Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Speaking at a Council or Committee meeting

Venue: St Aldate's Room - Oxford Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Catherine Phythian, Committee and Members Services Officer  email  democraticservices@oxford.gov.uk tel 01865 252402

Items
No. Item

19.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

The following apologies for absence were received:

 

Councillor Coulter (substitute Cllr Price)

Councillor Paule (substitute Cllr Azad)

Councillor Tidball (substitute Cllr Upton)

Councillor Thomas (substitute Cllr Brandt)

20.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

 

Cllr Price and Cllr Upton arrived at the end of this item.

21.

Investigation Team Performance Update 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 126 KB

Purpose: To appraise the Committee of the activity and performance of the Corporate Investigation Team for the period 1 April 2016 to 31 July 2016.

 

Recommendation: That the Audit & Governance Committee notes the report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair took this item first.

 

The Committee considered the report of the Head of Financial Services reporting the activity and performance of the Corporate Investigation Team for the period 1 April to 31 July 2016.

 

The Investigations Manager introduced the report and highlighted the continuing success of the team in meeting, or exceeding, its performance targets. In particular he commented on the success of the Fraud Prevention Open Day which had taken place earlier that day and which had been very well attended.  He said that he was optimistic that there would be external work for the team as a result of some of the business leads identified. Members of the Committee who had attended the Open Day paid complement to the success of the event.

 

The Committee thanked the Investigations Manager for the report and congratulated him and his team on being selected as a finalist for the Institute of Revenues, Ratings and Valuations (IRRV) performance awards.

 

The Committee agreed that in future the Corporate Investigation Team should submit a report twice a year, to cover performance for the half and full year. They suggested that the fraud data should in future be included in the CEB performance reports and should show the net financial benefits.

 

The Committee resolved to exclude the press and public from the meeting during consideration of the item in the exempt from publication part of the agenda in accordance with the provisions in Paragraph 21(1)(b) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (England) Regulations 2000 on the grounds that their presence could involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as described in specific paragraphs of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 and that, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information.

 

The Investigations Manager answered the Committee’s questions on the individual cases listed in the confidential appendix.

 

The Committee noted the report and the confidential appendix.

 

The meeting then resumed in public session.

22.

Review of the ICT service transition project in April 2016 pdf icon PDF 127 KB

Purpose:       To detail the lessons learnt from the ICT transition to the new service provider, SCC, on expiration of the contract with Oxfordshire County Council.

 

Recommendation: That the Audit & Governance Committee notes the report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair took this item next.

 

The Chief Technology and Information Manager and the Business Development & Support Manager presented the report detailing the lessons learnt from the ICT transition to the new service provider, SCC, on expiration of the contract with Oxfordshire County Council.

 

In discussion the Committee noted the following points:

·                Dialogue with Oxfordshire County Council and National Computing Council about future options for the ICT service structure and delivery began in April 2014 and informed the contract tender process

·                Detailed planning for the transition began with SCC in the summer of 2015

·                All bidders had indicated that a 6 – 9 month timescale was reasonable for a transition of this size

·                SCC maintain a discrete client environment which means that the OCC assets/servers/applications are quite clearly distinguishable and readily extracted – this had not been the case with the County Council where the City Council assets had become closely meshed and integrated with those of the County Council

·                There has been no new capital expenditure on equipment as a result of the transition as the SCC service is on a “pay as you go basis”

·                A detailed ICT Service Improvement Plan was in place and subject to regular review

·                Officers were confident that the SCC contract offered greater flexibility and control for the Council

 

In response to questions the Head of Financial Services advised that there was an £150k per annum saving arising from the project and a one off implementation cost of around £900k. Both costs and income are accounted for immediately in the Councils accounts.

 

The Committee noted the report and requested that a further progress report should be submitted to the meetings on 14 December 2016 and again on 1 March 2017.

 

The Chair observed that the Chief Technology and Information Manager was leaving the Council and on behalf of the Committee wished him well in his future endeavours.

23.

Internal Audit report - ICT Service Desk pdf icon PDF 371 KB

Report attached.

Minutes:

The Chair took this item next.

 

The Committee considered the report from the Council’s internal auditor, BDO, detailing the findings and recommendations of the audit review of the ICT Service Desk undertaken in August 2016.

 

Gurpreet Dulay, BDO, presented the report.  He said that given that it was only a short time since the service desk was brought in house following the ICT transition it was not surprising that the assessment was at level 1 (Ad hoc – processes and activities are ad hoc or undefined). He said that in view of the management response to the review findings BDO expected the Council to meet the target level 3 assessment in early 2017.

 

In response to questions the Business Development and Support Manager assured the Committee that the ICT Improvement Plan contained priority targets to ensure that the target assessment level 3 would be achievable by the end of March 2017. The Executive Director for Organisational Development and Customer Services said that the Improvement Plan had been developed in discussion with the ICT team members and was subject to regular monitoring.

 

The Committee noted the report.

24.

External Audit - Annual Audit Results 2015-16 pdf icon PDF 354 KB

Report of the External Auditor: Ernst & Young

 

Purpose: to inform the Committee of the conclusions of the 2015/16 Annual Audit.

 

Recommendation: That the Audit & Governance Committee considers and notes the report.

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Council’s external auditors, Ernst & Young, which presented the conclusions of the 2015/16 Annual Audit.

 

Paul King, Ernst & Young, introduced the report and thanked the Head of Financial Services and his team for their help and support. He confirmed that the outstanding actions in relation to the Pension Liability Valuation and the Whole of Government Accounts had been completed.  He drew the Committee’s attention to the corrected audit differences as detailed in Appendix A and advised that these were not material considerations.

 

The Committee noted the report.

25.

Statement of Accounts for 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 113 KB

Purpose:       To submit the Council’s Statement of Accounts and Letter of Representation for approval and authorisation.

 

Recommendation(s):        That the Audit & Governance Committee:

 

a)            Approve the audited 2015/16 Statement of Accounts as certified by the Head of Financial Services and authorise the Chair of the Committee to sign the Accounts

b)            Approve the Letter of Representation to enable the opinion to be issued (paragraph 12)

c)                  Recommends to Council that the Council opt in to the national procurement of external auditors (paragraph 13)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Head of Financial Services setting out the Council’s final audited Statement of Accounts for the year ending 31 March 2016 and the Council’s letter of representation to the external auditors.

 

The Head of Financial Services presented the report.  He highlighted the main changes affecting the Statement of Accounts (as detailed in the report) and commented on the favourable variance on the General Fund and the Housing Revenue Account.  He thanked the finance and accounts team for their work in preparing the statement of accounts.

 

He briefed the Committee on the options available for the appointment of external auditors for the 2018/19 Accounts, explaining the reasons for his recommendation that the Council should opt in to the contractual process being led by the PSAA (Public Sector Audit Appointments Ltd).

 

 

Cllr Price left the meeting at this point.

 

The Committee resolved to:

1.    approve the audited 2015/16 Statement of Accounts as certified by the Head of Financial Services and authorise the Chair of the Committee to sign the Statement of Accounts; and

2.    approve the Letter of Representation to enable the opinion to be issued.

 

The Chair signed the Statement of Accounts and Letter of Representation.

 

The Committee then agreed to:

3.    recommend to Council that the Council opt in to the national procurement contract for the appointment of external auditors commencing with the 2018-19 accounts.

26.

Internal Audit: progress report to September 2016 pdf icon PDF 308 KB

Report of the internal auditor: BDO

 

Purpose: to inform the Committee of progress made against the 2015/16 and 2016/17 internal audit plans.

 

Recommendation: That the Audit & Governance Committee considers and notes the report.

Minutes:

The Committee discussed the report from the Council’s internal auditor, BDO, setting out the progress made against the 2015/16 and 2016/17 internal audit plans.

 

Gurpreet Dulay, BDO, presented the report. He said that the 2015/16 reviews were all complete and that the majority of the 2016/17 scheduled audits would be completed and reported to the December meeting of the Committee.

 

In relation to the completed review of “Budgetary Control and Performance Management” the Head of Financial Services explained that the focus was on encouraging and supporting service area managers to take greater ownership of their budgets and performance management. A clear action plan had been developed to deliver this culture and process change.

 

The Committee noted the report and thanked Gurpreet Dulay and his colleagues at BDO for their contribution to, and engagement with, the work of the Council over the past year.

27.

Internal Audit: follow up of recommendations to September 2016 pdf icon PDF 520 KB

Report of the internal auditor: BDO.

 

Purpose: to inform the Committee of progress on those recommendations raised by Internal Audit which are due for implementation.

 

Recommendation:That the Audit & Governance Committee considers and notes the report.

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Council’s internal auditors, BDO, setting out progress on implementing the recommendations arising from the completed internal audit reviews.

 

Gurpreet Dulay, BDO, presented the report and informed the Committee that the number of recommendations that had been implemented had increased, in part as a result of the revised monitoring processes introduced following the last Audit and Governance meeting. 

 

The Committee noted that the two outstanding recommendations would be completed by the end of the calendar year.

 

The Committee noted the report and welcomed the overall improvement in the number of recommendations implemented in a timely manner.

28.

Risk Management report: Quarter 1 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 151 KB

Purpose:       To update the Committee on both corporate and service risks as at the end of Quarter 1, 30 June 2016.

 

Recommendation(s): That the Audit & Governance Committee:

1.            notes the content of the report

2.            reviews the revised corporate risk register (Appendix A)

3.            agrees the proposed change to the risk prioritisation matrix    (paragraph 3 and Appendix B).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report submitted by the Head of Financial Services setting out both the corporate and the service risks as at the end of Quarter 1, 30 June 2016.

 

In discussion the Committee noted that several of the red service area risks related to problems with the ICT services.  They agreed that as many of the corporate risks were related to wider national or policy issues that were outside the Council’s direct control they should focus on reviewing the mitigation strategies in place to address these risks.

 

In response to questions the Head of Financial Services agreed to investigate whether the impact of climate change on the Council’s buildings in extreme hot weather was a significant risk factor.

 

The Committee resolved to:

1.    note the content of the report and the revised corporate risk register (Appendix A)

2.    agree the proposed change to the risk prioritisation matrix (paragraph 3 and Appendix B)

29.

Officer Executive Decisions: Quarterly to September 2016 pdf icon PDF 99 KB

Purpose: to inform the Committee of the Officer Executive Decisions taken in the quarter June to September 2016.

 

Recommendation: That the Audit & Governance Committee notes the report.

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Head of Law and Governance setting out the Officer Executive Decisions taken in the period 15 June to 16 September 2016.

 

The Executive Director for Organisational Development and Corporate Services briefed the Committee on the background to the decision to allocate £20,000 to the Oxfordshire Community Work Association (OCWA).

 

The Committee noted the report and the decisions taken.

30.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 126 KB

Minutes of the meeting held on 29 June 2016.   

Minutes:

The Committee resolved to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 29 June 2016 as a true and accurate record subject to the following amendment:

 

Minute 15: Internal Audit: Follow up of recommendations to June 2016

 

Insert new paragraph after “slippage”:

The Committee asked the Head of Financial Services to arrange a training session to support them in their role as members of the Audit and Governance Committee.

31.

Dates and times of meetings

The Committee will meet at 6.00pm in the Town Hall on the following dates:

 

16 December 2015

1 March 2016

Minutes:

The Committee noted the dates and times of future meetings:

 

14 December 2016

1 March 2017