Agenda and minutes

Audit Committee
Tuesday, 2nd February, 2021 9.30 am

Venue: Virtually via Microsoft Teams - if you would like to attend this meeting live via Microsoft Teams please contact committee.services@blaenau-gwent.gov.uk

Contact: Democratic Services  7788

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Simultaneous Translation

You are welcome to use Welsh at the meeting, a minimum notice period of 3 working days is required should you wish to do so.  A simultaneous translation service will be provided if requested.

Minutes:

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

 

2.

Apologies

To receive.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors H. Trollope, and the Audit & Risk Manager.

 

3.

Declarations of Interest and Dispensations

To receive.

Minutes:

The following declarations of interest were reported:

 

Councillor B. Summers - Item No. 8 Annual Report of the Audit & Risk Manager 2019/20

 

Councillor J. Hill - Item No. 8 Annual Report of the Audit & Risk Manager 2019/20

 

Councillor W. Hodgins – Item No. 10 Investigation into Publication of Exempt Report

 

4.

Order of Agenda

Minutes:

The Data Protection & Governance Officer explained that Item No. 11 Building Decommissioning Process had been submitted under exempt information in error, therefore the report should be considered under the public section of the agenda.

 

RESOLVED accordingly.

 

5.

Appointment of Chair

To receive nominations for the appointment of Chair of the Audit Committee for the year 2020/21.

Minutes:

Nominations were sought for the appointment of Chair of the Audit Committee for 2020/2021.

 

A Member proposed that Councillor J. Millard be appointed to the role, and this proposal was seconded.

 

Another Member proposed that Mr. T. Edwards be appointed to the role, and this proposal was seconded.

 

Upon a vote being taken it was

 

RESOLVED that Mr. T. Edwards be appointed as Chair of the Audit Committee for 2020/21.

 

6.

Audit Committee pdf icon PDF 474 KB

To receive the minutes of the Audit Committee held on 17th November, 2020.

 

(Please note the minutes are submitted for points of accuracy only).

Minutes:

The minutes of the special Audit Committee held on 17th November, 2020 were submitted.

 

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

 

7.

Action Sheet pdf icon PDF 9 KB

To consider the actions arising from the meeting of the Audit Committee held on 17th November, 2020.

Minutes:

The Action Sheet arising from the meeting of the Audit Committee held on 17th November, 2020 was submitted, whereupon:

 

Statement of Accounts 2016/17, 2017/18 & 2018/19

 

Following a request for additional information, the Chief Officer Resources reported that the costs for the independent legal advice obtained as part of work undertaken on the Statement of Accounts was £8,200k.

 

RESOLVED, subject to the foregoing, that the Action Sheet be noted.

 

8.

Anti-Money Laundering Policy pdf icon PDF 555 KB

To consider the report of the Senior Auditor.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to report of the Senior Auditor.

 

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and the Policy be approved and adopted.

 

9.

Annual Report of the Audit & Risk Manager 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 438 KB

To consider the report of the Audit and Risk Manager.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Audit & Risk Manager.

 

RESOLVED that the report be accepted and the Audit & Risk Manager’s annual audit opinion, as detailed in paragraphs 1.1 and 3.3, be acknowledged, namely:

 

·        The audit assignments conducted cover a range of activities and provide a reasonable indicator of the level of assurance for the Authority, however, they cannot provide complete coverage and it is acknowledged that assurance procedures alone do not guarantee that all significant risks are detected.

 

·        Based on the findings of the audit work undertaken during 2019/20 and the continued improvement of the Authority’s governance framework and the internal control environment, in my opinion, Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s system of internal control during the financial year 2019/20 operates to a level which gives Reasonable Assurance on the overall adequacy and effectiveness of the organisation’s framework of governance, risk management and control.

 

10.

Audit Plan Progress Report – pdf icon PDF 504 KB

To consider the report of the Chief Officer Resources.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Professional Lead Internal Audit.

 

RESOLVED, subject to the foregoing, that the report be accepted and the Audit Committee:

 

·        Note the findings within the attached Appendices;

·        Note the progress on activities for the period 1st April to 31st December 2020; and

·        Continue to provide appropriate challenge where relevant, and support the selection of audit activities for the 2020/21 operational audit plan.

11.

Building Decommissioning Process pdf icon PDF 560 KB

To consider report of the Corporate Director Regeneration & Community Services.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to report of the Corporate Director Regeneration & Community Services.

 

A Member proposed that Option 1 be supported, with the addendum that the Managing Director hold further discussions with the Corporate Director Regeneration & Community Services and relevant Officers; and report back to political group leaders as a further level of assurance for Members.

 

The proposal was seconded.

 

RESOLVED, subject to the foregoing, that the report be accepted and the Audit Committee:

 

Take assurance that improvements in the decommissioning processes have been made and compliance was being monitored (Option 1); and

 

The Managing Director hold further discussions with the Audit & Risk Manager; and report back to political group leaders as a further level of assurance for Members.

 

 

12.

Investigation into Publication of Exempt Information

To consider report of the Managing Director.

Minutes:

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 is likely there would be a disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 14 & 15 Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act, 1972 (as amended).

 

Consideration was given to report of the Managing Director.

 

RESOLVED that the report which contained information relating to the financial/business affairs of persons other than the Authority; and information relating to any consultations/ negotiations or contemplated consultations/negotiations in connection with any labour relations matters arising between the Authority and employees/office-holders under the Authority be accepted and the information and recommendations contained therein be approved.