Agenda and draft minutes

Audit & Governance Committee - Thursday, 1 October 2020 10.30 am

Venue: Remote

Contact: Joss Butler  Email: joss.butler@surreycc.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

33/19

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTIONS

    • Share this item

    Minutes:

    Apologies were received from Stephen Cooksey.

34/19

MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING - 28 August 2020 pdf icon PDF 85 KB

    • Share this item

    To agree the minutes as a true record of the meeting.

    Minutes:

    The Chairman to highlight an attendance error on front page of minutes. The minutes should state that only Stephen Cooksey was not present.   

     

    Subject to the above amendment, the Minutes were approved as an accurate record of the previous meeting.

35/19

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

    • Share this item

    All Members present are required to declare, at this point in the meeting or as soon as possible thereafter

    (i)            Any disclosable pecuniary interests and / or

    (ii)           Other interests arising under the Code of Conduct in respect of any item(s) of business being considered at this meeting

    NOTES:

    ·         Members are reminded that they must not participate in any item where they have a disclosable pecuniary interest

    ·         As well as an interest of the Member, this includes any interest, of which the Member is aware, that relates to the Member’s spouse or civil partner (or any person with whom the Member is living as a spouse or civil partner)

    ·         Members with a significant personal interest may participate in the discussion and vote on that matter unless that interest could be reasonably regarded as prejudicial.

    Minutes:

    There were none.

36/19

QUESTIONS AND PETITIONS

    • Share this item

    To receive any questions or petitions.

     

    Notes:

    1.  The deadline for Member’s questions is 12.00pm four working days before the meeting (25 September 2020).

    2.  The deadline for public questions is seven days before the meeting (24 September 2020).

    3.  The deadline for petitions was 14 days before the meeting, and no petitions have been received.

     

    Minutes:

    There were none.

37/19

RECOMMENDATIONS TRACKER pdf icon PDF 95 KB

    • Share this item

    To review the Committee’s recommendations tracker.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1.     Members noted that the items within A21/20 and A22/20 were on meeting’s agenda and therefore the actions had been marked as complete. 

     

    Action/Further information to note:

     

    None.

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    The Committee noted the report.

     

38/19

Statement of Accounts 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 112 KB

    • Share this item

    To inform the Committee of the result of the external audit of the council’s 2019/20 Statement of Accounts, to receive the external auditor’s Audit Findings Report and to approve the council’s letter of representation from the Executive Director of Resources. 

     

    Annexes:

     

    Annex 1 – SCC Statement of Accounts 2019/20 (Revised Draft)

    Annex 2- 2019/20 Audit Findings Report –SCC  (to follow)

    Annex 3 - Letter of Representation

     

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Witnesses:

    Ciaran McLaughlin, Grant Thornton

     

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1. The representative from Grant Thornton introduced the item and provided Members with a summary of detail within each page of the report. The detail presented could be found from page 17 of the public agenda.
    2. In regards to Children’s Service being identified as a signification risk for the Value For Money (VFM) arrangements, Members asked whether the risk was likely to be present for some time due to COVID-19 prevent Ofsted from completing any inspections. The representative confirmed that Ofsted were now beginning to undertake inspections again.
    3. Members are for clarification that, other than the VFM risks and ongoing work related to the EcoPark, the Audit work was going well and as expected. Grant Thornton confirmed that this was the case and that there had been a number of adjustments throughout the Audit however there was nothing that particularly needed Members’’ attention.
    4. Members highlighted the list of outstanding items on page 6 and asked when Grant Thornton expected the list to be compete. Grant Thornton stated that they expected the outstanding items to be completed by the end of the following week.
    5. The Committee agreed amended recommendations which are recorded below.

     

    Actions/ further information to be provided:

     

    None.

     

    Resolved:

     

    1. Note the 2019/20 Statement of Accounts, as attached in Annex A

     

    2. Consider the contents of the draft 2019/20 Audit Findings Report in Annex B;

     

    3. Agree the officer response to recommendations of the external auditor;

     

    4. Note the Executive Director of Resources’ letter of representation, which is

    attached in Annex C;

     

    5. Determine if any issues in the Audit Findings Report should be referred to the Cabinet.

     

     

     

     

     

     

39/19

Annual Complaints Performance Report pdf icon PDF 486 KB

    • Share this item

    The purpose of this report is to give the Audit & Governance Committee an overview of the council’s complaint handling performance in 2019/20 and to demonstrate how feedback from customers has been used to improve services.

    Minutes:

    Witnesses:

    Sarah Bogunovic, Customer Relations and Service Improvement Manager

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1. The Customer Relations and Service Improvement Manager introduced the item and highlighted that the report provided an overview of the council’s complaint handling performance in 2019/20 and intended to demonstrate how feedback from customers had been used to improve services. Members noted a summary of the key points of the report which included detail outlined from page 43 of the public agenda.
    2. Members thanked officers for providing a clear and detailed report.
    3. Members stated that it would be helpful to be provided with a summary document which included the key points which would be more suitable for public consumption. Officers stated that the service was looking into way to become more transparent and that they would take Members’ comments into consideration. It was highlighted that some of the report’s detail was available on the public website.
    4. The Committee stated that it was clear the council was learning from the complaints received which was positive.

     

    Actions/ further information to be provided:

     

    None.

     

    Resolved:

     

    The Committee noted the report.

     

40/19

Internal Audit Progress Report – Quarter 1 (01/04/20 – 30/06/20) pdf icon PDF 220 KB

    • Share this item

    The purpose of this progress report is to inform members of the work completed by Internal Audit between 1 April 2020 and 30 June 2020.

     

    The current annual plan for Internal Audit is contained within the Internal Audit Strategy and Annual Plan 2019-20, which was approved by Audit and Governance Committee on 22 May 2020.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Witnesses:

    David John, Audit Manager

     

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1. The Audit Manager introduced the report and provided Members with a brief summary. Members noted that during the pandemic the service had suspended its planned work and focused on supporting the council where it needed it most. Further detail on how the service support the council could be found within section 2 of the report. Section 1 of the report provided a summary of the internal Audits which had been completed from the end of quarter 4. Members further noted that the only audit without reasonable assurance was the Local Economic Partnerships audit.
    2. A Member of the Committee stated that they felt the word ‘crisis’ was not appropriate when discussion the council’s reaction to the pandemic as it was an opportunity to learn new things. The Member went on the say that the word ‘situation’ better reflected the events.

     

    Actions/ further information to be provided:

     

    None.

     

    Resolved:

     

    The Committee noted the report.

     

     

     

     

     

     

41/19

Risk Management Update pdf icon PDF 98 KB

    • Share this item

    To introduce our strategic risk partner and their project approach to enable the committee to meet its responsibilities for monitoring the development and operation of the council’s risk management arrangements. 

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Stephen Spence left the meeting at 11:30am.

     

    Witnesses:

    Anna D'Alessandro, Director - Corporate Finance

    Ross Tudor, EY

    Emma Price, EY

    Mary Buxton, EY

     

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1. Officers introduced the report and noted that its purpose was to introduce the council’s strategic risk partner, EY, and provide an overview of their project approach in order to enable the committee to meet its responsibilities for monitoring the development and operation of the council’s risk management arrangements.
    2. Representatives from EY presented the information found within the slides attached to the main report. The detail could be found from page 95 of the public agenda. 
    3. Following the presentation, Members further noted that EY’s intention was to ensure the council had the tools and knowledge to have effective risk management.
    4. Members highlighted the importance of accessing risk within each level of the organisation. Officers agreed with this approach and confirmed that initial interviews would be held within senior levels of the council.
    5. Members discussed the highest risks caused by increased working from home. It was noted that a principal risk was around cyber security. 
    6. The Committee noted a timeline of the programme which could be found on page 101 of the agenda.
    7. Officers noted that a further update on the council’s risk culture would be provided at the next meeting which would reference the setting of the risk register.

     

    Actions/ further information to be provided:

     

    None.

     

    Resolved:

     

    The Committee noted the report.

     

     

     

     

     

     

42/19

EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC

    • Share this item

    Recommendation: That under Section 100(A) of the Local Government

    Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information under the relevant paragraphs of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

     

     

     

     

    PART TWO – IN PRIVATE

     

    Minutes:

    The Chairman moved under Section 100(A) of the Local Government Act 1972, that the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item(s) of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information under the relevant paragraphs of Part1 and Part 3 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

     

43/19

Pensions Administration Turnaround Programme

    This report shares the Programme structure, plan and the governance framework for the Pensions Administration Turnaround Programme

Minutes:

Witnesses:

Sonia Sharma, Ext Commercial Advisor

Anna D'Alessandro, Director - Corporate Finance

 

Key points raised during the discussion:

 

  1. The report was introduced by officers. The Committee asked a number of questions which were responded to by the officers present before moving to recommendations.

 

Actions/ further information to be provided:

 

None.

 

Resolved:

 

The Committee noted the report.

 

44/19

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

    • Share this item

    The next meeting of Audit & Governance Committee will be on 10 December 2020.

    Minutes:

    The date of the meeting was noted as 16 October 2020.