Venue: Council Offices, Farnborough
Contact: Committee Administrator, Kathy Flatt Tel. (01252 398829) or email email@example.com
To confirm the Minutes of the Meetings held on 30 January and 2 February 2017 (copy attached).
The Minutes of the Meeting held on 30th January and 2nd February, 2017 were approved and signed by the Chairman.
To receive a copy of Ernst & Young’s audit progress report (copy attached), which provides an overview of the progress made with the work needed to complete the 2016/17 audit. Andrew Brittain, Adrian Balmer and Justine Thorpe from Ernst & Young will be in attendance.
The Committee welcomed to the meeting Mr. Andrew Brittain, Executive Director, Ernst & Young, who reported to the Committee on the progress of the 2016/17 audit.
Members were advised that the external auditors had been on site for planning and interim testing. This was an accelerated programme of testing to ensure that the requirements of the ‘faster close’ arrangements could be met, in preparation for when these were due to take effect in 2017/18.
RESOLVED: That the Audit Progress Report be noted.
To receive a copy of Ernst & Young’s sector briefing (copy attached), which covers issues which may have an impact on the local government sector and audits undertaken.
The Committee received Ernst & Young’s Local Government Audit Committee Briefing paper, which covered Government and economic news, accounting, auditing and governance and key questions for the audit committee.
RESOLVED: That the Local Government Audit Committee briefing paper be noted.
To consider the Audit Manager’s Report No. AUD1702 (copy attached) which sets out the annual plan for 2017/18 give details on the work carried out to develop the plan.
The Committee considered the Audit Manager’s Report No. AUD1702, which set out the audit plan for 2017/18 and gave details of the work carried out in order to develop a more efficient audit plan process, which was more appropriate for meeting the needs of the current environment and which would utilise resources more effectively.
The Committee was advised that the audit plan was developed using the risk universe, which comprised all potential areas that could be audited within the Council. Each auditable area was rated against risk criteria which covered: financial materiality; business risk; previous audit experience; and, fraud and corruption. The audit plan was set in March for the year, however, this was subject to changes due to factors including: unplanned work/investigations; ad hoc audits taking longer than estimated; and, concerns being raised by Members or officers. Members were advised that, due to changes within Internal Audit, a review of work had been required to ensure that resources were being used in the most effective and efficient way. As a result, it was felt appropriate to review the way in which the audit plan was developed. The risk universe had been updated to show auditable areas as at January, 2017 and this would be reviewed as appropriate. The risk criteria had also been reviewed to ensure that they captured all relevant areas to be considered in determining the level of risk exposure within an auditable area. The risk criteria now included: corporate priority; impact on reputation; assurance from others; concerns raised; laws or regulations; financial transactions total; and, vulnerability.
The Report advised that the first six months’ work would be established on the auditable areas which presented the highest risk to the Council. This would be agreed with the Directors’ Management Board and the Committee. The work for the following quarters would be determined at subsequent Board and Committee meetings, as set out in the Report. It was noted that the list of audits would be subject to change, due to the changing needs of the organisation or resource availability.
During discussion, a question was raised regarding corporate priorities and the work of the Budget Strategy Working Group and how this fitted into the Audit Plan. The subject of cyber security was also raised.
RESOLVED: That approval be given to
(i) the new methodology for selecting areas and the rolling programme to commence in 2017/18; and
(ii) the new monitoring arrangements for the audit plan.
To consider the Head of Environmental Health and Housing’s Report No. EHH1707 (copy attached), which seeks comments on the draft combined Food/Health and Safety Service Plan for 2017/18, which will also be reported to the Cabinet on 4th April 2017.
The Committee considered the Head of Environmental Health and Housing’s Report No. EHH1707 which sought comments on the Council’s draft combined Food Safety and Health and Safety Service Plan 2017/18. It was reported that the Council was required to produce annual Food Safety and Health and Safety Service Plans in accordance with guidance issued by the Food Standards Agency and the Health and Safety Executive respectively. Subject to the views of the Committee, the combined Service Plan would be submitted for a period of public consultation with local businesses and business organisations, with any substantial changes to be considered by the Head of Environmental Health and Housing in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Business, Safety and Regulation.
The Committee noted that the draft Service Plan had been prepared taking into account continuing Government reviews of regulatory services to reduce red tape, to support businesses in the current economic climate and to deliver risk based interventions. The Service Plan responded to the Council’s 8- Point Plan for financial sustainability and had developed opportunities for income generation. It was noted that Environmental Health Officers were also engaged in a variety of corporate projects to support the Council’s Organisational Development work.
The draft Plan also had a strong link to the Council Plan and the stated purpose of “working with others to improve the quality of people’s lives” and also contributed to the priorities of “cleaner, greener and more cultural Rushmoor”, “sustaining a thriving economy and boosting local business”, “supporting and empowering our communities and meeting local needs” and “financially sound with services fit for the future”.
Members’ questions were answered in respect of who was responsible for reporting unsafe working practices and also on the food hygiene rating system. The Committee wished to place on record its appreciation of the excellent work done by the food safety and health and safety teams.
RESOLVED: That the draft combined Food Safety and Health and Safety Service Plan for 2017/18 be approved for consultation with local businesses and business organisations, with any substantial proposed changes to be considered by the Head of Environmental Health and Housing in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Business, Safety and Regulation.
Exclusion of the Public
To consider resolving:
That, taking into account the public interest test, the public be excluded from this meeting during the discussion of the undermentioned item to avoid the disclosure of exempt information within the paragraph of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 indicated against such item:
Agenda Item No. - 7
Schedule 12A Category – 1 (Information relating to an individual)
EXEMPT ITEM FOR DECISION
RESOLVED: That, taking into account the public interest test, the public be excluded from the meeting during the discussion of the undermentioned item to avoid the disclosure of exempt information within the paragraph of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act, 1972, indicated against such item:
Minute No. 27
Schedule 12A Para. No.1
Category - Information relating to an individual
THE FOLLOWING ITEM WAS CONSIDERED
IN THE ABSENCE OF THE PUBLIC
To consider the Head of Democratic Services’ Report No. DCS1701 (copy attached) on the nominations received for the Community Award 2017.
The Committee considered the Head of Democratic and Customer Services’ Report No. DCS1701, which provided details of nominations received for Rushmoor’s Community Award 2017. The Report gave details of how the scheme had been publicised and gave details of the criteria against which nominations would be assessed and compared. The Report explained that the purpose of the scheme was to recognise outstanding achievements in the Borough by local people and particularly to mark long-term commitment.
Members discussed the merits of the nominations which had been set out in an exempt appendix to the Report, taking account of the advice from the Head of Democratic and Customer Services. After careful consideration of the nominations received, the Committee agreed that Mr. Michael Mills and Mrs. Caroline Mills should each be selected for the Award. In the case of Mr. Mills, this would be in recognition of his contribution to the community through his role in Scouting, as Secretary of the Aldershot Branch of the Royal British Legion and his involvement with the Aldershot Branch of the Royal Naval Association. In the case of Mrs. Mills, this would be in recognition of her contribution to the community through her involvement in Scouting and with the Aldershot Branch of the Royal Naval Association as well as being the Poppy Appeal Organiser for the Aldershot Branch of the Royal British Legion.
RESOLVED: That Mr. Michael Mills and Mrs. Caroline Mills be each selected to receive Rushmoor’s Community Award 2017.