Venue: Council Chamber, Allerdale House. View directions
Contact: Dean Devine 01900 702556
To sign as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 27 June 2016.
The minutes of the meeting held on 27 June 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.
To answer questions from members of the public – submitted in writing or by electronic mail no later than 5.00 pm, 2 working days before the meeting.
The Head of Governance and Monitoring Officer presented the first quarterly Assurance, Risk and Audit report for the financial year 2016/17. The report set out the work performed by the Assurance, Risk and Audit Section and compared the work undertaken against the approved annual plan.
The chargeable time for the section for quarter one was 72.21%, which was below the target of 84.84%. Members were advised that this was mainly due to the increased amount of training being provided by the Assurance, Risk and Audit Manager to the new team members.
Members noted the assurance activities for the quarter, which focused mainly on the completion of the Statutory Audit Reviews and training. The following reports were submitted and were attached to the report as Appendix B:
· Payroll (final report)
· Main Accounting (final report)
· Risk Management – corporate risk (final report)
With regard to the ‘Overtime’ area in the ‘Payroll Audit Review 2015/16’ report, it was noted that system enhancements had been made to automatically calculate rates of pay and totals in the SAGE payroll system. However, these were not fully functional at the time of testing. Members requested assurance that this was fully functional now. The Interim Accountant agreed to follow this up.
In the ‘Achievement of Organisational Objectives’ section in the ‘Corporate Risk’ report, the areas for improvement set out that the vision for Allerdale was ‘improving lives’ and that this should be measured wherever possible. Members questioned how this was measured and in what areas. The Head of Governance and Monitoring Officer advised that quarterly performance reports were presented to the Executive, which measured the Council’s performance against the Council Plan Delivery Plan. Members requested that future performance reports also be circulated to the Committee.
Members noted the following reviews which were in progress at 30 June 2016:
· Finance Assurance Map (draft report)
· Treasury Management (draft report)
· Creditors (draft report)
· Debtors (planning and preparation)
· Capital Accounting (planning and preparation)
· Housing Benefits Verification and Calculation (draft report)
100% of recommendations made by Assurance, Risk and Audit were accepted by management during the quarter.
It was noted that of the 13 agreed actions due for implementation this quarter, 9 had been implemented, 3 were in progress and 1 was overdue. There were 12 overdue actions outstanding from previous quarters.
Members were informed that the overdue outstanding actions had been communicated to all Heads of Service to allow any additional follow up actions to be taken and all responsible officers had been contacted individually to request an update on progress. The Head of Governance and Monitoring Officer agreed that progress on these actions would be circulated to Members.
Members noted that the latest note on the ‘NNDR Audit Recommendation 01 15/16’ action mentioned that Customer Services no longer kept lists of incoming cheques and asked whether it would be good practice if a record was kept. The Head of Governance and Monitoring Officer agreed to find out whether this was being reviewed and what was to be put in place.
The Head of Financial Services submitted a report which sought to inform Members of the performance of the Council’s treasury management activities during 2015/16, the effects of treasury management decisions and transactions executed in the past year and of compliance with its Treasury Management Policy.
The Interim Accountant presented the report to the Committee. The report summarised the following:
· The economy and interest rates
· Overall treasury position at 31 March 2016
· The strategy for 2015/16
· Borrowing requirement
· Borrowing rates
· Borrowing activity during 2015/16
· Investment rates
· Investment outturn for 2015/16
· Prudential and Treasury Indicators
Members noted the contents of the report.
That Council be requested to agree that the contents of the report be noted.
The Head of Governance and Monitoring Officer submitted a report that set out the Council’s Annual Governance Statement for 2015/16, which was required to meet the requirements of the Accounts and Audit (England) Regulations 2015, the action plan developed to address the governance gaps identified by the annual governance review process and the Local Code of Corporate Governance.
The Annual Governance Statement was prepared in accordance with relevant professional guidance. It demonstrated that the Council had sound governance arrangements in place during the municipal year 2015/16 and in the period leading up to the preparation of the Statement and the Council’s Accounts.
The significant governance issues identified in the Annual Governance Statement were drawn together in an action plan, which would be implemented over the forthcoming year.
The action plan contained two subject areas; Business Continuity and Allerdale Investment Partnership. Actions were set out for each area and the expected outcomes.
Members commented that they needed further information about the Allerdale Investment Partnership. The Head of Governance and Monitoring Officer asked whether workshops and updates on the partnership would be beneficial. Members requested that these be arranged and asked for a flow chart to be made available, setting out the partnership.
Members approved the Annual Governance Statement 2015/16.
That the Annual Governance Statement for 2015/16 be approved.
a) Workshops and updates on the Allerdale Investment Partnership be arranged
b) A flow chart on the Allerdale Investment Partnership be made available
In accordance with the Accounts and Audit (England) Regulations 2015, the Head of Financial Services submitted the Council’s 2015/16 Statement of Accounts for the Audit Committee’s consideration and approval.
The Statement of Accounts summarised the Council’s financial performance, financial position and cash flows for the financial year from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016. The statement also provided commentary on the major influences affecting this.
The Interim Accountant provided Members with a summary presentation on the Statement of Accounts covering key considerations for Members, changes to accounting policies, judgements and uncertainties, comprehensive income and expenses statement, consistency with revenue, consistency with capital/treasury outturn, cash flow and changes to unaudited statements.
In the group accounts the Council’s interest in Allerdale Investment Partnership LLP was accounted for as a joint venture using the equity method. The summarised financial information about the joint venture based on its International Financial Reporting Standards financial statements and a reconciliation of this information to the carrying amount of the investment in the group accounts was amended by way of a document tabled at the meeting. The unrecognised share of losses of the joint venture was also amended.
Members asked if a register of the Council’s assets was available. The Interim Accountant agreed to circulate the register.
Members approved the Statement of Accounts 2015/16.
The Head of Financial Services and the Chair of the Audit Committee signed and dated the statement.
a) The Statement of Accounts 2015/16 be signed by the Head of Financial Services and the Chair of the Audit Committee
b) Upon receipt of the signed audit opinion, the final Statement of Accounts 2015/16 be published by the statutory deadline of 30 September 2016
That the Interim Accountant circulate the register of the Council’s assets to the Audit Committee.
Grant Thornton submitted a findings report highlighting the key matters arising from the audit of the council’s financial statements for the year ended 31 March 2016.
J Bellard, Grant Thornton presented Members with a summary of the report.
Members were informed that the Auditors work had not identified any control weaknesses which they wished to highlight to the Council’s attention.
One significant risk was identified through the Auditors findings; the impact of key personnel changes involved in the Allerdale Investment Partnership LLP.
Members noted the report.
That the contents of the report be noted.
The Head of Financial Services (s151 Officer) presented to Members the Letter of Representation, made in connection with the audit of the Council’s 2015/16 Statement of Accounts.
Members approved the Letter of Representation.
The Letter of Representation 2015/16 was signed by the s151 Officer on behalf of the Council.
a) The Letter of Representation 2015/16 be approved
b) The Letter of Representation 2015/16 be signed by the s151 Officer on behalf of the Council