Agenda and minutes

Audit Committee
Wednesday, 9th October, 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.

Welcome and Apologies / Croeso ac Ymddiheuriadau

Presented By: Chair

Minutes:

1.1          The chair welcomed everyone to the meeting, including Mrs Kathryn Pegington the newly appointed lay member. Introductions were made.

 

1.2          Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Glyn Caron and David Yeowell.

 

2.

Declarations of Interest / Datganiadau o Fuddiant

Presented By: Monitoring Officer

Minutes:

2.         Councillor Crick declared an interest as a member of SRS Business Solutions

3.

Confirmation of Audit minutes - 12/06/19 / Cadarnhau cofnodion y Y Pwyllgor Archwilio - 12/06/19 pdf icon PDF 377 KB

Presented By: Chair

Minutes:

3.1       The minutes of the meeting held on 12th June 2019 were confirmed as an accurate record.

 

3.2       Arising from the minute 6.3- 6.5, in respect of concern expressed at the previous meeting on the Council’s PSN (Public Service Network) Code of Connection certificate and the Council’s Disaster recovery Plan an update was provided.

 

3.3       The HoPSSU and SRS,DCOO provided assurances on both issues commenting in summary:

 

  • PSN Code of Connection – work is constant on security activity, this includes resolving issues and updates;
  • The SIRO has monthly meetings to monitor progress and receive updates;
  • Some of the critical updates are a result of technology changes and this is the same for other authorities;
  • Disaster Recovery Plan – a plan has been agreed and will be implemented over the next 18 months.

 

3.4       The Chair thanked the officers for providing assurances that appropriate action is being taken and plans are in place. The officers left the meeting.

 

 

 

 

4.

Annual Audit Letter TCBC 2018/19 - Grant Thornton / Llythyr Archwilio Blynyddol CBST 2018/19 - Grant Thornton pdf icon PDF 304 KB

Minutes:

4.1      GRT presented the annual audit letter for 2018-19 which summarised the key messages arising from the Auditor’s statutory responsibilities under the Public Audit (Wales) Act 2004 and reporting responsibilities under the Code of Audit Practice.

 

4.2      The committee noted: 

 

·         The Council had complied with its responsibilities relating to financial reporting and use of resources;

·         The Auditor General was satisfied that the Council had appropriate arrangements in place to secure economy, efficiency and effectiveness in its use of resources;

·         The Auditor issued a certificate confirming that the audit of the accounts had been completed on 8th August 2019;

·         The Auditor’s work to date on certification of grant claims and returns had not identified significant issues that would impact on the accounts or key financial systems. 

 

4.3       The HoFS assured members that appropriate checks and balances were in place in respect of the misstatement identified in the financial statements, which remains uncorrected. He explained that this is a result of the impact of the McCloud judgement on the pension scheme and that management’s view was that the impact of the ruling was not material for the Council and will be considered for future years’ actuarial valuations.

 

5.

Wales Audit Office Annual Improvement Report 2018/19 / Swyddfa Archwilio Cymru - Adroddiad Gwella Blynyddol 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 232 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

5.1       NJ presented the Council’s Annual Improvement Report for the 2018/19 financial year prepared and published by the Auditor General for Wales.

 

5.2       The report detailed the Council’s improvement plans in delivering its services. It covered the delivery and evaluation of its services in relation to the 2018/19 financial year and its planning of improvement for the 2019/20 financial year.

 

5.3       Members noted that the WAO and relevant regulators, The Auditor General believes that the Council is likely to comply with the requirements of the Measure during 2019/20.

 

5.4       The Committee:

 

·         Noted the Auditor General’s Annual Improvement report for the Council for the 2018/19 financial year; and

 

·         Agreed to continue to monitor the progress made in addressing the accepted proposals for improvement as part of their work associate with the Council’s Action Plan for Governance & Improvement.

 

 

 

6.

Treasury Management - Mid-Year Prudential Indicators and Treasury Management Monitoring Report / Rheoli Trysorlys - Dangosyddion Darbodus Canol Blwyddyn ac Adroddiad Monitro Rheoli'r Trysorlys pdf icon PDF 296 KB

Minutes:

6.1       The GFO presented the Mid –Year Prudential Indicators and Treasury Management Monitoring Report.

 

6.2       The committee noted that the 2019/20 Treasury Management Strategy and Prudential Indicators were approved by Council on 5 March 2019. The report outlined:

 

·         Treasury activity from1 April 2019 to 31 August 2019;

·         Any changes to the prudential indicators and investment criteria set in the Treasury Management Strategy approved by Council.

·         The forecast of the 2019/20 capital programme.

 

6.3       The committee noted the report.

 

 

 

7.

Update Report – Action Plan For Governance and Improvement / Adroddiad Ar Y Diweddaraf - Cynllun Gweithredu Ar Gyfer Llywodraethu A Gwella pdf icon PDF 303 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

8.1       SCI&SO presented the Action Plan for Governance and Improvement.

 

8.2       The Committee noted:

 

  • the Torfaen specific reports received by the Council since the last update in March 2019 as follows:

 

-       Well-being of Future Generations: An examination of a new model for delivering adult social care services;

-       Review of the Council’s Transformation Programme’s (T22) governance arrangements;

-       Thematic Review – Service User Perspective: Food Waste

 

·   Two further national studies have been published by the WAO containing recommendations for all local authorities in Wales. These are:

-       The ‘Front Door’ to Adult Social Care

-       The effectiveness of local planning authorities in Wales

 

·   the progress made against recommendations/proposals for improvement monitored by the Audit Committee are set out in the Action Plan for Governance & Improvement (Appendix 1). Actions concluded or sufficiently well embedded in the work of the Council would be removed.

 

  • the progress made, as set out in the Action Plan for Governance & Improvement (Appendix 1). Actions concluded or sufficiently well embedded in the work of the Council would be removed.

 

  • feedback from the Council’s O&S Committees (Appendix 2) following review of progress to address the service specific recommendations that sit within their portfolios.

 

8.3       The SCI&SO would provide members with further information on concerns raised in respect of a statement in the WAO report ‘The Effectiveness of Local Planning Authorities in Wales’, specifically in relation to recommendation 2 on the reduction of funding and struggle to deliver statutory responsibilities’ by local planning authorities.

8.

Internal Audit Quarterly Plan update 2019/20 / Diweddariad Chwarterol ar y Cynllun Archwilio Mewnol 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 311 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

8.1      The Head of Internal Audit provided an update on the progress made to date against the Annual Operational Plan for 2019/20. The progress in terms of jobs completed and planned to date was outlined.

 

8.2      The HoIA explained that losing a member of staff had a negative impact on progressing the operational plan however succession plans were in place to employ and train an apprentice within the audit team. Members commented on the professionalism of the team and work undertaken and asked that thanks be conveyed to the staff.

 

8.3       The HoIA commented that there were no areas of concern and he would continue to monitor the projects where follow-up action is required or where recommendations are yet to be implemented.

 

8.4      The Committee noted the report.

 

9.

Date and Time of Next Meeting 29/01/20 / Dyddiad ac Amser y Cyfarfod Nesaf 29/01/20

Minutes:

9.1       The date and time of the next meeting was noted as 12th February 2020 at 10.00a.m.