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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 Assurance, Risk and Audit Manager submitted a report which sought to inform Members of the work performed by Assurance, Risk and Audit in the second quarter of the financial year 2016/17 and to present the revised annual plan.
Chargeable time for the Assurance, Risk and Audit service for quarter two was 76%. This was below the planned target of 84.84%. The revised plan set a chargeable time target at 79.90%.
Members noted the assurance activities for the quarter, which focused mainly on the completion of the Statutory Audit Reviews and training. The following reports had been submitted, detailing the reviews:
· Treasury Management
· Finance Assurance Map
Members noted the following reviews in progress at 30 September 2016:
· Capital Accounting – Complete
· Statutory Finance Reviews – Continuous Audit Testing
· Revenues Reviews – Continuous Audit Testing
· Housing Benefits Reviews – Continuous Audit Testing
· Performance Management – Draft Report
· Contract Monitoring – Draft Report
· Flood Grants – Testing
100% of recommendations made by Assurance, Risk and Audit were accepted by management during the quarter.
Members noted the Corporate Risk and Issues Log.
That the report be noted.
The Assurance, Risk and Audit Manager presented Members with a report on the Lancashire District Chief Auditors Group Peer Review.
The Lancashire District Chief Auditors Group had been exploring a ‘peer review’ process to be developed, managed and operated by the constituent authorities to meet the requirements of the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards that an external assessment of the service be completed once every five years by a qualified, independent assessment team from outside the organisation.
Appended to the report was the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which set out the broad basis and methodology upon which the constituent authorities agreed to participate in the scheme and how the activity would be carried out. The MOU had been agreed by the Council’s Corporate Management Team.
Members accepted the contents of the MOU and agreed to participate in the review as required.
That the Memorandum of Understanding for the Peer Review process be accepted and that the Audit Committee participates in the review as required.
To inform members of the Council’s
treasury management activities during the six month period ending
30th September 2016. This report also provides assurances that
treasury management activities have been undertaken in accordance
with the Council’s approved Treasury Management Strategy
Statement and Investment strategy.
The Financial Services Manager submitted the mid-year review report on treasury management operations for 2016/17. The report set out to inform the Audit Committee of the Council’s treasury management activities during the six month period ending 30 September 2016. The report also provided assurances that treasury management activities had been undertaken in accordance with the Council’s approved Treasury Management Strategy Statement and Investment strategy.
To enable the Audit Committee to fulfil its responsibilities for ensuring effective scrutiny of the treasury management strategy and policies the Council’s Treasury Management Practices required treasury management reports – including the mid-year report – to be submitted to the Committee prior to consideration by the Council.
The mid-year report had been prepared in accordance with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy Code of Practice on Treasury Management 2011 Edition and covered:
· An update on the economic environment for the first six months of the financial year 2016/17
· Updated interest rate forecasts
· Treasury Management Strategy Statement and Investment Strategy update
· A review of the Council’s investment and borrowing activities during the period 1 April to 30 September 2016
· A review of compliance with the Council’s treasury and prudential indicators for 2016/17
Members noted the contents of the report.
That Council be requested to agree that the contents of the Treasury Management Operations mid-year review report 2016/17 be noted.
J Bellard, Grant Thornton presented the Audit Committee with the Annual Audit Letter. The letter summarised the key findings arising from the work that the external auditors had carried out at the Council for the year ended 31 March 2016.
The following work had been carried out:
Financial statement opinion – the auditors gave an unqualified opinion on the Council’s financial statements on 31 August 2016
Value for money conclusion – the auditors were satisfied that the Council put in place proper arrangements to ensure economy, efficiency and effectiveness in its use of resources during the year ended 31 March 2016
Certificate – the auditors certified that they had completed the audit of the Council’s accounts in accordance with the requirements of the National Audit Office Code of Audit Practice on 31 August 2016
Certification of grants – the auditors had carried out work to certify the Council’s Housing Benefit subsidy claim on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions. The work on this was now complete. The results of the work would be reported to the Audit Committee in the Annual Certification Letter
Members noted the following reports issued:
Audit Plan – March 2016
Audit Findings Report – August 2016
Annual Audit Letter – October 2016
That the contents of the Annual Audit Letter be noted.