Agenda and minutes

Audit Committee
Wednesday, 27th June, 2018 2.00 pm

Venue: Port Talbot Civic Centre, Committee Rooms 1/2

Contact: Nicola Headon 

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

The following Member made a declaration of interest at the commencement of the meeting:-

 

Cllr.S.Reynolds                     In relation to the Private Report of the Head of Finance as she is Governor of YGG Gwaun Cae Gurwen and Chair of the Disciplinary Committee.

2.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED:      That the Minutes of the meeting held on 5 April, be noted.

3.

Audit Committee Update – Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council pdf icon PDF 337 KB

Minutes:

The Committee received the report of the Wales Audit Office on the Audit Committee Update.

 

Members noted that the training workshop scheduled for 25 July had been postponed to the meeting to be held on 19 September 2018.

4.

Closure of Accounts 2017/2018 pdf icon PDF 436 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Committee received the report of the Director of Finance and Corporate Services in relation to the above and noted that the Draft Statement of Accounts, which was included at Addendum to the circulated report, was now subject to audit by the Wales Audit Office.  The Statement of Accounts would then be considered and signed by the Chair at the Special meeting of Committee on 25 July 2018, together with a presentation in relation to the Authority’s Risk Register. 

 

Members asked for details of the variance in relation to Management Support and in particular the overspend and were advised that this was as a result of an assumption made at the beginning of the financial year around the number of the vacancies throughout the year.  This was used as a tool to manage the budget.

 

Members also asked for details of the Communities Resilience Fund, and noted that this would be used to fund community groups who could provide support and services to the public thereby lessening the burden on the Authority. Members also noted that, over the next few months, reports on the Valleys’ Strategy and the Asset Based Approach would be considered by Members.

 

The Head of Finance invited any new Members of the Audit Committee to meet with him and/or the team regarding explanations on the closure of accounts process if they so wished.

 

RESOLVED:      That the report be noted.

 

 

5.

Annual Report 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 257 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Committee received the above report of the Head of Finance which detailed the work carried out by the Audit Section during 2017/18.  In order to monitor the performance of the Section against planned work, Committee received, at Appendix 1, a copy of the work programme.   In particular Members were asked to note the change in wording of the Assurance Statement, as contained in the circulated report.

 

Members asked for feedback on the ‘Parent Pay’ initiative, including how many schools were participating and were pleased to note that, where it had been introduced, the scheme had been successful.  The numbers of schools using the system changed month on month and efficiency had improved in those schools concerned.

 

Members noted details of the self-assessment carried out by Council Tax, the advice being provided to the sundry debtors’ team on the new system development and the creditor system checks.  In relation to the audit of disciplinary processes within the Authority, this would be rolled forward to 2018/19. 

 

RESOLVED:      That the report be noted.

 

 

6.

Progress Report to 31 May 2018 pdf icon PDF 152 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members received the Progress Report in relation to the work carried out by the Section against the agreed Plan, to the 31 May 2018.  The report also included details of Post Audit Reviews and any staffing issues within the Team.

 

Members then raised the following:-

 

·        An update in relation to the compliance of schools on DBS checks was noted and that work was ongoing to raise awareness in the Authority’s schools, in particular where staff changed schools etc.  This was a training issue for schools including school governors.

·        In relation to R50  it was noted that this had been as a result of whistle blowing and that the employee involved no longer worked for the Authority.

·        Members noted that a new post of Fraud Auditor would soon be advertised and would be funded from a grant from the DWP.  The post would be responsible for the prevention and detection of fraud/overpayments by proactively investigating all potential instances.  The post holder would then recommend any changes to systems or controls as appropriate.

 

RESOLVED:      That the report be noted.

7.

Update Report on the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards (PSIAS) pdf icon PDF 132 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Committee received the report in relation to the above and in particular the actions taken to address the recommendations received as a result of the External Assessment carried out on the internal audit service.  In addition Members noted the amended Internal Audit Charter, attached to the circulated report. 

 

RESOLVED:      That the updated Internal Audit Charter, attached to the circulated report, be approved.

 

 

 

8.

Access to Meetings

That pursuant to Section 100A(4) & (5) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded for the following items of business which involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Exempt Paragraphs 12 and 15 of Part 4 of Schedule 12A to the above Act.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:        that pursuant to Section 100A(4) and (5) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded for the following items of business which involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph14 of Part 4 of Schedule 12A to the above Act.

9.

Internal Audit - Special Investigations

Minutes:

(Cllr. S. Reynolds re affirmed her interest in this item and withdrew for the remainder of the meeting).

 

Members received an update on all Special Investigation Audits undertaken in the last quarter.

 

RESOLVED:      that the report be noted.