Meeting documents

Audit Committee
Tuesday, 22nd March, 2016 9.30 am

Date: Tuesday 22nd March 2016 Time: 9.30 a.m. Place: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Ebbw Vale

Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

PresentAndWithReport toReport of
COUNCILLOR J. MASON (CHAIR)

Councillors K. Chaplin
G. Collier
N. Daniels
R. Jones
J. Morgan
Item
No
Item/Resolution Status Action
PUBLIC
1. APOLOGIES

Apologies for absence were received from

Councillors M. Cross, Mrs. D. Rowberry, B. Sutton, P. Baldwin and Derwyn Owen - Wales Audit Office (WAO).

Noted
2. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST AND DISPENSATIONS

The following declaration of interest was reported and the Lay Member advised that he would leave the meeting whilst the item was considered: -

- Item No. 9 - Internal Audit Catering Review
Mr. Peter Williams - Lay Member

Noted
3. AUDIT COMMITTEE
Report (149K/bytes)

The Minutes of the Audit Committee held on 26th January, 2016 were submitted for consideration, whereupon:-

Attendance List

It was noted that no Group Accountant had been present at this meeting.

RESOLVED, subject to the foregoing, that the Minutes be accepted as a true record of proceedings.

Agreed
4. ACTION SHEET
Report (11K/bytes)

Consideration was given to the Action Sheet of the Audit Committee meeting held on 26th January, 2016.

RESOLVED that the Action Sheet be noted.

Noted
5. WAO FINAL AUDIT PLAN 2015/16
Report (31K/bytes)
Main Report (467K/bytes)

Consideration was given to the report of the Wales Audit Office (WAO), which provided information on the 2016 Audit Plan for Blaenau Gwent.

The WAO representative spoke to the report, highlighting key points and explaining that the main purpose of the report was to discharge Blaenau Gwent from the statutory duties of the Auditor General for Wales.

A representative for the WAO informed Members that due to a reduction in funding for the work of the Wales Audit Office there would be a review of current working practices and new processes would be implemented. Once these decisions had been made they would be reported to the Audit Committee.


RESOLVED, subject to the foregoing, that the report be accepted and the information within the 2016 Audit Plan be noted.

Agreed
6. WALES AUDIT OFFICE INFORMATION MANAGEMENT FOLLOW UP REPORT JANUARY 2016
Report (339K/bytes)
Appendix (369K/bytes)

Consideration was given to the report of the Chief Finance Officer which provided an update on the Wales Audit Office Information Management follow up report January 2016. The report provided a detailed overview of key areas for improvement for Blaenau Gwent's information management processes.


A representative of the WAO presented the report and highlighted the points therein. It was explained that there had been progress in some areas, although measures were now being implemented to ensure further effective improvements in these areas.


A Member stressed concern that some of these issues had been ongoing since 2012 and still had not been rectified; it was stressed that an effective conclusion would need to be reached as soon as possible.


The Information and Governance Officer explained that an effective process was in place going forward to address the issues highlighted by the report.


RESOLVED the report be accepted and the progress made in relation to the proposals for improvement be noted.

FURTHER RESOLVED that the Head of Internal Audit respond to the Committee with a timescale for implementing the action points.

Agreed
7. AUDIT PLAN PROGRESS REPORT JANUARY TO FEBRUARY 2016
Report (97K/bytes)
Appex (110K/bytes)

Consideration was given to the report of the Audit Manager which provided information on the Audit Plan Progress Report from January to February 2016.


The Audit Manager spoke to the report and highlighted the key points of the report and the progress made.


In response to a Member's question the Audit Manager explained that some of the activities within the plan had not been completed yet, however they had been included in the report to provide Members with an update on ongoing and completed tasks.


RESOLVED, that the report be accepted and progress made for the period 1st February, 2016 to 29th February, 2016 be noted.

Agreed
8. CODE OF GOVERNANCE
Report (93K/bytes)
Appex (167K/bytes)

Consideration was given to the report of the Head of Internal Audit which provided information on the revised Code of Governance.

The Head of Internal Audit spoke to the report and highlighted key points. Explaining that the Code of Governance was reviewed annually and came into effect for the next financial year.

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and the updated code of Governance be approved and adopted by the council.

Agreed
TO RECEIVE AND CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING REPORT(S) WHICH IN THE OPINION OF THE PROPER OFFICER IS/ARE AN EXEMPT ITEM(S) TAKING INTO ACCOUNT CONSIDERATION OF THE PUBLIC INTEREST TEST AND THAT THE PRESS AND PUBLIC SHOULD BE EXCLUDED FROM THE MEETING (THE REASON FOR THE DECISION FOR THE EXEMPTION IS AVAILABLE ON A SCHEDULE MAINTAINED BY THE PROPER OFFICER)
9. INTERNAL AUDIT - CATERING REVIEW
Report (106K/bytes)
Appex (111K/bytes)

Mr. Peter Williams declared an interest in this item and left the meeting whilst it was under discussion.


INTERNAL AUDIT - CATERING REVIEW

Having regard to the views expressed by the Proper Officer regarding the public interest test that, on balance, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information and that the report should be exempt.

RESOLVED that the public be excluded whilst this item of business is transacted as it was likely there would be a disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 13 & 14, Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).


Consideration was given to the report of the Chief Finance Officer.

The Internal Audit Manager spoke to the report, highlighting key points. She explained that an action plan had now been implemented to strengthen the weaknesses which had been identified.


The Internal Audit Manager responded to a Member's question with regard to financial recovery and then gave details of the review process which had included the relevant training.


The Team Manager - Catering and Cleaning Services explained that Business Support had provided additional capacity to monitor the weekly reconciliations.


A Member expressed concerns regarding the frequency of ad hoc management checks and suggested that these would need to happen on a more regular basis.


In response to a Member's comment the Head of Internal Audit confirmed that a follow up report would be brought back to the Committee and it had been built into next year's audit plan as part of the monitoring process.


RESOLVED that the report which related to information which was likely to reveal the identity of an individual and information relating to the financial and business affairs of any particular person (including the Council) be accepted and the findings of the report be supported.

Agreed
DECISIONS UNDER DELEGATED POWERS