Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 1 - Bromley Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Steve Wood  020 8313 4316

Items
No. Item

27.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND NOTIFICATION OF SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS

Minutes:

No apologies for absence had been received.

28.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

29.

CONFIRMATION OF THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 8th NOVEMBER EXCLUDING THOSE CONTAINING EXEMPT INFORMATION pdf icon PDF 196 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 8th November 2017 were agreed as a correct record.

30.

QUESTIONS FROM COUNCILLORS OR FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC

In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, questions to this Committee must be received in writing 4 working days before the date of the meeting.  Therefore please ensure questions are received by the Democratic Services Team by 5pm on 1st March 2018.

 

Minutes:

No questions had been received from Councillors or from members of the public.

31.

MATTERS OUTSTANDING FROM THE PREVIOUS MEETING-EXCLUDING EXEMPT ITEMS pdf icon PDF 120 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

CSD 18041

 

Members noted and commented on the Matters Arising report.

 

Members discussed the arrangements to recruit a Trainee Auditor. Funding for this would be available from April. LBB may decide to target the recruitment process to students leaving school and college as the training would not commence until September.

 

Members noted the ongoing correspondence relating to the SFIS service initiated by the Department for Work and Pensions. To this end, the Chairman had written a letter to the Right Honourable Esther McVey MP, who was the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. The letter expressed LBB’s continued concern about the Department’s penalties policy, which was at odds with LBB’s normal practice when prosecuting fraud cases.

 

The Committee discussed the matter of insurance cover against cyber-attacks. Some insurance companies offered cover, but in most cases it was not clear as to what exactly would be covered. Many policies would not cover problems caused by Malware which was one of the main areas where a cyber-attack would originate. The matter would need to be discussed further by the Corporate Risk Management Group.

 

The matter of the objections to the accounts was updated upon in the Internal Audit Progress report.

 

RESOLVED that the Matters Arising report be noted.        

 

32.

QUESTIONS ON THE REDACTED REPORTS PUBLISHED ON THE WEB

Ahead of the Audit Sub Committee meeting scheduled for Wednesday 7th March, ten redacted audit reports have been published on the Bromley Council Website.

 

These are:

 

1- Follow up review of Biggin Hill Airport and the Glades Audit for 2017-2018

 

2- Follow up of Street Works Permits and Defaults Audit for 2016-2017

 

3- Review of Cash and Banking for 2017-2018

 

4- Review of gifts, hospitality and declarations of interest Audit for 2017-2018

 

5- Follow up Review of Building Control Audit for 2017-2018

 

6- Review of Agency Staff Audit for 2017-2018

 

7- Review of the Contributions Policy and its Application in Practice Audit for 2017—2018

 

8- Parks and Green Spaces Audit for 2017—2018

 

9- Review of TCES for 2017—2018

 

10- Planning Audit for 2017—2018

 

Members have been provided with advance copies of the information briefing via email.

 

The web link to the reports is http://cds.bromley.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=559&MId=6444&Ver=4

 

Printed copies of the briefings are available on request by contacting Steve Wood on 0208 313 4316 or via email: stephen.wood@bromley.gov.uk  

 

Minutes:

No questions had been received concerning the internal audit reports that had been published on the Council website.

33.

EXTERNAL AUDIT PLAN 2017-2018 pdf icon PDF 167 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

FSD 18021

 

Members were presented with an External Audit Plan summary report for 2017-2018, written by David Hogan—Head of Audit.

 

The report had been written to provide a review of the External Auditor’s annual plan arrangements for 2017-2018. 

 

Also presented to Members was KPMG’s External Audit Plan report to LBB for 2017/18. Mr Phil Johnstone attended from KPMG to answer any questions.

 

The Chairman was pleased to note that the audit fee had not increased.

 

Mr Johnstone explained that last year it had been possible to issue opinions concerning the objections to the accounts, but this was not the case for this year. It was not possible to issue a certificate ratifying the accounts in this case at this time. The issues raised were too complex and went back many years. The objector had asked for additional time to provide supporting information in respect of objections. The Chairman asked when the matter of the objections would be finalised. Mr Johnstone answered that KPMG had not formally accepted the objections yet.

 

A Member asked Mr Johnstone if there was any similarity between the financial position of LBB and Northamptonshire County Council. Mr Johnstone stated that there was no similarity—the respective financial positions were poles apart.

 

The Committee noted page 6 of the KPMG report which highlighted revised deadlines for draft accounts and the use of accounting estimates.

 

RESOLVED that

 

1-The External Auditor’s arrangements for the Audit Plan for 2017-2018 are noted

 

2- The Materiality limits set out in the Annual Plan are noted

 

3- Members note there was no increase in the audit fee compared to last year

 

4- Members note the significant risks identified in the Audit Plan 

 

 

34.

ANNUAL INTERNAL AUDIT PLAN 2018--2019 pdf icon PDF 143 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

FSD 18022

 

The Annual Internal Audit Plan report—2018/19 was written by David Hogan, Head of Audit.

 

The Public Sector Internal Audit Standards (PSIAS) refer to the need to produce a risk-based Internal Audit Plan. This should take into account the requirement to produce an annual audit opinion and report that can be used by the Council to inform the Annual Governance Statement. The annual audit opinion must conclude on the overall adequacy and effectiveness of the Council’s framework of governance, risk management and control. To support this, the risk-based plan needs to include an appropriate and comprehensive range of work. The report sets out the approach to producing the draft audit plan and invites comments from Members. In addition the PSIAS require the chief audit executive to review and update the Internal Audit Charter on a regular basis.

 

Members were being asked to review the Audit Plan, and also the revised Internal Audit Charter.

 

It was noted that corporate risks would be tackled corporately. The Plan outlined audit tasks that were mapped against broad based risks identified for the authority as a whole.

 

The Chairman commented that the Risk Management Strategy had matured.

 

RESOLVED that the Annual Internal Audit Plan for 2018/19 and the Internal Audit Charter are approved.  

35.

INTERNAL AUDIT PROGRESS REPORT--PART 1 pdf icon PDF 229 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

FSD 18023

 

Internal Audit Progress report was written by Mr David Hogan, Head of Audit.

 

The report was written to inform Members of recent audit activity across the Council and provided updates on matters that had arisen since the previous meeting of the Audit Sub Committee.

 

Members discussed the update concerning Transforming Community Equipment Services (TCES). A Priority 1 recommendation had been identified regarding the roles and responsibilities for contract monitoring and contract compliance. The previous Contract Manager had retired in May 2017, and had not been replaced. Subsequently, the Director of Adult Social Care had confirmed that the Head of Service (Assessment and Care Management) would act as the Contract Manager, supported by the Strategic Commissioner.

 

Eight Priority 2 recommendations and three Priority 3 recommendations had been raised for a variety of matters relating to TCES. Remedial action for all of these was due to be in place by the end of the financial year. 

 

A Member stated that since his return to the Audit Sub Committee, he had been impressed by the work being undertaken by Internal Audit. Another Member stated that the items being looked at were more interesting and substantial. The Chairman felt that strategic lessons had been learned. The Vice-Chairman said that LBB departments were now asking internal audit to come in and to review—management saw the value in this. A collegiate approach was being developed.

 

Members were briefed concerning the contributions policy for ECHS. It had been discovered that the Reablement Service had not been levying the required charges for cancelled and abortive visits. This was a Priority 1 recommendation. It was estimated that lost income was just over £10k. 

 

The Committee was updated regarding the audit of agency staff. There were three Priority 1 recommendations. One of these involved the procedure for approving extensions for the use of agency staff beyond six months, which was not being followed. It was felt that Human Resources should be taking a more pro-active lead in these matters.

 

Members were appraised that the audit relating to the contract for grounds maintenance, park management and other related services had resulted in an audit opinion of ‘Substantial’. Seven Priority 2 recommendations were made to further improve controls.

 

Members discussed the matter of Gifts and Hospitality. It was noted that various versions of guidance were available on the Intranet, and so conformity was required. A Member expressed the view that all hospitality should be declined to avoid any allegations of corruption. 

 

The objective of the planning audit was to look at the planning application process with particular emphasis on pre-application advice and the subsequent approval process. The review also looked at current planning enforcement arrangements. A Member expressed the view that if an officer provided pre-planning advice and then wrote the associated report, then this was not impartial. Mr Hogan stated that all the reports should be signed off by a manager or Chief Officer. It was noted that the regulatory body was happy with the same person giving pre-application  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.

36.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 1972 AS AMENDED BY THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT (ACCESS TO INFORMATION) (VARIATION) ORDER 2006 AND THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000

  The Chairman to move that the Press and public be excluded during consideration of the item of business listed below as it is likely in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings that if members of the Press and public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the press and public be excluded during consideration of the items of business listed below as it was likely in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the press and public were present, there would be disclosure to them of exempt information.

37.

EXEMPT MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 8th NOVEMBER 2018

Minutes:

The exempt minutes of the meeting held on 8th November 2018 were agreed and signed as a correct record.

38.

MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MEETING ON 8th NOVEMBER 2017--EXEMPT INFORMATION

Minutes:

Members noted and commented on the matters arising relating to exempt information.  

39.

INTERNAL AUDIT FRAUD, INVESTIGATIONS AND EXEMPT ITEMS REPORT

Minutes:

Members noted and discussed confidential matters relating to the Internal Audit Fraud, Investigations and Exempt Items report.

40.

DATE OF THE NEXT MEETING

The date of the next meeting is 24th May 2018

Minutes:

The next meeting is scheduled for May 24th 2018.

 

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