Agenda and minutes

Audit and Financial Monitoring Overview and Scrutiny Panel
Wednesday, 6th September, 2017 10.00 am

Venue: Room 10

Contact: Democratic Services  (01744) 676109

Items
No. Item

10.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Clarke, Gill and Pearl.

 

11.

Minutes of the meeting held on 21 June 2017 pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Minutes:

*           Resolved that the Minutes of the meeting held on 21 June 2017, be

approved and signed.

 

12.

Declarations of Interests from Members

Minutes:

No Declarations of Interest from Members were made.

 

Councillor Wiseman here entered the meeting.

13.

Budget and Performance Monitoring Report June 2017 (Reported to Cabinet on 23 August 2017) pdf icon PDF 42 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

13          (Reported to Cabinet on 23 August 2017)

A report was presented to the Panel by the Business Support Manager (Corporate Services) which had been submitted to a meeting of Cabinet on 23 August 2017 on the Budget and Performance Monitoring relating to the period to 30 June 2017.

 

The report provided regular monitoring of both budgetary and performance information in order to ensure the delivery of efficient, effective and value for money services that met the needs and expectations of the customers and communities that the Council served.

 

The report also provided an analysis of budget and performance for each of the Council’s Portfolios and on the overview of the budgetary position covering revenue and capital budgets along with key actions being taken to ensure Portfolios remained within allocated cash limits. The performance section commented on significant issues around the delivery of services, the position of the Council’s performance measures and action required to address any identified concerns in relation to performance or service delivery.

Members raised questions with regards to children in care health assessment targets, the figures reported on the percentage of former care leavers aged 19-21 in employment, education or training, the long term empty property figures and strategy, the continued operation of the Golf Course and Driving Range and the reported figures regarding the percentage of household waste sent for recycling against set targets. These were answered at the meeting.

The Chairman referred to the Performance Indicators for Public Health and Libraries and Leisure’s Services that had been circulated to the Panel after publication of the agenda.
Councillor Murphy, Cabinet Member for Libraries and Leisure and Councillor Neal Cabinet Member for Public Health were present at the meeting to answer questions from Members in relation to the reported Performance Indicators for their respective Portfolios.

 

*           Resolved that:

(1)       
the report be noted;

 

(2)        the following information be provided to the Panel:

 

a.    an updated figure on the percentage of children in care having had a health assessment in the previous 12 months; and

b.    the three young people omitted from the percentage of care leavers aged 19-21 in employment, education or training figures;

 

(3)        an update report on the long term future of the Golf Course and Driving Range be brought to the next meeting of this Panel with a final outcome report being brought to the meeting of this Panel scheduled for 24 January 2018;

 

(4)        an update report be provided regarding interim arrangements for access to central library services; and

 

(5)        a report be provided to the Panel on the process regarding the criteria for and assessment of the provision of ‘essential services’ within the Council.

Councillors Murphy and Neal here left the meeting.

 

14.

Corporate Financial Report (Reported to Cabinet on 19 July 2017) pdf icon PDF 43 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Reported to Cabinet on 19 July 2017)

A report was submitted and outlined by the Business Support Manager (Corporate Services)which had been presented to a meeting of the Cabinet held on 19 July 2017. The purpose of the report was to seek Cabinet’s recommendations to Council to:-

 

(i)                            approve the latest Capital Programme as shown at Annex A;

 

(ii)                           approve the revised General Fund Budget for 2017/18 as detailed in Section 2;

 

(iii)                          note the latest Financial Risks, Reserves and Balances position;

 

(iv)                          note the Treasury Management Position Statement; and

 

(v)                           note the Corporate Risks Statement.

 

*          Resolved that:

 

(1)            the report be noted;

(2)             the Business Support Manager (Corporate Services) to provide training for the Panel prior to the next meeting in November; and

(3)           an update report be provided to the Panel regarding future Equal
 Value claims.

 

15.

Grant Thornton - Audit Findings Report and Auditor Opinion (Year Ended 31 March 2017) pdf icon PDF 52 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The terms of reference for the Panel required it to consider internal and external reports and to receive relevant reports in order to review and scrutinize the financial performance of the Council.

 

The Panel considered the Council’s draft 2016-17 Statement of Accounts at it’s meeting held on 21 June 2017 and were advised of the processes relating to the audit of that Statement and the opportunity for Local Government Electors via their public inspection rights.

 

The audit had been conducted and the Audit and Governance Committee considered Grant Thornton’s Audit Findings Report at its meeting held on 7 August 2017.

 

Grant Thornton subsequently issued their Independent Auditor’s Report (Auditor Opinion) to the Members of the Council on 15 August 2017.

 

Copies of Grant Thornton’s Audit Findings Report and their Independent Auditor’s Report (Auditor Opinion) were provided at Appendix A and B to the report.

 

*           Resolved that the report be noted.

 

16.

Exclusion of the Public

Recommended that the public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items for the reasons stated:

 

Items   Reason

 

8-9      Exempt information concerning the financial or business affairs of any particular person (Para 3 of Schedule 12a)

Minutes:

*          Resolved that the public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following item for the reason stated:

 

Minutes                      Reason (Under the Local Government Act 1972)

 

17 & 18                        Exempt information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (Para 3 of Schedule 12A)

 

17.

Adoption - Update

Minutes:

At a meeting of this Panel held on 26 April 2017 Members considered the Adoption internal audit and action plan and resolved that that progress towards the implementation of agreed actions be presented to a future meeting.

The Assistant Director, Children’s Social Work Support,
was present at the meeting to provide an update on the implementation of the outstanding recommendations within the Adoption internal action plan.

The Panel was informed that most of the agreed actions following the audit review had been implemented, and of the strategies that had been put into place in order to address the key issues that had been identified in the review.


The significant progress made was noted and congratulated by the Panel.

*           Resolved that:

            (1)        the report be noted; and

 

(2)        the adoption team be thanked for their work in addressing the recommendations.

18.

Internal Audit Reports

Minutes:

A report was submitted and outlined by the Audit Manager which informed Members of recent Internal Audit Reviews undertaken.

 

Attached at Appendices 1 to 13 were Executive Summaries and agreed actions in regard to:

 

Appendix 1 – Decision Making;

Appendix 2 – Social Media;

Appendix 3 – Careline;

Appendix 4 – Catering;

Appendix 5 – Additional Needs;

Appendix 6 – Case Recording (Quality Assurance);

Appendix 7 – Housing Options;

Appendix 8 – Leaving Care;

Appendix 9 – LSCB Follow Up;

Appendix 10 – Occupational Therapy;

Appendix 11 – Council Tax;

Appendix 12 – Business Rates; and

Appendix 13 – Software Licence Management

 

The overall Audit Opinion of Substantial assurance was welcomed by the Panel in respect of the reviews for Social Media, Careline, Catering, Additional Needs, Housing Options, LSCB Follow Up, Occupational Therapy and Software Licence Management respectively.

 

The overall Audit Opinion of High Assurance was also welcomed in respect of reviews for Council Tax and Business Rates respectively.

 

However, concerns were raised over three reports where Audit Opinion was that of Limited Assurance. These reports related to Decision Making (Corporate Services), Case Recording Quality Assurance and Leaving Care (People’s Services).


The Head of Governance and City Region Liaison was in attendance to inform the Panel of progress in respect of Decision Making.
The Panel was pleased to note that a number of the review recommendations had been, or were due to be completed within agreed timescales, with assurance that all recommendations would be complete by the end of September 2017.

The Panel raised questions, which were answered at the meeting, in relation to Elected Members training on Decision Making systems.

The Senior Assistant Director, Social Work and Community an
d Assistant Director Community Services explained progress made thus far towards the recommendations arising from the two People’s Services review reports. The Panel was assured that the key issues that had been identified were being addressed through of a number of appropriate actions.

*           Resolved that:

 

(1)             the report be noted; and

(2)          an update of the Case Recording Action Plan, and progress towards the implementation of agreed actions, including Supervision Policy, be produced and presented to the next meeting of this Panel.

-oOo-