The new Head of Facilities Management attended the meeting to provide an update on the issues surrounding the uninterrupted power supply to the Council's data centre. He said that the problem lay not with the generator itself but with the changeover mechanism. He said the plan for resolution involved the use of a temporary generator in the next two weeks and this would need a one day shutdown. The Vice Chairman was pleased that progress was being made and that there was an end in sight, he looked forward to the final resolution of the problem which had been ongoing for some time. A Member asked if a ‘lessons learnt’ report would be drafted. The Head of Facilities Management responded and said the main lesson to be learnt was that the Council needed to manage its contractors properly.
A discussion took place in terms of the risks associated with the operational property review and the risks associated with commercial and non-office owned property. A Member highlighted the risks associated with not maintaining property to the required standard and said that he was struggling to find any detail in the report to indicate that property maintenance risks were being properly monitored. A Member commented that risks associated with property maintenance would be captured in the Capital Programme and reported to the Executive, Resources & Contracts PDS Committee.
A Member expressed the view that property maintenance risks in terms of the cost of maintenance and the possible associated costs of non-maintenance should be captured in the Risk Registers. The HAA agreed that this was something that should be looked at in the next audit cycle but that this should take place subsequent to the Council completing its operational property review.
Reference was made to grant assurance work that had been undertaken and the fact that assurance had been provided with respect to three grants. The Chairman asked how many grants there were and so three out of how many had been completed. The answer to this question was not available at the meeting as Internal Audit would only undertake assurance work on grants where Chief Audit Executive sign off was required
Members discussed blue badge fraud and it was noted that 75% of London Boroughs had a blue badge prosecution policy. LBB was ranked fourth in the country for blue badge prosecutions. It was noted that the money from any fines would be dispersed in part to the Council and the rest would pay for legal costs. It was thought that in certain cases, Civil Enforcement Officers had the power to confiscate blue badges and return them to the issuing authority. The HAA said that she would look into this matter and check with Parking Services. A Member expressed the view that blue badge fraud was despicable and wondered if it was possible to ask for compensation when the Council took the matter to court because of loss of parking revenue. The Head of Audit and Assurance said that she would explore this possibility with the Legal Department.
RESOLVED that the Internal Audit and Fraud Progress Report be noted.