Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Speaking at a Council or Committee meeting

Venue: St Aldate's Room, Town Hall

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

Items
No. Item

1.

Election of Chair for the year 2017-18

Minutes:

Councillor Fry was elected as Chair for the 2017/18 municipal year.

2.

Election of Vice-Chair for the year 2017-18

Minutes:

Councillor Munkonge was elected as Vice-Chair for the 2017/18 municipal year.

3.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

None.

4.

External audit: Audit progress report for audit of year 2016-17 pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Report of: the external auditor: Ernst & Young

 

Purpose: to inform the Committee of the work completed since the last report.

 

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

 

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the external auditor Ernst & Young informing it of the work completed since the last report.

 

David Guest and Paul King (Ernst & Young) introduced the report. They said that at this stage in the audit there was nothing of significance to report. They outlined the work undertaken to bring the audit dates forward to comply with the timetable for the 2018 Audit.

 

There was a major tendering exercise for the provision of Audit services for local authorities in which this authority was taking part. The major firms had bid for and been allocated blocks of work but the final allocation to local authorities was not completed. These would be finalised in time for Council to decide on the appointment of auditors (to start in March 2018) by 31 December 2017. At present there was likely to be a reduction in the standard audit fees.

 

The Committee resolved to notethe report and the points above.

 

5.

Statement of Accounts for 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 172 KB

Report of: the Head of Financial Services.

 

Purpose: to present the Council’s Statement of Accounts for the year ending 31 March 2017 to the Audit and Governance Committee (attached as a supplement to this agenda).

 

Recommendation: that the Committee note the contents of the Statement of Accounts certified by the Head of Financial Services (Section 151 Officer) prior to their submission to the external auditors.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Head of Financial Services presenting the Council’s Statement of Accounts for the year ending 31 March 2017 (attached as a supplement to the agenda).

 

The Head of Finance presented the report and the Statement of Accounts including an account of the reasons for slippages and variances on the capital programme.

 

The Committee noted answers to questions including:

·         The valuation office was still processing business rates appeals;

·         Any extra funding (likely to be in excess of £1m) required for remedial works to the cladding on tower blocks as a result of fire safety tests would need to be funded from reserves: this would be picked up as a note on the 2016/17 accounts. The request would be put to the City Executive Board and Council for approval.

 

The Committee resolved to note the Statement of Accounts certified by the Head of Financial Services (Section 151 Officer) prior to their submission to the external auditors.

 

6.

Annual Governance Statement 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 92 KB

Report of:  the interim Head of Law and Governance.

 

Purpose: to present the Annual Governance Statement for approval (attached as an appendix to the report).

 

Recommendation: that the Committee approves the Annual Governance Statement.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the interim Head of Law and Governance presenting the Annual Governance Statement for approval (attached as an appendix to the report).

 

The Committee noted actions taken to improve the Council’s business continuity plans and discussed the risks and benefits around the new housing, trading and west end development companies.

 

The Committee resolved to approve the Annual Governance Statement.

 

7.

Internal Audit: Annual Report 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 441 KB

Report of: the internal auditor, BDO.

 

Purpose: this report details the work undertaken by internal audit for Oxford City Council and provides an overview of the effectiveness of the controls in place for 2016-17.

 

Recommendation: to discuss and note the report.

 

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the internal auditor BDO detailing the work undertaken by internal audit for Oxford City Council and an overview of the effectiveness of the controls in place for 2016-17.

 

Gurpreet Dulay, BDO, introduced the report and answered questions.

 

The Committee resolved to note the report.

 

8.

Internal Audit progress reports: to June 2017 pdf icon PDF 446 KB

Report of: the internal auditor: BDO

 

Purpose: to inform the Committee of progress made against the internal audit plan.

 

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

 

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the internal auditor BDO on progress made against the internal audit plan.

 

Gurpreet Dulay, BDO, introduced the report.

 

The Committee noted that making as much information as possible available over the website reduced the work involved in Freedom of Information requests and asked if meaningful measures for performance in achieving channel shift to online transactions could be produced.

 

The Committee resolved to notethe report.

 

9.

Internal Audit: follow up of recommendations to June 2017 pdf icon PDF 723 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 internal auditor BDO on progress on those recommendations raised by Internal Audit which are due for implementation.

 

Gurpreet Dulay, BDO, introduced the report. The Committee noted progress and expected completion dates for outstanding and high-priority actions.

 

The Committee resolved to note the report.

 

10.

Internal Audit: final audit reports to committee June 2017 pdf icon PDF 322 KB

Report of: the internal auditor: BDO

 

Purpose: to inform the Committee of the reports and recommendations from audits identifying medium-level risks.

 

Recommendation: to consider and note the report: Cyber Crime.

 

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the internal auditor: BDO setting out the reports and recommendations from audits identifying medium-level risks.

 

Gurpreet Dulay, BDO, introduced the report and along with the Chief Technology & Information Officer answered questions.

 

The Committee noted:

·         security measures in place were reasonable, practical and effective and all reasonable practical steps were taken to secure personal data;

·         the new General Data Protection Regulations would impose a new set of requirements with considerable financial penalties and the impact and requirements (including resources) for the council were being evaluated;

·         automated processes for applying patches and updates to critical software were in place and monitored to ensure these worked as expected: patches were applied in accordance with good practice;

·         standards for security and updates on portable devices were in development and would be rolled out.

 

The Committee resolved tonote the report on Cyber Crime/ Cyber Security.

 

11.

Audit report on Building Control pdf icon PDF 155 KB

Report of: Head of Planning, Sustainable Development and Regulatory Services.

 

Purpose: this is a report requested by the Committee on the commercial activities of the Building Control Service and the current position with regard to the financial position and performance of the service.

 

Recommendation: to note the contents of the report and to request an update in 12 months when it is anticipated that the proposed service improvements will have been implemented.

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of Head of Planning, Sustainable Development and Regulatory Services on the commercial activities of the Building Control Service and the current position with regard to the financial position and performance of the service.

 

The Building Control Team Leader and Manager introduced the report and answered questions.

 

The Committee noted:

·         difficulties and possible mitigation around recruitment and retention of suitably experienced staff on permanent contracts;

·         constraints on flexibility in quotes including cost recovery and consistency;

·         the relative size of the contract to provide building control services to the Westgate development and how this income could be replaced;

·         the need to provide competitive services and perhaps developing specialisms;

·         the aim to provide high quality customer service and objective high standard  inspections with the other benefits associated with an accountable and transparent public body;

·         an ‘invest to save’ bid for business development and marketing of the service may generate income;

 

The Committee resolved to note the report and requested an update in 12 months.

12.

Benefits Action Plan pdf icon PDF 92 KB

Report of: the Head of Financial Services

 

Purpose: to present the Housing Benefit Service Action Plan to mitigate issues arising from the External Auditors report on the certification of the Councils Housing Benefit Subsidy claim for 2015-16.

 

Recommendation: to note the Housing Benefit Service Action Plan.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Head of Financial Services presenting the Housing Benefit Service Action Plan to mitigate issues arising from the External Auditors report on the certification of the Councils Housing Benefit Subsidy claim for 2015-16.

 

The Head of Finance, the Head of Business Improvement and the Benefits Manager introduced the report and answered questions from the Committee.

 

The Committee noted the progress against the action plan, challenges, the improvements in accuracy and performance as a result of further intensive training, and the need for continual training to implement frequent regulatory changes;

 

The Committee resolved to note the Housing Benefit Service Action Plan and asked for a further report at the December meeting.

13.

Review of the ICT service transformation project at June 2017 pdf icon PDF 213 KB

Report of: the Head of Business Improvement.

 

Purpose: to update members on progress with the ICT Transformation Plan.

 

Recommendation: to note the report.

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Head of Business Improvement on progress with the ICT Transformation Plan.

 

The Head of Business Improvement and the Chief Technology & Information Officer introduced the report and answered questions from the Committee.

 

The Committee noted:

·         the current staffing structure, including interim appointments and changes in personnel and roles, and the need to invest in specialist skills required by moving ICT in-house;

·         the transformation plan was progressing although the implementation of inter-related actions was more complex and prone to overrunning;

·         a permanent structure and staff should be in place around September;

·         the transfer of skills would include a catalogue of documents covering the work, service level agreements, and processes to reduce dependency on individual knowledge

 

The Committee resolved to note the report.

 

14.

Risk Management report: Quarter 4 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 145 KB

Report of: Head of Financial Services

 

Purpose of report: to update the Committee on both corporate and service risks as at the end of Quarter 3, 31 December 2016.

 

Recommendation: to consider and note the report.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Head of Financial Services on both corporate and service risks as at the end of Quarter 4, 31 March 2017.

 

The Committee asked in information about staff turnover, permanent and temporary staff numbers and vacancies on the next risk report.

 

The Committee resolved tonote the report.

 

15.

Investigation Team Performance and Activity Briefing pdf icon PDF 138 KB

Report of: the Head of Financial Services

 

Purpose: to appraise Members of the activity and performance of the Corporate Investigation Team for the period 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017.

 

Recommendation: to discuss and note the report.

 

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Head of Financial Services on the activity and performance of the Corporate Investigation Team for the period 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017 and noted the confidential appendix.

 

Scott Warner, Investigations Team Manager, introduced the report.

 

The Committee noted and commented:

·         the fraud conference would run again in 2017;

·         an ‘invest to save’ bid could be made for funding to allow this to be offered free of charge given the opportunity for commissioning work for the team;

·         targets should be set to be achievable: this may mean lower rather than higher;

·         partnership working was continuing (where the relevant work continued) and there was flexibility in the contracts to allow a variety of solutions.

 

The Committee resolved to note the report and congratulated the team on their work and excellent performance.

 

16.

Officer Executive Decisions Quarterly to June 2017 pdf icon PDF 111 KB

Report of: the interim Head of Law and Governance.

 

Purpose: to inform the Committee of the Officer Executive Decisions taken to June 2017.

 

Recommendation: to note the report.

 

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Interim Head of Law and Governance setting out the Officer Executive Decisions taken to June 2017.

 

The Committee noted the report.

 

17.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 146 KB

To approve as a true and accurate record the minutes of the meeting held on 1 March 2017.

Minutes:

The Committee resolved to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 1 March 2017 as a true and accurate record.

 

18.

Dates and times of meetings

The Committee is scheduled to meet at 6.00pm in the Town Hall on the following dates:

 

26 September 2017 (note change from original date)

11 January 2018

12 March 2018

25 July 2018 (note change from original date)

17 October 2018

10 January 2019

11 March 2019

Minutes:

The Committee noted the dates and times of future meetings.