DRAFT MINUTES OF AUDIT COMMITTEE HELD ON
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DRAFT MINUTES OF AUDIT COMMITTEE HELD ON

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6 Pages
English

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MINUTES OF AUDIT COMMITTEE HELD ON 22 September 2010 7.30pm-9.45pm PRESENT COUNCILLORS Mark Gough (Chairman) Joshua Jolles (Vice-Chairman) Simon Carter Manny Doku Tony Durcan Tony Hall Mark Wilkinson 24. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST None. 25. MINUTES RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 21 July 2010 be agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman. 26. MATTERS ARISING (a) External Auditor – Audit Opinion Plan (Minute18(c) Refers) It was noted that the actions which the Council could take to reduce its audit fees were outlined in the report ‘Audit Commission Fees’ which appeared later in this agenda. (b) External Auditor – Fee Letter 2010/11 (Minute 18(d) Refers) It was noted that the refunded fees would be credited to the same expenditure code from which the overpayment originated and would be reported through the budget monitoring process. (c) Internal Audit – Annual Report (Minute 18(e) Refers) In response to a query regarding the internal auditing of Members’ expenses claims (in particular telephone expenses), it was agreed that the issue would be followed up and reported back to this Committee. RESOLVED that the Strategic Director, in consultation with the Chairman of this Committee and the Chairman of the Resources Policy Working Group, be requested to take forward this issue and report back to the next meeting of this Committee. 27. WRITTEN ...

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MINUTES OF AUDIT COMMITTEE HELD ON
22 September 2010
7.30pm-9.45pm
PRESENT
COUNCILLORS
Mark Gough (Chairman)
Joshua Jolles (Vice-Chairman)
Simon Carter
Manny Doku
Tony Durcan
T
o
n
y
H
a
l
l
M
a
r
k
W
i
l
k
i
n
s
o
n
24.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
None.
25.
MINUTES
RESOLVED
that the minutes of the meeting held on 21 July
2010 be agreed as a correct record and signed by the
Chairman.
26.
MATTERS ARISING
(a)
External Auditor – Audit Opinion Plan
(Minute18(c) Refers)
It was noted that the actions which the Council could take to
reduce its audit fees were outlined in the report ‘Audit
Commission Fees’ which appeared later in this agenda.
(b)
External Auditor – Fee Letter 2010/11
(Minute 18(d) Refers)
It was noted that the refunded fees would be credited to the
same expenditure code from which the overpayment originated
and would be reported through the budget monitoring process.
(c)
Internal Audit – Annual Report
(Minute 18(e) Refers)
In response to a query regarding the internal auditing of
Members’ expenses claims (in particular telephone expenses), it
was agreed that the issue would be followed up and reported
back to this Committee.
RESOLVED
that the Strategic Director, in consultation
with the Chairman of this Committee and the Chairman of
the Resources Policy Working Group, be requested to
take forward this issue and report back to the next
meeting of this Committee.
27.
WRITTEN QUESTIONS AND PETITIONS
None.
28.
NON-CONTENTIOUS BUSINESS
RESOLVED
that no items be taken as non-contentious
business.
29.
COMMITTEE FORWARD WORK PLAN
RESOLVED
that
(a)
the Committee Forward Work Plan be noted;
(b)
consideration be given to cancelling the meeting on 26
January 2011 due to lack of business.
30.
INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL REPORTING STANDARDS (IFRS)
The Committee received a report proposing an implementation
timetable for the various changes which the Council had to make, in
order to meet new requirements for the preparation and presentation of
its annual financial statements.
These requirements, under the International Financial Reporting
Standards, would be implemented from 31 March 2011.
RESOLVED
that the contents of the report and the proposed
implementation timetable, which would enable the Council to
meet the implementation date of 31 March 2011, be noted.
31.
ANNUAL GOVERNANCE REPORT
The Committee received the Audit Commission’s draft Annual
Governance Report, which included the Council’s proposed action plan
to address issues raised by the Commission.
The Audit Commission reported that the first five outstanding matters in
paragraph 8 of its report had now been cleared.
Since the report had been published the Audit Commission had
identified an additional material error and additional non-material errors
which were outlined in revised appendices, tabled at the meeting.
It was noted that the Council would amend its management letter of
representation to take account of these revisions and give reasons for
not correcting certain financial misstatements.
The Committee reviewed the report, together with the tabled revised
Appendices 2, 3 and 3A, prior to its consideration by the Executive
Committee.
RESOLVED
that the report be noted.
32.
FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AUDIT 2009/10 – MANAGEMENT
LETTER OF REPRESENTATION
The Committee received a report and draft letter of representation,
which the Council’s external auditors required in order to comply with
International Standards on Auditing guidance.
The purpose of the letter was to obtain written representation on
matters where the auditors were relying on the management’s
judgement.
It was noted that amendments would be required to the management
letter (appended to the report) to take account of the issues raised in
the revised appendices to the Annual Governance Report (see Minute
31 above).
RESOLVED
that the draft letter of representation attached at
Appendix 1 of the report, which is to be acknowledged formally
by the Executive Committee at its meeting on 23 September
2010, be amended as follows:-
(a)
the date of despatch of the letter be corrected and the
date in the last sentence be amended to read 24
September 2010;
(b)
the Strategic Director, in consultation with the Chairman
of this Committee and the Chairman of the Resources
Policy Working Group, be delegated to amend the letter
to include the reasons why the Council was not amending
certain misstatements reported by the Audit Commission.
33.
AUDITED ANNUAL ACCOUNTS 2009/10
The Committee received the report on the audited annual accounts,
which had been submitted to this Committee for noting, prior to being
presented to the Executive Committee for approval.
Amended pages 33 and 34 of the Statement of Accounts were tabled.
Listed under Foreign Exchange Risk, Members queried why the
Council held £2,210 in euros in the bank.
RESOLVED
that
(a)
the audited Statement of Accounts 2009/10, at Appendix
2 of the report and as amended, be noted and
recommended for approval by the Executive Committee
subject to the correction of the acronym in section 19 of
the Accounts to read STRGL;
(b)
Members of the Committee be advised of the reasons
why the Council holds cash in the bank in euros.
34.
AUDIT RECOMMENDATION TRACKERS
The Committee received a report on the progress made in
implementing both internal and external audit recommendations.
It was noted that Internal Audit were working with the Policy &
Performance Team to develop the Recommendation Tracker into a
more user friendly Excel based format, which would ensure more
rigorous reporting and monitoring arrangements were in place.
RESOLVED
that
(a)
the progress made in implementing the recommendations
set out in the tables in Appendices A and B of the report
be noted;
(b)
the recommendation to introduce more efficient and
rigorous monitoring and reporting of improvement plans
in future be noted.
35.
AUDIT COMMISSION FEES
Following the presentation of the Audit Commission’s fee letter at the
24 June 2010 meeting of this Committee, the Committee received a
briefing note, which gave additional information on the external
auditor’s fees.
Whilst the basic fee was not negotiable, Members were keen to check
that the three add-on fees charged to the Council were calculated in a
fair and equitable way.
In particular, Members highlighted the risk
based fee which, although the percentage charged had considerably
reduced since 2008/09, was still a substantial and subjective amount
charged to this Council.
RESOLVED
that
(a)
the briefing note be noted;
(b)
authority be delegated to the Strategic Director in
consultation with the Chairman of this Committee and the
Resources Policy Working Group, to write a letter to the
Audit Commission (cc to the Secretary of State and the
Local
Government
Association)
setting
out
the
Committee’s concerns about the formula for the
calculation of audit fees;
(c)
a copy of the letter be submitted to the next meeting of
this Committee.
36.
QUARTER 1 PERFORMANCE REPORT 2010/11
The Committee received a report on the first quarter of 2010/11, which
provided an analysis of how the Council performed against national
and local performance indicators and actions and activities contained in
the Corporate Plan.
The report included Performance Improvement
Action Plans for those performance indicators where performance had
fallen short of targets.
A table and graph of performance target trends over time between
2009/10 and the first quarter of 2010 were tabled.
The Chairman and Members congratulated Officers on the new style
report, which set out statistics clearly for ease of reference.
However,
it was requested that in future reports, different colours be used for
moderate and minor risks.
Whilst Members were pleased that 22 out of 59 (37%) performance
indicators performed better than target, they cautioned on possible cost
implications if this level of performance were achieved by increasing
costs.
RESOLVED
that
(a)
quarter one performance as indicated in point 4 of the
report and detailed in appendices A and B, be noted;
(b)
the Improvement Action Plans in relation to the
performance exception report shown in Appendix C, be
noted;
(c)
guidance notes on how performance indicators are
quantified be circulated to members of this Committee for
information.
37.
SICKNESS MANAGEMENT POLICY
The Committee received a report on a proposed revised Sickness
Absence Policy, which was being considered by the Executive
Committee on 23 September 2010.
RESOLVED
that the revised Sickness Absence Management
Policy and Procedure and proposed changes to the
Occupational Sick Pay Scheme, be noted.
38.
REFERENCES FROM OTHER COMMITTEES
None.
39.
MATTERS OF URGENT BUSINESS
None.
CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE