Agenda and minutes

Audit Committee - Wednesday, 21 September 2016 6.30 p.m.

Venue: Georgian Room, Kendal Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Inge Booth 

Items
No. Item

AUD/16

Minutes pdf icon PDF 178 KB

To authorise the Chairman to sign, as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 21 July 2016 (copy attached).

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the Chairman be authorised to sign, as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 21 July 2016.

AUD/17

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations by Members of interests in respect of items on this Agenda.

 

Members are reminded that, in accordance with the revised Code of Conduct, they are required to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests or other registrable interests which have not already been declared in the Council’s Register of Interests.  (It is a criminal offence not to declare a disclosable pecuniary interest either in the Register or at the meeting.)

 

Members may, however, also decide, in the interests of clarity and transparency, to declare at this point in the meeting, any such disclosable pecuniary interests which they have already declared in the Register, as well as any other registrable or other interests.

 

If a Member requires advice on any item involving a possible declaration of interest which could affect his/her ability to speak and/or vote, he/she is advised to contact the Monitoring Officer at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That it be noted that no declarations of interest were raised.

AUD/18

Local Government Act 1972 - Excluded Items

To consider whether the items, if any, in Part II of the Agenda should be considered in the presence of the press and public.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That it be noted that there are no excluded items on the agenda.

AUD/19

Work Programme 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 102 KB

To review the Audit Committee’s Work Programme for 2016/17.

Minutes:

The Financial Services Manager explained that the first individual internal audit reports from the new provider would be presented to the Audit Committee at its meeting in December.

 

RESOLVED – That the Work Programme for 2016/17 be noted.

AUD/20

Internal Audit Recommendations Progress Report pdf icon PDF 153 KB

To consider the progress made in implementing the Internal Audit Report Recommendations.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Assistant Director Resources (Section 151 Officer) presented a report providing an update on the progress made in implementing the Internal Audit Report recommendations.

 

Appendix 1 to the report contained details of 46 recommendations, of which 15 had future completion dates. Of the 31 remaining recommendations, 12 had been completed and 19 were partially completed.

 

Following a query regarding Recommendation 7 of the Follow up Audit of Asset Management, as set out within Appendix 1, it was confirmed that work was ongoing to finalise the process to log and follow up rent review cases, and that it was expected that this would be agreed within the next couple of months.

 

RESOLVED – That the progress made with implementing the Internal Audit Report recommendations be noted.

AUD/21

Effectiveness of Internal Audit pdf icon PDF 223 KB

To consider the effectiveness of the Internal Audit Service.

Minutes:

The Effectiveness of Internal Audit report was presented by the Internal Audit Manager. He explained that the recent change in internal audit provider had resulted in the focus of the report being on the arrangements the previous provider had in place during 2015/16 and the new arrangements put in place with TIAA Limited.

 

The Council was required to conduct a review of the effectiveness of its system of Internal Audit at least once a year. For the purposes of the review, the areas of assurance which had been relied upon were as follows:-

 

·       Public Sector Internal Audit Standards;

·       Audit Charter;

·       Head of Internal Audit Option – 2015/16; and

·       Performance Indicators.

 

RESOLVED – That the conclusion that the Council has an effective system of internal audit in place that complies with the principles of the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards and has planned improvement activities to ensure full compliance, be endorsed.

AUD/22

The External Audit Findings for South Lakeland District Council 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 313 KB

To receive the External Auditor’s opinion on the 2015/16 Accounts.

Minutes:

The External Audit Manager presented the External Audit Findings for South Lakeland District Council for the year ended 31 March 2016. The report highlighted the key findings arising from the audit.

 

The report’s findings that the Council had achieved value for money in its use of resources was welcomed by Members.

 

In response to a query regarding the identified internal control risk, the Assistant Director Resources (Section 151 Officer) explained that this issue had also been identified by the Council’s Human Resources Manager and that new, robust controls regarding this had been put in place.

 

A discussion took place on the going concern principle. The External Auditor explained that the continuation and provision of services was considered when applying the principle to a local authority audit.

 

RESOLVED – That the External Audit Findings for South Lakeland District Council 2015/16 be noted.

AUD/23

Statement of Accounts 2015/16 and the Annual Governance Statement pdf icon PDF 161 KB

To consider the audited Statement of Accounts and letter of representation, and to authorise the Chairman of the Audit Committee to sign on behalf of the Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Accountant presented the audited Statement of Accounts 2015/16. The unaudited Statement of Accounts had been approved by the Assistant Director Resources (Section 151 Officer) on 29 June 2016 and reported to the Audit Committee on 21 July 2016. The Section 151 Officer would also be required to re-approve the audited statements. The accounts had also been subject to external audit and public inspection from 1 July. No material errors had been identified as part of the audit process.

 

It was required that the accounts be considered and approved by Members and published no later than the 30 September following the year end to which they related. This statutory deadline would come forward to the 31 July following the year end as of the 2017/18 financial year.

 

In addition, the letter of representation required approval and signature by both the Section 151 Officer and Chairman of the Audit Committee and formed part of the overall assurance required by the External Auditor.

 

The Chief Accountant highlighted the Council’s good working relationship with the External Auditors, and explained that the Council was confident that it was on schedule to meet the faster closure and publication timetable of the audited accounts referred to above.

 

In response to a question from the Committee, the Chief Accountant clarified that the sale of old vehicles occurred when they became uneconomical to run and that applying the de minimis principle meant that the resulting income may not always be accounted for as a capital receipt.

 

The Chairman thanked the Financial Services Team for their work in putting the Statement of Accounts together.

 

RESOLVED – That

 

(1)      the following be approved:-

 

          (a)      the audited Statement of Accounts, as at Appendix 2 to the report; and

 

          (b)      the letter of representation, as at Appendix 1 to the report; and

 

(2)      the Chairman of the Audit Committee be authorised to sign the letter of representation and the Statement of Accounts on behalf of the Committee.

AUD/24

Other Significant Financial Issues

To receive a verbal update from the Assistant Director Resources (Section 151 Officer) on any other significant financial issues.

Minutes:

The Financial Services Manager explained that the technical consultation on the Local Government Finance Settlement 2017/18 had already begun. She also drew attention to the multi-year financial settlement proposal which would be considered by Council at its meeting on 22 September 2016.

 

RESOLVED – That the update on other significant financial issues be received.