Agenda and draft minutes

Audit Committee
Wednesday, 12th June, 2019 10.00 am

Venue: Civic Centre, Hanbury Road, Pontypool, NP4 6YB

Contact: Jacquelyn Tranter  Senior Business Support Officer - Democratic Services

Items
No. Item

1.

Election of Chair / Ethol Cadeirydd

Minutes:

1.1          The DMO&S asked for nominations for the position of Chair of the Audit Committee for the civic year 2019-2020. Councillor Ray Mills was nominated and seconded.

 

1.2          The Committee unanimously agreed to appoint Councillor Ray Mills as the Chair of the Audit Committee for 2019-20.

 

2.

Welcome and Apologies / Croeso ac Ymddiheuriadau

Presented By: Chair

Minutes:

2.1       The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked the committee for their confidence in nominating him as chair.

 

2.2       Apologies for absence were received from Mrs Kathryn Pegington.

 

3.

Declarations of Interest / Datganiadau o Fuddiant

Presented By: Monitoring Officer

Minutes:

3.1       Members declared interests in relation to the Gwent Pension Fund as follows:

 

 

Councillor

In Receipt of Pension

Contributor

Glyn Caron

Self

Self

Son-in-law.

Wife is a deferred member

Veronica Crick

Husband

Self

Stuart Evans

Wife

Self

Wife

Daughter

Son

 

 

 

 

4.

Confirmation of Audit minutes - 27/03/19/ Cadarnhau cofnodion y Y Pwyllgor Archwilio - 27/03/19 pdf icon PDF 361 KB

Presented By: Chair

Minutes:

4.1       The minutes of the meeting held on 27th March 2019 were confirmed as an accurate record.

 

5.

Grant Thornton ISA 260 Greater Gwent Pension Fund 2018/19/ Grant Thornton ISA 260 Chronfa Bension Gwent Fawr 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 831 KB

Minutes:

5.1       On behalf of the Auditor General for Wales JM presented the Audit of Financial Statements Report – Greater Gwent (Torfaen) Pension Fund.

 

5.2       The committee noted the report and in doing so noted the following main points:

 

·         The report had been presented to the Pensions Committee on 10th June 2019;

·         Officers had given assurances that plans were in place to conclude the delayed contributions from Newport Transport;

·         There were some small changes but no other significant adjustments;

·         The Auditor General intended to issue an unqualified audit report on the Fund’s financial statements;

 

5.3       In response to member questions it was noted that:

 

·         The HoFS provided assurances that appropriate checks and balance and extensive monitoring is in place in relation to internal control of journals below £200,000;

·         The work had been substantially completed, with assurance being received regarding the audit of the Wales Pension Partnership (WPP) and Carmarthenshire County Council.

 

5.4       The committee noted the report and appendices - Final Letter of Representation, Proposed Audit Report of the Auditor General and Recommendations arising from the 2018-19 financial audit work.

 

 

6.

Grant Thornton ISA 260 Torfaen Accounts 2018/19 / Grant Thornton ISA 260 Cyfrifon Torfaen 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 590 KB

Minutes:

6.1       On behalf of the Auditor General for Wales, JM presented the Audit of Financial Statements report for Torfaen County Borough Council. In doing so, JM apologised that the audit work was not yet complete and stated it would soon be concluded and the final version would be presented to the next Council meeting.

 

6.2       The committee noted the report and in doing so noted the following main points:

 

·         There were some small changes including an amendment to the number of exit packages incorrectly stated as 82 rather than 93 however this had no overall impact on the financial value of the packages and did not result in a change to the reported position;

·         The Auditor General intended to issue an unqualified audit report on the financial statements;

 

6.3       Members expressed concern regarding the issues noted in the report that the Council has not held a PSN Code of Connection certificate since July 2017 and also that the Council’s Disaster Recovery Plan is outdated and not suitable.

 

6.4       The HoFS confirmed that work is being undertaken to resolve issues found and explained that management are regularly monitoring the situation.

 

6.5       The committee requested that update reports on both issues (PSN Code of Connection certificate and the Disaster Recovery Plan) be presented to the next meeting so that members have the opportunity to seek assurances on progress and have an opportunity to directly question SRS officers.

 

6.6       The committee noted the Auditor General’s report and Appendices – Final Letter of Representation, Proposed audit report of the Auditor General, Summary of corrections made to the draft financial statements and Recommendations arising from 2018-19 financial audit work.

 

6.7       Councillor Yeowell left the meeting to attend a meeting of the Early Years Partnership.

 

7.

Management Assurance Questions 2018/19 / Cwestiynau Sicrwydd Rheoli 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 96 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

7.1       The ACEO presented a report to outline the standard questions posed by the external auditor around management processes, primarily in relation to work on financial statements for 2018/19. Management responses and the Audit Committee Chair responses were also presented.

 

7.2       The committee noted the report and the assurances given to then external auditors on the management processes.

 

 

8.

Torfaen Statement of Accounts 2018/19 / Cyfrifon Torfaen 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 131 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

8.1       The HoFS presented Torfaen County Borough Council’s Statement of Accounts 2018/19.

 

8.2       The HoFS responded to members’ questions as follows:

·         Welsh Government (WG) had provided grant funding to set up the ‘Bulking and Bailing’ facility and officers were seeking additional funding;

·         WG consolidated a number of grants – Flexible Funding Programme grant replaced the grants known as Flying Start, Families First and Supporting People, this is should have assisted with administrative and audit processes however WG requested individual returns;

·         The Civic Regalia are retained and included in the accounts for insurance purposes;

 

8.3       The ACER acknowledged the work of the HoFS and his team in producing a very early set of accounts and commented on the ‘clean’ ISA 260 and Statement of Accounts. Members echoed these comments and thanked officers.

 

8.4       The committee:

 

a)    Noted the audit position of the 2018/19 external audit;

b)    Reviewed Council’s annual statement of accounts. In doing so, concerns around the WG grants were raised;

c)    Reviewed the Pension Fund accounts;

d)    Noted the requirement for the Chair of the Audit Committee to sign the Council’s Letter of Representation.

 

The HoFS left the meeting.

 

 

 

 

9.

Annual Internal Audit Report 2018/19 / Adroddiad Archwilliad Mewnol Blynyddol 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 247 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

9.1       The HoIA presented the Annual Internal Audit report 2018/19.

 

9.2       The committee noted the assurance of reliance that can be placed upon the work conducted by the Internal Audit Section during the financial year 2018/19. It was also noted that this opinion has fed into the Annual Governance Statement received by this committee on 27th March 2019.

 

9.3       It was noted that the overall conclusion is that the System of Internal Control continues to be classified as ‘Sound’ with scope for improvement.

 

9.4       The Chair commented on the excellent performance of Internal Audit and thanked the HoIA and his team for achieving a consistently high level of performance year after year.

 

9.5       The HoIA responded to members’ questions and committee noted the following:

·         There were no significant concerns in respect of Housing Benefits audit;

·         The issues highlighted during the Kerbcraft scheme audit had been followed up and the issued were addressed;

·         In respect of the Ysgol Panteg audit, the HoIA explained that whilst the follow up audit identified there was unsatisfactory progress on implementing the agreed recommendations the original opinion remained satisfactory;

·         The HoIA would clarify the comments reported on the Home Improvement Loans audit;

·         The HoIA explained that the CCTV/Control Room follow-up audit was unsatisfactory following a limited opinion , the issues would be monitored and addressed by the SRS Finance & Governance Board;

 

9.6           The Committee noted the report and appendices –Opinion on Core financial systems 2015/16 – 2018/19 and the Summary of audit jobs completed in the year.

 

 

 

 

10.

Treasury Management Activities 2018/19 / Canlyniad Rheolaeth Y Trysorlys 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 268 KB

Minutes:

10.1     The GFO presented a report which detailed the activities of the treasury management function during 2017/18 and meets the CIPFA Code of Practice on Treasury Management and the CIPFA Prudential Code for Capital Finance in local authorities.

 

10.2     The Committee noted:

 

a)    The Treasury Management borrowing activity for 2018/19;

b)    The Treasury Management investment activity for 2018/19; and

c)    The review of the Treasury Prudential Indicators.

11.

Wales Audit Office - Improvement Certificate of Compliance / Tystysgrif Gwelliant Swyddfa Archwilio Cymru pdf icon PDF 220 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

11.1     On behalf of the Welsh Audit Office, the SIO reported that following an audit of the Council’s 2019/20 Improvement Plan, the Auditor General had issued the Certificate of Compliance.

 

11.2     The committee noted the report.

12.

Public Sector Internal Audit Standards (PSIAS) Update / Diweddariad Safonau Archwilio Mewnol y Sector Gyhoeddus pdf icon PDF 365 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

12.1     The HoIA presented an update report on the action plan following the external assessment carried out to determine the level of compliance with the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards (PSIAS).

 

12.2     The committee noted the progress on the action plan.

13.

Date and Time of Next Meeting 09/10/19 / Dyddiad ac Amser y Cyfarfod Nesaf 09/10/19

Minutes:

13.1 The date of the next meeting was confirmed as 9th October 2019.

 

 

The Chair thanked everyone for attending the committee and closed the meeting at 10.54a.m.