Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Saturday Market Place, King's Lynn PE30 5DQ

Contact: Wendy Vincent, Democratic Services Officer, 01553 616377, Email:  wendy.vincent@west-norfolk.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

A17

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received Councillor Mrs J Collingham, Mark Hodgson and Dan Cooke – Ernst and Young.

 

A18

Minutes pdf icon PDF 97 KB

To approve the minutes from the Audit Committee held on 3 June 2019.

 

Minutes:

The minutes from the meeting held on 3 June were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

 

A19

Declarations of Interest

Please indicate if there are any interests which should be declared.  A declaration of an interest should indicate the nature of the interest (if not already declared on the Register of Interests) and the agenda item to which it relates.  If a disclosable pecuniary interest is declared, the Member should withdraw from the room whilst the matter is discussed.

 

These declarations apply to all Members present, whether the Member is part of the meeting, attending to speak as a local Member on any item or simply observing the meeting from the public seating area.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

 

A20

Urgent Business Under Standing Order 7

To consider any business which, by reason of special circumstances, the Chairman proposed to accept as urgent under Section 100(b)(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972.

Minutes:

There was no urgent business.

 

A21

Members Present Pursuant to Standing Order 34

Members wishing to speak pursuant to Standing Order 34 should inform the Chairman of their intention to do so and on what items they wish to be heard before the meeting commences.  Any Member attending the meeting under Standing Order 34 will only be permitted to speak on those items which have been previously notified to the Chairman

Minutes:

There were no Members present under Standing Order 34.

 

A22

Chairman's Correspondence

Minutes:

There was no Chairman’s correspondence.

 

A23

Annual Governance Statement covering the 2018/2019 Year pdf icon PDF 104 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Senior Policy and Performance Officer presented the report which brought the Council’s latest version of the Annual Governance Statement (AGS) 2019 to the Committee.  Members were reminded that a draft AGS was considered at the Committee’s meeting in June 2019.

 

Members were reminded that the preparation and publication of an AGS was a statutory requirement.  The AGS was a public statement that described and evaluated the Council’s overall governance arrangements, in particular how it had complied with its Code of Corporate Governance during a particular financial year.  The latest version of the AGS was attached at Appendix 1.

 

The Senior Policy and Performance Officer advised that the final version of the AGS would be considered at the same meeting as the accounts and ISO 260 in October 2019.

 

The Senior Policy and Performance Officer explained that he had incorporated the comments from the Committee at its previous meeting regarding contract management.

 

The Chairman informed the Committee that she had asked the Senior Policy and Performance Officer to include a glossary, which set out an explanation of the terms/acronyms used in the AGS.

 

The Chairman also explained that she had requested that the Senior Policy and Performance Officer check Appendix A to ensure as much information as possible was included as she felt that this provided a good framework and governance for the Council’s actions and provided an excellent reference point for new Councillors.  The Senior Policy and Performance Officer concurred with the comments made by the Chairman.  She also requested another column, to show where the Council had different service arrangements, i.e. other than in house.  Examples are Shared Services, Wholly Owned Companies, Contracted Out, etc.  The Senior Policy and Performance Officer agreed that this would give as full a picture as possible, thereby providing Members with an immediate point of reference.

 

In response to a question regarding the Government changing the rules in relation to the signing off of accounts, the Executive Director – Financial Services explained that the audit process had been delayed in 2019 due to the external auditors undertaking additional work.  The Executive Director highlighted that the external auditors were under pressure due to the resource available and that audits in other councils were also commencing later in the year.  This important issue would be discussed with Ernst and Young.  For 2020, adherence to the statutory timeline would be strongly emphasised as missing such statutory deadlines was detrimental to the Council’s reputation.

 

The Chairman asked if there was any recourse regarding the external auditors.  In response, the Executive Director advised that a group of local authorities could write to the PSAA to express their concerns.

 

In response to a question on the level of staff who had undertaken the GDPR training and what steps were being taken to encourage the remainder of staff to complete the training, the Senior Policy and Performance Officer explained that the Council had an internal Information Governance Group where senior managers looked at which areas of the Council had not  ...  view the full minutes text for item A23

A24

Treasury Outturn Report 2018/2019 pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Minutes:

 

RESOLVED:  The item was deferred to the October 2019 meeting.

 

 

A25

Major Projects Board pdf icon PDF 66 KB

Minutes:

The Chairman reminded the Committee of the confidentiality of projects, which were at various stages.

 

The Executive Director, Financial Services provided a verbal update, a summary of which is set out below:

 

·         Member Major Projects Board – Terms of Reference agreed by Cabinet on 18 June 2019, a copy of which was attached to the agenda for this meeting.  First meeting scheduled for 9 October 2019.

·         Officer Major Projects Board had been in operation since October 2018 and meetings were held on a monthly basis.

·         Major Projects Board would be placed as a standard item on the Audit Committee agenda.  It was highlighted that projects were considered at various stages, for example, concept through to a project initiation document and that this item would need to be exempt.

·         Officer Major Projects Board Terms of Reference would be reviewed following the management restructure exercise.

 

The Chairman informed the Committee that the Audit Committee Cross Party Working Group would be reviewing the Terms of Reference for both the Member and Officer Major Projects Boards.

 

In response to questions from Councillor Collop on the number of Councillors appointed to the Member Major Projects Board, the Leader explained the membership as agreed at Cabinet on 18 June 2019 was as follows:

 

Chairman of the Audit Committee

Chairman of the Regeneration and Development Panel

Leader

1 other Portfolio Holder

Representatives from other political groups – 2 x Independent, 1 x Labour

 

Following a further question from Councillor Collop, the Executive Director – Financial Services advised that an email had been sent to the Leader of the Independent Group inviting him to appoint two Members to the Major Project Board.

 

RESOLVED:  The Major Projects Board be placed as a standard item on the Audit Committee agenda.

 

 

A26

Cabinet Forward Decision List pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  The Cabinet Forward Decisions List would be placed as a standard item on the Audit Committee agenda.

 

A27

Committee Work Programme 2019/2020 pdf icon PDF 63 KB

To note the Committee’s Work Programme for 2019/2020.

Minutes:

The Chairman proposed that the dates of the next two meetings be reviewed, which was agreed by the Committee.

 

RESOLVED: The Democratic Services Officer to identify date for week commencing 28 October and mid-December 2019.

 

A28

Date of Next Meeting

To note that the date of the next meeting of the Audit Committee will take place on 9 September 2019, 5 pm in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Saturday Market Place, King’s Lynn.

 

Minutes:

The next meeting of the Audit Committee would take place week commencing 28 October 2019.