Agenda and minutes

Audit & Regulatory Committee - Tuesday, 14th February, 2017 6.30 pm

Venue: The Board Room, Pavilion Gardens, Buxton. View directions

Contact: Helen Gale Telephone 01298 28400 Ext. 2140  Email: helen.gale@highpeak.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

17/40

To approve the Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 37 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the Minutes of the meeting held on 29 September 2016 be approved as a correct record.

 

17/41

Councillor Pritchard

Minutes:

Tributes were paid to Councillor Pritchard who announced that he would be standing down as Chair of the Committee at the next Annual Council meeting.  Councillors, officers and the Council’s external auditors thanked Councillor Pritchard for his dedication and impartial chairmanship of meetings of the committee over the last 10 years.

17/42

To receive Disclosures of Interest on any matters before the Committee

 

 i)

Disclosable Pecuniary Interests

ii)

Other Interests.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations made.

17/43

Annual Audit Letter 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 369 KB

Minutes:

Councillors were presented with a summary of the results of External Audit work carried out for the year ending 31st March 2016. There had been no significant matters arising and the auditors had issued an unqualified opinion.  Reference was made to the restriction on rent levels, progress made with regards to the Buxton Crescent project and previous difficulties encountered in the bank reconciliation process which had improved. The Council had good arrangements in place to deliver future savings.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Annual Audit Letter for 2015/16 be noted.

 

17/44

Annual Grant Certification Letter 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 139 KB

Minutes:

The report summarised work undertaken to certify the Housing Benefit Subsidy claim submitted by the Authority which found that the Council had appropriate arrangements to compile a complete, accurate and timely claim for audit certification.  An assurance statement on the Council's annual Pooling of Housing Capital Receipts Return for 2015/16 was also provided.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Annual Grant Certification Letter 2015/16 noted.

 

17/45

External Audit Plan 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 582 KB

Minutes:

Councillors considered the External Audit Plan for 2016/17.  This included matters relating to materiality, significant risks, the approach to securing value for money and the audit cycle.

 

RECOMMENDED:

 

That Council be recommended to note the External Audit Plan for 2016/17.

 

17/46

External Audit - Informing the Risk Assessment 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 520 KB

Minutes:

The purpose of the report was to contribute towards the effective two-way communication between auditors and the Council's Audit and Regulatory Committee.  There were a series of questions and management responses on the following areas:-

 

·         Fraud

·         Laws and regulations

·         Going concern

·         Accounting estimates

·         Related party transactions

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the report be noted.

 

 

17/47

Amendments to Accounting Policies pdf icon PDF 44 KB

Minutes:

The report sought approval to make changes to the authority’s accounting policies.  The amendments related to the Accruals of Income and Expenditure policy and the Property Plant and Equipment policy and were primarily in response to the need to streamline accounting procedures to produce the annual statements within a tighter deadline. They also represented a more targeted and effective use of resources.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the changes to accounting policies as detailed in the report be approved.

17/48

Appointment of External Auditors - Public Sector Audit Appointments Opt-In pdf icon PDF 40 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Following the demise of the Audit Commission new arrangements were needed for the appointment of external auditors. The Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 required authorities to either opt in to the appointing person regime or to establish an Auditor Panel and conduct their own procurement exercise. The Council would need to consider the options available and put in place new arrangements in time to make a first appointment by 31 December 2017.

 

RECOMMENDED:

 

That the Council be recommended that the Authority opts in to the appointing person arrangements made by Public Sector Audit Appointments (PSAA) for the appointment of external auditors.

 

17/49

Annual Governance Statement - Progress against 2015/16 Action Plan pdf icon PDF 44 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Regulations required the Council to conduct a review each financial year of the effectiveness of its system of internal control and approve an Annual Governance Statement (AGS).  The AGS Action Plan (Appendix 1 of the report) outlined the progress made against the required actions as at the end of December 2016.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the progress information contained within the report be noted.

 

17/50

Treasury Management Update - Mid-Year Report 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 131 KB

Minutes:

The Council’s Treasury Management performance in 2016/17 was scrutinised in compliance with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy’s (CIPFA) Code of Practice on Treasury Management 2009 and generally accepted good practice.  Discussion took place on the arrangements in place for borrowing and lending funds.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Treasury Management position (as at 31st December 2016) be noted.

 

17/51

Treasury Management Strategy Statement (TMSS) 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 200 KB

Minutes:

The purpose of the report was to allow members of the Committee to consider and endorse the Council’s Treasury Management Strategy for 2017/18 to ensure that its capital and treasury activities for the next four years were affordable and properly managed.  Discussion took place with regards to credit ratings and borrowing from reserves.

 

RECOMMENDED:

 

That the Annual Treasury Management Strategy Statement (TMSS) 2017/18 be recommended to Council for approval.

 

17/52

Internal Audit Charter pdf icon PDF 36 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

The Audit Charter provided a framework for the operation of the Internal Audit service and was required by the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards (PSIAS), which came into effect on 1st April 2013. PSIAS required the Charter to be approved by the ‘Board’, which for the Council’s purpose was the Audit & Regulatory Committee.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Council’s updated Internal Audit Charter be approved.

 

17/53

2016/17 Internal Audit Periodic Report September 2016 to January 2017 pdf icon PDF 47 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 required the Council to “undertake an effective internal audit to evaluate the effectiveness of its risk management, control and governance processes, taking into account public sector internal auditing standards or guidance”.  In accordance with the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards, the Audit Manager must report periodically to the Audit Committee on the internal audit activity’s performance relative to its plan.

 

It was reported that all audit recommendations had been agreed, that 100% of 2016/17 audit recommendations had been implemented and that 70% of the Audit Plan had been completed.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the progress information contained within the report be noted.

 

17/54

Exclusion of Press and Public

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the public and press be excluded from the meeting for the following items because there may be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 3 and 5 of Part I of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

 

17/55

To approve the Exempt Minutes of the previous meeting

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the Exempt Minutes of the meeting held on 29 September 2016 be approved as a correct record.

 

17/56

Buxton Crescent & Thermal Spa Project - Oral Update

Minutes:

The Committee received an oral update relating to the Buxton Crescent and Spa Project and associated risks.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the update be noted.