Committee

b)  the draft Annual Governance Statement be approved subject to minor amendments


Progress and Update Report pdf icon PDF 933 KB


G Kelly, Grant Thornton presented an Audit Committee update report to inform the Committee of the progress made by the external auditors on delivering their responsibilities as at June 2016.


The planned fee letter for 2015/16 had been issued in April 2015. The fee letter for 2016/17 had also been issued in May 2016.


A detailed accounts audit plan setting out the auditor’s approach in order to give an opinion on the Council’s 2015/16 financial statements was presented to the Audit Committee in March 2016.


An interim accounts audit was completed in April 2016 and the audit findings for the work completed were included in the report.


The final accounts audit was planned for July/August 2016.


The Value for Money (VfM) conclusion was to be reported to the Audit Committee by 30 September 2016.


The report highlighted a significant risk that had been identified as a result of the auditor’s initial risk assessment and set out the work proposed to address the risk.


Members noted the report.




That the report be noted.