Meeting documents

Audit Committee
Tuesday, 13th February, 2018 9.30 am

Date: Tuesday 13th February 2018 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
MR. PETER WILLIAMS (CHAIR)
Item
No
Item/Resolution Status Action
PUBLIC
1. TUDALEN GLAWR AGENDA GYMRAEG/WELSH VERSION OF AGENDA COVERSHEET
Tudalen Glawr Agenda Gymraeg/Welsh Agenda Coversheet (227K/bytes)
Noted
2. SIMULTANEOUS TRANSLATION

It was noted that no requests had been received for the simultaneous translation service.

Noted
3. APOLOGIES

The following apologies for absence were reported:-

Councillors P. Edwards, S.C. Thomas & H. McCarthy, B.A. (Hons)

Noted
4. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST AND DISPENSATIONS
Noted
5. AUDIT COMMITTEE
Minutes (250K/bytes)
Cofnodion (193K/bytes)

The Minutes of the Audit Committee held on 14th November, 2017 were submitted.

RESOLVED that the minutes be accepted as a true record of proceedings.

Agreed
6. ACTION SHEET

There were no actions arising from the Meeting held on 14th November, 2017.

Noted
7. BEDWELLTY HOUSE AND PARK CHARITABLE TRUST ACCOUNTS 2011/2012, 2012/2013 AND 2013/2014
Report (136K/bytes)
2011-12 (2M/bytes)
2012-13 (2M/bytes)
2013-14 (2M/bytes)

Consideration was given to the Report of the Head of Financial Services and the Chief Accountant which was submitted for Members' approval of the 2011/1012, 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 Accounts of the Bedwellty House and Park Charitable Trust.

The Head of Financial Services confirmed that this report and the following item on the agenda contained very similar information, however, both reports needed to be considered by the Audit Committee, prior to a decision being made.

The Officer then spoke to the report and highlighted points contained. She explained that Financial Statements for Charities should be submitted annually within a 10 month period to which they apply, which has not happened in this instance. Prior to 2012 simplified receipts and payments were submitted for Bedwellty House & Park following extensive renovations, however, these requirements were not fully understood at the time and those responsible for accounts did not have the sufficient expertise in preparing charity accounts in compliance with the relevant codes and legislation.

The Officer said the preparation of the Financial Statements had been delayed for a number of reasons, particularly the implementation of revised accounting standards resulting in a further review of transactions, balances and disclosure requirements, and other work-load priorities within the Department. It was not until December 2016 that WAO was provided with an acceptable set of Financial Statements, and following these, the Financial Statements for 2012/13 and 2013/14 followed in March 2017.

In relation to the Financial Statements for 2014/15, these had been delayed due to the management of service provision at Bedwellty House & Park transferring to the Aneurin Leisure Trust, however, the accounts had now been presented to WAO for audit. The Officer confirmed that work on completing the 2015/16 and 2016/17 accounts was proceeding and it was intended to present these to WAO by the end of March 2018.

The Officer assured Members that processes had been put in place to minimise the risk of this occurring in the future, and the Bedwellty House & Park charity accounts would now be prepared as part of the Authority's final accounts process.

In response to a question raised by a Member, the Officer explained that in the past the Council was only required to submit receipts and payment accounts in line with the level of income and value of assets. However, for 2011/2012 there was significant investment in Bedwellty House & Park and the value of assets significantly increased, and the capital grants received to undertake the work increased the turnover of the Charity accounts to over 1m taking it into the higher bracket of Charity Commission submissions.

The Officer confirmed that responsibility for preparing charity accounts would remain with the Authority as Trustees of Bedwellty House & Park, and confirmed that the knowledge and capacity to undertake this work was now in place.

A Member referred to the Analysis of Debtors outlined on page 48 of the accounts, namely Torfaen CBC - Public Art Works and the Officer undertook to report back on this matter.

A discussion ensued when the Officer clarified points raised by Members. In terms of the Financial Statements she said it was WAO's intention to issue an unqualified audit opinion.

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and the Bedwellty House & Park Financial Statements for the financial years 2011/12, 2012/13 and 2013/14 be approved by the Audit Committee under the delegated authority of the Council.

Agreed
8. BEDWELLTY HOUSE AND PARK ACCOUNTS 2011/12 TO 2013/14
Covering report (62K/bytes)
2011-12 (283K/bytes)
2012-13 (120K/bytes)
2013-14 (120K/bytes)

Consideration was given to the Report of the Wales Audit Office which was presented to provide Members with the report from the Council's External Auditors.

Mr. Phil Pugh the WAO representative reported that due to the rotation requirements his time with the Authority was coming to an end, and Mr. Mike Jones would be taking over as external Audit Manager moving forward. He was a very experienced Audit Manager and assured that the Authority would be in good hands moving forward. He thanked the Chair and Members of the Committee, and Officers for their help during his time with the Council.

He then spoke to the report and highlighted points contained therein, and confirmed that WAO was now content to give an unqualified opinion on the accounts. In relation to the question raised by a Member in relation to Torfaen - Public Art Works, he said it was likely that grant funding had been applied for at a point in time, which for various reasons never came to fruition.

In response to concerns raised by a Member regarding the standard of some of the renovation work undertaken within the Park, the WAO representative explained that the relevant Department would be responsible for following-up contracts to ensure they are carried out to the correct specifications etc.

The WAO representative said from discussions it was clear there was some uncertainty regarding the role of the Aneurin Leisure Trust in terms of day to day management of the Parks etc.

The Chair and Members thanked Phil for his work with the Council.

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and the information contained therein be acknowledged.

Agreed
9. WALES AUDIT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE FOR THE AUDIT OF BLAENAU GWENT COUNTY BOROUGH COUNCIL'S ASSESSMENT OF 2016-17 PERFORMANCE
Report (86K/bytes)
Appendix (149K/bytes)

Consideration was given to report of the Head of Policy and Performance which was presented to provide Members with the Wales Audit Office Certificate of Compliance following the audit of the Council's Assessment of 2016/2017 Performance.

The Head of Financial Service presented the report and it was

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and the Audit Committee note the compliance certificate dated November 2017.

Agreed
10. INTERNAL AUDIT - EXTERNAL QUALITY ASSESSMENT UPDATE
Report (35K/bytes)
Appex 2 (38K/bytes)

Consideration was given to the report of the Head of Financial Services and the Head of Internal Audit which was presented to provide Members with the progress made regarding the recommendations of the External Quality Assessment of the Internal Audit service.

The Head of Internal Audit spoke to the report and highlighted points contained therein. Blaenau Gwent's Internal Audit Service received the highest rating for the external assessment being considered to 'Generally Conform' to the standards.

She reported that 7 recommendations were made during the assessment, and to date 5 of these recommendations had been completed. In relation to the 2 outstanding recommendations she reported that (Rec 5) would be completed by the end of this financial year, and the timescale for completion of (Rec 7) was March 2019. This was a much larger piece of work which needed to be undertaken with colleagues in the Corporate Services Section.

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and the Audit Committee approve the action plan and note progress to date.

Agreed
11. AUDIT PLAN PROGRESS REPORT FOR NOVEMBER TO DECEMBER 2017
Report (464K/bytes)
Appex A-E (245K/bytes)

Consideration was given to report of the Head of Financial Services and the Audit Manager which was presented to provide Members with an update on the progress against the Internal Audit Plan for the period 1st November, 2017 to 31st December, 2017.

The Head of Internal Audit spoke to the report and highlighted points contained therein. She was pleased to report that an agency worker had been appointed until the end of the financial year, and the newly appointed Senior Auditor had started at the end of February.

A discussion ensued regarding Appendix B when the Officer clarified points raised by a Member. She confirmed that a thorough investigation had been undertaken and decisions made to improve controls at the facility.

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and the Audit Committee notes the progress on activities from the 2017/18 Audit Plan.

Agreed
DECISIONS UNDER DELEGATED POWERS