Agenda and draft minutes

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

Contact: Steve Wood  020 8313 4316

Items
No. Item

25.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND NOTIFICATION OF SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS

Minutes:

No apologies were received

26.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

27.

CONFIRMATION OF THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 17th OCTOBER 2020--EXCLUDING EXEMPT INFORMATION pdf icon PDF 143 KB

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 17th October 2020 were agreed and signed as a correct record.

28.

QUESTIONS TO THE AUDIT SUB COMMITTEE

In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, questions that are not specific to reports on the agenda must have been received in writing 10 working days before the date of the meeting. 

 

Questions specifically concerning reports on the agenda should be received within two working days of the publication date of the agenda.  Please ensure that questions specifically regarding reports on the agenda are received by the Democratic Services Team by 5pm on 20th February 2020.

 

Minutes:

No questions were received.

29.

MATTERS OUTSTANDING FROM THE LAST MEETING-PART 1 pdf icon PDF 183 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

CSD 20027

 

The Committee noted the report on matters outstanding. A Member referred to the matter pertaining to the audit that had taken place regarding Starters and Leavers. He asked if the status of the matter (marked as ‘completed’) was correct. The Head of Audit and Assurance explained that the matter was complete in that it had been flagged for the attention of the Chief Executive and that he had requested that Directors and Heads of Service deal with the recommendations as a priority. The Head of Audit and Assurance advised that follow up work would be undertaken to ensure that the recommendations were being implemented.

 

A query was raised in relation to progress being made concerning the objections to the Council’s accounts. It was noted that in this regard, work was still being undertaken by KPMG.

 

RESOLVED that the Matters Outstanding report is noted. 

30.

QUESTIONS ON THE AUDIT REPORTS PUBLISHED ON THE BROMLEY COUNCIL WEBSITE

The following reports have been published on the Bromley Council website:

 

1-Review of the Transformation Strategy

2-Review of Council Tax 2019-2020

3-Review of Deferred Payments

4- Review of Business Continuity and Emergency Planning

5-Review of Procurement Cards

6-Tax and National Insurance Contribution Issues arising from the audit of Procurement Cards 

7-Review of Substance Mis-Use Services

8-Main Accounting System and General Ledger 2019/20

9-Schools Finance Team (SFT)

10-Review of Insurance 2019/20

 

The web link to the published reports is:

 

https://cds.bromley.gov.uk/ieListMeetings.aspx?CommitteeId=559

 

Any questions regarding these reports should be forwarded to the Committee Clerk by 5.00pm on Thursday 20th February. 

 

The email for the Committee Clerk is stephen.wood@bromley.gov.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minutes:

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

31.

ANNUAL INTERNAL AUDIT PLAN 2020-2021 pdf icon PDF 141 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

FSD 20025

 

Members were presented with the draft Annual Internal Audit Plan for noting and approval. The processes undertaken to draft the Plan were outlined by the Head of Audit and Assurance. The Plan and Charter would be considered as part of a peer review in 2021. It was noted that an updated Internal Audit Charter had also been submitted for comment and approval. The Internal Audit Charter highlighted that as the reporting line for insurance matters was now through the Head of Audit and Assurance it set out safeguards to preserve independence.

 

The Chairman referenced the planned audit of FOI and Subject Access Requests. He wondered how effective LBB was in managing demand. The Head of Audit and Assurance replied that a review of the arrangements in place would be undertaken, along with an identification of weaknesses. 

 

The Chairman highlighted that following the introduction of the Criminal Finances Act, HMRC required a risk assessment to be undertaken to look at controls in place to prevent tax evasion by individuals, as well as corporate tax offences. All companies were required to undertake this risk assessment, and this had been requested by the Chief Accountant. LBB’s Tax Advisors would be running a half day course on this. 

 

The Chairman referred to the proposed audit of the Virtual School which fell under the remit of the Children’s Social Care Division. It was noted that the former Head had now retired and that her replacement needed time to settle in. A meeting had taken place with Children’s Services which had been useful, and they were keen for this audit to take place.

 

A Member asked a question regarding the monitoring of Environmental Services Contracts. It was clarified that Internal Audit would not be looking at all ECS contracts, but would be looking at a sample. A qualitative review of the contract monitoring information would be undertaken.

 

A Member enquired if an audit could be undertaken solely of the Carefirst system. The Head of Audit and Assurance answered that a designated project team had been assigned to deal with the replacement for Carefirst. Some of the current problems associated with Carefirst usage related to user error, others to system design. It was envisaged that these issues would be factored into the new system design.

 

A Member made a comment with respect to the monitoring of contracts. He said that in the industry that he had been working in previously, a contractor had to deliver on time every time, otherwise the supplier would lose the contract. He expressed the view that it was a waste of time and money to keep monitoring contracts. The Head of  Audit and Assurance responded that in his experience it was necessary to undertake in-house monitoring of contracts. In certain fields there was not always adequate competition to easily exit contracts.

 

A Member congratulated the Head of Audit and Assurance on a good Internal Audit Plan. He also referenced the Merit Award Scheme which was included in the plan and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.

32.

INTERNAL AUDIT PROGRESS REPORT pdf icon PDF 318 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members were appraised regarding progress made concerning the previous 4 Priority 1 recommendations that had been made with respect to Strategic Property. The Head of Audit and Assurance said that three out of the previous four recommendations had been implemented. However, the target to hit £1m savings via the Income Generation Plan had not been reached. The Head of Asset and Investment Management attended the Committee to update on this matter and to answer any questions that Members wished to ask.

 

The Head of Asset and Investment Management explained that a report had gone to the Executive, Resources and Contracts Committee in November 2019, whereby Cushman and Wakefield (C&W) had estimated that they had achieved savings up to that point of £850k. It was explained that C&W were contractually not entitled to any incentive payments unless they had achieved real savings of £1m or more.

 

The Head of Asset and Investment Management expressed the view that some of the savings that had been claimed by C&W had been achieved prior to out sourcing. He said that eight areas where C&W had claimed to have made savings were invalid. This meant the £850k figure would reduce. Resultantly, no incentive payment had been paid to C&W. It was reported that C&W had not been providing support to local teams on site, and had been penalised for this. The Head of Asset and Investment Management expressed the view that the £1m target would not be achieved.

 

A Member referred to the figure of eight cases where the savings outlined were likely to be invalid. He asked what this meant in percentage terms. Mr Watkins answered that the list of savings/income generation received from C&W contained a total of 70-80 items, and so the percentage was in the region of 10%. The £1m income generation target was over a three year period. It was explained that the total value of the eight cases being removed from the list relating to income generation would account for income in the region of £77k. If this figure was therefore deducted from the £850k figure claimed by C&W, it would mean that in real terms C&W would need to produce in the region of another £225k in savings to hit the income generation target. 

 

Members were presented with the Internal Audit Progress Report which updated Members of recent audit activity across the Council and provided updates on matters that had arisen from previous meetings of the Committee. Members were being asked to note and comment on the report. They were also being asked to note the list of Internal Audit Reports that had been published on the Council’s website.

 

Members were informed that the audit of the Transformation Programme had gone well and the audit opinion was ‘Substantial’.

 

The Head of Audit and Assurance appraised Members regarding the Council Tax audit, the purpose of which was to review governance and mitigate risk. The audit had resulted in two Priority  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.

33.

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.

34.

INTERNAL AUDIT FRAUD,INVESTIGATION & EXEMPT ITEMS REPORT

Minutes:

FSD20021

 

Members noted the Part 2 report that dealt with matters relating to internal audit fraud, investigations and other matters relating to exempt information.

 

The record of these minutes are noted in the Part 2 section of the minutes.

35.

MATTERS OUTSTANDING--PART 2

Minutes:

CSD 20028

 

Members noted matters outstanding (Exempt Information) from the previous meeting.

 

RESOLVED that the Matters Outstanding Report (Exempt Information) is noted.

36.

EXEMPT MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 17th OCTOBER 2020

Minutes:

Members noted the minutes (Exempt Information) of the meeting that took place on 17th October 2019.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes (Exempt Information) of the meeting that took place on 17th October 2019 be agreed and signed as a correct record.   

 

Original Text: